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BMW Automatic Transmissions Prone to Failure

Owners face repair bills up to $7,000

The BMW automatic transmission that is failing through the country wins this week's "Lemon of the Week" Award.

The transmission failure is one of the most expensive and widespread automobile repair bills plaguing consumers today, according to our readers. The faulty automatic transmission is in use, when it works, in many used BMW sedans across the country.

Consumers from all over the U.S. are reporting the failure. Without notice, the reverse gear stops working in BMWs, many of them the popular 323i luxury sedan.

BMW service centers charge as much as $7,000 to repair the transmission, according to ConsumerAffairs.com readers.

Here are a few examples:

John in Memphis, Tennessee:

After reading this site I feel lucky that I made it this far without this issue. I've driven my 1999 BMW 323i for the past year with no problems.

I bought it used at an extremely discounted price, but now I see why. I got up for a 4 a.m. road trip and my car lost its reverse gear.

I didn't try to drive it. I thought it was a dealer mistake because I just had it serviced the day before.

I came inside to do a quick web search and found this site. Boy am I disappointed.

Garrett in Carlsbad, California:

My 2000 BMW 323i won't go into reverse. The car has 61,000 miles runs great but the other day the car just stopped going into reverse.

The transmission acts like it is in neutral. After a little research this looks like a very common problem.

Something needs to be done.

Kevin in Middletown, New Jersey

BMW says I need a rebuilt transmission. BMW says the cost will be $6,883.00.

I called a local transmission shop for an estimate. I said I have a BMW but before I could continue he stopped me and said "let me guess, no reverse?" I said yeah, he said and, "It's a 2000 3 series." Amazing. All I said was I have a BMW.

His repair will be $2,200 BMW wanted $6,883.

Jorge in Miami, Florida

I have a BMW 2000 323i that fails to go into reverse. The dealer wants $6,000 to replace the transmission.

These are just a few of the problems reported to us. See our BMW transmission complaints page for more.

A message to the wise and wary: If you're shopping for a used car, that spiffy BMW with the automatic transmission is one you should probably avoid.

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