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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,129 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.

2012 BMW X5 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2012 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 212016


  • 56,000 miles


Vehicle mileage 56,341mi. Vehicle engine would crank but not start after coming out of business while running errands. Dash warning message "engine malfunction" was present. Codes read via generic obd2 device were P10E4, P10F5, P10E5, B2aaa. These codes are related to the valvetronic system in the engine. Checked related fuses and no problem. Had to get vehicle towed to dealer. Dealer diagnosed that the valvetronic system error. Vehicle was first reprogrammed and issue remained. Valvetronic system was replaced due to dtcs that led them to believe eccentric shaft was stuck. Talking with the technician the eccentric shaft was not stuck and he assumed the actuator\ motor had failed. Per BMW instructions the entire system was replaced though. Technician stated that he has done many replacements of valvetronic systems and the parts were already in stock which raised a flag to me. The engine was reassembled and the engine would still not start. There were faults left in the engine control unit. Apparently the engine control unit was damaged by actuator\ motor that was drawing high current.(confirmed by BMW service engineer) engine control unit was replaced and reprogrammed and engine is now reported to be in operational condition. BMW and dealer has discounted the service and provided a loaner vehicle but based on information from the technician this entire repair could possibly be a recallable item as it can leave the end user stranded and with a healthy repair bill with a vehicle that is not too far out of warranty. Repair bill has been uploaded.

- Granger, IN, USA

problem #6

Jan 262016


  • 70,000 miles
My vehicle has an electronic door lock/unlock mechanism that due to a malfunction will not allow the car to be unlocked from inside the vehicle. It locks automatically when driving and is supposed to unlock when the inside handle is used to open the door; however, it will not unlock and though BMW is aware of this malfunction (it is a commonly known defect), they will not authorize the dealer to repair. I feel this is a significant safety issue in that in the event of an emergency the driver will not be able to exit the vehicle. The door locks when the car is moving but will not unlock after the vehicle is placed in park.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #5

Mar 292012


  • 900 miles
The contact owns a 2012 BMW X5. While driving at approximately 55 mph, the engine malfunction light illuminated and the warning message engine malfunction reduced engine power displayed on the instrument panel and the engine powered down. The vehicle was merged off the freeway and driven to the contact's residence. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who was unable to duplicate or diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 900.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 182015


  • 61,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 BMW X5. While driving at 15 mph, the instrument panel lights illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The contact also mentioned that the power steering belt failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 61,000.

- Hidden Valley Lake , CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 132014


  • 14,000 miles
Car was parked in driveway, not running or turned on. Horn and wipers started going off. Went outside to vehicle, tried to disable. Smoke started coming out from behind the dashboard (passenger side). Could smell electrical short. Smoke followed by flames, entire dash area caught on fire, by the time fire department arrived and put it out.

- Lexington, VA, USA

problem #2

Aug 132014

X5 6-cyl

  • 14,000 miles
I am a certified fire investigator with Virginia farm bureau, I received this loss 08/14/14. Insured stated that on 08/13/14 he was in his house and heard the car alarm to this BMW (diesel) sav X5 going off. He looked outside and saw the lights flashing and the windshield wipers going. No one was in the vehicle. He went outside and saw smoke and fire in the dash area, passenger side. He called 911 and the fire was quickly extinguished, but caused major fire damage to the dash area. BMW representative and an engineer hired by our company (forcon international) conducted a joint inspection. The fire damage was again localized to the passenger side dash area. It was determined the fire was the cause of some type of electrical issue. BMW denied it was their fault stating there was too much damage for them to accept liability. The vehicle has been shrink wrapped for future inspection and is currently being stored in a locked facility in richmond, va. The vehicle is still under warranty, there was nothing added on to the vehicle by the owner, it was all factory installed. Pictures are available and the owner would be more than willing to speak to someone with NHTSA if necessary.

- Lynchburg, VA, USA

problem #1

Feb 132013

X5 6-cyl Diesel

  • 9,000 miles
Door locked itself with key inside, and can not open.

- Houston, TX, USA

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