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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,762 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.

2008 BMW 528 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 BMW 528 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Jul 072016


  • miles


The vehicle is made with inferior wire coating that can and I'm sure has resulted in fires. Not to mention the features of the lights can and will stop working unexpectedly. This also causes shorts in the wiring of the switch in the dash I believe and possible battery drain leaving people stranded or even having car die while in motion. BMW had my car for 3 weeks trying to figure out all their other faulty issues - they finally had their head foreman take the car home with him and go over it with a fine tooth comb. He fixed most of the issues. They had sent me home with my car 3 or 4 times telling me my issues were resolved only for the car to stall, smell like burning rubber or just not start. They were also aware of the faulty wiring but did not list it as an item of eminent concern - however after taking car to another mechanic for a blown bulb a month later they expressed to me the extreme fire hazard the vehicle wiring posed and that because of the nature (or problematic design rather) of BMW they were not at Liberty to delve into such matters. BMW is the utmost morally reprehensible auto maker I have ever encountered from start to finish. My lights went out while driving and I was almost hit by a driver in a large escalade around dusk a week ago. What's worse is when I took vehicle to BMW I was also having them fix the tail light recall that is prone to cause fires. I have never met more incompetent people. You do not get what you pay for.

- Cooper City, FL, USA

problem #38

Feb 152016


  • 94,000 miles
Just bought a used 2008 528I (E60) w/94K miles, in otherwise perfect condition. Went to change the angel eyes from drab yellow to lux led's. noticed bare wires on both sides of the bulb connectors, on both sides of the car. Tried to use electrical tape, just made more bare wire. The more I touched the wires, the more insulation flaked off, almost like a powder. I've never seen anything like it. Can't possibly be safe. Definitely a fire hazard. Neighbor brought over a bottle of liquid tape, and I re-coated all the bare wire I could see, making sure each wire was separated so a short would not occur. That is a good temporary fix. Will have to stay on top of this problem, since most, if not all, of the headlight wiring is made with bad, quickly degrading wire insulation. A real disappointment in otherwise good german quality and engineering. I guess the source procurer at the factory saved BMW some big bucks on that wire!! this is definitely a NHTSA safety recall issue. Tort lawyers should have a field day on this one. Photos of this problem are available at:

- Canyon Lake, TX, USA

problem #37

Oct 042015


  • 120,000 miles
Insulation covering headlight wiring cracks off leaving large amounts of bare areas. This resulted in electrical shorts, draining battery, erratic electrical system behavior, blown headlight bulbs, and an intermittent burning smell in my car.

- Gulfport, MS, USA

problem #36

Oct 012015


  • 139,000 miles


Electrical wiring insulation/sheathing within the headlight unit/housing is showing signs of and or outright deterioration which in turn exposes bare wires within the headlight housing. At this point, the daytime running lamps have been the only effected lights but the wires for the headlights are also noticeably troubled. The issue is not speed, movement or area dependent. For further reference, I will provide a link to an owner's forum detailing other's dilemmas due to this exact issue: I look forward to a response.

- Kingsville, TX, USA

problem #35

Sep 222015


  • 90,000 miles
Wiring of front headlights flaking off and exposing bare wire. The short of the wires caused the plastic of holding headlamp to bubble and melt as a consequence.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #34

Jan 122015


  • 60,000 miles
Permanent loss of functionality of rear lamp functions tail, brake, turn-signal, reverse.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #33

May 052015


  • 40,000 miles


Passenger side airbag/ seatbelt lite on dealer said that the bsd cable going to the airbag is detached...but it must be replaced at a cost of about close to $900....not repaired as of yet

- West New York, NJ, USA

problem #32

Jul 302012


  • 48,000 miles
( I am the original owner this vehicle) while replacing a burnt out headlight, I noticed that the insulation in the sealed headlight was missing. When I checked the opposite side, I found the same thing, the insulation was broken and missing. Being that this is a sealed headlight housing, I am unable to remove and repair the problem. BMW parts stated that the wiring harness is not sold for those lights. One has to purchase a completely new headlight assembly at a average cost of $700+.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #31

Apr 192015


  • 105,000 miles
Insulation of the wires in the head light assembly flaking off. Almost all of it is now missing. Worried it will cause a fire. Smells like it is burning.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #30

Apr 142015

528 6-cyl

  • 132,499 miles
Headlights: Wire insulation on head light cannon plugs is retracting from wires. This could cause an system electrical problem or fire.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #29

Jul 012009

528 6-cyl

  • 22,000 miles


This otherwise fine automobile seems to go through batteries quickly. I purchased the vehicle new in May 2007. Since then batteries have needed to be changed as follows: 2009 2011 2013 and now in 2015 the new BMW battery installed in 2013 is badly discharged. In 2011 the dealer ran this car through an exhaustive electrical analysis and found no problems. Then why are batteries dying so quickly? counting the original battery I've been through 4 already and the 5th one seems about to die. BMW took care of the 1st two replacements under warranty, but the 3rd and pending 4th replacements are on my tab. Something appears to be faulty with the electrical charging system and possibly the vehicle's sleep mode. BMW should find the defect and repair it at no or nominal charge to customers like me who buy car batteries more often than flashlight batteries. Thank you.

