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 1 of 3)

problem #44

Oct 152016


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 BMW 328xi. While driving 15 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact stated that the failure was intermittent and occurred on several occasions. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #43

Jul 082016


  • 145,000 miles
6 weeks ago my car lost all power. I had the car towed to a mechanic that has worked on and repaired my car before. They replaced the fuse box and all fuses ($678) which didnt fix the car. Because they were at an impasse with the repairs I had the car towed to BMW Mercedes specialist ($110). My car has been at the second shop for a month....it still will not start. So, this weekend I got online and did some digging about the 2008 BMW 328I repair history. As it turns out there was a recall on the battery cable in March on 2013. I bought the car is Jan. 2013. Did not receive or was I made aware of the recall. So now I am out $1000 not to mention what I owe the second repairs shop. And BMW usa informs me that I now have to have the car towed at my expense to a BMW dealership...and have the cable repaired there to have the repair covered by BMW. First of all BMW is liable to have informed me of the recall...which they did not. So, its my understanding by law I have to be completely remedied monetarily by BMW for all and any costs related to the recall. BMW is trying to strong arm me into bringing my car to them. My car is already taken apart at the second mechanics shop....I have already been without my car for 6 weeks. Please review my situation and advise me of my rights. And the laws that apply to this recall

- Santa Rosa Beach, FL, USA

problem #42

Aug 022016


  • 160,000 miles
My car abruptly losses all power. It's lost power on the freeway (3 times), at stop lights (too many to count) and after the car sits; either at work, over night or even if I'm out running errands. In other words, the power failure cannot be duplicated, it happens randomly (my car is unable to start as I type this!!). needless to say my life as well as my families safety have been put to the test several times. On 2 separate occasions, I was nearly rear-ended on the freeway when my car lost power at highway speeds. I couldn't move over to the shoulder and ended up stalling in the slow lane. After spending a small fortune trying to fix this dilemma a friend sent me this letter that the NHTSA sent to BMW in 2013 regrading a power failure that many cars were experiencing at the time. Here's the letter: www-ODI.NHTSA.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/ucm433921/rcak-13V044-6848.pdf I've also drafted BMW this letter I sent them yesterday: (in part) to whom it may concern, I am writing to voice grave concern regarding my M3, which has: 1). lost power several times while traveling on the freeway at highway speeds and has almost caused a crash on 2 separate occasions (near rear end collision) 2). Lost power at stop lights and several times as I started to accelerate 3). Consistent failure to start the car (no power) or it tries to start and immediately turns off after a brief second in addition to the imminent danger to my family and others, this has cost me thousands of dollars the included link below shows a document which was sent by the NHTSA to BMW na in 2013. I was happy to realize that BMW acknowledged the problem for the E92 3 series (my car shares the exact same part number for the mentioned faulty part), but I was equally shocked to find out that my specific vehicle was not covered under the recall which is what my car is experiencing.

- Buda, TX, USA

problem #41

Jan 062016


  • 45,000 miles


The car's airbag failure warning light, and seat belt warning light started going off whenever someone sits in the passenger seat, indicating that there is no airbag/passenger seat belt function in the car. Dealer has diagnosed the problem as a failed passenger seat sensor mat and indicates that this is a common problem. Cars up until the 2007 model year have been recalled to fix the problem, but BMW has yet to extend the recall to the 2008 model year. BMW still has not issued a recall, and I would like NHTSA to perform an investigation as this looks like the same problem as NHTSA campaign 13V-564. The lights come on whether stationary or in motion, whether a passenger is in the seat or the seat is empty.

- Davie, FL, USA

problem #40

Jun 162016


  • 1,000,000 miles
I had a funny cable or plastic smell inside the car. Couldn't figure out what it was. While driving the smell went worst. I stopped to get a flashlight from my trunk to see if something in my engine was burning. When I opened the trunk I seen that the battery was burning the plastic over the connectors. I have called last year when I purcheased this car yo check on any recals. I was told there wasn't any recals. By BMW vista employees.

- Pompano, FL, USA

problem #39

Dec 212015


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 328I. While driving 50 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. The contact thought that it was illuminated because she placed groceries in the passenger seat. When the groceries were removed, the light remained illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 65,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #38

Jan 272016


  • 92,028 miles


All four doors will not unlock. I am able to lock them with the remote but unable to unlock them. Once inside, you become trapped in the car. I have to unroll the window and use my key on the outside of the door to get out. This could be extremely dangerous in an emergency situation.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #37

Nov 102015


  • 103,000 miles
While driving(in motion) my vehicle will completely stop running and stall out. I took the vehicle to a mechanic for a diagnostics, but he stated he didn't see any issues. This happens frequently.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #36

Nov 162015


  • 80,000 miles
My wife was driving home from work on the highway at night and her entire car just shut off without warning nearly causing her to be killed by a tractor trailer we had car towed to BMW dealership and they say valvetronic sensor/seal issue...but this was scary and nearly killed my wife so I felt compelled to report this issue

- Sandy Hook, CT, USA

problem #35

Aug 022015


  • 160,000 miles
Car was parked in the driveway, drove it earlier that day for about an hour, parked it 3pm and 2 hours later neighbor came knocking saying car was smoking. Ran outside and car was on fire. Interior was smoked out. Keyless entry was dead. Broke the window to get the car open, turned the garden hose on to try and stop the car from burning. Called 911 fire dept arrived and had to pry the truck open because it was still sizzling. Fire dept cut the battery cables and said it looked like an electrical fire under the dash. Glove box and passenger side front seat was completely charred. After 22 days, a BMW engineer and allstate ins called it a total loss. BMW engineers report still has not been published. Total loss on a parked vehicle; clearly this vehicle was unsafe and a design fault. Manufacturers are suppose to engineer cars to withstand fires.

