2001 BMW 3 Series 330 CiC convertible 3.0 Inline -6 from North America


A high performance headache!


As Murphy's Law would predict, as soon as I passed the 50,000 mile warranty limit, things started to fail on my very first Beemer!

First of all, a cam sensor blew out and my shiny, black on black convertible started to stall in parking lots and experienced rough acceleration. ($250 U.S. Dollars to replace)

Next, my Beemer started stalling during acceleration on hot days this summer!

Then, the electrical system started acting funny - flashing the dashboard lights off and on while driving, as well as the airbag warning light coming on for no apparent reason - after I had replaced a blown turn signal bulb!

And replacing the worn tires with Michelin All-Weather Sports nearly broke the bank ($1,250 U.S. Dollars).

General Comments:

Rides like a roller coaster both physically and emotionally - you'll love the acceleration and handling, but fume when the bloody heap's in the service department!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th August, 2003

2001 BMW 3 Series 330d sw 3.0tdi from Portugal


Very interesting performance for a diesel



General Comments:

I have had lots of cars and I can tell you that for a diesel engine (would recommend ac scnitzer kit) it runs great. huge amount of power at lower revs and does not fade much as it goes beyond 3.000rpm as most small engine diesels. handling is more than honest brake capacity comfortable for top speed and superb gearbox.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th June, 2003

2001 BMW 3 Series 330Ci Convertable 3.0L I6 from North America


The best from the Bavarians yet


Nothing except normal wear+tear.

General Comments:

BMW really lives up to their slogan with this car because it is truly "The ultimate driving machine". The I6 purrs along smoothly until you floor it, which is when it turns into a full blown roar. As an everyday car, it is perfect. Very comfortable, very reliable, very fun. The dealers treat you very well and they aren't too expensive. Truly a great car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th June, 2003

2001 BMW 3 Series ia 1.8 from Botswana


Unreliable car with appalling service


1. The fuel gauge malfunctioned 8 times.

2. The ASR malfunctioned.

3. The air bag light keeps coming on and off.

General Comments:

I bought my vehicle in November 2001, the first two weeks I had the car the fuel gauge malfunctioned. This malfunction has occurred for the 8th time just recently. I keep taking the vehicle in to have it seen to and they keep replacing the sensors.

The problem though is not just that the car is forever going in for this problem, but my dealership was not honest about the time the vehicle had gone in for repair. The short version goes like this.

After the sixth fault with the fuel gauge and not getting anything in writing from the dealership. I insisted that they give me the proper paperwork, so that I had a correct repair record for the vehicle. This they would not give me. So I eventually got ahold of BMWSA, who contacted the dealership. They then got a reply from the dealership stating that the car had been in only 3 times for this problem. This angered me and I phoned the dealerhsip to find out what was going on, as calling a customer a liar is not a very nice thing for them to do.

After speaking to them and getting nowhere, I phoned BMWSA again and insisted someone do something about this. They decided to send someone down to my dealership to find out the full story. The representative arrived at the dealership, and I went into the meeting, with him and the workshop manager. In the meeting the manager still continued to deny the vehicle had been in. Going so far as to bring one of the people who handle the vehicles at the front to come in, who verified the workshop managers claim that I had not been there, even looking me in the eyes and stating that he had not seen me. The rep from BMWSA, who was there supposedly to help the customer, turned to me and explained that the workshop manager had been a friend of his for years, and that he doubted he would lie. In other words I was the one looking to be dishonest.

I was about to take it further, when the day after the meeting I received a fax from my dealerhip stating the car had been in and that they had alway's believed me, amazing words after the previous day's meeting. I had by now gotten all the people who had been with me to make statements to that effect, but I was glad that I had gotten the repair record in whatever shape or form. Not wanting to deal with the people at me dealerhip anymore, I decided to leave it at that.

Unfortunately for me my concerns over this meeting were met with no astonishment, in fact the person I dealt with found it rather amusing. In other words when I phoned to complain to the head office, I was in reality complaining directly into the dealership's ear, as they all seem to stick together.

I have had the fault now reappear and all information I have tried to get from BMWSA has been met with no return phone calls. I have been assured more times than I can even mention that my case was being looked into. These people can only be considered inept at there jobs, and I cannot fathom how they managed to get their positions at BMW.

Special mention should go to a particular lady who after numerous phone calls requesting information and faxes, has almost never returned my phone calls, even going on holiday and handing my case over to the same people who took no interest the last time!

BMW South Africa are the worst people I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with, and I hope they look into this and get people who are a bit more professional, and do not disrespect their customers by treating them this way.

I have left other people out in this e-mail, but I will be sending a full report to Germany, for what good it will do.

My case is now supposedly in the hands of a gentleman second to the head of the BMWSA call centre. Who also has yet to get back to me! So I will wait with crossed fingers for any information.

I would also like to mention that, BMW has told me the reason for the malfunction in the fuel sensor is the high sulphur in the local fuel. I have attempted to look into this and people either confirm or deny it. If anyone has any information concerning this, please would you post it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th April, 2003

24th Feb 2005, 12:26

Where was the car built? South Africa maybe? There is your answer to the problems you've had. Buy one from Bavaria and you'll see the difference.

19th Mar 2006, 20:21

I know many people in South Africa, family and friends who have BMWs.

The three series in particular.

Ranging from the E36s and E46s these cars are very popular among South Africans and they are the second fastest selling car in this country.

The point I'm trying to make is that the BMWs constructed in South Africa are fine and rather satisfying.

Botswana is not South Africa. (",)

Please make sure you know what your talking about before you make disturbing and incorrect comments.

20th Mar 2006, 06:53

BMW South Africa builds most (if not all) 3 series BMWs for the right hand drive markets around the world. The build quality is excellent indeed. Maybe you should rather consider that Botswana is for 4x4's and not BMW country - only 1 tarred highway when last I checked! The rest is dust and dirt roads. The "unleaded" petrol can also be suspect as garage owners will sell you leaded fuel (or lead replacement fuel) when they don't have unleaded available. Maybe this messed up your fuel gauge?

16th Dec 2007, 20:40

To 19th Mar 2006, 20:21 -

Indeed, Botswana is not South Africa, but it does border SA. Therefore, it would be logical to conclude that BMWs sold in Botswana were built in South Africa (which is one of the world's premier BMW producers), and not 10,000 km away in Germany, would it not? I mean, if for no other reason than a logistical standpoint.

17th Feb 2009, 11:02


My experience with an over heating problem in a 318 I mirrors the shoddy service received from a dealership and BMW SA. The car in question was purchased second hand, with a motorplan, Nov 2008.

Between Nov 2008 and Jan 2009 the vehicle was attended on 4 occasions with the no success. To add insult to injury we had to pay repair costs (the problem arose from tampering???)

On the fifth occasion after threatening legal action, the problem was finally diagnosed (not we were billed for previously).

BMW SA, after numerous phone calls and forwarding of documentation found no culpability on the dealers behalf.

Says a lot..???

5th Mar 2011, 18:14

BMW USA is also terrible: they treat customers like peasants, refuse to acknowledge common problems, and once you've purchased the vehicle, they have no interest in you. We've had much better treatment from Honda dealers.