Dont forget me
Well, add me to the list of having this clicking noise. Was ordering my lunch at the MCDonalds drive thru today. I hear this very loud ticking noise and it sounded like the car behind me. I pull up to the drive thru window to pay and the lady says "Um, I think your car has a problem." The noise of the ticking was incredibly loud with the echo off the building. Get in my car to go home from work, and the tick was still extremely loud and the ticking sped up as I gave the car some gas to pull out of the parking loud. Got home (about 26 miles) and the ticking had stopped. I already had a service appointment for a number of other problems scheduled for 3/7 so I will update any info I get.
However, I read all 10 pages of this post which has been interesting, especially with BMW admitting there is a problem. I worked for 3 years for a Tier 1 auto supplier (part owned by Toyota) then got permission to leave and worked for Toyota for 5 years. I cannot give you exact details because of confidentiality reasons, but Lexus changed some very important components to several of their vehicles and when these parts hit the field, there was a massive amount of people having problems. Turns out the new engineering style was defective and that Toyota would have to go back to the old way. Well, as some know, each car is designed about 4-5 years in advanced so the loss was more then $100 million. Lexus NEVER issued a recall because they wanted to protect the brand and it was not a safety issue. However, all Lexus dealers were told that if customers came in and complained, to immediately repair this part, no questions asked.
With the 3 series being named World Car of the Year and wanting to protect the extremely valuable brand, BMW is trying their hardest not to issue a recall. It would be very damaging to the brand especially as the "luxury" car market is becoming more competitive every year in the US.
I will let you know any details I get after service, but having worked in the industry for awhile, this problem is NOT normal. Nor will I be told that.