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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,295 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2012 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #20

Aug 102016


  • 88,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 BMW X5. While driving 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the engine seized and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 88,000.

- Moultrie, GA, USA

problem #19

Sep 102016


  • 50,000 miles
One week ago, cooling fan made high speed noise. It kept went on and off. One week later, "engine hot" sign turned on while I'm driving on highway. I turned off the engine and turned on 20 minutes later. After I turned on, engine oil level shows up empty, 0. we changed engine oil when 45,000 miles and current is 50,000 miles.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #18

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 #17

Jan 302015


  • 16,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 BMW X5. While driving 50 mph, the engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel and the vehicle stalled. The contact stated that the vehicle was unsafe to drive because it stalled abruptly while in traffic. According to the contact, the vehicle was diagnosed thirteen times for engine failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and insisted that the contact bring the vehicle in for diagnostic testing. The failure mileage was 16,000.

- Moorestown, NJ, USA

problem #16

Aug 162016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2012 BMW X5. The contact stated that the check engine, brake light, and tire pressure warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the oil pan gasket and power steering pump had leaked and needed to be replaced. The contact had the software updated; however, the power steering pump and oil pan gasket were not replaced. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was not provided.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #15

Jul 212016


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 BMW X5 sav. While driving approximately 35 mph, smoke appeared from the tail pipe and the engine coolant warning indicator illuminated. The contact drove the vehicle to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine mount and coolant expansion tank needed replacement along with the turbo charger water pump. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The engine was rebuilt by the dealer prior to the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 53,000.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #14

Dec 192015


  • 50,000 miles


At 50,000 miles water pump malfunction. Cost to repair a product with less lifespan than a set of tires, $1400. No recall listed, delear said that this is a normal occurrence with this model.

- Fort Mitchell, AL, USA

problem #13

Nov 082015


  • miles
Engine malfunction, reduced power, error mesage this morning. Just had to have egr replaced 5 days ago (@52,000 miles) at the tune of $ my car will only go 35 mph. Car started making a "whistling sound" on 11/07 during acceleration....then today, it started "rattling" them engine malfunction message came on and power went away!

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #12

Jun 012015


  • 38,000 miles
Engine bulkhead covers are broken due to extreme heat. Per tsb sib-51-34-11 by BMW, this can cause corrosion inside the engine. BMW should cover this repair free of charge.

- Issaquah, WA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Mar 242015

X5 8-cyl

  • 48,800 miles


I was driving 50 mph hour and engine halted. The engine light came on and quickly lost power. The vehicle would then only go 40 mph and had very little power.

- Plainfield, IL, USA

problem #9

Aug 232012

X5 8-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
During normal operation of vehicle at 70 mph vehicle abruptly slows down below 45 mph, in the dash " engine malfunction, engine operating at reduced output. Possible to continue. Drive with caution. Have the system checked by the nearest BMW center" warning comes on the display. Unsafe to drive car on highway because at anytime car can slow down on its own.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #8

May 052012


  • 1,075 miles
I wish this complaint to be made public. This vehicle has had valvetronic motor components replaced three times, 5/2012, 10/2013 and 1/2015. In the first 34 months of ownership, it spent about 60+ days in service under warranty. The vehicle now has less than 29500 miles on it. I requested that BMW take this car back as an early lease return, and allow me to skip the last two months of lease payments. BMW denied my request. The most recent incident happened on 12/23/2014. While driving 65mph in the dark, pouring down rain of rush hour morning commute, the check engine light came on, and said "may be operating under reduced power." The car quickly lost power, and could only do 25 mph as I tried to safely navigate myself off of the highway as I rapidly decelerated. On the service ticket I was given at the dealership on 1/20/2015 when the repair was completed, it says: "faulty vvt motor and eccentric shaft mechanical tolerances. Followed and completed sib 12 14 10. Replaced eccentric shaft with eccentric shaft motor. Cleared faults and completed. During repair crank case vent pipe came apart due to brittle material. Also when refitting upper right micro filter/engine cowl trimming came apart due to brittle material." Unfortunately, this car is a lease, and I am concerned that BMW will sell this car to someone else. It is a safety hazard. I have refused to drive this vehicle off the dealer's lot, and have left it parked there so I may start the lease return asap. I have a moral obligation to keep others safe, and will post updated service record information to the carfax report for this VIN. BMW should be forced to answer to this problem.

