Parking Brake Problems of BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series owners have reported 2 parking brake related problems since 1996. Table 1 shows the 1 most common parking brake problems. The number one most common problem is related to the vehicle's parking brake (2 problems). For details of each of the problem category, use the links in the table.

Table 1. Parking Brake related problems of BMW 3 Series

Problem Category Number of Problems
Parking Brake problems
Parking Brake problem #1

While driving on freeway in downtown los angeles, the rear end of the vehicle began making intermittent noises and shaking. All of a sudden there was a loud band coming from the rear end and the vehicle immediately began to slow (in heavy los angeles traffic). I was able to get the vehicle off of the freeway and pulled to the side of the road. The vehicle would only pull forward or backward for a few feet before stopping. The car was towed to the dealership, steve thomas BMW in camarillo, CA. This happened on Friday. When they finally got around to examining the vehicle on Monday, they said it wasn't covered under warranty as the rear breaks had disintegrated from the emergency brake being on. They accused me of driving the vehicle with the emergency brake on. I never use the emergency brake and am the only driver of the vehicle. The car is 5 months old and has only 5000 miles on it. I told service writer that emergency brake is never used and even if it had been, there would have been a signal and sound warning. He said he checked warning light and sound and it was working. Still accused me of driving with emergency brake on. There is something faulty with the emergency brake that caused this.

Parking Brake problem #2

I experienced a typical problem with my 2000 BMW 323ci , as the subframe began to tear after only 57000 miles of use. After some complaining, I was able to get BMW to "goodwill" the repairs. But as soon as I picked up the car after the repairs were completed, the emergency brake parking light began to malfunction. It would come on when the brake was released etc. A couple weeks later the traction control light began to do the same thing. I didn't think too much of it, but now about 9 months later I have experienced severe electrical problems. First all the power stopped working, the headlights blinked, a/c and windows stopped working, power locks no longer worked. Then it somehow fixed itself. But a couple weeks after, something else happened and now I cannot even start my car. Again, it appears to be some sort of power problem, perhaps something draining the battery.

Switch Make:
Switch Model:
Safety Ratings of 3 Series Cars
3 Series Service Bulletins
3 Series Safety Recalls
3 Series Defect Investigations