really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,955 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 #13

Mar 082012


  • 108,177 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW X5. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked and the engine was running when he noticed that the auxiliary fan was not functioning. The contact changed the fuse for the fan and the fuse caught on fire. The vehicle was then taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id numbers: 01V206000 (engine and engine cooling:cooling system:fan) or 02V138000 (engine and engine cooling:cooling system:fan). The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and also stated that the vehicle was not included in the recalls. The failure mileage was 108,177.

- Mauldin, SC, USA

problem #12

Jan 082011


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW X5. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph and attempting to turn, the vehicle would stall. All of the lights on the instrument panel would begin to illuminate and it would take a few minutes before the vehicle would restart. The vehicle was repaired many times for this failure. The manufacturer was notified and advised the contact to take the vehicle to an authorized dealer for a diagnosis. The failure mileage was 145,000.

- Montclair, CA, USA

problem #11

Sep 012009


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW X5. The contact stated that when starting the vehicle, the oil separator fractured and caused oil to spray over all components under the hood. The contact then noticed smoke coming from under the hood. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who informed the contact that he would need to replace the oil separator, valve cover gasket and the valve cover. The vehicle was repaired. The dealer also installed a crank case ventilation blanket in order to keep it warm. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was approximately 86,000.

- Carmel, IN, USA

problem #10

Jan 082009


  • 94,500 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW X5. While driving 55 mph in six degree weather, the vehicle suddenly began to lose power and the speed decreased. The contact pulled the vehicle over and noticed a lot of smoke coming out of the tail pipe. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the failure was caused by an oil valve separator issue. The mechanic explained that the engine froze and shot out all of the oil from the vehicle. The contact attempted to have the failure covered by her aftermarket warranty, but they refused because it was not an internal engine failure; therefore, the manufacturer would have to assume responsibility. The dealer stated that they would replace the oil valve separator. The vehicle has not been repaired. Through research, she learned that numerous people with the same vehicle have experienced the failure and, after the repair is performed, the failure persists. She believes that this is a manufacturer defect. The current and failure mileages were 94,500.

- Breezy Point, MN, USA

problem #9

Jan 122009


  • 10,000 miles
BMW - vent valve the vehicle is obviously engineered wrong and the company should be liable. The dealership told me it would cost $1,000 to replace and cleanup a frozen vent valve due to condensation from moisture. The extreme weather where I live cause the condensation to freeze causing oil to backup and blow the engine.

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #8

Dec 042008


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW X5. While driving 5 mph, the contact noticed smoke coming from the passenger side front tire. The passenger compartment filled with smoke. She drove to a gas station and observed all of the warning indicators beginning to illuminate on the instrument panel. The vehicle was shut off and towed to a local repair shop. A few days later, the mechanic stated that the thermostat control melted, which caused the copper housing unit to melt and rest over the fuel system of the engine. The manufacturer stated that they would investigate the failure. The dealer has not been notified. The vehicle has been repaired. The contact kept the defective parts and has supporting documentation. The current and failure mileages were 58,000.

- Temecula, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 022008

X5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
My 2001 BMW X5 has serios issues with its design that BMW Corp refuses to acknowledge or fix. 1st there is a faulty design on the pvc causing the valve to freeze and drain the oil into the engine. This almost caused a fire in my car. And cost me about $1200 to fix. 2nd there is a design flaw with the front doors whereby the either freeze shut or refuse to lock in temperatures below 17F. This is a hazard waiting to happen. Please help us ( consumers) since BMW apparently has no interest in adressing these issues.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #6

Aug 212007

X5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles
BMW X5 3.0L 2001 1) car lost power on the freeway requiring an emergency stop. Very dangerous situation but no one was injured. 2) a hole in the plastic cooling system caused the coolant to eject. The engine overheated causing total loss of engine. There were no audible or visible warnings. Apparently this vehicle does not have a coolant sensor and the engine temperature gauge can malfunction if the coolant has all leaked out. 3) entire engine replacement at 63,000 miles (out of warranty). Car has had all BMW recommended maintenance service.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #5

Mar 042005

X5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,744 miles
I purchased my 2001 BMW X5, new in Sept of 2000. I began having problems with it pretty quickly. The most plauging problem was the gas gauge. It took BMW 5 times to finally fix it. 2/26/01 14461 milage, 3/9/01 14512 milage, 5/16/01 18566 miles, 8/29/01 24493 miles, and finally 2/26/02 37268 miles. There were a number of other issues with the car, water pump, lower contro arm (twice), and various other non-essential items. I tried to enact the lemon law, but since the 3rd time on the fuel gauge was at 18500 miles, I was told it didn't apply. Now after 4 and a half years, I have 114,000 miles on the car and I was just told that the motor is shot and will have to be replaced at a cost of $11,500. I can't sink that kind of money into a car with that many miles but I can't sell it with a bad motor and I can't make payments on two cars. This car has been one problem after another and BMW has refuesed help me. The only offer they made was to give me $5000 off on a new car when I hired a lawyer to try to enact the lemon law, but with the milage I had on the car already I still would have owed them money on the trade-in. There hasn't been one incident. It's just been one thing after another since I bought the car. I have paid BMW over $3600 for service and repairs not covered by warranty since I bought the vehicle. Now it's going to cost me over $11,000 more to get the car running again. I have all the service records and have always pampered the car. I only used the best gas, never missed any scheduled services. I can't believe BMW is not standing behind their products better than this.

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #4

Jan 242005

X5 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The consumer experienced sudden stalling at various speeds while on the road. The vehicle was taken to the shop, however the cause was undetermined.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 112004


  • miles
Vehicle was parked, consumer started up the vehicle, and it did not not move. Consumer had vehicle towed to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic placed the vehicle on the diagnostic machine. Mechanic could not resolve the problem.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 052000


  • miles
Consumer states a problem existed where the vehcle would suddenly cut off when in a turn and when first starting. The fan blower motor and the coolant thermostat had to be replaced to correct improper heater operation.

- Crosswicks, NJ, USA

problem #1

Sep 232001

X5 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer had just gotten out of vehicle when front end was smoking/sparks flying, and ashes coming from engine. Dealer diagnosed auxillary fan as the cause. Vehicle was part of recall 01V20600, but consumer did not receive a notice.

- Coral Gable, FL, USA