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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,257 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.

2011 BMW 550 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 BMW 550 Owner Comments

problem #13

Sep 042016


  • 73,000 miles


Drivetrain malfunction car lost power (no acceleration) on the highway shock violently, happened 3 times in less then a year car does have 70K miles but this shouldn't happen.

- Washington Dc, DC, USA

problem #12

Sep 242015


  • 49,500 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW 550I. While driving 35 mph, the drive train malfunction warning message illuminated. The contact also stated that when depressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle shook violently, the check engine warning light illuminated, and the vehicle stalled along with the drive train warning light. The vehicle was towed to the dealer but was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure recurred several times. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 49,500.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #11

Aug 152015


  • 41,900 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW 550I. While driving approximately 70 mph, the vehicle started shaking and lost all power. The drive train malfunction warning light illuminated. The vehicle restarted, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The high pressure sensor, low pressure sensor, and drive train were replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 41,900.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #10

May 222015


  • 53,000 miles


I am currently having problems with my vehicle and the local authorized dealer/service center, I believe they have been negligent with their actions to multiple problems that have occurred, including the repair and inspection pertaining to a recall of the N63 engine vehicles. The vehicle has had multiple issues in the past, including several "drivetrain malfunctions" for which I believe have the dates and service records they relate fuel injectors, battery, pumps, ect.. since January 2015 I have contacted the service center, autogermana BMW of puerto rico, to request an inspection and repair of the vehicle due to recurrent issues and concerns, the representative initially told me that the dealer had received no information about the "recall" or service bulletin "B001314". in March the vehicle was serviced again and the "recall" was included in the service order but they alleged that they did't have the parts available and that they would contact me as soon as they became available. The representative even recommended against extending the vehicle warranty for repairs until the vehicle was repaired and/or inspected as it related to the recall. The vehicle is now past the 50K mile warranty and the issues have not been resolved, and again it is at their service center because of a new "drivetrain malfunction". the service representative called me and told me that they would again inspect the vehicle to determine if the malfunction had any relation to the previous issues and /or the recall, if it has no relation they would have to be repaired without the warranty coverage. I believe this to be systematic negligence or quite possibly intentional irresponsibility. At this point legal action is the next logical step. I appeal to the NHTSA for responsible assistance with these service issues and a resolution of the problems.

- Caguas, PR, USA

problem #9

Jun 212014


  • 55,000 miles
I bought the car on May 6, 2015 with about 53K miles on it. Drove it for only about 45 days and while driving the car the drivetrain malfunction and other lights came on and the car lost power and stopped immediately. At first, I thought it was the battery and had the car jumped but that didn't work. The care engine was totally dead, no sound no anything other than the engine light that popped on before it stopped. I had purchased an extended warranty from gwc at the purchase of the car so informed them. I had the car towed to a place (lmc auto in norcross Georgia) that gwc was willing to pay for repairs. Lmc said the engine was locked and needed to be replaced. Gwc refused to replace the engine because of the expense and instead had lmc auto repair the engine. Needless to say, lmc is still repairing the engine almost 5months later. I had called governor's office of consumer protection, [xxx], etc.. trying to get help with getting the car fixed. When I talked to BMW of North America they said they warranty is up at 50K miles so they cannot commit to do anything. I am at my wits end and the car still does not seem to be any closer to getting fixed. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lithonia, GA, USA

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problem #8

Apr 302014

550 8-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
I was driving on a residential street and shifted into 3rd gear. The car began to buck violently. I pushed in the clutch to stop the bucking. I was approaching an intersection. I attempted to accelerate and the gas pedal was non-responsive. The vehicle then indicated that it had a drivetrain malfunction. I was able to pull over, turn the car off and back on and drive 0.5 miles to my destination. While parked, the parking brake also malfunctioned and I was unable to turn it off. The car was towed to the dealership. There is a significant design deficiency with this vehicle. The problem with my car had to do with a broken plastic part on the water channel that leads around the trunk. The plastic cover is supposed to snap into a grommet that is in a hole, thus sealing the hole from water. In my situation, the grommet was missing. Given the design of the plastic part, there is no way to know that there is an issue without removing the plastic part. The hole that the plastic piece snaps into leads directly into the trunk. In the bottom of the trunk are sensitive electronic modules that control the fuel management system and the parking brake. There is no drain in the trunk that would allow water to leave the vehicle. My vehicle was parked in a parking lot during a rain storm. As a result of the design, I got water in the trunk, which ruined these two modules, resulting in the vehicle becoming disabled while driving. I believe that this is a significant safety issue for the following reasons: I) as a consumer, I had no idea that the electronics that enable the vehicle to manage fuel were located in the trunk; II) the design of the water channel around the trunk seems inadequate given that any failure of the plastic shield / grommet combination would lead to water in the trunk and expose these critical components.

