really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,333 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 BMW 323:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #9

Jun 081999


  • miles
Report#2:06/08/1999, my left front driver's door was struck by another driver, causing my car to spin. I regained my correct driving path. To avoid additional collisions, I departed the road to the right non-curbed wet grassy roadside. To avoid striking a wood telephone or electrical pole, I turned sharply right. I firmly braked & my car slid on wet grass, coming to a complete stop, making frontal low impact with a brick roadside wall. My car fortunately had a automatic front seat-belting system for my closed-top convertble. My 2 daughter passengers & I were all seat-belted. My 10 yrs old, in the right front passenger's seat & my 4 yr old was in the rear left passenger seat, directly behind me. We were all startled by the event. I could see my daughter to my right side was unharmed. Knowing we would all need to soon exit the car & I would need to assist my youngest, I unbuckled my seatbelt. I next turned myself to the right, to check on my youngest daughter, behind me. I saw she was ok. I next heard a loud pop in front of me, so I turned forward to see a small rectangular plastic pillow filling with air. I realized it must be the airbag. Next I felt a extreme painful, forceful blow against my face & upper chest. The airbag over-aggressively deployed late. The over-aggressive force of the airbag caused me to suffer a traumatic brain injury, with a current life-threatening brain lesion. My 2 mandibles jaws were ea.broken in 4 places, requiring 8 perm. Dental pins. Every bone in my face was broken, requiring titanium plate placement over the broken bones. My skull-top had to be cut open to relieve the increased intracranial pressure. I technically died due to my lungs collapsing and eart-stopped during the life-flight helicopter Transport, which the emts revived me for my nearly one month hospital recovery & rehabilitation. My airbag should have been recalled.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #8

Apr 052017


  • miles
They have not had any parts to service the recall any time I have taken my car in for repairs or have called about the recall.

- Long Valley, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jun 081999

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owned a 1998 BMW 323I. While driving 35 mph, another vehicle moved into the contact's lane and crashed into the driver's door of the contact's vehicle. The contact then crashed into a brick wall at the center of the road and the vehicle came to a complete stop. The contact noticed smoke coming from the front of the vehicle. Only the driver's side air bag deployed. A police report was filed. The contact was not sure whether the vehicle was towed to the dealer. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact sustained a brain lesion, the facial bone was fractured, the right eye socket had to be rebuilt, the upper lip was numb, 21 teeth were damaged, all the wisdom teeth were extracted, the upper and lower jaw bones were fractured, the vision and hearing were affected, and there was memory loss. Medical attention was required. The manufacturer was contacted at 800-525-7417 and asked the contact to call 281-305-8901. The contact called the number and was informed that the VIN was not included in a recall. A case number was not provided. It was unknown if the dealer was contacted. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 9/18/18

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 081999

323 6-cyl

  • miles
A driver, on a 5 lane St, in a center turn lane, driving the same direction as myself struck my car on it's left-side, causing my car to spin. Attempting to avoid further injury in early am traffic, I was able to slowly veer to the far right at a reduced speed of 3 mph, and could not stop enough to prevent collision with a stationary brick wall. I remember making impact and the airbag popping out of the steering column like a small pillow, then suddenly erupting with painful magnificent force throwing by head and chest back, then my falling to the right-side arm-rest. I managed to unbuckle my seatbelt, and murmur as best I could to my two young daughters in the car with me, to get my cell phone, get out of the car, and call their father. Fortunately, a witness called 911 and police and a life-flight helicopter arrived to extract me from the totaled car and fly me unconscious to a local trauma hospital. I was assessed and it was found every bone in my face was broken, the fumes of the airbag caused my lung to collapse, me to ┐code┐, requiring shock epinephrine and electrical shocking to revive my breathing. I required total facial reconstructive surgery with titanium plates placed over broken bones in my face, and dental pins in 4 places of my broken upper and lower jawbones. My teeth were chipped/broken and later needed extensive veneers and dental repairs. I suffered memory loss which has ceased M6 career as a registered nurse. We took BMW, the driver, and taka to court 6 years later, but takata denied any responsibility for my $2.7 million in expenses. The driver was solely found at fault. I just rec┐D a card about takata's guilt. My attorney has now retired. I am attempting to find related documents and records for my substantial costly injuries many years since this occurred. This airbag's mal-deployment has immensely altered my life beyond words here....updated 11/17/17

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #5

Sep 302016


  • 125,000 miles
At approximately 4:45 P.M. ct on Friday, September 30, 2016, I was driving my 1998 BMW M3 convertible home from work. I was on state highway 75 in tulsa, Oklahoma, heading South. I don't have a specific recollection of my speed at that exact moment, but would estimate it to be in the area of 55-60 miles an hour, as there was some traffic, but it was not heavy. I was in the right-hand lane on a part of the highway where there is no curb. I did not swerve off the shoulder. Tulsa roads are notoriously bad, but this particular stretch of highway was repaved relatively recently. My passenger door airbag deployed spontaneously. I was not involved in a collision. I did not have a flat tire. BMW of North America has assured me that the airbag operated appropriately and there must have been some stimulus to cause its detonation. I struggle to accept that there was any stimulus at that speed that would cause detonation of just one airbag without causing some damage to the vehicle.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #4

Dec 102013


  • 151,000 miles
Control display that the electric circuit, license plate light, brake circuit, has failed. On my dashboard the following lights are on: Airbag, check engine, brake pad wear, ABS, and the asc+T lights are illuminated at all times. Nothing happened to my car, no wreck, no quick stops, I am an extremely cautious driver. All these things start to occur out of no where,

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #3

Jul 132014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 BMW 323I. The contact stated that the air bag and the engine warning indicators were illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Levingston, NJ, USA

problem #2

Sep 132009


  • 134,000 miles
I have a 1998bmw 323is and I recently met with an accident on Sunday 9/13/2009. My friend was driving my car and it crashed very badly. The whole front portion is gone and car is reusable. What surprises me is the airbags never came out. Only the side airbag(drivers side) just cameout1/2. is this what happens in a crash"how can I trust cars in the crash"

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #1

Jul 082002


  • miles
No summary listed for above vehicle.

- Lake Worth, FL, USA