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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 13
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,542 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.

2005 BMW X3 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2005 BMW X3 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Mar 132013

X3 6-cyl

  • 148,500 miles


While using the heating device for the seats I smelled something burning and felt heat on my pants. I turned the heating device off. There was a small burn stain left on the seat, which has turned into a small hole.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #16

Mar 122013

X3 6-cyl

  • 92,245 miles
Upon driving my X3 I turned on my drivers side seat heater and within a few minutes it started getting so hot that it began to burn the top part of my left leg. I had to turn it off and lift my leg off the surface of the seat a bit until it cooled off. It appears there is a problem on the left side of the seat (bolster). It happens now everytime I attempt to use it...I have owned this vehicle from day one and never had this problem before. I have not smelled any burning odors yet but there is a serious problem with the seat. My wife has experienced the same thing !...this needs to be addressed by BMW and corrected before there is a fire or bodily injury. So for safety reasons and preventing burns I am unable to use this feature I paid so dearly for...I will be contacting the dealership on Monday to advise them of this problem.

- Huber Heights, OH, USA

problem #15

Jan 012013

X3 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
I had just started the car and the airbag light came on in the instrument cluster. The passenger air bag on/off light was also illuminated. From that time on both lights are on and I'm concerned that we don't have a passenger airbag. I'm guessing it has something to do with that sensor that tells if someone is sitting in the passenger seat.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #14

Jan 142013


  • 100,000 miles


I was driving the vehicle and turned on the driver side heated seat. I turned it on to the first setting which is the highest. After about 2 minutes I started to smell something burning. Then I also felt my leg burning. The heated seat had heated up so much that it melted a small hole in the leather where my left outside thigh would touch the seat. I am unable to use the heated seat anymore because I am afraid of getting burned worse.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #13

Dec 252012


  • miles
On christmas morning, December 25, 2012, the driver of the vehicle started the car, activated the seat warmer, and we immediately detected a burning odor in the car. We drove less than approx. 1/2 block and pulled over to determine the problem. The seat warmer was so hot that it had begun to burn a hole in the bottom seat cushion. The burn hole stopped because we identified the defect quickly and immediately turned off the warmer. I have reported the defective seat warmer to BMW.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #12

Jan 162013


  • 95,680 miles
The drivers seat warmer caught fire and burned on the left hand side of the seat. The seat warmer wires were exposed and burned the seat and through my pants.

- Santa Fe , NM, USA

problem #11

Jan 032013


  • 55,000 miles


I used the heated seat function for the drivers seat in my 2005 BMW X3 and it rapidly heated up becoming unbearable to sit on. I immediately turned it off and stopped the car and got out because the seat was too hot to sit on and because there was a burning smell coming from under the seat. After a while the smell dissipated and the seat was cool enough to use. I have not used the heat function since and am waiting for my BMW dealer to check it and get back to me.

- East Norwich, NY, USA

problem #10

Sep 102012

X3 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 BMW X3. The contact stated that while driving approximately 65 mph with the heated seat warmer in activation when suddenly the heating element began to penetrate the contact's clothing with an excessive amount of heat. The contact immediately deactivated the heated seat warmer. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who advised that the driver's seat would need to be replaced in order for the heated seat warmer to operate properly. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 83,000...updated 11/14/12

- Irvine , CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 042011

X3 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
My wife's heated driver seat burned a hole in the vinyl seat cover and through her sweater. Dealer says this is not covered by warranty, but it appears to be a common problem for the X3. An internet search reveals several complaints. Additionally, a recall was announced for the BMW 5 and 3 series for the same issue. I hope the ntsb conducts a quick response. Thanks.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #8

Dec 262011

X3 4-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
A driver side seat heater overheated the seat and burned through leaving a hole. This happened while I was driving and caused me to step accelerator mistakenly. This is a serious safety issue and BMW needs to recall all defected parts.

- Port Jefferson Station, NY, USA

problem #7

Dec 112011

X3 6-cyl

  • 70,500 miles


I have a 2005 X3! this morning my driver side seat nearly went up in flames!! so scary!! lucky I wasn't in traffic or on the highway, I was able to jump out and address the problem. Is there a recall number for the heated seats yet? I have seen allot of issues with the BMW 04-08 X3 heated seats. Most people are getting burnt and this could be very dangerous for us owner while driving. Something need to be done, lucky it was me driving and not my wife. Thank you

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #6

Dec 052011

X3 6-cyl

  • 83,869 miles
Seat warmer caught on fire! while parked in the driveway with the engine running, I turned on both manufacturer-installed front seat warmers (outside temp. 36 degrees farenheit) for my son and I. I felt a pinching on upper left thigh / buttock. Thought it was a bug. Shifted in the seat, and felt it again, more painful this time. Lifted myself from the seat a bit to look at the seat and see what was poking or pinching me, saw smoke coming out of a new hole on the left side of the seat. Looked through the hole, and saw flames and smelled burning. Immediately, turned off the seat warmer, got out of the vehicle, reached over and turned off the vehicle. The seat smoldered for another couple of minutes. Called my spouse to check if it was still smoldering, but it had stopped. Took the vehicle to the dealer to get it checked out.

- New Market, MD, USA

problem #5

Nov 192011

X3 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Heated drivers seat burned through leather and scorched drivers pants.

- Colora, MD, USA

problem #4

Jan 052011

X3 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
2005 bmx X3 seat warmer on the driver's side burnt through the seat and burnt my leg. The dealer refuses to recognize this is a product defect and will replace the seat.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 102011


  • 67,000 miles
BMW driver heated seat causes severe burnes

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

problem #2

Dec 052010


  • 37,000 miles
Heated seat caught fire, burning through thick leather upholstery. 2005 BMW X3, 36,000 miles. Not repaired, out of warranty, BMW only willing to pay for half of replacement, consumer cost 700 dollars.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #1

Dec 312009


  • 103,204 miles
My drivers seat burned a hole through the leather and singed my pants. Almost caught on fire and I almost lost control of my vehicle. The car filled with smoke and I now have a pea sized hole in my seat. The heating element apparently has shorted out inside the seat. I read there have been other occurrences of this on these vehicles on some of the websites but there is no recall out, but there should be. This is extremely dangerous. Occurred on 12/31/2009 on my bmx X3 2005. I called the dealer and they said the seat would need to be replaced at my cost of $1500.

- Clayton, IN, USA

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