2018 BMW 330i Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Vehicle structure, fuel system and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Luxury sedans aren’t as popular as they once were, but that doesn’t stop the 2018 BMW 330i from making waves. This model has been hailed as “an iconic sports sedan born to be driven,” during recent years. Yet, owners don’t agree. Between massive engine failures, a defective structure, a malfunctioning fuel system and a shattering sunroof, this model has a lot to answer for.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 BMW 330i

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Vehicle Speed Control
Fuel/propulsion System
Unknown Or Other
Seat Belts
Electrical System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Service Brakes

Problems with the Engine

When it comes to having an engine placed in a luxury vehicle, owners expect to receive the best. Still, the 2018 BMW 330i leaves a lot to be desired.

Among the customer complaints listed with Consumer Reports, it’s estimated that that majority of engine-related issues include, “Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.”

The company even issued a massive recall related to the engine. Recall Number 18V465000 talks about the crankshaft sensor that has the wrong firmware, which prevents the sensor from processing input and causing a stalling situation. This only proves that the 330i can’t be praised as something that’s “born to be driven,” especially when it can’t seem to stay running.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

As far as the structure of the 2018 BMW 330i, it’s to be expected that this model would be manufactured from high-quality components that stand up to the test of time. However, owners claim something different is occurring.

Here is one review from Edmunds that discusses several structural concerns. “Service manager at the dealer just confirmed 330i has tons of issues,  hope I knew about it before started 3 years lease on it… 1. excessive wind noise from the driver side door in cruising, suspects the door not closing all the way 2. squish and squeaks driving in low speed.”

BMW doesn’t attempt to hide any structural malfunctions. The company even goes as far as issuing Service Bulletin #B513016, which points out how the trunk or tailgate might open on its own, even when the vehicle is locked. Does this sound like quality engineering? Honestly, it just sounds like an overpriced lemon that’s born to do lots of things other than drive.

Problems with the Fuel System

The fuel system contains numerous parts that supply gasoline to the engine. When something is defective within this system, the car can’t operate as it was intended.

One NHTSA complaint talks about fuel system issues by stating, “Car was in motion on a street. Engine stalled. Car wouldn’t start. Towed to BMW dealership. Catastrophic high pressure fuel pump failure at approximately 7,400 miles. Metal shavings throughout entire fuel system. Injectors, fuel lines, fuel pump, and fuel tank needed to be replaced.”

What a nightmare for this owner, but it’s not an isolated case. Failures such as this are common on the internet among other 330i drivers. Yet, BMW doesn’t want to discuss it in any written communication. After all, how can this vehicle be the sports sedan customers want to drive if it can’t even start?

Problems with the Shattering Sunroof

When someone thinks of vehicle visibility, it’s common to think about the windshield first. While that’s a vital component, it’s also necessary to talk about the sunroof.

One NHTSA complaint illustrates the dangerous condition of the 330i sunroof by saying, “I was on the Capital Beltway outside Washington DC going about 60 mph and my sunroof suddenly shattered. It was extremely scary because it sounded like a gunshot going off. It was a very hot day, low 90s. Luckily I had just closed the sun visor so the glass did not pour down on me or my passengers. When we pulled over, we found a large hole in the front panel of the panoramic sunroof and shattered glass sitting on the fabric sun visor. The remaining glass was crackled. I just got this car, brand new, 2 weeks ago and I know it had been in a hail storm and had dents that had to be repaired just before I leased it. I’m suspicious that the hail storm may have damaged the sunroof glass as well.”

There are other complaints expressing the same occurrence, without the history of a hail storm, so it appears to be something related to the quality of glass BMW used on this model. Yet, once again, the automaker doesn’t want to talk about any auto glass deficiencies and has chosen rather to ignore the complaints. After all of this insight, it’s clear that the 2018 BMW 330i is born to do a lot of things, but driving surely isn’t one of them. An expensive lawn ornament might be a better destiny for this model.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes BMW pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Complaint Data

