sorry for the late response. i went on vacation immediately after this incident. i have resolved the problem but it was very BAD NEWS. Transmission indeed need replacing.
i took it to a couple indy shops around my area. all without telling them the previous persons diagnosis of the problem. They all came to the same conclusion after fluid changes, road tests, driving with a OBD computer hooked up, and finally tearing apart the tranny.
It cost me about 2k with install and 1 year parts and labor warranty. Another 2k down the drain for me.
I reached out to BMW and i didnt even receive an email back. so there goes that. with 70k on the odo and about 5k in failing parts i am genuinely disappointed in BMW and this car.