really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,167 miles

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« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Jul 202005

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles
Automatic transmission failed to engage in reverse on a hill within 2 feet of another car.

- Palos Verdes, CA, USA

problem #18

Nov 102006

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
At 75,000 miles, the vehicle failed to operate in reverse gear. A search of the internet revealed many other BMW owners that have experienced this same failure. The solution was a >$3,000 charge to rebuild the transmission.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #17

Jul 072006

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My 2000 323I (144K miles) reverse doesn't work anymore. I started noticing problems a few years ago but each time I complained they (northwest BMW in randallstown) never found a problem. I called the dealership and I was quoted a fee of ~$4500 for repair. This is insane, I think I've had this problem all along and no one really ever took the time at the dealership to investigate properly. I am very disheartened about the whole situation. The BMW manufacturers should have recalled this vehicle model several years ago.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #16

Nov 122006


  • miles
My 2000 BMW 323I won't go in reverse. The problem occurred with no warning, as the car has been properly maintained and has operated perfectly until today. The present mileage is a little over 60,000. An online search of the problem has revealed this is a very common problem that's specific to my make/model/year, yet BMW disavows any responsibility. Estimated repair is $7,000, which has me feeling totally disgusted with BMW as a company, not to mention its products, which it apparently no longer stands behind. I can only hope the government will take action against BMW and force a recall.

- Port Chester, NY, USA

problem #15

Sep 292006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles
We bought a 2000 BMW 323I which currently only has about 66,000 miles on it. The car will shift into reverse, but will not actually move backwards. It just sits there revving. The car will drive forward, but not backwards. We were told that the transmission and the transmission thermometer needs to be replaced for a cost of $4500. We've done all the necessary maintenance on this vehicle. I've searched the web and found many other complaints about the same issue. I filed a complaint with BMW, but of course, they're not taking responsibility. These cars should have been recalled to replace the transmission. I was stranded at work when the car broke down. Now, I'm without my car and also don't have the extra money to put towards a repair of $4500. For a high end car, this is unacceptable. This will most be my first and last BMW purchase.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #14

Jul 152006

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
The car is a 2000 BMW 323I with 34,000 miles. There were no problems with the car/transmission prior to the reverse gear suddenly failing to engage while the car was in traffic and needed to be reversed to get out of the way of oncoming cars. The reverse gear continues to fail, although there are no problems driving forward. Dealer states the transmission must be completely replaced to fix the problem. Similar reports of transmission & reverse gear failure specific to 2000 BMW 323I listed here and other forums.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #13

Jun 132006

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,005 miles
: the contact stated the vehicle would not go into reverse. The issue was intermittent. The independent repair shop has not been able to determine the how to fix the problem.

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #12

Apr 202002


  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,123 miles
Transmission failure twice!! first failure occurred on 4/20/02 with 49,123 miles. From the complaints I've read looks as though the failures all occur between 40,000 - 50,000 miles. The transmission is supposed to good to 100,000 not 40,000!! please help!

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 072006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles
Several days of sluggish start, burning oil smell, transmission light came on - I took my car to a transmission shop and have been told that I need a new transmission. They referred me to this site because they looked up to see if there were complaints/recalls.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #10

Jan 272006

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,763 miles
Automatic transmission failure when attempting to move in reverse. Automobile does not respond to reverse, however, vehicle has no problem in forward gears.

- Lexington, NC, USA

problem #9

Oct 242005

323 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles
I currently own a 2000 BMW 323I with 49,000 miles and was just told today that my transmission needs to be replaced, to the tune of $5200. I took my car to the dealership because I was unable to reverse. It appears that this is a recurring problem with several owners of this very make and model based on other complaints filed on different website. Naturally, my warranty ran out last summer at 36,000 miles so I am unable to do anything there. I believe there is definitely a manufacturing problem here when a transmission is failing at less than 50,000 miles. I plan on contacting BMW N.a. to discuss the outrageous price that I have been quoted to see if they can help intervene or offer a solution.

- Reston, VA, USA

problem #8

Aug 032005

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles
I have a BMW 323ci, year 2000. It has around 42000 miles on it. A few days ago, I was parked in my garage. I put the car into reverse and hit the accelerator, and the car went nowhere. It didn't shift into reverse at all. I pushed the car out of the garage, and put the car in drive gear. It went forward fine. I drove it to the shop and they look at it and said I need a new transmission. This will cost thousands. On a BMW with only 42,000 miles on it! my research indicates that this is a problem that is happening to a lot of people with the same car and model year. It is clearly a manufacturer's defect which ought to be the subject of a recall.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #7

Jun 232005

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,325 miles
I drive a 2000 BMW 323I. I didn't experience any problems prior to the failure. I pulled out of my drive way and went to work and when I was leaving work my reverse was no longer functioning properly. Luckily I could go forward. I took the car to the BMW dealer recommended replacing the transmission (dealer was very courteous). Many owners of the 2000 BMW 323I have been reporting this defect, problem is no recall, and the consumer is paying for it.

- Fountain, CO, USA

problem #6

May 302005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,768 miles
The BMW car was parked, when tried to back out the reverse gear did not work. This was a safety hazard as the car was parked down hill and close to a fencing. Car only worked in the forward direction and it was dangerous to move the car in the front direction. Thus causing safety concern. The dealership confirmed that the transmission needed replacement. On contacting several BMW service centres, few of them indicated that the reverse gear safety problem is occuring in several other same model and year car. They indicated this was due to a faulty design in the transmission of the 2000 323I BMW cars.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 232004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,000 miles
The consumer was unable to shift/accelerate in reverse gear. The dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem. The cause was not determined.

- Desoto, TX, USA

problem #4

Aug 292003

323 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,890 miles
Vehicle was purchased brand new from dealer. Vehicle does not drive in reverse. Vehicle only has 4yr 50,000 miles warranty. The car has around 53,000 miles. They will not cover the repair.

- Newark, NJ, USA

problem #3

Aug 222001

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
There is an intermittent skreech when in "D" mode on automatic transmission. From a stop, when accelerating moderately, there is a loud skreech when car shifts from first gear to second gear. Car has been inspected 3 times & problem has been duplicated at 2 different dealers. BMW rep. Also acknowledges problem & has seen it before. Claims it is the "intake system" but no fixes are available! also said if a fix comes out, I might not be able to get it unless I am still under warranty! please help, I have also contacted bmwna & they have taken no action. Also contacted 3 dealers, 2 of which have seen the car & duplicated the horrible noise. Yet no action to fix it. Your help is greatly appreciated.

- Diamond Bar, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 062000


  • miles
Transmission problem, unable to put manual stick in 1st, 3rd and 4th gear; 2nd manual shift pops out of gear. Braking system, brakes squeeking during breaking. Dsc/eml - according to manual, its an system malfunction and a problem with the traction control; light stays on when driving. Fuel injection - lights stays on when driving. Exterior mirror - would not tilt when in reverse. Brakes light - instrument light stays on when driving. (other)service engine - instrument light stays on when driving and beeps. Other problems: Trunk lock - intrument light stays on, navigation system - data disappers when starting car and when driving. Cd/radio manual different from the sound system in the car, seat memory - settings won't keep when entering the car, key memory - setting won't keep, exterior body - leaning to the right was reported to me by another driver, engine - hesitates, or trottles.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #1

Jan 202000


  • miles
Problems; no torque at low revs; erratic acceleration; smell of hot oil; whine from front of car; car rolls downhill as no torque unless revved to 3000+. car undriveable - dealer replaced transmission, O-rings and etl

- Stamford, CT, USA