really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
8 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,579 miles

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problem #25

Nov 012018


  • 136,000 miles
Occupancy seat sensor failure after recall campaign 17V-605 completed. The sensor mat failed within 16 months of the repair which means the parts used for the campaign are faulty as well. BMW refuses to fix the issue. This failure will result in the passenger front air bag to not deploy as so stated in the original recall campaign.

- Lincoln, CA, USA

problem #24

Nov 262018


  • 145,000 miles
When using the heated driver seat, it begins to smoke and give off a burning smell. I don't know if it would catch on fire, I turned it off as soon as I realized it was the seat burning and smoking. I bought this vehicle used and just thought the seat was a bit worn in that spot. I checked for recalls on this year and there aren't any. My car was stationary when this occurred, parked in a parking lot.

- Hot Springs, AR, USA

problem #23

Mar 242017


  • 106,000 miles
My heated seat catched on fire. Driver side seat left side rear. I got burned as I was driving on a parking lot. I realized that my pants have a whole as well as of the seat

- New Milford, CT, USA

problem #22

Apr 052016


  • 150,000 miles
When pulling into my driveway I noticed a burning sensation on the left side of my butt burning my coat. I stopped the BMW and jumped out. With the courtesy light on I could see that the leather seat had a burn hole where I could see the electricity like MINIlightening. When I turned off the seat heater and the burning stopped. Had I been on the highway, serious injury could had occurred. BMW referred me to have the problem evaluated and determined that they were not responsible and repair would cost about $1400. BMW is aware of their seat heater problem as see by numerous blogs online but refuses to recall the affected vehicles. I have not yet contact my insurance company.

- Reading, MA, USA

problem #21

Feb 152016


  • 70,000 miles
The driver side heated seat overheats and becomes too hot to touch. I have experience discoloration in some of my clothing due to the excessive heat, and I experienced a slight burned on my thigh when the heated seat is turned on. The issue occurs while the car is in motion or stationary. The leather most affected by the heated seat malfunction is thinning. I have contacted the local BMW dealership twice about the issues, and I have been ignored when I requested a quote on the repair and why the safety issue has not been addressed.

- Lake Forest, IL, USA

problem #20

Feb 202016


  • 120,000 miles
My drivers side seat ( cushion) caught on fire when I turned on the heated seats. I first smelled a burning / plastic smell. Then I felt my glutes and hamstring getting warm. I looked down ( I was driving) and saw an orange ember on the seat. I pulled over as soon as I could, hot out of the car, and saw that the seat was actually burning. Luckily I had a bottle of water in the car and put out the flame and turned off the seat. I called the dealer- got a quote to repair. BMW will not take responsibility for this. I have a small burn on my leg, and a good size hole in the seat. I like my heated seats living in the northeast during winter months. Very disappointed that BMW refuses to address this dangerous issue.

- Guilford, CT, USA

problem #19

Oct 152015


  • 125 miles
While driving I turned on my heated seats and about 15 minutes later my drivers side seat became very hot and started to burn me. I pulled over abruptly, jumped out of my car and noticed that my pants was discolored/burned and my seat was burned and had a burn hole (about 3.5 inches) in it., the car had a plastic type burn smell in it. I am terrified to turn on the heated seats again.

- Rosedale, NY, USA

problem #18

May 112015


  • 100,000 miles
The heaters in both the driver's and front passenger seats overheated to the point that it was too hot to touch and melted the leather seats. We are not sure if the heaters were even engaged at the time. We brought the car to the local BMW service department and were denied any assistance or warranty coverage. We then called the national BMW customer service number and were also turned down. The costs to fix this very dangerous issue would be close to the value of the vehicle. We are still pursuing this with local management but at this time, despite recalls in previous years for this same safety problem, we have been denied any assistance or relief.

- Kenmore, WA, USA

problem #17

Jun 022014


  • miles
We received an important safety recall from BMW in June 2016 that we needed to replace the passenger side front air bag immediately as the air bag does not work as part of the "recall campaign no. 13V-564: Front passenger air bag seat occupancy sensor mat." We immediately contacted the perillo BMW dealership in Chicago (1035 North clark street, Chicago, il 60610, (312) 981-0000) where we purchased the car. Over the following six months, we called monthly to inquire about whether they had the replacement seat to fix the car. Perillo actually had us bring the car in two separate times only to tell us each time that they didn't have the part needed for our type of repair. We happened to have the worst possible outcome where the sensor mat is broken and the air bag is disabled on the passenger side of the vehicle. The condition of the car makes it very dangerous for anyone to sit in the front passenger seat. We live in Chicago and therefore drive on highways and in heavy traffic frequently. I am now pregnant with our second child so we absolutely have to have this fixed before the new baby comes in April 2015. Since we last brought the car in this fall, we have called perillo non stop to inquire and each time they say they don't have the part. It is not only a terrible customer service experience but it puts our family at risk every time we drive the car. Perillo remains unhelpful and unresponsive so we are filing a report nationally.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #16

Jun 012012

X5 8-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The airbag indicator on dash came on initially and then after about a month the overhead console "passenger air bag off" light came on. Both lights came on ever since and 2 attempts were made to clear code by professional and seems to be the problem with the passenger sensor mat being faulty. My vehicle was equipped with a sport seats from manufacturer and estimated cost was from $800-$1200 for that sensor. I have received a letter for this recall showing my VIN as an affected vehicle in 12/2013, however, it's now 6/2014 and still no feedback from NHTSA or BMW na.

