really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,267 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.

2008 BMW 328 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 BMW 328 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

May 022014

328 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles


I was driving my 328I in the morning on the way to work, in a residential neighborhood, traveling about 10 mph (in a school zone), when the windshield wipers suddenly came on without me turning them on. At the same time, my entire dash board control system panel and the area between the speedometer and tachometer lit up with several system error messages: 1) check control messages: Control systems! drive moderately. Restraint system malfunction! transmission malfunction! cruise control malfunction! 2) pass. Restraint system: Fault in passenger-restraint system affecting airbag, belt tensioner or belt-force limiter. Continue to wear the safety belt. Transmisson malfunction! 3) transmission malfunction: Functionality or display of gear position may malfunction. It may be possible to engage a gear without depressing brake pedal. Restraint system malfunction! 4) cruise control: Cruise control malfunction. Have the system checked by your BMW center. Control systems! drive moderately. 5) control systems. Braking and dynamic-response system malfunction. Drive moderately. Avoid hard braking. Control systems! drive moderately 6) area betw speedometer/tach is lit up [e.g. brake, ABS, transmission and cruise warning symbols]. 7) the windshield wipers will not turn off as long as the car key is in the ignition. When you turn the car off, the wipers do not stop until the key is removed! the car had to be towed to the local dealership where I purchased it brand new. They say they are not aware of this problem. I also emailed BMW usa North America. My request is that you investigate these issues with BMW usa North America. Surely, they have more intelligence about the nature and scope of these types of problem and need to be transparent in advising consumers accordingly before the underlying cause of the defect leads to accidents and injuries.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #23

May 032014

328 6-cyl

  • 58,600 miles
The potential safety hazard reported in this complaint takes place when the passengers cannot exit the car by opening the doors, getting trapped inside the car. It will worsen to a critical level when this failure happens with passengers with limited mobility inside the car or in case there is a baby sitting in a child seat installed in the rear seat. When the described failure mode happens, all passengers will need to exit the vehicle through the sun roof (if available) or through the windows. In case of fire this could be a lethal safety hazard for all passengers. And in case of voluminous persons sitting in seats others than the driver's seat, it will be very difficult for them to exit the vehicle. How the failure happened: After driving for aprox. 10 minutes and having parked, the doors of the car did not unlock. They did not unlock either using the fob, neither the door handle of the driver's door nor the unlock button in the central dashboard. The only way to get out of the vehicle was through the sun roof or climbing out the window. After several attempts the driver's door finally unlock and could be opened. Once outside the car, I could lock and unlock the driver's door (but not any other door) manually with the metal key inside the fob. The other passenger had to exit the car through the driver's door. I have been to a BMW dealership and I made an appointment to repair it. The root cause of the issue seems to be a blown fuse due to over current in one of the actuators of one of the doors. The effect is that the passengers cannot come out of the car as there is not any manual mechanism to unlock. There is other complaints in NHTSA about the same issue (for example NHTSA id number: 10459121). I recommend that NHTSA conducts a safety investigation about this potential safety risk on this or any other affected model.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #22

Jul 232013

328 6-cyl

  • 63,247 miles
Ac unit went from blowing cold to hot air with no warning.. a burning smell was also noticed at the same time. My car had just come out BMW service for an oil change. Burnt connectors, wires and ac blower replaced (at owners expense ) shortly after I (owner ) received a recall letter regarding cable wire to battery were not properly insulted and BMW would replace them at no cost to owner.. was advised by BMW service this had nothing to do with the burned up connecting wires to the ac blower.. only had my car 1/12yr under warranty when I purchased it of course not when this problem happen which was costly.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #21

Nov 062013


  • 56,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 BMW 328I. The contact was driving 40 mph when the power steering suddenly malfunctioned and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was diagnosed and the contact was informed that the battery wires were damaged. The contact was informed by the mechanic that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number 13V044000 (electrical system) however, the contact had never received notification of the recall. Additionally, the driver's side halo light would not illuminate. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 56,000.

- Alanta, GA, USA

problem #20

Aug 292011

328 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The auc sensor under the hood is not well secured. The bracket securing the sensor is broken leaving the sensor loose under the hood. The loose sensor wire rubs against sharp edge of the car body, breaking the outer protective shield of the wire. The exposed wire is a fire hazard.

- Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #19

Sep 032013

328 6-cyl

  • 90,142 miles
Drivers door locked as normal when car reached a certain speed but made a weird noise. Now it will not unlock with keyless or unlock button on dash of car. Will only unlock manually. Door lock actuator"?" I have heard this is a common problem with these cars... I hope they are covered with a recall soon!

