really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,754 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 2010 BMW 535:

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

problem #9

May 162015


  • 15 miles
My car smells like gas. I have taken my car to two BMW shops and it's the same thing every time. They can¿T find anything. Plus, my check engine light stays in all the time. The dealership tells me the same thing that can¿T fine the problem. Also, my headlights has a malfunction problem, it works when it wants to work.

- Monroe, LA, USA

problem #8

Sep 152017


  • 60,000 miles
Blower motor shorted and caused widespread electrical problems affecting headlights and their control. A large amount of smoke blew out of the vents as well. The vehicle was being moved from the garage to the parking lot at a 3rd party service provider.

- N Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #7

May 032017


  • 83,000 miles
2010 BMW 535xi, caught fire in engine compartment resulting in total loss of vehicle. Vehicle has only been maintained at BMW dealership, and current on all inspections, repairs, and maintenance. Fire occurred in duncan doughnuts drive through, slight smell of smoke while at drive through line. While receiving food at window less than a minute or two later, and while in park. Flames shot through hood at middle of engine compartment by windshield and rear 1/3 of the middle of the hood with intense smoke. Immediatel reaction was to put in drive and moved foreword to get away from building to get out of door as engine died, we scrambled out of vehicle. 2 employees immediately assisted with fire extinguishers, but engine compartment quickly engulfed 1st in the middle hood then left hood and eventually through the wheelwell. I have all service records, and have had all required repairs, recalls and maintenance performed exclusively at BMW dealership. This vehicle should not just catch fire and burn for no apparent reason and without and warning lights or indicators. Clearly a safety issue here that requires further investigation. I'm really lucky there were no injuries and that the car was stationary and not in my garage, or going down the highway. Glad that I was able to get the vehicle to roll away from the building far enough to prevent it from catching on fire also and causing additional property damage. This 2010 BMW 535xi has admittedly been a frequent flier at the BMW dealership. It has had the valve covers replaced, cv joint replaced, , vanos solenoid valves replaced, shaft seal replaced, rear differential replaced, coolant pump replaced, oil filter housing replaced, fuel injectors replaced twice, bulb holders replaced, side lights replaced, reprogrammed ect.

- Saint Petersburg, FM, USA

problem #6

Dec 292016


  • 35,000 miles
Many times driver's side door does not unlock when the lever was pulled twice. It only unlocks when the electric unlock button is pushed. It could be very dangerous during an accident if power is lost and I could not unlock the door. This problem has started on the passenger side door too.

- West Richland, WA, USA

problem #5

Jul 082013

535 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
After hitting a bump when entering a driveway, water spilled in the rear cargo area of the station wagon, water drained into spare tire wheel well where electronic control modules reside shorting out most major controls-anti lock brakes, load leveling, transmission, traction control, etc. It is the lowest point of the car's interior.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 282014

535 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
Ignition coil malfunction recurs after dealership repairs of the same problem. Causes engine speed to vary and be outside the drivers control.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #3

May 222012


  • 27,271 miles
Within two weeks of taking ownership of this car, I experienced a series of faults in the system where the car froze up and had to be towed to the dealer for repair. Over the past two years, the car has experienced a variety of malfunctions in the electronic warning system. On 5/22/12, upon leaving my residence, I lost momentary control of the car. The car stopped, jerked and then I hit a curb and when I righted the car, I pressed down on the brake pedal, but the car accellerated to a high speed. I travelled approximately 100' to where there were three cars and one motorcycle stopped at a red light. I was unable to stop the car and hit the driver of the motor cycle at a high speed. The car was repaired with nearly $25,000 in damage. The following morning after I had received the car, and during a cold start, the car did the same thing again. It "jerked" the wheel turned and this time I righted the car. Over the next few days, the car did it again several times. One week later when I was driving it (again a cold start and within 1/2 mile of my home garage), the car did the "jerking" movement and I temporarily lost control of the car. I immediately pulled over and called BMW to report the situation and have the car towed. I was told that it was a fault in the car's software system. BMW had the car at its shop for 10 days, returned it to me and I've not experienced the malfunction since.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 142010


  • 5,000 miles
Air bag warning light illuminates with adult passenger firmly belted into passenger seat. Light remains illuminated for periods which vary from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. There is no way to tell if this is a defective light only or if the air bag is inoperative. An additional safety concern is that BMW diagnostic techniques are not able to detect this failure. BMW refuses to correct the defect.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 302010


  • 8,500 miles
I experienced a failure of my pdc(parking distance control) system. The system failed to operate and I scraped a wooden pole as a result of this failure. I was looking behind me, as I was backing up, the system is designed to go on when reverse gear is on, but it failed to employ. My vehicle is a BMW 2010 528I. This is my fifth BMW 5 series and since the I-drive there have been various problems with the car ;however the pdc system in my previous BMW 2007 operated consistently as intended every time. The system in my current vehicle operated consistently until March 30th, when it failed to employ and I had the small accident. Fortunately it was just a wooden pole and not a dog or small child that was hit. The reason I pay for this system is because it improves the line of vision of the driver by showing items out of mirror and sightline therefore improving safety. However, BMW (although they agreed to pay for my repair) claims that the system is just fine. For days after the incident I watched the screen each time I put the car in reverse and sometimes the BMW logo would sit on the screen for 2 to 3 minutes, sometimes the accept gear screen would come on, sometime the pdc (which is the only one that should come on). There are anecdotal stories on line of other drivers having the same failure of this system. BMW insists that the inconsistency in performance is the way the pdc operates depending on what the last computer function was when you shut off the car. This is absurd. I believe an investigation is necessary into the malfunction of this system to prevent more serious injury accidents. Since the repair the pdc now once again comes up immediately when I go into reverse yet the claim not to have adjusted anything on the computer. The model 528 I is not on your list so I must mark 535I which is the closest model you have listed but not the same.

- Malibu, CA, USA