- Grapevine, TX, USA

problem #7

Dec 312014

X5 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
There is a recall campaign 11V-521: Replace athe auxiliary coolant pump for turbocharger for the BMW E70 yet when the dealer check my VIN # this recall is not listed. My vehicle need a new coolant pump and I have to pay for it?

- Worcester , MA, USA

problem #6

Jul 232014

X5 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
After replacement of brakes on my 2012 BMW X5, upon return, I started to feel a vibration while turning in the parking lot. After two visits to the dealership, I was informed that the transfer case box (associated with the transmission) has failed. This occurs 5000miles after the warranty on the transmission and engine expire. I have done a google search on this part on X5 models, and others have reported similar experiences. This includes reports of faulty parts installed at the manufacture. BMW has agreed to cover 60% of the repair bill. This sends a red flag that perhaps the manufacture is aware of the problem and should be repairing at the problem at no cost to the client.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #5

Aug 022014

X5 6-cyl

  • 6,600 miles
While driving at around 35 mph, engine started to stutter, shake violently, then completely shut off, leaving no power assist to steering or brakes. Vehicle remained dead in the middle of a heavily traveled two lane road. After attempting to restart several dozen times, vehicle finally stayed on enough to pull to side of road, then shut down again. Again after numerous attempts to restart, vehicle was able to turm the corner onto a residential street where it proceeded to shut down once again. Engine failure message appeared on vehicle information display as well as engine warning lights on dashboard. While waiting for tow truck, the vehicle sat for 15 minutes before I attempted to restart. After about a dozen attempts, vehicle restarted, but this time with no error messages or dashboard warning lights. After several additional stalls, vehicle restarted but this time with the vehicle information display indicating "engine malfunction" and additional wording stating "reduced power available" (limp home mode) and "safe to drive". based on the message and the fact the car restarted, I attempted to drive home. On the highway (long island expressway) while approaching highway speeds (45 mph) the engine again shook violently, stumbled, and shut off leaving no power steering or power brakes. Unfortunately, a tractor trailor was bearing down on my position from the rear and nearly struck my vehicle, due to the sudden power loss and catastrophic engine failure. Beyond the failure of the high pressure fuel pump (per BMW dealership), the vehicle information system is flawed as it did not remember the first catastrophic engine failure and instead reset itself. It advised although there was an engine malfunction, it was safe to drive with reduced power available. A catastrophic engine event like that should result in a warning and advisement not to drive the vehicle.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #4

Mar 202013

X5 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
Shortly after starting the car it went into safe mode when I was on a busy road with a 55 mph speed limit which was under construction and reduced to one lane with no shoulder or place to safely pull over. Thus, I was in a dangerous situation and also obstructing traffic and putting other drivers at risk as well.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #3

Mar 022013


  • miles
Same thing as last time. Started up the car, got it out of the driveway and the engine failed. Tried to start it again, the engine kept turning over and finally started up enough to go into the tow truck. At the BMW dealership again.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #2

Oct 152012


  • 9,598 miles
While driving at about 45 mph the engine sputtered with a message displaying "engine malfunction" and the vehicle lost power and stalled all happening within about 5 seconds. The vehicle was then towed to the BMW dealership. We were advised by their master technician that the fuel pressure rail sensor was defective and needed to be replaced (diag code: D1350_00000000_04_02 and fault 48A9 & 3F31). We asked him if this could somehow be prevented and he replied "no" and went on to say that he has never heard of this happening before. His comment was troubling to us, since we just got done driving about six hours on the freeway when this incident happened near our home. What if this happened on the freeway? I probably would not be here filing this complaint! please investigate so that this can be prevented from others experiencing this trauma.

- Pleasant Hill, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 142012

X5 6-cyl

  • 2,931 miles
Engine stalled. I was at a stop sign. The engine was running, when green signal came on, started to move the car, but instead of gaining speed with acceleration, the engine stalled with warning sign stating "engine malfunction, functioning with reduced power". the vehicle was not accelerating, instead was stalling and moving very slowly at less than 10 miles per hour speed and did not gain any momentum even after full throttle applied. Being a low traffic road, I was able to pull over to the right most lane; but it was a terrifying experience as the vehicle was stalling at the intersection and was moving inch by inch. I took it to the dealer, who checked everything and said everything was alright. I also questioned him, whether the event was recorded in the vehicle computer info; but he said nothing was recorded. I checked online forums and found so many people have had this problem multiple times and even after multiple services, most of the people continued to have this same problem. This is a major issue, as couple of customers have even said, their vehicles stalled on the freeway. I request your organization to look into this. Thank you.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

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