- Commerce, GA, USA

problem #18

Dec 272012

328 6-cyl

  • 48,000 miles


My name is ? and I'm having a serious problem getting my car fixed by the BMW dealership specifically the one located at Edison, NJ. I've also experienced the brakes not working (2) when the car has been driven in bad weather, I.e. snow and rain. Back in April (4/11/2013) BMW corporation a letter stating that if the above problem and other problems mentioned in there letter was evident, I needed to stop driving immediately and have the car serviced, which I did. Well the problem subsided for about a month then started up again (the problem is my car's dash board while driving will go completely or as you'll see in the attachment partially blank on me while I'm driving. When it goes completely blank the car shutters as if it wants to turn off). I wasn't able to make it back to the dealership until around 6/10/2013 to complain that the issue was still happening. On or around the 6/10/2013 date this same tech ran a diagnostic on my car (which I have the copy of). To make a very long story short I returned to the Edison location today 7/17/2013 and text the same attachment to [xxx] members of the BMW management/service team, to my amazement I was told they couldn't find a problem, even though management agreed that via the picture their was a problem. At this point what will it take to find the problem listed in the above attachment? death!!!!!!!...... there is a brake and electrical problem with my car. Just in case anyone wants to make the assumption that in some way I'm trying to get over, please review my payment history, I pay for my car in advance. This is ridiculous!!!! I'm fearful to drive in bad weather, and I'm fearful that in the mist of getting driving direction from my car's gps it's going to black out on me, leaving me in the middle of now-where. Thank god the times it has blanked out, I've been able to figure out where to go. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Perth Amboy, NJ, USA

problem #17

Jul 302012


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 328xi. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, smoke emerged from the instrument panel area. The contact exited the vehicle and the vehicle ignited in flames. The contact stated that there was a police and a fire report filed of the incident. The contact was not injured. The fire department determined that the fire originated from an electrical failure. The manufacturer was notified of the incident. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #16

Apr 262013

328 6-cyl

  • 61,300 miles
While driving, attempting to pass a vehicle, I press the accelerator and the pedal had no response and the rpms dropped. After trying to accelerate, the engine dies and I drift to the side of the road attempting to Dodge traffic as the car's gas pedal is not responding. Upon pulling over safely, nearly hitting cars along the way I come to stop on the side of the road. The car then no longer starts. Cranking can be heard but engine does not turn over or start. Had it repaired, the reason is a fuel pump failure, fuel pump module failure, and blown fuse on fuel pump. Car is out of warranty and cost to repair is $1,800 and a risk to my safety.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #15

Feb 092013

328 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
As I was driving home from work one evening, my 2008 BMW 328I coupe began acting strange. The interior overhead lights as well as most all of the dashboard lights (radio, hazard button, on-board computer etc.) began to flicker accompanied by a ticking noise in sequence with the flickering. The vehicle was acting as though it was about to shut down; that's when I decided to pull over. As I pulled off of the road, the steering became more difficult and the flickering became more frequent. While coming to a stop (traveling at about 10mph), the vehicle completely shut off. I lost complete control of vital mechanisms such as steering, power, lighting (both interior and exterior). The brake pedal felt unusually firm/stiff (not spongy or soft as it should feel). At this point, the vehicle had completely shut down with the gear selector still in "drive". I attempted to re-start the vehicle but it failed to start. I had my vehicle towed back to my apartment and the following day, I took it to a reputable, independent BMW mechanic. His diagnosis was that something related to the vehicle's battery, power supply system/electrical system circuitry was faulty--which in turn, killed the starter. He replaced the battery with a new oem battery as well as replaced the starter with an new oem starter and the related wiring/circuitry. A few weeks later, I received a recall notice in the mail-- March 2013 recall no. 13V-044 : power supply system. Because the symptoms noted in the recall letter match those I experienced identically, I am seeking reimbursement for the cost of repair that correlates to this issue. However, BMW states it will only reimburse the cost of repair pertaining to the single part at fault/recalled. The cause of this recall is known, but they are failing to reimburse customers for the damaging effects that the faulty/recalled part may have had on other components.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #14

Feb 262013


  • 60,000 miles


My car suddenly stopped, engine turned off, started the car again and it work. Came back after dropping the kids and after the car in park, removed the key and fan was on. Tried starting the car and white smoke started coming out of engine compartment. Now the battery drain, car wont start, the dashboard flickers. Called BMW and told them and said the symptoms point to recall issue, no response.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #13

Sep 152012


  • 3,400 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 328I. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician advised that the battery cable failed and would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 3,400.

