really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
112,491 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 #8

Aug 122018


  • 59,500 miles
I was driving 60 miles an hour on a highway and the engine in my 2012 BMW X3 35I seized and went into neutral. I had to glide off to the side of the road into the grass. I have been told by the BMW dealer (laurel BMW westmont) that the car needs a new engine which would cost $22K. BMW usa offered to pay 60% of the cost and would not discuss the safety issues. The car has 59.5K miles and was well maintained.

- Riverside, IL, USA

problem #7

May 072018


  • 65,000 miles
Bolts holding the variable camshaft timing vanos housing are defective. This is a known issue and BMW notified NHTSA of a recall in 2014 for 156000 vehicles. However, I have the same exact problem and BMW says I must pay almost $4,000 because it is not part of the recall...even though this is a known problem.

- Indian River, MI, USA

problem #6

Mar 122018


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 BMW X3. The contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the bolt housing for the cam shaft detached and needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 95,000. The VIN was not available.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #5

Feb 082018


  • 60,300 miles
I was have issues with the vehicle hesitating and jerking, and generally not operating as expected. I took it in to be checked as I was concerned for operating it safely. The dealership indicated that it requires a software patch, as their is a code error, but they will only fix it if I pay for the patch. I told them that if it is a patch that seems like a recall - software is not hardware, software does not just stop working if it is good to begin with. If we allow car dealers to make us pay for patches when they mess up software we will all be paying hundreds and thousands of dollars for their coding errors going forward as the technology continues to innovate. I am all for innovation, but I should not be paying for their coding error. My car worked a few months ago, I took it in for service under warranty for a different issue, they did work to the onboard software that likely caused this issue, and now that it is out of warranty they have decided that is my problem to fix what they broke. This is a precedent that I do not think we should allow auto makers to set. A car is not a pc that we replace in 4 years - it cost exponentially more. When microsoft requires us to upgrade or they will not patch anymore it is on a pc that cost $1-2K at max, we are talking about a much larger investment and BMW should not be allowed to just stop fixing their code and charging consumers for errors that are potential safety concerns. I do not care if the code is original or installed at my last service visit. Something is seriously wrong with this picture. I would feel different if I had some custom modification, then I think they could blame me for hacking it, but I did not do so, therefore I should not be penalized.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #4

Nov 082017


  • 48,130 miles
Spontaneous engine fire while parked on a city street. Coolant pump replaced the morning of Nov 8th 2017. One hour after picking up the vehicle from the dealer and a few short trips, vehicle was parked, shut off and locked. It drove normally and there were no warning lights. 15-20 min later engine was on fire.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 152017


  • 550,000 miles
Engine failure at 55K miles when the car was less than years old.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 302016


  • 12,000 miles
In 3 occasions (within 2 years duration) when I braked the car (brand new 2012 X3 2.8I) gently to stop it, it slowed down firstly but all in a sudden it accelerated with engine revved up (with noticeable engine noise), the brake seemed losing power at all. The first two times I could be able to stop it (by flooring the brake) before hitting the roadblock and the carpark entrance gate, the third time I could do nothing but hit into another car in the carpark due to the short distance. I'm sure that I was not pressing the gas pedal accidentally for I was in the process of pressing the brake to stop the car in all three cases. I found a similar recalls fm my local transportation auth (ref: www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_1179/10000456_E.pdf and www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/content_1179/10000457_E.pdf) which may relevant to my issue, but unfortunately my car not in the listed VIN recall. I had talked with the local BMW service guy and she denied the problems are relevant (which costed around us$15,000 to do the auto repair eventually, covered by ins).

- -, AL, USA

problem #1

Nov 012012

X3 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
We stopped for a light and the car started to accelerate while your foot is on the brake. The RPM gauge went up to around 3500 and the car was extremely hard to keep from going forward. This happened several times, the car was brought in for diagnostics but they could not find anything wrong. It happened recently and we are taking the car in again to try to resolve the problem.

- Woodside , NY, USA