- Wading River, NY, USA

problem #28

Jan 152015

528 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
Our 2007 BMW 530xi developed a steering wheel lock malfunction warning. A red steering wheel with a padlock appears on the dash screen with a warning on the computer. The steering wheel locks and unlocks perfectly every time. The car is drivable. The dealer says the steering lock module must be replaced for $600. I found that this is a rampant problem on bmws and that BMW corporation is aware of the problem. There should be a recall for this problem.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #27

Oct 142014

528 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
All 6 fuel injectors failed. Car lost power while driving on 3 separate occasions.

- Fanwood, NJ, USA

problem #26

May 142013

528 8-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
On or about May 2013 I was traveling at 60mph on the freeway when suddenly I heard a loud bang sound and my vehicle came to an automatic stop. Scared as vehicle behind me screeched and turn away avoiding me. I remained in the middle of the road for approximately 30 minutes before the vehicle restarted and I traveled fearfully to complete my assignment. Same day on my return home vehicle stopped about 3 times but I drove straight to dealership. Without inspecting my vehicle I was told my alternator and battery was gone. I was quoted very high amount but something told me a bad alternator and battery would not start a vehicle so I offered to take my vehicle home. My vehicle stayed home for about 4 months without use only warm ups reverse and park. I did extensive research to avoid the frivolous amount the dealers quoted and found that the integrated module (ivm) was bad. I got it for $144 and replaced it and problem was fixed after 4 months. Until April 2014 I drove the out to work and barely two miles away from home I stopped at a traffic light and when released the vehicle sounded a huge banged sound this with transmission malfunction light active brake lights and several other lights on dash board. Once again I survived being ran over in the early morning rush. Took vehicle to BMW dealership. Told gear shifter was bad and replaced for $915 and thereafter I received a call the transmission was out. I was advised cost will be $15000 then later that it cannot be fixed and advice to sale it as is to some guy. I owe $17900 on vehicle. Called BMW North America to complain was told new transmission cost $9200 and I'm asked to pay $7400 best deal. There's no reason for transmission on 2008 to go out. Since dealers took my car they gave me a rental for 4 days and took it from me but kept my vehicle for additional 2 weeks and are still holding it calling to accept deal.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #25

Nov 222013

528 6-cyl

  • 97,700 miles
Malfunction of left headlight. Dealer inspection revealed"headlight wires leading to bulb socket have corrosion on them and casing around the wires is coming off". there was a recent vehicle safety recall for this model car for similar issues with rear lamp bulb carrier: Recall campaign no. 13V-407 potentially serious safety issue with malfunction of headlights leading to dangerous driving conditions or crash can occur especially at night or in bad/inclement weather.

- Ocean Springs, MS, USA

problem #24

Nov 152013

528 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
While driving on the highway, the right taillight has malfunctioned completely (brake lights and right turn signal). The issue is well known to BMW dealerships however they claim it's not covered under cpo (certified pre-owned) warranty and my model is not included in the recall. The tail light connector is melted due to faulty tail light grounding. BMW has issued a recall for this specific issue (some models) but I don't know if I will ever get notified.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #23

Nov 012013

528 6-cyl

  • 790,000 miles
My rear right bulb housing has malfunctioned causing my car to not have a rear right turn signal, rear right brake signal and right side back up light.

- Pico Rivera, CA, USA

problem #22

Oct 292013

528 6-cyl

  • miles
My rear left bulb housing has malfunctioned causing my car to not have a rear left turn signal, rear left break signal or left side back up light.

- Hartford, CT, USA

problem #21

Sep 122013


  • 54,240 miles
Passenger side rear tail light (back up and turn signal) wire harness connector melted. Per ntbsb and web search, numerous people have had exact same problem. Dash indicated that first tail light failed, then back up light failed. Inspection showed melted wire connector. This is a manufacturing defect and safety issue that needs to be addressed. Was nearly collided when making a right turn.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #20

Jul 312013

528 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
Rear exterior lights(brake, tail, & turn signal) - melted wire assembly is causing malfunction. While driving I noticed a "burning" smell. Shortly thereafter, all at once my dash indicated that my passenger side tail light, brake light, and turn signal had simultaneously malfunctioned. The wiring harness that attaches to the light assembly is melted. BMW did a recall of over 2,500 3-series vehicles for the exact same issue but has not recalled the 5-series ("??") this is a safety issue that needs to be addressed.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

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