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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 09-13-2011, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
The DIY was simple for those so inclined (brown wire splice), but MANY payed $200 per side to have this fixed. BMW reported more than 30,000 dealership repairs...I estimate that it cost owners more than $6,000,000 in repair costs while BMW NA fought NHTSA tooth and nail for years to have this obvious defect become a recall as NHTSA sought. I'm very disappointed in BMW's attitude.
I paid $162.00 to get it fixed from my non-dealer mechanic.
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  #27  
Old 09-16-2011, 04:46 AM
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Initial Recall Documents Available NHTSA

Owner notification letters still scheduled for October. These are just early recall docs submitted to NHTSA by BMW but reveal some information. It's too early to submit requests for reimbursement at this time.
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/do...romPublic=true
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  #28  
Old 09-16-2011, 09:35 PM
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pointandgo

Looks like in you photo of the melted wire you may want to clean the primer overspray off the connector. that is certainly not making good contact on the lower wire . I think they could do the old "been in a wreck" refusal on that one.
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  #29  
Old 09-17-2011, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
My connector on the Xi is worse than this, I've actually fed the wire and pin receptacle thru the hole that's been melted in the connector.
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  #30  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:31 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
Owner notification letters still scheduled for October. These are just early recall docs submitted to NHTSA by BMW but reveal some information. It's too early to submit requests for reimbursement at this time.
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/do...romPublic=true
Thanks for posting the link.

It's worth noting the italicized and underlined paragraph on the last page of the DCSNet e-mail, which says those who had repairs performed before December 18, 2009, aren't entitled to reimbursement.
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  #31  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:34 AM
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those of us with 06 330 are safe.
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  #32  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:36 AM
carlova78 carlova78 is offline
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I heard that these can happen to e39s as well?? Is there a recall for e39s?
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  #33  
Old 09-18-2011, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G. P. Burdell View Post
Thanks for posting the link.

It's worth noting the italicized and underlined paragraph on the last page of the DCSNet e-mail, which says those who had repairs performed before December 18, 2009, aren't entitled to reimbursement.
Yes, under the rules (statute) established for recalls, when the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opens an "Engineering Analysis" investigation against a company as NHTSA did on 12/18/2009, that's the "go to" date for recall reimbursement. BMW would have know that, but nevertheless kept resisting NHTSA's "desire" that a "voluntary" recall be conducted. In all my years of analyzing NHTSA recall events, I have seldom seen such stubbornness on the part of a corporation.
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  #34  
Old 09-18-2011, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
Yes, under the rules (statute) established for recalls, when the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opens an "Engineering Analysis" investigation against a company as NHTSA did on 12/18/2009, that's the "go to" date for recall reimbursement. BMW would have know that, but nevertheless kept resisting NHTSA's "desire" that a "voluntary" recall be conducted. In all my years of analyzing NHTSA recall events, I have seldom seen such stubbornness on the part of a corporation.
Guess I'm SoL...mine was done in 03/2009.
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  #35  
Old 09-19-2011, 09:26 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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They need to recall my whole car lol
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  #36  
Old 09-19-2011, 12:59 PM
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Mid-October can't come soon enough for me. I'm tired of seeing the stupid car graphic with my "right tail light out" warning. I pulled the boot off the wiring assy once to look and see if there was anything obvious but didn't see anything then.

I think I subscribed to the earlier post of this investigation pending. Now I'm stoked that it's an official recall.

Thanks Bimmerfest and diligent posters!
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  #37  
Old 09-19-2011, 01:26 PM
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Sure a lot of posts over an issue that costs $5 and 20 minutes to fix with the DIY on this site. Personally, I'd feel better doing it mysefl than leaving my car with BMW for a couple hours so they can put back in what was faulty in the first place.

All I can say is...if BMWNA will dig in their heals this way over a $5 fix item, it does not bode well for numerous, larger failures of their cars.
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  #38  
Old 09-20-2011, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by djstrachan View Post
Sure a lot of posts over an issue that costs $5 and 20 minutes to fix with the DIY on this site. Personally, I'd feel better doing it mysefl than leaving my car with BMW for a couple hours so they can put back in what was faulty in the first place.
Me too, if 20 minutes actually meant 20 minutes. All my projects take at least double the time quoted. I'm not incapable, its just that I forget to factor in the time it takes me to do it wrong the first time, then break something in the process of doing it the second time thus requiring me to fix that which all amounts to a 2 hour job for me.

