Since its founding in 1916, the German manufacturer BMW has been a leader in producing luxury automobiles and motorcycles. Despite being a force in automotive industry for nearly a century, BMW is not exempt from problems. In particular, several 2006 BMW 3 Series models suffer from various steering lock issues.
Although modern vehicles are equipped with electronic steering lock as an antitheft device, a malfunction may have various consequences. Steering lock results in the inability to turn the wheel in either direction. The cause of steering lock is most likely a faulty steering column.
Although steering lock may occur with little to no warning, Auto Recall For Consumers indicates that BMW drivers reported hearing a "grinding" noise leading up to the steering wheel locking. Additionally, other drivers reported that the ELV fault (wheel lock symbol) on the dash panel became illuminated preceding the incident.
Because your 2006 BMW is no longer covered under the original four-year warranty, you may incur repair costs unless your dealer deems otherwise. As of 2011, the costs to replace a 2006 BMW 325i steering column is estimated to be between £92 to £200 for parts, not including labour.