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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,218 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2008 BMW 528 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #32

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 #31

Aug 122016


  • 55,000 miles
Had to replace a headlight bulb and a turn signal bulb. When opening the headlight assembly to access the two bulbs much of the insulation on the wiring inside the headlight assembly just crumbled away into very tiny pieces and dust, which fell into the bottom of the assembly. It's as if the wire insulation has dried out and failed in the eight years since the car was manufactured. Now most of the wiring is just bare and exposed. The wiring can't be accessed from outside and the headlight assembly does not come apart. I am very concerned about the wiring short circuiting and possibly causing a fire in the headlights. I'm 68 years and have owned 13 different cars from american and german manufacturers. I have never encountered anything like this. I think there is a manufacturing defect in the headlight assembly wiring. I contacted BMW about this and they would not do anything about this problem. I think this may be a significant defect that could affect the safety of the car. I have done some searching on the internet and have found that this is a very common problem in this series of BMW cars. BMW won't aknowledge a problem and won't provide any assistance other than to suggest that I buy new headlight assemblies from them which were made with the same poor quality wiring.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #30

Feb 242016


  • miles
Fraud activity possible clone refinanced identity theft remote access was put on unauthorized threat safety for owner. Two loan start dates one in repo

- Ft Worth, TX, USA

problem #29

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 #28

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

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problem #27

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 #26

Jan 122015


  • 60,000 miles


Permanent loss of functionality of rear lamp functions tail, brake, turn-signal, reverse.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #25

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 #24

Sep 172014

528 6-cyl

  • miles
Suddenly right sided headlight went out, I opened the headlight cover to change the bulb. Found all the wiring was crumbled and the coating was melted. Headlight came back on. Since then it happens a lot. I called bmwna to complaint about it and they said I have to open complaint with NHTSA. This has been reported by other BMW 528I 2008 owners. This is hazardous issue as open wires can potentially catch fire in headlight. Same problem in tail light initiated recall last year.

- Covington, LA, USA

problem #23

May 012014

528 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 528I. The contact stated that the inside of the headlight housing became abnormally foggy. The bulb also looked as if it was foggy and fractured. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the possible default. The failure and current mileage was 106,000...updated 06/09/14 the consumer stated after replacing the headlight's bulb, it was found that all the cable insulation inside both headlights were crumbling. This could cause a fire or electric system failure. The dealer advised the consumer needed to replace the headlights. Updated 06/12/2014

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #22

Dec 272013


  • 78,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 BMW 528I. The contact stated that the inside of the headlight housing became abnormally foggy. The bulb also looked as if it was foggy and busted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where the technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacture was not notified about the possible default. The failure mileage was 78,000 and the current mileage was 80,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #21

Nov 162013

528 6-cyl

  • 40,800 miles
Failure of the right rear tail light assembly due to the grounding wire connector (inside the 8 pin connector which attaches to 8 pin receiver on the light) melting which rendered the brake light, turn signal, reverse light, and lightning inoperative. As connection was failing, the ground connection was likely intermittent leading to lighting malfunction warning indications on dash and intermittent operation of right rear lights, dimmed brightness of right rear lights. The intermittent operation/failure reduces the ability to warn other cars/drivers of my car's intentions. Could result in vehicle rear end collisions.

- Plainsboro, NJ, USA

problem #20

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 #19

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 #18

Nov 012013

528 6-cyl

  • 66,050 miles
The rear back-up lamp outage warning light came on my dashboard. I attempted to replace the bulb and saw that the wiring harness had been burnt around the brown wire. I searched online and saw that this has happened many times to other with the same yr make and model vehicle. I reported it to the deal who in turn referred me to contact BMW North America. I received an E-mail response from them saying that there is a recall in process and to wait 4-6 weeks. The problem, is that my tail light is not working. It is unfortunate this cannot be fixed immediately. I want to ensure that I am included in this recall.

- Placentia, CA, USA

problem #17

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 #16

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 #15

Aug 162013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 528I. The contact stated that the passenger's side turn signal and all of exterior lightning would not function upon engaging. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The vehicle was repaired however the contact was not aware of the exact repairs. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number 13V407000 (exterior lighting) however, the contact's VIN was not included. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #14

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 #13

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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