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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,431 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.

2012 BMW 528 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 BMW 528 Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 122016


  • 58,700 miles


I was driving at about 65 mph on a highway uphill, engine completely stalled, no power, got a message "drive-train malfunction, no maximum output, drive moderately". I was surrounded by cars/semi trucks, very dangerous situation. Managed to pull over on the should. Could not restart car, got a message "automatic start/stop deactivated: Engine will not start automatically. Press the start/stop button to start the engine." About 30 mins after engine stalled, I finally restarted the car. Continued to drive on the highway for about 10 miles @ 60-65 mph. At a local street, as I slowed down to approach a traffic light, engine stalled again, no power, car stopped in the middle of road, got the two same messages, could not start car. About 30 mins after engine stalled, I finally started the car.

- Blacksburg, VA, USA

problem #6

Jun 012016


  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 BMW 528I. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle lost power. The coolant fluid, transmission malfunction, and please have car serviced lights were illuminated. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine oil filter housing needed to be changed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notifed of the failure. The vehicle was not included in a recall, but there was a manufacturer communication. The failure mileage was 34,000.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #5

Apr 142016


  • 56,000 miles
Vehicle bought in July 2014 with ~24K miles; still under factory warranty. Maintenance maintained. 9-12 months later, a "drive train malfunction" light came on. I had just left the dealership so I called them and they told me to bring it back immediately; I did. Many tests later, was told my "motherboard died" (dme unit); after a month in the shop...repaired. Now, 4/2016, less than 60K and fresh out of warranty...I was driving home with my son on the interstate, about to get off of my exit and another "drive train malfunction and low engine pressure" light comes on and then all of a sudden my car stopped on the 4 lane off-ramp. After waiting for an hour for the tow truck to arrive and trying to put my car into neutral and about 30 min with the tow truck driver trying to put the car in neutral, I called the BMW dealership and I found out that because my car is all electric it cannot be put into neutral; a week at the dealership and still there as I type┐diagnosis: Timing chain broke into the engine and now the car needs a new engine which I was quoted to be $21,000. The car is only 4 years old!!!!! needless to say, it was by the grace of god that my son and I were not injured or killed when the engine just shut off in the middle of traffic. And on top of that, it is absurd that the consumer cannot manually put this vehicle into neutral to move it out of harm's way if it's possible to do so. The only way to put the car in neutral when inoperable is to take it to the dealership. Unsat! and for a car company that is supposed to have a great reputation and high standards, it's absurd that a new engine is needed for a car that is barely 4 years old. I have seen the same issues with other BMW owners all over the internet. Love BMW and have owned 3 of them and it's unfortunate that this one will be my last because I do not feel safe in this vehicle anymore.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #4

Jan 252016


  • 54,000 miles


In Oct. 2015 I pulled out of my street into traffic and lost all power. " drivetrain malfunction" displayed on dash, the car loses all power and goes into "limp" mode, goes like 5 mph max. Thankfully I got it off the street without being hit, turned it off and restarted it, display was gone and I was able to drive it normally. After my heartrate slowed and I got to the office I called and made an appt. To have it looked at. It had 48K miles at the time of the first incident and still under warranty. After leaving it with the dealer for over a week, they told me that they reprogrammed the car to the latest software and should be fine. Now fast-forward to Jan 2016, 54K miles, my wife was driving it along and same thing happened, "powertrain malfunction" displayed on dash car went into limp mode, there was no where to pull over in morning rush hour, had to put hazards on until she could get to a safe location to pull over. Turned it off, restarted and was able to drive again. She was very scared and shaken. Called the dealer from which we bought it new and am taking it in today. Thus, after researching this issue it seems to be a common occurrence which has been going on with BMW's. before someone gets hurt or killed something needs to be done to make sure this does not happen. From what I've read I am not the only BMW owner who has experienced this problem!

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #3

Nov 102014

528 4-cyl

  • 52,200 miles
Last month my car was approximately 52,200 miles (out of warranty) and leaking oil all over my driveway and under the hood. It cost me $1570 to fix by replacing the fiter casing. Luckily that the oil leak was in my driveway. What if I was on the freeway? this is totally unsafe car to drive. The local shop told me that the filter housing (2012 version) was made of plastic and the current BMW one 2014 is made of metal. The local shop told me to call BMW if there is any recall for this. So before fixing it local shop, I did call the crevier BMW in santa ana, ca and the service advisor told me that there is no recall for the filter housing and my car was out of warranty. I told the BMW advisor that I cannot believe that a 2012 BMW 528I with 52K miles on it and leaking oil all over the place. The BMW advisor told me that I drove too much. What kind of service is that? and BMW will not cover it. So BMW cannot be driven over 50K miles. I also did call BMW corporate and someone from BMW corporate called me back that and said nothing BMW can do about this. Now I found out because of the oil leak, the alternator is having problem. I want to report this incident so that BMW should be responsible to similar cases of their unsafe cars. [xxx] ┐information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

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problem #2

Aug 172014

528 4-cyl

  • 59,820 miles
Driving in the hov at approximately 9pm when an alert message "drivetrain malfunction, drive moderately" displays. Car engine immediately cuts out and we have no propulsion. We are unable to move to a safe location and wind up on a narrow shoulder of the lie in NY. Police come and close down 2 lanes to prevent collision (extremely dangerous road conditions). We were unable to start the car or shift it into neutral. Car was towed. BMW notifies us that fuel sensors malfunctioned resulting in us running out of gas even thought the indicator showed we had 1/2 tank. However because we were over the 50,000 mile warranty we would be responsible for replacing.. BMW is looking for us to pay $3,100 to have the fuel sensors replaced. I researched this and found that BMW had issued a recall on its 2011 5 series sedans and 2012 5 series GT for a fuel sensor malfunction that mirrors exactly what happened to us. We purchased our BMW Nov 2011. We strongly believe this fuel sensor defect both in design and functionality is the reason behind what happened to us. Put my family and 6 police patrol men in harms way. Notified BMW that they need to extend their recall to other 2012 5 series sedans given our experience. Felt compelled to notify you as there may be other drivers who will be put in harms way if this problem is not reconciled on all 2012 5 series sedans. We were lucky we were not injured. Someone else might not be.

- Bay Shore, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 242012

528 8-cyl

  • 10,300 miles
The contact owns a 2012 BMW 550ix equipped with Goodyear Eagle P245/40/R19. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph an alert on his dashboard illuminated instructing him that the vehicle should not be driven more than 50 miles as the tire was going flat. Thirty miles later the vehicle was stopped and the front driver side tire had developed a bubble on the sidewall, which caused the tire to shred. The vehicle dealer was notified but offered no assistance. The manufacturer of the vehicle was notified but offered no assistance. The tires had not been replaced. Updated 12/14/12 the consumer replaced all four tires with Michelin tires. The consumer stated two of the original four tires developed bubbles on the sidewall. On two occasions, the drive train malfunctioned. The video screen flashed a message instructing the consumer to return the vehicle to the dealer. In the process, the vehicle lost a considerable amount of power output and shook violently when driven over 30 mph. Updated 07/09/13

- Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA

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