Add that to the fact that I have about 10 other jobs that are supposed to take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1/2 day (read 4 hours and 3 weeks respectively). I'll take it to the dealer...
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  #39  
Old 09-20-2011, 10:08 AM
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Me too, if 20 minutes actually meant 20 minutes. All my projects take at least double the time quoted. .
Me 3. LOL

My last installation was an AUX input quoted at 20 minutes. It was more like 2 hour plus a run to Home Depot where I could not find a metric sized drill bit.
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  #40  
Old 09-20-2011, 11:21 AM
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Me too, if 20 minutes actually meant 20 minutes. All my projects take at least double the time quoted. I'm not incapable, its just that I forget to factor in the time it takes me to do it wrong the first time, then break something in the process of doing it the second time thus requiring me to fix that which all amounts to a 2 hour job for me.

Add that to the fact that I have about 10 other jobs that are supposed to take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1/2 day (read 4 hours and 3 weeks respectively). I'll take it to the dealer...
Based on your description...I would recommend taking advantage of the recall
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  #41  
Old 09-20-2011, 11:53 AM
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At least the dealer might give you a free car wash with all the new recall parts. That's worth 30 minutes and $10 bucks around here.
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  #42  
Old 10-09-2011, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by djstrachan View Post
Had this problem and recently fixed both rear lights myself. Much cheaper than having to drive to the dealer and let them have my car fo 3 hrs.

Took me about 20 minutes to do both and cost about $3.!!
what did you actually do though compared to what BMW is supposed to do? problem is caused by too high of resistance on the connectors. My adapter plug was fried so I just replaced the adapter plug, but that doesn't resolve the resistance problem.
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  #43  
Old 10-09-2011, 11:28 PM
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anyone get theirs done and know what the fix entails? I'm bringing in my car tomorrow even though I didn't get a notice letter yet. I'm going to assume that the dealer will have some common sense and see my fried connector as an indication that my car has this problem.
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  #44  
Old 10-09-2011, 11:40 PM
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what did you actually do though compared to what BMW is supposed to do? problem is caused by too high of resistance on the connectors. My adapter plug was fried so I just replaced the adapter plug, but that doesn't resolve the resistance problem.
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Originally Posted by imtjm View Post
anyone get theirs done and know what the fix entails? I'm bringing in my car tomorrow even though I didn't get a notice letter yet. I'm going to assume that the dealer will have some common sense and see my fried connector as an indication that my car has this problem.
This is a super-easy fix....you just have to add another short ground wire. The brown wire is ground, so just splice a new piece of wire onto the factory ground where it comes out of the wire bundle, and crimp a female spade lug onto the end, which slides right onto the (male) tab sticking off the edge of the metal taillight fixture housing.
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  #45  
Old 10-10-2011, 12:55 AM
imtjm imtjm is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
This is a super-easy fix....you just have to add another short ground wire. The brown wire is ground, so just splice a new piece of wire onto the factory ground where it comes out of the wire bundle, and crimp a female spade lug onto the end, which slides right onto the (male) tab sticking off the edge of the metal taillight fixture housing.
i'm not seeing how that reduces resistance, which is causing the problem. anyways, if bmw is going to do it for free, no sense in me doing it. plus, they should replace any fried components, etc.
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  #46  
Old 10-10-2011, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
This is a super-easy fix....you just have to add another short ground wire. The brown wire is ground, so just splice a new piece of wire onto the factory ground where it comes out of the wire bundle, and crimp a female spade lug onto the end, which slides right onto the (male) tab sticking off the edge of the metal taillight fixture housing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by imtjm View Post
i'm not seeing how that reduces resistance, which is causing the problem. anyways, if bmw is going to do it for free, no sense in me doing it. plus, they should replace any fried components, etc.
The real way to do it is to un-pin the ground wire from the connector and re-pin it with a thicker gauge wire. Because the connector is so shot on mine I did what Bob suggested and added an extra ground to the tab for the euro fogs.
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  #47  
Old 10-10-2011, 07:06 AM
Bnice516330CI Bnice516330CI is offline
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+1
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  #48  
Old 10-10-2011, 09:08 AM
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again, i'm not sure how that reduces terminal resistance when that is the cause of the problem. at any rate, my VIN didn't yet yield recall, so I have to wait until the process works its course, according to BMW NA.
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  #49  
Old 10-10-2011, 10:45 AM
MontereyDave MontereyDave is offline
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That's great news. But, by chance does anyone know if there is a recall for the insanely inferior window regulators of the E46?!?
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  #50  
Old 10-10-2011, 10:46 AM
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I'm no electrical engineer but from what I have read on this topic, the resistance in the plate is caused by the use of an inadequate ground wire which is incapable of carrying the current present in that circuit. Over time, this causes resistence to build at the connection point. By running a parallel ground the current from the ground to the plate is handled correctly eliminating the resistence problem.

I used the DIY on this forum when I had the intermittent warning light and it has successfully eliminated the issue (3 months now).

I'm not sure what BMW does to address this. They may do the same thing or, they may just replace the plate. IF the latter, the problem will eventually resurface.
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