In Reply to: Dave, not sure which model you have but all E38's posted by Mike D. on April 17, 2002 at 19:48:10:
A "reflector" is generally a series of small pyramid shaped patterns on the inside of the lens. They may have various numbers of sides, usually 4 or 6. They work like prisms to bounce the light out in the same direction that it enters.
I've definitely got amber reflectors on the sides of the front turn indicators. I also definitely have red reflectors on the rear that point backwards. There are no reflectors on the sides of the tail lights. There is only a transparent red surface backed by somewhat flat silvered panel. I do not believe that this in any way qualifies as a reflector.
Just to make sure that I wasn't missing something, I went outside and shined a flashlight at all of the lenses. The areas that had reflectors glowed like cat's eyes, both the amber front sides and the red rears. The sides of the rears were a dark dull red, hardly lighting up any more than the paint on the side of the car.
I looked at my old '98 model tail lights and they definitely had the pyramid shaped reflector pattern on the sides as well as the rear.