really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,703 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 #14

Jul 312019


  • miles
Takata recall I went out to start my car noticed when I started it there was smoke coming from the passenger side front air bag area I immediately shut it off but there was smoke still coming and getting thicker I immediately call 911 I was on the phone with 911 and noticed flames.fire truck showed up put the fire out but the whole front air bag area and glove box was pretty bad

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #13

Oct 292018


  • 536 miles
In 2001 I had a recall for the electric cooling fan, it was supposed to have been fixed then in 2007 electric cooling fan goes out again, then in 2011 the electric cooling fan goes out again, then in 2018 the electric cooling fan goes out again overheat and blows the head gasket while driving back from las vegas in gilroy California "?"

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 262017


  • miles
The tail lights on both sides and the signal on both size in the rear do not work the signal on the right side on the front does not work. I have change all the fuses in all the lightbulbs but continue to have this issue

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #11

Jun 062011


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW X5. The contact stated that both brake lights failed to illuminate when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where both brake light bulbs and holders were replaced; however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the technician stated that there was a short within the brake light system and both wiring harnesses needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #10

Apr 302016


  • 109,000 miles
04/30/16 I bought the SUV las month and have every thing original every thing was fine until today it caught on fire on the pasenger side under the glove compartment a 30 min after parking it on the drive way I hear the alarm and saw alot of smog coming from the truck at soon as I open the door.

- Carpentersville, IL, USA

problem #9

Aug 042014


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owned a 2001 BMW X5. While driving approximately 45 mph, smoke entered into the vehicle and both the passenger and driver side air bags deployed. Shortly after the contact exited the vehicle, it became engulfed in flames. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 118,000.

- Saugus, MA, USA

problem #8

Aug 142013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW X5I. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, there was a constant illumination of the engine warning indicator. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis where the technician detected that the tachometer was faulty and displayed an inaccurate reading. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #7

Oct 312012

X5 8-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Today I brought my BMW X5 to dealer because the warning light goes on and off indicating a problem with the rear brake lights. Dealer said that the bulb holder had failed because of excessive heat melting the bulb holder. Last September, I had a new bulb holder assembly replaced for the rear turn signal after the same warning light came on and was then told that the device failed because of excess heat, melting the bulb assembly. These would seem to be related problems and safety issues.

- Dripping Springs, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 162008


  • 60,000 miles
On Oct.16,2008 I was experiencing hesitation when accelerating after I bring it to auto repair shop, after they diagnosed the problem they informed me that the entire wiring harness and the throttle is bad and need to replaced and inform me there was service bulletin on it I call BMW dealer speak to then about it but they said there nothing they could do for me because the car is out of warranty and the bulletin was over I, it cost me $1,200 to fit the problem 2001 X5 3.0 60,000 mi.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 232006

X5 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,900 miles
: the contact stated while driving 50 mph, all exterior lights failed, as well as, power brakes, power steering and the engine. After coasting to a stop, the contact was able to restart the vehicle, after 25 minutes, but the vehicle was in failsafe mode for the engine and the transmission. The vehicle was driven home about a mile away. The vehicle was driven to the service dealer for service. There were no symptoms of the previous night. The problem was not recreated, although the ignition switch was replaced. The manufacturer was notified and was willing to send a technician for further investigation.

- Placerville, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 302004

X5 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,200 miles
At 40K miles 4.4 X 5 had electrical failure, all dash lights and digital gauges went out when I turned the car on. Drove with only speedometer and non digital gauges working. Checked fuses and changed a few but could not get them to work. Charged for service to repair 200. Digital gauges are still not all lit. Only partial digits for time and odometer reading. These gauges should work until at least 100,000 miles on any car. I am considering a class action law suit as I feel robbed and cheated to by BMW along with many others.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 032005

X5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,200 miles
1. had car serviced at 60,000 miles, only 3 weeks later the green dashes started appearing again and staying on, as if I needed to have car serviced. Called dealer and they said not to worry, this has been know to happen, just ignore it. 2. very loud noise from sun roof (closed) while traveling on freeway and leaks during car washes" dealer said they can replace the seal and this should fix the problem. 3. brake light indicator on dash comes on and off, as if bulb is out, but just replaced bulb, then replaced again, sometimes this brake light works and sometimes it doesn't. 4. window on front passenger window would not go back up after opened, then a day later, the door would not open or close. Dealer replaced the window mechanism that controls both the door handle and the window at my cost mind you the rear window and door had been done only a year before. The dealer told me that this happens on all german cars, doesn't matter the age of car or make. How frustrating - spend $45,000 and know windows will eventually quit working?" 5. front right headlamp gets moisture in it and it takes 3-5 days to clear up. 6. driver cup holders, what is up with that - can only put one cup in it, when try to put 2 in, they overlap, very frustrating when driving. 7. storage in front minimal and a hassle, you have to reach back and sort of behind you to get into compartment - dangerous while driving. 8. leather seats are very hard, need a plushier leather. 9. wheels, brake "dust" gets all over the wheels much much more than any other luxury car I have ever had. 10. cargo cover in rear needs work, check out the one Lexus uses in RX30. 11. need more cargo space - compared to RX330 and the Volvo X90, space is extremely small. 12. disappointed in my car - want to sell it, will not buy another BMW.

- Meridian, ID, USA

problem #2

Aug 082003


  • miles
Consumer stated her vehicle has caught fire twice, and it locked her inside. She also stated that her aux. Fan was the cause of the fires. She stated the fan was changed 4 times. It was told to her and her husband that these were electrical fires. She stated that she had an appointment with the customer svc rep of BMW, and their svc rep the following week to try to fix her vehicle.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #1

Jun 132001

X5 6-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
Electrical problems. Such as right rear brake light keeps going out and vehicle brakes feel like thier not stopping, left turn signal fast, steering wheel doesn't extend fully, during winter months the front and rear thermostat do not work. Door handles freezes.

- Fort Drum, NY, USA