Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 10
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,084 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 BMW 525 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 BMW 525 Owner Comments

problem #20

Jan 052016

525

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving my 2004 BMW 525I, my right hip started burning. Followed by an odor. When I pulled the car over, I looked to my right & on the back portion of the seat I noticed a burn mark. The seat heater got so hot that it burned my blouse to the seat. I sent an email to BMW who responded they would get back to me after asking me to send them my VIN #, along with pictures of the seat. I did so, and as of today no one has gotten in touch with me. (?) after purchasing the car brand-new in 2004 this same situation happened to the passenger seat in 2005-06. The seat literally caught on fire with my mother sitting in it. The dealership where I purchased the car in Massachusetts respectfully did the right thing and replaced it, "immediately" for me. ~ it is incomprehensible, that a company such as "B-M-w" is not only not standing behind this ongoing issue, but refuses to get back in touch with the consumers to come to some resolution of their inferior & damaged product. Which at some point, will cause bodily harm and possibly give someone third degree burns. Maybe it will take a serious injury or dateline nbc to run an undercover program, before BMW manufacturers smarten up & fix this unacceptable issue with a feature we all paid extra to have... the cold weather package. ~in closing; I was once told by other owners I would never go back to any other car once I owned a BMW. I honestly can say this experience has changed my opinion of that. BMW customer service is outstanding until the warrantees are gone and until there are no more recalls. At least at the corporate level. You have a better chance going back into the dealership who welcomes & values your continued business! what a disappointment from such a high end manufacturer.

- Bristol, RI, USA

problem #19

May 202015

525

  • 106,100 miles
I own a 2004 BMW 525I and the passenger side airbag and seat belt sign came on few weeks back. The dealer says it's not covered but NHTSA site indicates it is covered on BMW 525I 2004 vehicles. This dealer is estimating a $650 diagnostic fee to see what need to be done. What can be done to get the passenger side air bag sensor fault issue? my last option is the junk yard, and never buy a BMW.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #18

Jan 012013

525 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
BMW recalled 2004 BMW 525I and others for the seat mat sensor. I had called them (2012-13) and they told me that my vehicle (based on VIN) wasn't part of the recall. I informed them that my vehicle's mat sensor was also defective and should be replaced by them. They, BMW usa told me that mine was not defective. I still cant understand if the rest are defective, how come mine is considered not defective when its inoperative and same problem as thousands of other 2004 525I.

- Winter Garden, FL, USA

problem #17

Jun 152014

525 6-cyl

  • 44,400 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driver's seat burned, leaving a charred hole in the leather approx 1" X 5 " near drivers left hip area on seat back, most likely by seat heating element malfunction. The biggest concern is that this happened in June in Maryland - - where it is hot. I did not have the seat heater on. This must have happened while the car was parked in my garage. This is very strange and deserves investigation.

- Davidsonville, MD, USA

problem #16

Feb 092014

525

  • 55,000 miles
I was driving in traffic when smell and smoke came from the bottom of my car, I park the car and check, my seat was burn, I turn off the heating and I'm not be able to used again the dealer on park ave in South hackensack NJ don't get back to me. Plus now last week May 31 the passenger safety light came on we are thinking the car is curs.every repair is very expensive.

- North Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #15

Mar 052014

525 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
I started my car and turned the seat heater on low. Approx 5 mins later, smoke started coming out of the dash because the seat heater had burned two holes in the leather and smoke had circulated in my car. I stopped the car, turned it off, and turned it back on and the smoke cleared. I had contacted my local dealer and BMW na in Dec 2012 because I felt the seat heaters were getting too hot - the drivers seat registered 132 degrees at that time. The dealer told me there was nothing wrong with the seat heater and BMW na never responded, outside the standard form email telling me they would get back to me. Today, the seat heater finally burned through the leather and I was fortunate not to have been burned.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #14

Dec 122013

525

  • 86,779 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2004 BMW 525I. The contact stated that a burning odor was emitted from the driver's side heated seat while the heated seat function was activated. The seat sustained damage from the seat overheating. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the technician advised that the front driver's side seat would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 86,779.

- Scituate , MA, USA

problem #13

Feb 012011

525 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
There is a faulty restraint malfunction on the front passenger side seat. Regardless of whether or not a passenger is in the seat at all the airbag sign indicates that it is off. I am aware that this is a common problem and a malfunction in other BMW 5 series and the dealer ships that I've went to refuse to acknowledge this even though BMW headquarters released a recall for some a couple of years ago.

- Davie, FL, USA

problem #12

Jan 192014

525

  • 111,219 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 525I. The contact stated that a burning odor was emitted from the driver's side seat as the heat became abnormally hot. The contact suffered burns to the back as a result. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection or repairs. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 111,219.