- San Gabriel, CA, USA

problem #15

Feb 182014

X5 6-cyl

  • 87,131 miles
Drivers side heated seat burned through leather seats on right side of seat at rib cage. Slightly burned driver. Had a electrical burning smell. Left about a 6 inch burn line in the seat. Very unattractive!

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jan 292014

X5 6-cyl

  • 123,469 miles
Started X5 up and turned on driver 's seat warmer. Let car warm up for 5 minutes and commenced to drive away. One minute down the road I smell smoke like an electrical fire. I feel my left hip getting hot at the same time. I stop car and look down and see a dull red glow from the seat. Immediately turn off heater and get out of car. The driver seat warmer had shorted and burned a hole through the leather seat along the left side of the seat. How hot was it! my pants had been burnt and had a small red mark on my skin. Think goodness I was not severely burned due to the area of my pants that was burnt was also the left back pocket area so the interior pocket fabric help protect me. Wow! will BMW fix this"???"

- Woodbine, GA, USA

problem #13

Dec 242013

X5 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Driver's side heated seat turned on and thereafter became dangerously hot and burned through the driver's coat.

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #12

Dec 012013

X5 8-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Passenger occupancy sensor fails, causing air bag to become inoperative and airbag light to appear on dash. In case of accident, the airbag will not deploy. Dealer wants nearly 2000 dollars to fix, though they say it had "already been repaired in 2008" when the vehicle was two years old; dealer confirmed that they hear this complaint all of the time. Recall campaign 08V384000 addresses this issue for some BMW models/seats, but does not adequately address all models and years that have the problem. For the X5 model, for example, the "comfort seat" is covered, but the standard seat, which has the very same problem (not related to the comfort system) is not. Please widen the coverage of the campaign to include all models and years affected by this widespread problem.

- Kaysville, UT, USA

problem #11

Oct 152012

X5 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
After experiencing the same issue for which BMW issued this recall NHTSA action number: EA08001 I learned that because my 2006 X5 was manufactured after November 30, 2005, BMW is not covering under warranty the very same defect that vehicles manufactured prior to November 30, 2005 are under warranty for (extended to 10 years with no mileage restrictions). The explanation is "that is the recall policy. We manage this via VIN numbers".

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #10

Feb 012013


  • 94,000 miles
Production date 03/2006 front passenger seat occupant detection mat malfunction. Vehicle was brought to independent shop for code reading to verify that 'airbag light off' illuminated was triggered from seat sensor. Light stays illuminated (indicating airbag is off) with adult occupant on passenger seat, approximately less than 1,000-miles after, driver dash airbag light illuminated permanently also. Vehicle was purchased as a cpo. Airbag/seat sensor code began after cpo warranty expired. During the period of my ownership, vehicle was never involved in any collisions. Vehicle was last brought in for brake and oil service at BMW dealership. Some research seem to indicate a recall regarding very similar situation (NHTSA campaign # 08V384000) was available for certain model BMW. Summary of the campaign letter does not include 2006 X5, however, extra notes does state that it includes "my 2006 X5." Both BMW dealership and BMW of na were not able to find any recall associated with my VIN. There were made aware of the letter and were firm that vehicle was not part of the recall and repair/replacement cost at owner's expense.

- San Gabriel, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 272013

X5 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Driver's side heated seat shorted while driving. It caused a small fire and burned a hole through the leather seat when heated seat was turned on.

- Whiteland, IN, USA

problem #8

Dec 152009

X5 6-cyl

  • 30,010 miles
Just purchased the certified pre owned BMW X5. 2006 model and had it 1 day and the passenger side airbag light came on and would not go off. Returned car to BMW of dallas to have repaired. Approximately 40000 miles later at 68000 miles same light is on and will not go out.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #7

Nov 252010

X5 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
Driver's side seat heating element electrical short, burned hole through leather seat when heated seat is turned on.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #6

Jan 112011


  • 64,000 miles
Danger! fire hazard on 2006 BMW X5. Heated seats get extremely hot on driver side left side under the drivers buttocks and thigh. Smell of burnt plastic and fumes in cabin.

- Mclean, VA, USA

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