CategorySeat Belts
DateFeb 01, 2023
Customer rear passenger setbelt doesnt latch
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateJan 17, 2023
The car's cruise control's rocker switch got stuck causing the vehicle's speed to increase continually. The rocker switch allows driver to increase or decrease speed when the cruise control is activated. The rocker switch permits speed increase in increments of 1 mph or 5 mph. If pressed up until a resistance point, the speed increases by 1 mph; if pressed beyond the resistance point, it increases by 5 mph. In my instance, I was on cruise control at 61 mph (in a 55 zone, where traffic was also moving in the 60's). I wanted to increase speed by 3-4 mph using the rocker switch to safely complete an overtake. However, the rocker switch got stuck and caused the car's peed to increase past 80mph. I almost missed hitting the car ahead of me.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateDec 13, 2022
On january 19, 2022 I was driving and then smoked filled inside my car and the outside engine was smoking and a light came on that said check coolant. Bmw service took me in that day and they said my coolant broke. They removed it and replaced it. They did not understand how the coolant broke but I paid for the service and parts and moved forward. On november 25, 2022 I went into the same bmw service center to get a routine car service and they stated there was a recall and they would replace my coolant for free. (after I told them I paid for it (9. 63) . They insisted I replace it for free again and reach out to bmw corporate for a reimbursement of previous service. I received a call yesterday stating they would not replace it and reach out and file a report with nhta.
CategoryElectrical System, Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking, Steering
DateOct 23, 2022
The car started to make a popping noise and then the collision warning light, steering light and pedestrian warning lights came on and the steering became very tight. The electric steering became manual. Yes problem has been reported to braman bmw jupiter as well as bmw usa.
CategoryService Brakes
DateSep 10, 2022
My bmw 330xi 2018 wagon recently passed 40000 miles. My wife heard a rubbing noise when braking a few days ago. We took car into a repair shop and they found the rear brake pads were worn down to the metal. At no time did a brake wear warning light ever alert us to this!
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateAug 16, 2022
In feb 2022 my vehicle reported low coolant and later the engine overheating. At one point the accelerator pedal became less effective and the car significantly slowed down while on the highway. After refilling the car's engine coolant and still getting alerts, I brought the vehicle to the bmw auto shop where it was determined there was an active coolant leak from the hose of the cylinder head expansion tank. The hose was then replaced. Today I visited the same bmw auto shop where they reported an open recall on this exact issue, yet I do not see an open recall on this site. Please investigate as others may be having this faulty equipment safety issue with risk of engine overheating/fire.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateAug 09, 2022
Cylinder head hose expansion tank replacement - coolant leaks out completely - this repair has been done twice on this vehicle with only 26k miles. Bmw usa states no recall but the dealership informed me they have issued a bulletin but just put back on the defective hose since no other replacement hose is available... I'm paying out of pocket for the repair.
DateApr 16, 2021
On the way home from purchasing this vehicle as a cpo at the bmw dealer, a loud engine knock developed. Made an appointment at the bmw dealer to check it, and on the way there, it lost power & engine malfunction warning lights illuminated. Had to pull off highway, fearing car would stop running altogether. Diagnosis was failed rod bearings, with lots of metal shavings in the oil filter. Mileage was 36,500 miles.
DateNov 04, 2020
2018 bmw 330 ix. Consumer stated that the continental run flat tires on vehicle blew out and as a result caused damage to rims on vehicle. Consumer is seeking reimbursement for damaged rims. *ld *js
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 03, 2020
When rear windows are down, there is a loud reverberating roaring sound that that increases w speed and is very distracting to driver. It is a recurring problem on 330i even ones before 2018. Bmw service manager say it is a design defect.
DateDec 28, 2019
Sunroof exploded while I was driving on the freeway
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateSep 04, 2018
Was on a road trip, drove 600 miles previous day. Next day evening, pirelli run flat tire blows out on a freeway. I had just passed the toll plaza and was accelerating to merge with the traffic. Run flat reinforced sidewalls should've allowed the tires to be usable even at 0 psi but I experienced severe vibration coming through the chassis, car pulling to the left and emitting a terrible grinding noise that felt terrible and unsafe to drive. Despite appearing fine at first glance, the tire was actually severely damaged. The inner sidewall had a large gash. The car was finally towed to a bmw service station and the only option was to replace the tire. In the meantime, the bmw idrive infotainment display said I could safely drive 50 mph for 50 miles.
DateJul 29, 2018
I was on the capital beltway outside washington dc going about 60 mph and my sunroof suddenly shattered. It was extremely scary because it sounded like a gun shot going off. It was a very hot day, low 90s. Luckily I had just closed the sun visor so the glass did not pour down on me or my passengers. When we pulled over, we found a large hole in the front panel of the panoramic sunroof and shattered glass sitting on the fabric sun visor. The remaining glass was crackled. I just got this car, brand new, 2 weeks ago and I know it had been in a hail storm and had dents that had to be repaired just before I leased it. I'm suspicious that he hail storm may have damaged the sunroof glass as well.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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  • Tracie S

    2018 330i with 40k miles in shop for massive coolant failure. Entire coolant systems has to be replaced cost of $6000. Common problem my mechanic said mines 4th he has seen in 4 months. If you are not original owner BMW has nothing to say. Never again. Soon as it’s back its sold. Steer clear of this car!!!!

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