- Summit, NJ, USA

problem #7

Sep 302010


  • 200 miles


The car has acceleration issues when not only adding additional speed while driving but when beginning to accelerate from a stop sign or traffic light, as well. The car hesitates when accelerating and there is often a lag in accelerating while the car is stopped or at a low speed, creating a safety concern. Not only is there a safety issue, but it is not how a $51,000 luxury sedan should drive -- it is rather rough and annoying to drive the car. The car also idles at an extremely low speed or no speed when the car is started after sitting for a longer period of time. In this case, I have to apply a decent amount of pressure on the accelerator even to back out of my garage.

- Paradise Valley, AZ, USA

problem #6

Aug 192011

550 6-cyl

  • 4 miles
Car does not respond to tip-in of accelerator from standstill. As you press harder to get intended acceleration, car lurches forward dramatically and unsafely. Vehicle is extremely difficult to drive smoothly, especially in close, stop-and-go traffic. Contacted local dealership (the BMW store in cincinnati, oh) on 9/5/11 and they are aware of the problem, but BMW is currently only providing a software patch for the 535 model. I was advised to keep driving the vehicle until BMW issues a software patch for the 528, but the dealer was not aware of any upcoming fix. I am concerned that BMW has fixed the problem for the 535, but not the 528, and that a potential fix is uncertain. This is a major driveability and safety issue.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #5

Jul 202011

550 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW 528I. While stopped at a stop sign the contact depressed the accelerator, and the vehicle would not accelerate. The contact continued applying pressure to the accelerator pedal until the vehicle accelerated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 50. Dealer rep stated that this is a known issue, but no fix has been published by BMW. Updated 09/29/2011

- Arlington , TX, USA

problem #4

Aug 022011

550 6-cyl

  • 65 miles
BMW 528I throttle lag/tip in/delayed acceleration from a standing stop;constant problem;have been told by BMW dealer that this is is very annoying and am fearful it could lead to safety issue.this is a brand new 2011 model with less than 500 miles on odometer.

- Danville, VA, USA

problem #3

Jul 212011

550 6-cyl

  • 1,200 miles


After purchasing a new 2011 BMW 528I (vehicle) I noticed an acceleration lag starting out from a dead stop. It has become a safety concern, especially when trying to turn onto a street from a stop sign. It crawls into the roadway when moderate pressure is applied to the gas pedal. If oncoming traffic is close this results in having to stomp on the gas pedal causing the car to jerk ahead at an unexpected rate of speed. I have had a few close calls because of this issue. Took car to dealer. They stated they reset the "learning" program that is supposed to adapt to the way one drives. This did nothing to fix the problem. After telling the dealer about this problem again, their response was that the vehicle was "operating as designed" and told me that they "all do it". since there were no trouble codes on the computer of the vehicle they said nothing is wrong with the car. This is unacceptable and I feel this will eventually result in an accident at some point when immediate and linear acceleration is needed at a critical moment.

- Villas, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jul 092011


  • 40 miles
There are 3 major issues. 1. vehicle tends to veer to the right. Feeling is quite like a vehicle that hasn't been aligned for a while. 2. the most dangerous. Upon acceleration and/or at low speed, the vehicle randomly jerks forward without any notice- making it too late for the driver to slam the brakes. If your vehicle is standing three feet behind another vehicle in stop and go traffic, you can easily crash and rear end into the car in front of you. And of course, you will be sued for not keeping your distance. This can easily cause some serious injuries. 3. vehicle wobbles as if the tires were not balanced. There are clearly unknown defects that can not be located. Took it to the local BMW dealer, they keep ascribing it to "normal" characteristics and they keep informing me that bmws are built that way, they are now sportier. However, to any new owner, it is now deadlier. The local BMW dealer also state unless they vehicle doesn't inform them about the issue they can't do anything. Its more like, until someone doesn't sue them is when they will do something about it. BMW seriously needs to look into this issue immediately before a class action lawsuit begins against them.

- Saint Johns, FL, USA

problem #1

Oct 252010


  • 4,378 miles
Brand new 2011 BMW 528I is pulling to the right and having hesitation and jerkiness issues.

- Del Mar, CA, USA

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