thank you so much for posting this up!
I went ahead and files a formal complaint as well. This is definitely a design flaw that should be covered under a recall. I'm not sure we'll be successful but what the dealership charges to fix this out of warranty is criminal. Mine happened on both sides within a few months of each other.Reminder:
Many of us are pressing for a formal safety recall on the problem with the tail lights, brake lights and turn signals intermittently failing. Please send copies of your receipts (if the dealer gave you any) on this lighting problem to the address at the bottom. Use the phrase "Formal petition for a safety defect investigation" and that will help. Dealers are charging $500+ for the "official" repairs in the BMW Service Bulletin, EVEN IF you reported the problems while you were still under the warranty:
You can also report a vehicle safety issue to NHTSA online at our vehicle safety Web site: www.safercar.gov. Select "File a Complaint" within the Defects and Recalls section of the home page. The information you submit via the Web site is recorded in VOQ format, entered into our consumer complaint database, and provided to our technical staff for evaluation.
When you fill out a VOQ online, you will be given the option of checking a box to authorize or not authorize the release of your personal identifiers to the manufacturer of the alleged defective product you own. Again, while you are not required to provide such authorization, doing so can sometimes help facilitate the recall process.
To report a safety complaint to NHTSA by mail, send your letter to:
U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
Service Bulletin copies:
These keep moving so you can also Google for "SI B 63 03 06 pdf" and one might turn up somewhere.
A lot of guys have PM'd me to ask where to connect the ground wire if you don't have the tab (i.e. some pre-facelift models).
You can wrap 2-3 turns of the ground wire around the spot circled below, then wrap with electrical tape. Note that that point is part of the metal strip that goes to all bulbs.
Thanks for the compliment.
I did the right taillight before since it was the one giving me the problem. I saw your post so I did the left one today -- this time with pics.
All photos are for the left taillight. Process is the same for the right.
The only materials and tools you need are:
- a 0.25" blade receptacle (available in Radio Shack, Home Depot or any electronics shop)
- a 5" strip of size #18 or larger wire
- rubber or vinyl electrical tape
- utility knife
Here it is in 2009 and I using this post as a bible to fix the driver's side tail lights in my 2004 325i. :thanks: But, for me, the brown wire had already burned out and I am replacing it, the receptacle, and bulb carrier Your pictures are great and easy to follow. Super work and thanks.