really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,615 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.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 BMW 530:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #59

Jun 182018


  • 81,000 miles
Passenger side seat belt and airbag light stays on.

- Whiteland, IN, USA

problem #58

Apr 102018


  • 175,000 miles
Passenger seat/airbag warning malfunction. This warning has been on since I purchased vehicle. It is obviously the common seat mat sensor failure. And it would appear that either my VIN isn't on the previous recall or it has expired for my year and model. But my wife sits in that seat and if we have an accident and her airbags do not deploy whose fault will that be?

- Lehighton, PA, USA

problem #57

Aug 012016

530 6-cyl

  • miles
The vehicle airbag system is malfunctioning. There were recalls related to the BMW but my vehicle doesn't appear to be included in this recall when I search by VIN number. I contacted the dealer and they said my vehicle isn't covered. The airbag light and restraint light is on and my head unit says there is a fault in my passenger restraint system.

- Keizer, OR, USA

problem #56

Jan 052016


  • miles
Restrain system error message in my radio screen also air bag light came on, this message came on sudendly for no reason, car never envolved in a accident,

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #55

Jan 152015


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 530I. While attempting to start the vehicle, "pass restraint system, fault in passenger restraint system, affecting air bag belt tensioner or belt force limiter" displayed across the message board. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the front passenger seat sensor mat needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 92,000.

- Menlo Park , CA, USA

problem #54

Mar 192015


  • 108,800 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 530I. While operating the vehicle, the air bag sensor light and the seat belt sensor light would illuminate along with a message indicating that the front passenger seat restraint system was faulty. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 108,800.

- Falls Church , VA, USA

problem #53

Mar 012014

530 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
While driving my car, with my wife as a passenger, I've noticed that the "passenger airbag off" light is still on (even though there is a passenger in the seat). I went to the stevens creek BMW dealership to diagnose the issue and they said that the reason the passenger airbag light is on is because the sensor is not sensing a passenger due to cable corrosion. That seems odd, given I keep my car in the garage and it never had any water damage. Also, I believe that it is a poor engineering on BMW's side, since in case of corroded cable or faulty sensor the default behavior should be to always keep the airbag "on". it is better be safe than sorry and (in case of accident) deploying an airbag when there is no passenger is better than not deploying an airbag when there is a passenger... this is a case of "potentially saving someone's life" vs "potentially saving a few dollars"...

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #52

Apr 062013


  • 92,000 miles
While traveling and slowing down to make a turn into a business, the car beside me (left of me) makes a quick fast U turn and ends up hitting my car. Airbags deployed, hitting me into my face/head very hard. I have been in treatment since. I have had to have major surgery on my neck, still have problems and may need more surgery. My neck will not be the same and always in pain. I have loud ringing in my ears that is permanent. I have headaches with sinus problems. I believe I would have been fine with my seat belt on. I feel like the airbags should have not deployed under these conditions. I now suffer from depression, can't work doing what I have done for over 20 years now and anything else very long with out being in pain in my neck. I am very upset over this.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #51

Nov 052014

530 6-cyl

  • 72,500 miles
Passenger restraint system failure. Due to faulty passenger seat sensor mat. Same year and model vehicles under recall/extended warranty - for unclear reasons my car not included in recall (checked by VIN and with dealer) but was under extended warranty. Spoke with BMW and they are unable or unwilling to explain why my car is not included in recall. Failure occurred 2 months after extended warranty expired. See NHTSA campaign id # 08V384000.

- Surfside Beach, SC, USA

problem #50

Mar 282014


  • 82,000 miles
My 2004 BMW 530I has both the seatbelt and airbag light on display at all times on my dashboard. These lights on are caused by a faulty front passenger seat occupant detection mat which BMW has an extended warranty on. After dropping my car to the BMW dealership to get this repaired, I was informed my extended warranty expired roughly 2 months prior and I cannot have this work performed under warranty. They charged me $140 for the diagnostics and said I would have to pay $1050 out of pocket to get repaired. I immediately reached out to BMW of North America and informed them of my situation as this occurred while my vehicle was still under warranty. I was hoping they could fix my car in good faith as this is a known issue or even provide me with a discounted repair. Unfortunately two months went by with no response. When I reached out again they said no this is not their headache and I am responsible for all costs and repairs related to this. This is a serious malfunction which I am surprised is not considered a recall. In the safety recall notice it specifically states if both warning lamps are illuminated simultaneously, BMW recommends not to use the front passenger seat until the vehicle has been serviced. Also, the safety recall notice says that the front passenger airbags will not deploy even if a sufficiently severe accident would occur and occupant protection provided by the system will not be possible. Obviously this is a huge safety issue which BMW needs to address. An extended warranty on such a sensitive matter is not sufficient and a recall should be issued.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #49

May 192011

530 6-cyl

  • 84,200 miles
My vehicle is a 530I with a production date in December 2003, it is my contention that the vehicle should be subject to recall rcdnn-04V575. Despite the December 2004 notice to ntsha indicating that 100% of vehicles with the seat heating option produced between June 17th 2003 and April 30th 2004. BMW insists that my vehicle (production date in December 2003 and containing the seat heater in question) is, according to internal documents which they will not release to me, not in fact subject to the recall. What I find inexplicable and beyond belief, is that they would issue a notification to ntsha in November 2004, a full six months after allegedly remedying defects in cars produced from mid-March 2004 through April 30th 2004 without correcting those dates in the notification letter. BMW refuses to repair or even inspect my passenger side seat bolster heating element despite clear evidence that it is in fact defective and subject to the recall.

