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 3 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 2015 BMW i3 has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years *Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14*
15
16
17
18
19
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
NA
NA
Suspension
NA
NA
NA
Brakes
NA
NA
NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
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 420,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2019 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 2015 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

Driveshaft or axle

"Broken motor mount repaired under warrenty"

Anonymous, CA (2015 BMW i3 Mega 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

"Drivers door power window - squeaks LOUDLY when lowering, unless wet. Gives me a "not the best quality" feeling about the BMW brand"

Anonymous, MI (2015 BMW i3 Giga 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

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.

What Owners Say

Cruise control

"The adaptive cruise control doesn't work well at all. It turns itself off in direct sun, rain, or whenever it feels like it. I brought it in and BMW had it for 3 days. In the end they determined it was functioning as designed. This is terrible. My wife's RAV4 has the same system and it never shuts off"

Thomas C., NC (2015 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

Display screen freezes up

"Center screen (not the main driver screen with speedometer, etc.) occasionally (2-3 times per month) randomly loses some signal, and reboots itself. This started after the last vehicle system software update several months ago"

Anonymous, MI (2015 BMW i3 Giga 0.7-L 2 Cyl electric)

Engine Minor

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

Engine Major

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

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.

Transmission Minor

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

Climate System

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Exhaust

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

Paint/Trim

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

Compare 2015 Models

Similar Cars
BMW i3
Chevrolet Volt
Nissan Leaf
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
Check Vehicle for Unrepaired Recalls
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Enter a valid 17-character VIN
Change Vehicle