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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,175 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 550 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 BMW 550:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 BMW 550 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

May 252011


  • 28,700 miles


Three wks ago my 08 528I was making a rattling sound in the engine, tin-can sounding. Took the car for service & they replaced my lifters and related parts. They said that the lifters are "known" for going bad on the 5 series and it's typically due to seasonal changes. When my husband brought the car home to me I was very upset because the noise was still there, not as loud as before. I called BMW and made another appointment, citing that this problem had not been resolved and it needed to be looked at again. The appointment with a loaner could not be scheduled for another 10 days, so we waited. During those 10 days the vehicle started to take longer to turnover at start up. I would also feel the engine lightly shuttering as I drove at speeds averaging 35-50 miles per hour. Monday 05/23/11 was my requested appointment; however because my 15 mo. Old baby was ill we had to cancel. Thank goodness we did because my car would not have made it the 20 miles of freeway to the dealership. Today, 05/25/11, I made a left out of my neighborhood and as I accelerated approx. 50 yards, my engine bucked (felt like the bottom fell out), I lost speed dramatically. Suddenly, steering became nearly impossible and I was forced to "turn" into a small shopping center. However, I lost ability to steer upon entering the parking lot. My car would respond to nothing but the brakes (thank god those atleast worked). I looked down at my gear shift to attempt to reverse away from the curb and maneuver into a parking space, though my car was thrown into neutral & would not respond to anything but "park". I attempted to startup again but engine wouldn't turn over. It was dead. Within moments my ABS, check eng, and battery lights illuminated & corresponding msgs came onto my communication screen. Car was towed. Awaiting dealership response in the am. After seeing prior complaints, I see someone needs to be fired. The us government needs to step in before people die! thank god my baby wasn't with me!

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #38

Mar 272011


  • 21,088 miles
Engine malfunction! reduced power was the message I received on my dash display. I took photos of the displayed message. Car went from 65 mph down to 18 mph in a matter of seconds in the far left lane of the interstate highway. Could have been killed. Had to chug and lurch over three lanes of speeding traffic to get to the right shoulder of the road. I've already had the fuel pump replaced by BMW recall (a recall that I was never notified by BMW that the recall existed). Apparently the fuel pump recall was not all of the problem as this same engine malfunction still occurs and the car still behaves the same as before the fuel pump recall. Took the car to the dealer the very next day. He cleared a code in my onboard computer and did nothing to fix this problem. This problem with my BMW 535xi wagon is going to get someone in my family killed or seriously injured. I've read multiple complaints online from bloggers regarding this same problem. Why is BMW not fixing the problem. At the time the fuel pump was replaced the dealer also reprogrammed my car's onboard computer and checked the fuel in the tank which, according to the dealer appeared to be fine.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #37

Nov 282010


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 535xi (na). While driving approximately 35 mph, the engine began smoking. The dealer made three attempts to diagnose the failure. The high pressure fuel pump was replaced but it cracked again. The vehicle was being repaired by the dealer. The manufacturer had not been notified. The current mileage was 30,100. The failure mileage was approximately 22,000.

- Willoughby, OH, USA

problem #36

Jul 152009


  • 35,000 miles


The car showed engine malfunction sign without warning in middle of busy street. All power, steering, everything went dead without warning. I couldn't move the whatsoever. I was lucky enough to make a right turn before this happened and avoid potential accidents.

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #35

Sep 072010

550 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 535xi. While driving approximately 65 mph, the accelerator pedal was engaged and the engine began to sputter with an extensive reduction in power. The contact continued with caution and the vehicle was taken to a dealer where they replaced the fuel pressure sensor, spark plugs and performed an oil change. The failure persisted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer three times in which there were no resolutions. The high pressure pump was replaced on a different occasion. In addition, when encountering a bump in the road and down-shifting from third to second gear, an abnormal clicking noise would occur. Recently, the engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was in the process of being diagnosed. The failure mileage was approximately 45,000. Updated 01/28/11 updated 02/07/11

- Madison, WI, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #34

Nov 122010

550 6-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Purchased a 2008 BMW 535I in June 2008. Vehicle has 30,000 miles on it. About six months after purchasing the vehicle, started to have the "engine malfunction/reduced power" light come on about every three months. Two months ago, the same thing happened but the vehicle shut off at a stop light. Had the vehicle towed and the fuel pump was replaced. Had the vehicle back for approx two weeks and same thing happened again. Had the vehicle towed. They replace some fuel injectors and spark plugs. Had the vehicle back approx 3 weeks. Happened again. Luckily still not on the freeway. Drove the vehicle in to the dealer. They replaced more fuel injectors. Had the vehicle back a week and the vehicle shut off on the freeway in traffic in los angeles going 65 mph and almost was in a major traffice accident. Called the dealer today (Saturday) and the service dept is not in on weekends. Sales manager said "take the vehicle somewhere else" and "it won't affect us if someone is killed or injured and a lawsuit is filed". afraid to drive the vehicle at this point.

