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.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,051 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 535 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2008 BMW 535 Owner Comments

problem #10

Oct 012015


  • 165,000 miles


The car has an passenger restraint error that does not go away. The car fuel gage does not work either

- North Potomac, MD, USA

problem #9

Apr 232013


  • 97,000 miles
April 2013, BMW dealer #1 (seller) was told by selling dealer that restraint system malfunction light just came on hours before delivery.. was told to bring car to a dealer in my state and they will fix it, no charge since car is still under manufacturer extended warranty; May 23, 2013 BMW dealer #2 (service) restraint system malfunction ligh is on.. dealer #2 advised that BST cable was sliced, hence warranty does not cover the repair, which was $1,000. June 12, 2013 BMW dealer #3 (service) went to dealer #3 for second opinion, surprised with totally different diagnosis and fixed for $117.. below is the actual dealer findings and fixed;,,,, 93398 sporadic fault ran, short test, connected charger 12.31V, ,,, faults active head restrain firing circuit, fault occurence 1, fault, ,,, currently not present inspected connections and lines, checked, ,,, measured resistance as seen by modual, within spec. Cleared, ,,, fault memory September 2014 BMW dealer #3 (service) restraint system malfunction ligh is on is back.!! took it back to dealer #3.. this time diagnosis was that the BST cable is corroded due to water in the rear vent in the battery area.. BST cable needs to be replaced and cost $919.98. Summary: April 2013 dealer #1 states, restraint system dealer fix, no charge. May 2015, dealer #2 states BST cable got sliced, $1,000 repair June 2013 dealer #3 states head restraint firing circuit, fixed it for $117 Sept 2014 dealer #3 now states BST cable got corroded, $919.98 to repair why are their findings of the problem are so inconsistent??

- Marysville, MI, USA

problem #8

Apr 152015


  • 104,000 miles
I had the passenger restraint malfunction error show up on my vehicle's dash in 2013. At that time, the dealership replaced some module in the driver's side headrest. Not sure why would they have a replace a module in "driver side" when the error is in "passenger side." But I didn't argue and let them replace it and paid $400 for the privilege. Now again in April 2015, same error is happening. First the dealer (BMW of cleveland, solon, oh) couldn't find the problem for 2 days. But when I told them about the history of the vehicle, they say that now the whole driver's side headrest needs to be replaced and the cost is a whopping $700. The car shows problem in passenger side, and dealer says driver side headrest needs to be replaced. This is preposterous! looks like the dealer is trying to scam me on this. Is there any recall on this?

- Sagamore Hills, OH, USA

problem #7

Dec 172014

535 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles


2008 BMW 5-series vehicles have the same issue as recalled 2004 - 2006 BMW 5-series vehicles in regards to the front passenger seat occupant detection mat malfunctioning. The seat occupancy mat is faulty on 2007 & 2008 models as well. The consequence is that the passenger air bag will not deploy even in the event of a severe crash. Why were 2007 & 2008 bmws not recalled already..."!?!? what is being done to recall 2007 & 2008 BMW models that use the same parts as 2004 - 2006 models...?!?!"

- Cedar Hill, MO, USA

problem #6

Oct 132014

535 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
My 2008 BMW 535I is suffering from the same passenger restraint system malfunction error as the earlier BMW models. NHTSA information I've read indicates that the passenger airbag will not deploy in the event of a substantial front end collision, which poses a significant risk to passengers. BMW only recalled model years 2004 - 2006, however. This is not an isolated incident to those years. My 2008 BMW 535I throws the error every time I drive with or without a passenger. Both the passenger side seat belt light and the passenger side airbag light remain illuminated any time the key is in the ignition. What is being done about more recent BMW models?

- Cedar Hill, MO, USA

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problem #5

Mar 032014


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 535I. The contact stated that when the front passenger side seat was occupied, the passenger restraint malfunction warning light illuminated. In addition, the passenger seat belt light failed to disengage when an occupant was properly secured with a seat belt. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,000.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 272014


  • 88,800 miles


The contact owns a 2008 BMW 535I. The contact stated that the navigational system advised that the front passenger restraint and air bag was malfunctioning. The dealership advised that the VIN was not included in the manufacturer's air bag improvement campaign. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was manufacturer 88, 8000.

- Clinton , NC, USA

problem #3

Jul 272014

535 6-cyl

  • 90,461 miles
I received a warning message "restraint system malfunction!" for no reason and it says "pass, restraint system - fault in passenger-restraint system affecting airbag, belt tensioner or belt-force limiter" etc.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #2

Apr 122014

535 6-cyl

  • 21,250 miles
While driving under speed limit of 50mph on expressway, had to slam brakes to prevent hitting a red light runner. My 12year old son was in the rear left passenger seat, with seat belt on, was thrown forward but used his hands to cushion the impact. Luckily he suffered no injuries except for the scare. On checking the seat belt, it was found to be have a defective latch. Took it to BMW fremont for inspection, they too found the seat belt latch defective and ordered a new one.the car is used mostly for work commute hence the low mileage of 21250 for a nearly six year old car and rarely has any rear passengers, therefore the seat belt defect must have been there on production. We are very lucky to find the defective seat belt in a minor incident, if it was a major accident my child or any anyone in that seat could have been seriously injured or worse. Reported the incident to BMW customer relations officer, so far only sympathies were offered.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 052010


  • 1 miles
The seat belt's height is not adjustable and too low for a 6ft5in driver. The seat belt often rides on left side of shoulder instead of on top. It is not likely to function optimally in an accident. Dealer has no solution.

- Port Jefferson, NY, USA

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