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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,430 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 X5 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #10

Mar 242016


  • 138,000 miles


Rear brake lights keep going out, in motion, got pulled over by police

- Hahira, GA, USA

problem #9

Feb 182016


  • 140,000 miles
While I was replacing my angel eyes I noticed that the wire insulation was gone. I could see brown and white wires all in the light housing. Now its just bare copper wire.

- Carrollton, GA, USA

problem #8

Aug 302012


  • miles
My breaks went out the lights goes on and off the wioers dont work the outside lights goes on and off at night I have a outrageous ciolant leak and mire I have drove the car in about 5 months or longer and still making payments now the car is completely dead I don't know what to do me and the kids gers soaked because I H a ve walk them to and from school everyday it sucks so im making payments for something I can use ive had coils replaced everything it vibrates really bad when I come to a stop light ibhave had no accident or anything just problems

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #7

Jul 252013


  • 131,940 miles


I bought the vehicle in May 2013. On July 25, I had just started the car and black smoke began pouring out of the vents. No smoke under the hood. I turned off the vcar and went for help. Sparks and flames started, the drivers curtain airbag deployed, and the alarm went off. We were able to stop the fire with an extinguisher andno one was hurt. I saw another complaint of this type. My car is a total loss. All the electronics are burned out. This should not happen spontaneously!

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #6

Aug 042012


  • 100,000 miles
Last Saturday while driving down the highway our (2005 X5) air conditioner began smoking, especially on the passenger side. We pulled over and within 10 minutes the entire cab was engulfed in flames (no flames under the hood). We were able to get out of the vehicle before the flames erupted. The vehicle is totaled, along with approximately $12,000 in personal contents.

- Acton, MA, USA

problem #5

Nov 262011


  • miles
Bought the my car about 3 months ago, I noticed water leaking from the top console, I took it back the dealer and they cant find the problem. Its been leaking off and on. A few weeks ago I noticed about an inch of water deposit in the trunk area, some fuse were wet and other electronics from the water dripping good thing it did not cause a fire. I took it to BMW and they said either I need a new sunroof cassette($5000) or new water drains(($1300) which they claimed was missing on one side, not sure if the car came out of production with one missing water drain. Who would spend that amount of money on some repairs that`S not even guarantee to fix the leak? I`M just concerned that this problem is fire hazard.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #4

Aug 172011

X5 6-cyl

  • 89,075 miles


Resistance in the electrical contacts on rear brake light is causing my brake light to intermittent stop working.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #3

Jan 062009

X5 8-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
BMW X-5 2005 heated seats turn instantly burning hot to the touch. Resulting charred black seat underneath leather exterior. This can cause a fire or and individual be burned. BMW charged $200 to verify there is a problem but unwilling to recall. The seat underneath the leather is burned black and lucky is did not start fire.

- Utah, UT, USA

problem #2

Dec 222010


  • 45,280 miles
For a period of about two weeks while driving and using the drivers seat heater my wife experienced excessive heat on the left side of the seat. On the date of the incident while driving she experienced a very painful burning sensation on her left leg and could smell something burning in the vehicle. She shutoff the seat heater and applied a scarf under her leg to stop the burning sensation. Upon notifying the dealer service department she was advised that this was caused by normal wear and tear and that he was currently dealing with another incident so he could give her a quote right away. While at work the next day she was talking with a customer and he said he experienced the same problem but didn't get it repaired because it cost to much to replace the seat. Upon taking the vehicle in for service the service employee advised that he had also seen this before and that it was from wear and tear. It should be noted that our insurance covered this except for $50 as the vehicle is a very low mileage vehicle. It has only been driven by my wife who is a small female about 130 lbs. The vehicle is in excellent condition with no wear and tear and is serviced regularly. The vehicle has never been in an accident. I have taken digital photos which I can provide that will show there is no wear or tear on the seat in the burned/melted area. We feel that this is a very dangerous situation that seems to be a reoccurring problem and is being brushed off as "wear and tear". this incident could have resulted in my wife being injured by burning or being distracted while driving and ending up in an accident.

- Franklin, WI, USA

problem #1

Nov 112008


  • miles
1: we bought this BMW 2005 X5 in June 2008 and brought it into the dealership in June 08 for routine full electrical and mechanical diagnostic check. Upon completion of repairs/diagnostics, which took almost a week, dealership told us that there were no electrical and mechanical issues. Within just a few days after receiving delivery of the vehicle after the "clean bill of health" from the dealer, the car completely died. This incident occurred in the morning right before work resulting in logistical, financial, and safety issues. The car had to be jump started and the battery was replaced. In addition, the fuel gauge does not work properly and was brought up multiple times with the dealer without resolution. Within a few days the same situation occurred, again resulting in logistical, financial, and safety issues and the battery was replaced. Over the next week, we noticed about 16 other electrical and mechanical issues and brought the car back to the same dealership. After receiving the car back from the dealership, we continued to have problems with the car. About 2 months later, the battery had to be replaced again as the car died again. Within another month, the car died yet again! again, it was the battery. Again, the battery had to be replaced. 2: the failure is, amongst multiple other issues, a chronic battery drain. 3: last repair, about 2 weeks ago, the tcu unit was replaced, along with the battery. So far, we are on our 5th battery in 4 months in a newer BMW X5! our fuel gauge still does not read full when full and is inaccurate. Dealer states that "this is the way all bmws are made".

- Deer Park, IL, USA

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