- Mequon, WI, USA

problem #48

Sep 182013

530 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
The front passenger seat occupancy detector has a fault which incapacitates the passenger front air bag. This creates an extremely unsafe passenger situation in the event of a crash. The BMW sbsr system shows fault 0095B8. This specific issue is a known BMW problem and has issued a recall, but BMW has indicated my VIN is not covered for this issue for some unknown reason.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #47

Jan 012013

530 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
BMW recalled 2004 BMW 525I and others for the seat mat sensor. I had called them (2012-13) and they told me that my vehicle (based on VIN) wasn't part of the recall. I informed them that my vehicle's mat sensor was also defective and should be replaced by them. They, BMW usa told me that mine was not defective. I still cant understand if the rest are defective, how come mine is considered not defective when its inoperative and same problem as thousands of other 2004 525I.

- Winter Garden, FL, USA

problem #46

Apr 012014

530 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 530I. The contact stated that the air bag sensor remained illuminated. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign id number:08V384000 (air bags). The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who diagnosed that the floor mat sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000. Updated 01/20/15 the vehicle was repaired. Updated 01/20/15

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #45

Oct 232013

530 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Deactivation of the passenger air bag and the illumination of both the air bag warning light and the passenger air bag light.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #44

May 122014

530 6-cyl

  • 66,200 miles
The airbag light is on in my car, as well as seat belt light. It appears the after doing some research that the pad in the passenger seat has failed with very low miles, and very little use. All of these cars with these pads in the passenger seats should be replaced under recall. There was a previous recall to reposition the pad or something to avoid cracking, but these safety related parts are clearly junk that were installed when new weather they were reworked, or repositioned in the seat. BMW should be replacing all these seat sensor pads under recall and soon, many of these cars now have non working airbags due to this issue, and it affects the safety and functionality of the car all together. Model years affected are 2004 2005 2006 2007 at the very least it seams after reading extensively on the issue.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #43

May 012012

530 6-cyl

  • 87,437 miles
I am writing to see if I can obtain some assistance with a problem I have been having with the safety equipment on my 530I, specifically the passenger side airbag. Early in 2012 I noticed that when my wife sat in the passenger seat the air bag light on the overhead light unit would occasionally come on. It would not stay on for long but would come on and off periodically. I made an appointment with BMW on May 12 to have the issue looked into. The car had 87437 miles on it at this time. They told me there was no problem with the system as no codes were stored for a problem with the airbag. They could not explain why this was occurring. Since this time the frequency of the light coming on has increased. I returned to concours BMW on March 24, 2014 for the same issue. I was told that the air bag may not work and to fix it would cost $1724. BMW said the safety information module was bad.

- Mequon, WI, USA

problem #42

Mar 182014

530 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
The following message came on the screen of the idrive of the car when my 76 year old mother was placed in the passenger seat after returning to the parking lot after her doctor visit: "passenger restraint system malfunction". it has been on since.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #41

Dec 202013


  • 180,000 miles
This an update of NHTSA id number: 10557262. I took my car into the dealer it was confirmed that my car did have a faulty front passenger seat sensor mat that was covered by recall for some cars my model year but not mine. What was upsetting is the dealer informed me that this part was replaced in 2007. The recalled was issued in 2008 but did not include my VIN. Now, the sensor mat is bad again...yet my VIN does not have the same recall problem? I understand BMW na could care less about this cost and after owning 4 BMW(s) this may be my last. I spoke to BMW on the phone...and I might as well been talking to my local Ford dealer. They offered no help with cost or service...for an air-bag malfunction. If they do not care about my passenger's life.....I do care enough to let them know how upset I am with them.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #40

Dec 202013

530 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
I am afraid to have anyone sit in my car because the airbag might not work! I work with the united methodist church and I often Transport children. BMW issued the below recall but they did not include my VIN...but I am having the same issue. This is a safety issue!!!!! --------------------------------- statement on voluntary recall involving front passenger seat sensor mat on U.S.a. model bmws - August 13, 2008 today, BMW announced a voluntary recall regarding the front passenger air bag seat sensor mat involving approximately 200,000 model year 2004-06 vehicles. Affected are certain model year 2006 3-series, model year 2004-06 5-series, and model year 2004-06 X3 vehicles, depending upon seat type. BMW has found that the sensor mat may become damaged during vehicle usage depending upon the manner and frequency of the front passenger's entry and exit. BMW will begin sending customer letters in late September 2008. Affected owners may continue to drive their vehicles; however, customers should contact their BMW center if the air bag warning lamp, and the passenger air bag ''on-off'' lamp are illuminated simultaneously. In this situation, BMW recommends customers not to use the front passenger seat and have the vehicle serviced immediately. At the present time, we are unaware of any accidents or injuries as a result of this issue.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »