really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,250 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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problem #6

Apr 042017


  • 130,000 miles
I parked my car and found that the electrical system had almost caught fire, melting the carpet and plastic interior, glovebox and multiple electrical components and wiring harness. The airbags had deployed and there was black soot covering the interior. I found that there was water accumulated beneath the passenger footwell, where there is a major electrical fuse panel. The car is currently in front of my home and I've had to find a replacement vehicle due to the extensive damage to the wiring harness and modules. Also the smoke damage would prevent me from wanting to drive the car. It had been raining regularly for the previous months during winter and I believe it's possible that water was being diverted to this area where the main electrical fuses were located. There do not appear to be any provisions to keep water from accumulating or to protect the fuses from water intrusion. The angle at which the car was parked was with the front pointed up at an incline of approximately 15 degrees. This occurred on a city street. The car is irreparable and must be disposed of.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 012011

530 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Car had experienced multiple overheating. At the time of incidents the overheating was a mystery, until after incident was that it was learned that these vehicles display problems with auxiliary fan which causes engine to overheat and develop irreparable damages. An electrical fire develop in engine bay which destroy all wiring, fuel injection system and transmission. Also, the block (which is alloy or weak aluminum) was damaged beyond repaired. Heads were replaced and it was hen that I learned block was a total loss. As a result, entire engine was swapped, and the transmission was overhauled. I contacted BMW of North America via email and telephone to inquire about recalls regarding this matter. There are recalls on the above mentioned factory defects, but my vehicle is not covered. I already spent around $8,000 in repairs because BMW claim my vehicles is not covered. Why is it not covered when it is presenting the same symptoms as the cars covered by recall. Also, because of BMW neglect in including my vehicles, I already spent thousand of dollars and the lives of humans being were put in jeopardy. Unfortunately, the auxiliary fan in Y 5 series is still not working and it cost between 3-5 hundred dollars to replace and that is not including labor. Why do I have to spend so much money when BMW should have built an excellent quality car for the money that this vehicle cost. The engine block material is of bad quality and its electronic system of extremely bad quality and BMW does not want to stand behind their product nd still claim to be, "the ultimate driving machine" a cheap Celica or corolla is of better quality for far less money.

- Los Angeles , CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 012006


  • 36,000 miles
Failure of the information cluster, missing pixels)....mileage and other information can not be read.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #3

Nov 142003


  • 4,000 miles
Radiator fan makes a loud noise, drew current while engine was off. Dealer replaced battery twice. 5,900 miles.

- Gallatin, TN, USA

problem #2

Jan 302003

530 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,500 miles
Electrical malfunction - computer resets while driving turning off lights, stalling motor and all electrical systems. Power returns to normal after 4 seconds of power down. Stored computer values reset to factory defaults which include maintain schedules and indicators. Dealer would not perform warranty maintenance until reset indicators expire. We drove 36,000 miles on original oil until that time when the oil service indicator activated. Requesting ODI id # 8016663 to compare fault. First event at 10K miles, second event at 19,500 miles and 3rd on at 35,500 on Jan 30, 2003 after we schedule appointment for service.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 192002

(reported on)


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Vehicle is subject to loss of power, cruise control and air conditioner failure, and other switches will go out on their own. Dealership is unable to actually correct the erratic performance of electrical system.

- Sacramento, CA, USA