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With its space-age body, super-efficient powertrain and laserlike focus on its urban mission, the i3 pushes the boundaries in automotive design. This tall, narrow, electric city car is the first widely available model to use lightweight carbon fiber for its basic body structure. That single mission focus contributes to making the i3 the most energy-efficient car we'd ever tested up to that point.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2014 BMW i3 has been recalled 4 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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Worse Better
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2014 BMW i3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“Warning lights would come on for no reason”

Gerald M., IN (2014 BMW i3 Mega Plug-in Hybrid)

“Internal charger replaces - several trips for software updates. I was one of the first to get one in the US. No problems in last 4 months”

Anonymous, NV (2014 BMW i3 Tera Plug-in Hybrid)

“Required service for engine warning light three times. Sometimes would not start”

Kjeld H., MO (2014 BMW i3 Mega 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

“The dashboard has been replaced. The AC and driver' seat heater indicator lights were malfunctioning”

Anonymous, CA (2014 BMW i3 Giga 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

“Rock got into the disk brake assembly and created loud screech in turns. Was removed by dealer and has not reoccured”

Anonymous, CA (2014 BMW i3 Giga Plug-in Hybrid)

“Very loud intermittent squeaking from the charge port area. Of course it would stop when at the dealer. Squeaking lasted a few months then stopped on its own. I have no idea why”

Anonymous, WI (2014 BMW i3 Mega 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)
Air or water leaks

“tires are weak -- multiple failures have occurred even though vehicle use has been ordinary / moderate”

Anonymous, NV (2014 BMW i3 Giga 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

“Water would leak into right side body panels that was very difficult to remove (took 2 months in shop, and happened twice)”

Anonymous, WA (2014 BMW i3 Mega 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Wasn't installed on the car when I took delivery and took many months for them to get the parts”

L S., CT (2014 BMW i3 Giga Plug-in Hybrid)
Radio

“Entire car seems to be computer-controlled, including the radio, which has an intermittent, but very frequent, "echo chamber" effect, kind of an electronic "reverberation," with the same words, or musical passages, repeated several times quickly”

Anonymous, WA (2014 BMW i3 Mega Plug-in Hybrid)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“USB port failed after 6 months. Replaced under warranty, but took 3 days to install due to parts availability at dealer ("5 different USB versions for this vehicle")”

John B., WA (2014 BMW i3 Giga 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

“A/C system not working when purchased car and failed a second time after repair. Okay now”

Anonymous, BC (2014 BMW i3 Giga Plug-in Hybrid)

“A/C was not blowing cold air. Problem was solved by the dealer, who discovered the car's software had to be updated”

Mitchell M., NJ (2014 BMW i3 Mega Plug-in Hybrid)
Refrigerant leaks

“It's not blowing cold air”

George C., BC (2014 BMW i3 Giga 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

“The Range aectender would fail to start running when better was depleted down to 5%”

Anonymous, MA (2014 BMW i3 Tera 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

“Check engine light. BMW has replaced both KLE and Safety Box under warranty. After the KLE was replaced, several of the dash lights began flickering, eventually going out. To fix this, the dash was replaced. After the dash was replaced, the check engine light came back on. Two weeks ago, the Safety Box was replaced. The check engine light is currently out. Lucky me”

Anonymous, CA (2014 BMW i3 Giga 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

“Could not open passenger door. It was a problem with the latch. The lock would still work, but pulling on the handle could not open the door - intermittently, but seemed more often when cold (< 20 degrees F)”

Anonymous, NY (2014 BMW i3 Mega Plug-in Hybrid)
Mirrors

“system to adjust mirrors sometimes does not operate properly”

Anonymous, NY (2014 BMW i3 Unsure Plug-in Hybrid)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“did not put sealant on paint EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to remove bird and tree stains w/o expensive detailing”

Anonymous, NY (2014 BMW i3 Unsure Plug-in Hybrid)

“Small paint flaw on rear bumper. It only became noticeable after aplying a clear shield protector. The flaw caused small bubbles in the clear shield”

Anonymous, WI (2014 BMW i3 Mega Plug-in Hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“Range Extender gas engine did not sync up with battery discharge cycle. BMW was able to fix the problem”

David G., CA (2014 BMW i3 Giga 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“See prior note”

Anonymous, PA (2014 BMW i3 Giga Plug-in Hybrid)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Compare 2014 Models

Similar Cars
BMW i3
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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL
Nov 16 2017
During a frontal impact, unbelted, small adult, drivers could be at a higher risk of neck injury.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2014-2018 BMW i3 electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Unbelted, small adult, drivers may be at a higher risk of neck injury in the event of a frontal crash. These vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 208, "Occupant Crash Protection."
What should you do:
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will update the Driver air bag control unit software, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin January 8, 2018. Owners may contact BMW customer service at the dedicated i3 recall number 1-855-269-3361.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V720000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 32000
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:DELIVERY:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS
Feb 09 2017
A fuel vapor leak in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2014-2017 i3 REx hybrid electric vehicles. The fuel tank vent line may rub against the ribbed wire protection sleeve of the battery positive (B+) cable, creating a hole in the vent line and causing a fuel vapor leak.
What should you do:
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the fuel vent line, replacing it as necessary, and install a clip to prevent it from chafing, free of charge. The recall beganApril 3, 2017. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V088000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 19130
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Oct 07 2015
In the event of a vehicle crash, an air bag that does not deploy properly increases the risk of injury to the front seat passenger.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2014-2016 MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper two-door vehicles, 2015-2016 MINI John Cooper Works and MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper four-door vehicles and 2014-2015 BMW i3 vehicles. Due to a manufacturing error, the passenger frontal air bag may not deploy properly in a low speed crash. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 208, "Occupant Crash Protection."
What should you do:
MINI and BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the passenger frontal air bag module, free of charge. The recall began on November 25, 2015. Owners may contact MINI customer service at 1-866-825-1525 and BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 15V628000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 6073
AIR BAGS:FRONTAL
Jul 14 2014
If the air bag deploys improperly in the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the air bags, the seat occupant may be at an increased risk of injury.
Summary:
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling a certain model year BMW i3 vehicle manufactured March 31, 2014, and certain 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop vehicles manufactured February 2, 2014 to May 30, 2014. The affected vehicles may have been manufactured with an air bag inflator that was not assembled correctly. This could cause the air bag to not deploy properly in the event of an accident.
What should you do:
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger side air bag, free of charge. The recall began in September 2014. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V422000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 27
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