- Spokane Valley , WA, USA

problem #11

May 262012

525 6-cyl

  • miles
The restraint light came on in my car and for some unknown reason the light will not reset. I know for a fact the dealership replaced the passenger side seat cover or something while under warranty, but this started around 2010 or 2011 not sure. But just a few days ago I was told it may be under a recall status as well because the passenger seat was serviced. And the light says *passenger restraint system fault in passenger restraint system affecting airbag, belt tensioner, or belt force limiter. Continue to wear safety belt. But my wife and I are both concerned with this problem so is this a recall and when can it be fixed, I plan on keeping this car but really do need the BMW company to step up to the plate and back their product as one of the best, thanking you in advance. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Cataula, GA, USA

problem #10

Feb 102013

525 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The drivers side heated seat was turned on and it became very hot, burned a hole in the seat and began to smoke.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #9

Sep 192007

525 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
My front passenger seat occupant detection mat has cracks in it and does not function properly. My front airbag may not deploy in case of an accident. There has been a recall for that part for my make model and year but BMW North America claims that my VIN number is not on the list even thought my make model and year is a part of the recall. There are also several other recalls for this particular car and again my VIN is not on the list but I have the issues listed in the recall.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #8

May 112012

525

  • 90,000 miles
Driver seat caught on fire.

- Providence, RI, USA

problem #7

Apr 142012

525 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
My car has the passenger restraint system malfunction message on the navigation screen and also the seatbelt light and the airbag light are illuminated on the dashboard. There is a recall for seat occupancy sensor below and as you can see my car falls within the criteria as the cars affected by the recall but a visit to my local BMW dealer revealed that there was no active recalls under my VIN number. This is an obvious safety issue as airbags will not deploy and the risk of being seriously hurt or killed. This is something that BMW should replace in my car under the recall as it has the same malfunctioning part such as the cars listed below. Recall id # 57362 - air bags:frontal recall date Aug 05, 2008 recall date: Aug 05, 2008 model affected: 2006 BMW 3-series summary: BMW is recalling 200,000 my 2006 3 series sport seat, my 2004-2006 5 series standard and sport seat, and my 2004-2006 X3 passenger vehicles. Depending on the manner and frequency of the front passenger's entry and exit, small cracks have developed in the mat. If this occurs, the front passenger air bags, with the exception of the head protection system, will be deactivated and the air bag warning lamp as well as the passenger air bag "on-off" lamp will be illuminated. Consequences: In this situation the front passenger air bags will not deploy even if a sufficiently severe accident would occur and occupant protection provided by the system would not be possible. Remedy: Dealers will rework the front passenger seat sensor mat so that external force application to the seat does not cause a crack to the mat. The recall began on November 6, 2008. BMW will also extend the warranty on these vehicles to 10 years from first registration without any mileage limit. Owners may contact BMW at 1-800-525-7417. Potential units affected: 200000 notes: BMW of North America, llc

- Hartford, CT, USA

problem #6

Jan 162012

525 6-cyl

  • miles
The front passenger seat sensor triggers the safety warning light on all the time. It may affect the airbag operable. This is a known issue and was subject of a voluntary recall program in 2008 by BMW. Despite many other car owners (as evidenced by complaints to NHTSA and online car forums), including myself, having this issue as described within the recall program for cars of the make and year of the production, only 200K within a specific VIN range were recalled.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #5

Jan 272012

525 6-cyl

  • 124,631 miles
Seat-warmer overheated, burning holes through the leather driver's seat, causing minor skin burns before terminating use of unit. Over the past two months, I had noticed a burning odor in the car periodically, but neither I nor my mechanic had been able to determine the source of the odor. On 1/27/12, I felt the extreme heat in my seat while driving, and found two charred holes in the leather seat. It is important to note that there was not a fire per SE, but in order to register the fact that there was (minor) injury attributed to one person, this form required stating "yes" to the question regarding fire. I have no doubt that this failure could certainly lead to fire if continued use of the unit had occurred.

- Grand Island, NY, USA

problem #4

Feb 152011

525

  • 66,000 miles
Fire: TL* the contact owns a 2004 BMW 545I. While driving approximately 40 mph with the driver side seat heater engaged, the contact began to smell an abnormal burning odor and the seat began smoking. The contact shut off the heater and noticed a burned hole in the seat. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic where the contact was advised of NHTSA campaign id number: 04V575000 (seats: Front assembly: Seat heater/cooler) he then contacted the manufacturer and was advised that his vehicle was not included in the recall. The vehicle the VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 66,000 and the current mileage was 66,600.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #3

Feb 022011

525

  • 87,000 miles
Front seat heating elements got extremely hot and made a burning smell. Passenger and driver's legs got uncomfortably hot to the point of discomfort before the heater was shut off.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #2

Dec 062010

525 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
The drivers seat catch fire from seat heater on BMW 525I from year 2004.

- Parsippany, NJ, USA

problem #1

Dec 042009

525

  • 51,545 miles
The seat warmer malfunctioned and burned a hole in my driver seats and also a hole in my pants. If I had a piece of paper or something in my back paper, it would have set it on fire.

- Eagan, MN, USA

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