- Riviera Beach, FL, USA

problem #12

Jul 302012


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 328xi. The contact stated that while driving 10 mph, smoke started to emit into vehicle. The contact mentioned that an electrical fire started in the engine compartment. The vehicle was destroyed. The fire department was contacted and no injuries were reported. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. The failure and current mileage was 40,000.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #11

Jul 202012

328 6-cyl

  • 59,500 miles
Driver exited car to pump gas. Passengers remained in vehicle. Gas door could not be opened as main door lock was engaged (though drivers door was unlocked). Key fob unlock function would not work to unlock car / gas cap. Driver pushed key fob buttons to attempt unlock, drivers door became locked during this activity. Now no doors could be unlocked. Due to failure all doors experienced "2 pull" door unlock system failure, this "2 pull" system, that is supposed to ensure doors can be opened from inside if lock is engaged apparently require same power as general locking system. Driver could only enter car by using emergency key and unlocking driver's door. Passenger and rear doors remained lock (and are still locked / inoperable due to system failure). Power failure in door lock system (or other associated fault) made door operation impossible. All doors were completely inoperable from the inside. Passengers could not exit vehicle as doors were locked and handles did not work. Driver could not enter vehicle by key fob unlock function. Drivers door experienced intermittent operation until some kind of manual override, or some other system change, made drivers door functional by "2 pull" door unlock / open method. If driver had not been present (ie: In store paying for gas or for some other reason) passengers would have been trapped in car. If any passenger had been physically disabled and unable to crawl out of car via drivers door there would have been no way for passenger to exit car !!!!!. door lock system remains inoperable, passenger and rear doors still locked closed with no way to open them.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #10

May 202012

328 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
I was trapped in the car. The cars locks would not unlock using the unlock button or using the key fob, nor would pulling the handle unlock or open the door. I called BMW assist and they indicated that they had heard of several similar issues and that the only option may be climbing out the window. Vehicle was purchased as a cpo from a BMW dealership approximately 2 months prior.

- Vernon Hills, IL, USA

problem #9

Oct 212011


  • 67,800 miles
Doors will not unlock. Manual key will work in the drive side door outside only. Other 3 doors will not open at all. The only way to get out of the car is to climb thru the window or climb out of the driver door. Driver has to climb out of window and use manual key to open door. Many post online of this problem. I will have it fixed, however, the costs are very high; this is a safety hazard! if car is wrecked or on fire, rescue would not likely be able to help driver or passenger timely. Recall is needed!

- Winterville, NC, USA

problem #8

Apr 052010


  • 72,000 miles
Through out the past month I have had my car towed three times with five occurrences of the car not cranking and the electrical system shutting down leaving me stranded. Over the past year the airbag light has come on at least once a month for less than 5-10 minutes at the time. The first instance it was towed BMW of mobile replaced the battery after several days of trouble shooting even though I had our local police department check the battery to be sure that was not the issue. They charged me over five hundred dollars for this battery. Two days after the battery was replaced I had it towed again to BMW of mobile because the car would not crank again and the lights etc. Would come on. They kept the car for over 5 days running test then stated that "nothing was wrong." I told them that I would not have had it towed if nothing was wrong. Two days later it would not crank again when my 3 year old daughter and I were at a late local highschool football game. This time they said that it was an electrical wire on the passenger side causing the problem causing something to melt near the fuse panel($1,200) to replace).

- Peterman, AL, USA

problem #7

Jul 092011


  • 29,000 miles
On July 9, 2011, I was driving at a speed of 30 mph in the process of exiting the parkway, with my family in the car, when the vehicle suddenly stopped operating! there were no warning lights, and nothing worked in the car. I was unable to put on my hazard lights or more the steering wheel. As the car was slowing down I kept trying to re-start the car but nothing worked. After coming to a complete stop, by using my emergency brake, I was able to push the key in and out and hit the start/stop and the car finally started. I brought my car to rallye BMW to have it serviced and also contacted BMW corporate because I did not and do not feel safe in my car anymore. I was requesting either a new vehicle or full value back on the car. BMW serviced the vehicle and stated "BMW reviewed remotely unable to replicate stalling. No problem found", and decided that my car is safe to drive. I completely disagree and feel this possible life threatening issue should be taken seriously.

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #6

Jul 062011

328 6-cyl

  • 29,142 miles
Drove my 2008 BMW 328xi sedan to work site about 54 miles away from my home town with no issues. After a long day of work, got into car and started engine. Noticed smoking coming out of engine compartment. Open hood and noticed small fire coming from underneath the intake manifold near some wiring. Small but still on fire. Put out fire by blowing on. Car started up fine with no error codes. Tried starting again, same result. A electrical short with smoke and flame. I put it out again with water. Had the car towed to my local BMW dealer to have a repair. BMW dealer checked it out and said that the car had a electrical wiring harness fire and no other issues. They said it would cost $2700 dollars to repair and was not covered under BMW's warranty. This car has 29000 miles on it. How in the world is this not covered by their warranty. This was a vehicle fire! it is not normal for a car to catch on fire by itself is it not?

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #5

Feb 162011


  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 328I. The contact stated that while sitting in the vehicle with the radio on, the electrical system malfunctioned and completely shut down. The contact was locked inside the vehicle for 40 minutes and was unable to use the horn to indicate that he was trapped. The contact called the manufacturer to unlock the vehicle. The vehicle was then towed to a local dealer, who stated that the power in the battery in the key fob was low, which caused the failure. The manufacturer did not offer assistance. The failure mileage was 180,000.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

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