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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 4
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,288 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.

2006 BMW X5 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #15

May 132016


  • 103,910 miles


Fire hazard, potential engine shutting of unexpectedly: Battery cable at charge point under hood melted and charred. Discovery preceded by noticeable burning smell idling in traffic. Plastic terminal mounting base melted and charred, terminal disconnected from base, plastic insulation around cable terminal crimp charred and missing. Parts affected: 12 42 7 531 720 main power cable charge point to alternator; 12 52 1 439 674 base B+; 61 13 8 371 016 cover base B+. examination of the crimped terminal connecting the cable to the charge point bolt shows the cable not fully inserted in the terminal before crimping and the terminal not completely soldered to the cable resulting in a high electrical resistance at the terminal and excessive heating when the electrical system under load when the engine is running. Possible consequences of overheating of the cable include the possibility of fire in the engine compartment, failure of the electrical system and unexpected shut down of the engine and all power assisted systems while driving.

- West Boylston, MA, USA

problem #14

Feb 202016


  • 120,000 miles
My drivers side seat ( cushion) caught on fire when I turned on the heated seats. I first smelled a burning / plastic smell. Then I felt my glutes and hamstring getting warm. I looked down ( I was driving) and saw an orange ember on the seat. I pulled over as soon as I could, hot out of the car, and saw that the seat was actually burning. Luckily I had a bottle of water in the car and put out the flame and turned off the seat. I called the dealer- got a quote to repair. BMW will not take responsibility for this. I have a small burn on my leg, and a good size hole in the seat. I like my heated seats living in the northeast during winter months. Very disappointed that BMW refuses to address this dangerous issue.

- Guilford, CT, USA

problem #13

Dec 132013


  • 92,000 miles
The passenger side air bag off warning light came on and stays on. The dealer reset the computer. Light went off. The failure recurred again in a few months. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the sensor needed to be replaced. I was informed that my VIN did not meet the recall for replacing the failed mat sensor although other 2006 BMW X5S were recalled for that same failure. The warning light is presently on. I have read of many examples of the same problem. The aging mat become brittle and cracks breaking the circuit. BMW needs to send me a letter and replace my passenger seat mat sensor for free before I have an accident and the passenger is injured.

- Clemmons, NC, USA

problem #12

Feb 182014

X5 6-cyl

  • 87,131 miles


Drivers side heated seat burned through leather seats on right side of seat at rib cage. Slightly burned driver. Had a electrical burning smell. Left about a 6 inch burn line in the seat. Very unattractive!

- Vineland, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jan 292014

X5 6-cyl

  • 123,469 miles
Started X5 up and turned on driver 's seat warmer. Let car warm up for 5 minutes and commenced to drive away. One minute down the road I smell smoke like an electrical fire. I feel my left hip getting hot at the same time. I stop car and look down and see a dull red glow from the seat. Immediately turn off heater and get out of car. The driver seat warmer had shorted and burned a hole through the leather seat along the left side of the seat. How hot was it! my pants had been burnt and had a small red mark on my skin. Think goodness I was not severely burned due to the area of my pants that was burnt was also the left back pocket area so the interior pocket fabric help protect me. Wow! will BMW fix this"???"

- Woodbine, GA, USA

problem #10

Dec 242013

X5 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Driver's side heated seat turned on and thereafter became dangerously hot and burned through the driver's coat.

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #9

Dec 012013

X5 8-cyl

  • 99,000 miles


Passenger occupancy sensor fails, causing air bag to become inoperative and airbag light to appear on dash. In case of accident, the airbag will not deploy. Dealer wants nearly 2000 dollars to fix, though they say it had "already been repaired in 2008" when the vehicle was two years old; dealer confirmed that they hear this complaint all of the time. Recall campaign 08V384000 addresses this issue for some BMW models/seats, but does not adequately address all models and years that have the problem. For the X5 model, for example, the "comfort seat" is covered, but the standard seat, which has the very same problem (not related to the comfort system) is not. Please widen the coverage of the campaign to include all models and years affected by this widespread problem.

- Kaysville, UT, USA

problem #8

Oct 152012

X5 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
After experiencing the same issue for which BMW issued this recall NHTSA action number: EA08001 I learned that because my 2006 X5 was manufactured after November 30, 2005, BMW is not covering under warranty the very same defect that vehicles manufactured prior to November 30, 2005 are under warranty for (extended to 10 years with no mileage restrictions). The explanation is "that is the recall policy. We manage this via VIN numbers".

- Danville, CA, USA

problem #7

Jan 272013

X5 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Driver's side heated seat shorted while driving. It caused a small fire and burned a hole through the leather seat when heated seat was turned on.

- Whiteland, IN, USA

problem #6

Dec 122012

X5 6-cyl

  • 122,500 miles
My vehicles rear doors will not open from the inside or outside. The lock goes up and down, but the doors will not open. The rear passenger door stopped working on the 12th of December 2012 and the rear driver side door stopped working today 18 December 2012. The driver side door stopped working this morning when I dropped my daughter off for school. She was unable to get out of the back seat after multiple unlocking attempts of the rear driver side door. I had to have her climb into the front seat in order to get out of the car. That is terrifying to think that she would not have been able to get out in an emergency, fire, or accident. After doing some research online I found that this seems to be an ongoing issue with this model and other BMW models. I am assuming and concerned that my front driver side and passenger side door will do the same. Myself and family need to be able to get out of the vehicle along with all the other consumers that own these vehicles. Its just not safe. I have had other vehicles that were older with more mileage and never had an issue with doors not opening. This is a safety issue and hazard. I have contacted BMW and I am waiting on a reply on how they plan to rectify this issue.

- Southfield , MI, USA

problem #5

Dec 152009

X5 6-cyl

  • 30,010 miles


Just purchased the certified pre owned BMW X5. 2006 model and had it 1 day and the passenger side airbag light came on and would not go off. Returned car to BMW of dallas to have repaired. Approximately 40000 miles later at 68000 miles same light is on and will not go out.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #4

Apr 202011

X5 6-cyl

  • miles
Tail lights assembly (sockets) on both sides burns and melts easily causing bulbs to die.

- Trumbull, CT, USA

problem #3

May 012011


  • 88,000 miles
The tail light assembly on my BMW is defective, which causes the brake light to not work, which is dangerous when driving. A quick search on the internet turns up that this is a very common problem in X5's, and I think BMW should be responsible for replacing these assemblies, not the customer. This is extremely dangerous, and we should not have to foot the bill for a material defect in their products.

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #2

Feb 162011

X5 6-cyl

  • 65,300 miles
Heated seats were getting hotter the past couple of uses...until today when I warmed up the car (approximately 3 minutes). I was putting my daughter in her safety seat in the rear passenger side. When I opened the door, the cabin of the vehicle was filled with thick white smoke. I removed my daughter and proceed to ascertain where the smoke was coming from. There was a swirling funnel of smoke coming from the front driver side. I opened the driver side door and observed the driver seat leather burning (fizzling amber fire). I looked over to the seat warmer light and it was on. I turned it off and had to put out the fire by batting my hands against the fire while holding my daughter in the other. The fire left my hands charred and the entire interior of the car smelling like smoke.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #1

Jan 112011


  • 64,000 miles
Danger! fire hazard on 2006 BMW X5. Heated seats get extremely hot on driver side left side under the drivers buttocks and thigh. Smell of burnt plastic and fumes in cabin.

- Mclean, VA, USA

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