BMW M3 - Problems, Statistics, and Analysis

BMW M3 owners have reported a total of 416 problems for their cars built in the 17 model years listed in the chart below. The chart shows the number of problems reported across all service years for each given model year of the BMW M3. The 2008 BMW M3 cars have the most problems reported (88 problems).

Table 1. Total number of problems by model year for BMW M3

Model Year Number of Problems
  2016 M3
1
  2013 M3
14
  2012 M3
5
  2011 M3
26
  2010 M3
15
  2009 M3
48
  2008 M3
88
  2006 M3
13
  2005 M3
12
  2004 M3
33
  2003 M3
60
  2002 M3
38
  2001 M3
17
  1999 M3
12
  1998 M3
14
  1997 M3
19
  1996 M3
1

  Common problems of BMW M3

The following chart shows the 22 most common problems for BMW M3 cars. The number one most common problem is related to the vehicle's power train (102 problems). The second most common problem is related to the vehicle's air bags (88 problems).

Table 2. Common problems of BMW M3

Problem Category Number of Problems
  Power Train
102
  Air Bag
88
  Engine And Engine Cooling
76
  Electrical System
24
  Visibility
22
  Structure
16
  Suspension
14
  Equipment
11
  Vehicle Speed Control
9
  Tire
9
   
  Gasoline Fuel System
7
  Exterior Lighting
7
  Service Brakes
7
  Steering
6
  Electronic Stability Control
4
  Wheel
3
  Other Fuel System
3
  Unknown Or Other
2
  Seats
2
  Latches/locks/linkage
2
  Parking Brake
1
  Seat Belt
1

  Compare Reliability Across Model Years Using PPMY Index

It would not be fair to compare the BMW M3 of an older model year to newer model years since older vehicles have been in service longer and thus are expected to have more problems. In order to compare the reliability across M3 model years, we use the PPMY index which is defined as the problems reported per thousand vehicles per Year. A smaller PPMY index indicates greater reliability of the given model year cars.

    PPMY = P / S / Y * 1000,

where P = total problems reported during the life of a BMW M3 model year; S = total units sold of the model year; Y = years since the debut of the model year (the age of the vehicle).

The results are shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Use PPMY Index to Compare Reliability Across M3 Model Years

M3
Model Year
Problems Sales [1] Vehicle
Age
PPMY Index
  2016 13,3332    
0.15

  Number of Problems Reported During the First Year

Another way to measure the reliability across the model years of the BMW M3 is to use the total number of problems reported during the vehicle's first year in service, as shown in the Table 4.

Table 4. Number of problems in vehicle's; first service year

Model YearProblems Reported
  2016 M3
1
  2013 M3
2
  2011 M3
1
  2010 M3
1
  2009 M3
24
  2008 M3
14
  2005 M3
1
  2003 M3
4
  2002 M3
7
  1999 M3
2
  1998 M3
1
  1997 M3
3


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