- Glendale, CA, USA

problem #33

Oct 282010


  • 22,750 miles


I purchased a certified, pre-owned 2008 BMW 535xi with approx. 22,000 miles on 10/23/10. Subsequent to my purchase, I discovered the high-pressure fuel pump in the vehicle had earlier failed and been replaced. On 10/28/10, just 5 days after purchasing - I was driving on a surface street when the car began violently shaking and rocking, the engine lost substantial power and nearly stalled, and the engine malfunction indicator lit. I took the vehicle in for service on 10/28/10 and the vehicle was returned 10/30/10. 3 of 4 fuel injectors were replaced along with all sparkplugs. At high speeds, this type of engine malfunction would pose an extreme safety risk in my opinion. I have contacted BMW usa and the dealership where I purchased the vehicle and I have not been satisfied with the response to-date.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #32

Oct 262010


  • 60,800 miles
2008 BMW 535I. Engine start-up takes longer than normal. The engine idles rough and hesitant to accelerate and check engine light comes on. BMW claims to have fixed the problem under a recall, but the problem came back again 3 days later.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #31

Sep 092010


  • 27,042 miles
While accelerating, the engine lost power and went into neutral. I was able to put it back into drive and the car very slowly regained momentum. A few minutes later, after the car had been turned off, I restarted it, put it into reverse to back out of a parking place, put it into drive to move forward, tried to accelerate, the car went into neutral again and would not move forward. I tried to put it into drive again but with no success. The car was dead and message flashed on "reduced engine power." Fortunately I was in a parking lot and not on a highway. The car had to be towed to the dealer. The rmfd high-pressure pump had to be replaced. BMW told me that this was a common problem and that the warranty on this part had been extended to 10 years, 120,000 miles. The old part is not available.

- Westport, CT, USA

problem #30

Aug 122010


  • 32,000 miles
I had my car in for routine service two weeks ago, and I mentioned that the car had been slow to start in the morning, and idled roughly. I was told that the car was 'reprogrammed" and that should take care of the issue. Yesterday, while I was driving on the highway, the engine malfunction light came on, and the car lost acceleration, and I had to pull over on the right, through 3 lanes of rush hour traffic with a car that barely accelerated. I took the car to the dealer who said it was a bad sensor. This morning, my wife was driving the car with my 3 month old daughter and the engine malfunction light came on again. My wife tried to find a safe place to pull over, but the engine died at the light. She started the car again, and made it halfway into the intersection, and the car died again. She was very worried that she was going to get hit while stuck in the intersection. Finally, after a few more cycles of starting the car, going a few feet, and the car dying, she was able to get the car into a parking lot. The car was taken to the dealer again, and now they are changing the high pressure fuel pump.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #29

Aug 042010


  • 28,300 miles


Have had 3 separate instances in the past 9 months where my car stalled or sputtered with loss of power, and once I had no steering or braking ability. Dangerous situation in freeway traffic.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #28

Mar 152010


  • 22,500 miles
I have a 2008 BMW 535 xi that has shown the reduced engine power/engine malfunction while on the highway twice. The car refused to accelerate and became very hard to maneuver. Thankfully, both times I was within a mile of the highway exit. I am hesitant to drive this car on long travels because a reduced engine power malfunction could endanger me and my family. BMW attempted to fix these problems first by replacing the high pressure fuel pump and then by replacing all of the fuel injectors. Thus far the problem has been better but I am still leery of the car.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #27

Jun 152009


  • 10,000 miles
We were driving on a 55 mph speed limit road. We were going up a slope, our car ( BMW 5 series) suddenly lost power and we were unable to drive the car beyond 30 mph. We had to pull to the side of the road. After contacting BMW, they informed us that they can not take it to the dealer as all the dealers are closed on sundays. So we drove the car slowly to the house ( 3 miles away). The car was towed to the dealer next day, were told that it is a high pressure fuel pump failure. The pump was replaced. Now we have the car back. BMW dealer mentioned that there is nothing we can do to prevent this from happening again, BMW is aware of the problem. Also mentioned that such a failure is an acceptable price for the car's great engine. My wife stopped driving the car because the engine may fail with the children with her in the car, it will be dangerous. Every time I take the car to and from work I am worried that the engine may fail and truly can not trust the "great engine" that the dealer is so proud of.

- Oakland, MI, USA

problem #26

May 202010


  • 34,000 miles
On 5/20/10, my 2008 BMW 535xi suddenly lost power while driving on a single lane, resulting in a near rear-end collision. This happened once previously. Both times the car was towed and the dealer said they replaced the high pressure fuel pump. I complained about the latest incidence to BMW customer relations and services department, case # [xxx] "?". information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Budd Lake, NJ, USA

problem #25

Jul 012010


  • 53,020 miles
Reduced power from engine. Pressed accelerator and engine did not respond with regular power. Reduced power in traffic at 40mph. Pulled over shut off engine and restarted with full return of power. One repeat of problem 3 months later with similar results. Dealer replaced fuel injection auxiliary parts. Too soon to know if problem will recur.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #24

Jun 262010


  • 16,400 miles
June, 2010 - I was driving my 2008 BMW 535 station wagon on the highway (long island expressway I-495, New York) at 65 miles per hour when the car lurched, made a loud noise and lost power. BMW replaced the high pressure fuel pump. August 2009 - the car started but lights on dash board went on saying "vehicle had reduced power". it was towed to BMW dealership, where they replaced the high pressure fuel pump. August 2008 - the BMW lost power on the highway and was towed to dealer. They made a repair to the fuel injection system.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #23

May 222010


  • 55,000 miles
Car loses power 2008 BMW.535I had just gotten it out of the shop (new plugs and new brakes, changed the oil air filter full service) and the next day we had gone out for supper when the car would barrly run it was like it had 2 cyclinders. Had the BMW place pick up and they said it was low fuel pump and they had to order. When they got that in it did not fix it so the put another set of plugs and new coils and high pressure fuel pump in also. They ended up covering the whole bill. But it seems not to run like it use to. Not as much power. I would like to find more info on problem and how they extended warranty.*

- Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

problem #22

Jan 152010


  • 3,000 miles
I have a 2008 BMW 535I and received the dreaded "engine malfunction - reduced power" readout. The car would not develop more than 1,500 rpms. I took it to the local dealer and the service advisor stated immediately that it was a failed high pressure fuel pump, a rather common occurrence on this particular engine. The hpfp was replaced and the car has performed fine now for about six months, although the aforementioned readout did appear one more time, but I turned off the engine and restarted it immediately and everything was fine.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #21

May 192010


  • 7,000 miles
The N54 engine in the BMW is a hazard-I almost got killed when my car stalled on the road-BMW replaced the hp fuel pump 3X already and the car is less than 3 years old. These engines need to be replaced as there is a design flaw. Do people have to die to fix the problem?

- Jericho, NY, USA

problem #20

May 102010


  • 41,000 miles
2008 BMW 535I took my car into dealership due to car running rough. They couldn't find anything and sent me on my merry way. Took my car in on Monday, May 4 due to car running rough and ticking noise in engine...told them we were going on a 1,000 mile road trip the end of the week. They couldn't find anything but did replace some brake items. Driving home at the end of our trip, on acceleration my car 'skipped' three times....a couple of minutes later I tested it and accelerated again (on fl turnpike) it 'skipped' hard again three times. Got off at the next the light I got a 'engine malfunction' light and limped into the 7-11. Put gas in car, called BMW concierge. We were close enough to home to have it towed to the dealership, get a driver to help us transfer all our luggage etc, and take us home. Next day called dealership...they had car day and a half and said it was the fuel injector pump. I understand from tons of BMW owner blogs that this is very common occurrence...we were fortunate enough not to be going 65 miles an hour in front of a semi like many other family's have the misfortune of. I also understand that people have had to have this replace not one, two, or three times but continuous...four! this is absurd. Where's BMW's integrity to do the right thing, address the situation, and not put their consumers in harms way. Do we near a near death experience or our family's filing lawsuits once we're six feet in the grave for them to stand up and take care of these problems once and for all"??"

- Winter Park, FL, USA

Read the next 19 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?