- Ontario, CA, USA

problem #34

Jun 082015


  • 52,488 miles


After a scheduled service the electronic locks on the doors would not work. Returned the car the same day for a "fuse" that had blown. Within a few more days, the doors would not open, and remained locked. I had to use the valet/metal key to open the driver door and was totally unable to open any other doors. None would open from inside, outside or the remote fob. Took the car to the dealer for repairs. They said it would take a day to repair after a day of tearing the doors apart and diagnosing the problem. They were unable to get parts and took several days to repair the doors with new "lock actuators" that had all failed. Why" how can three doors fail all at the same time? it must be an electrical problem? dangerous!!! thank god I did not have to drive my grandchildren around that week. The only way to get into and out of three of the seats would be to use the windows or climb over the driver seat/ console. This is scary and dangerous, to not be able to open the car door. Why hasn't BMW had a recall on this issue" I'm out almost $2K for the repairs!

- Eureka, CA, USA

problem #33

Jul 082015


  • 30,000 miles
Electronic door locks failed to unlock thus trapping myself in the car. No mechanical override exists to manually unlock the doors. I had to roll the window down and climb out through the window. The 4 door sedan has small windows and I hurt myself (pulled muscles and joints) climbing out. If the windows failed (they did not), I would have had to break the windows and then climb out. Elderly or handicapped occupants would not be able to get out! any power failure will trap occupants since no mechanical override exists!

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #32

May 092015


  • 46,519 miles
While driving and exiting a parking lot, vehicle auto-locks engaged. Driver door auto-locked and unlocked repeatedly about 6 times; stopping in the locked position. Once arriving home, driver door would not open with the door handle or the interior unlock button. I turned the engine off and removed the key fob and had to utilize the key fob to lock and unlock the door. The drive door was at this point on the opposite position of all the other doors. When the driver door is lock, the passenger doors are unlocked and vice versa. The next day the driver door would open with the key, but not with the key fob. This is of great concern because the door will not open from the interior of the vehicle. Looking at the database and online forums, this is a known issue that has yet to be addressed.

- Fort Campbell, KY, USA

problem #31

May 022015

328 6-cyl

  • 92,936 miles
The car use take a look a long time to start now it's not starting at all it just makes noise.

- Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #30

Mar 222015


  • 55,700 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 328xi. The contact stated that while the doors were closed, the door actuators failed and the front passenger side door, along with both rear doors, failed to open from inside or outside of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the door actuators malfunctioned. The actuators were replaced and the failure was remedied. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 55,700.

- Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

problem #29

Mar 062015


  • 79,000 miles
Door locks failed. Can only open door with key.

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #28

Nov 132014

328 6-cyl

  • 48,314 miles
Electronic door locks have stopped working on two occasions now. The first when outside the vehicle that later required a new fuse. The second on March 5th happened after entering vehicle, but 3 of the doors remained lock, and my elderly father could not get into the vehicle. The dashboard locking button then subsequently locked the driver's door, and unlocking was subsequently not possible for any doors. In effect trapped inside the vehicle, and the doors could not be manually opened nor electronically. I was able to pass the mechanical key through the sunroof for assistance in opening the driver's door to exit the vehicle. My concern is if this were to happen in an emergency situation (e.g. a car crash), the occupants would not be able to exit the vehicle quickly or safely. Both BMW and NHTSA appear to be aware of the issue from other postings, but no recalls issued. The repair bills too are also high and fall on the consumer to pay.

- Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #27

Jun 252014

328 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Black mold formed on rear seats, dashboard intermittently worked (1/2 of dashboard active, 1 fuse powers the dash), 6" of water pooled in rear back passenger footwell (location of main electrical unit); water was dripping on my foot when resting on petal of my 42000 mile, $50,000, 2008 BMW 328xi coupe. I contacted BMW of na who advised me not to use the car because it was dangerous. After several attempts to work with BMW of na & BMW dealership (place of purchase) a vapor barrier leak was found but more was believed to be at cause. The dash needed to be removed, for $1800. I refused to pay; requested BMW of na to pay. Request denied. The dealer said BMW of na would only pay vapor barrier repair costs. I asked for no repairs; towed the car home. Finally reaching linda vitale, exec. Customer services of BMW na, NJ, she told me the dealer did do the repairs. This was against my expressed wishes. I wanted the car investigated elsewhere too. In a later conversation, [xxx] claimed the reason for the water was from a leak from a 3rd party windshield instillation. Note: Mold, water, and electrical problems existed previous to 3rd party windshield installment. [xxx], proven wrong, due to dates, stated, in a subsequent recorded conversation, per the dealer, the water entered the car because the doors were dismantled and incorrectly put back. Note:[xxx] has proof that the doors were never removed. [xxx] totaled the car due to black mold contamination, health risks; risk of injury to me and others due to mold, the electrical compromised, and possible power cut to engine while in motion. A paid loan but having no car, BMW of na wished only to compensate me with $1000 towards a new BMW. I found many forums, on the internet, regarding 2002-2015 BMW's w/the same problems & owners sustaining same loss of property with no ethical or sustainable compensation from BMW of na. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #26

Nov 102014


  • 44,900 miles
On the afternoon of November 10th, while driving, a red light with a passenger restraint system malfunction message lit up on the dashboard. I brought the car into the dealer the next day and they said they had to order the part. They were unable to turn the light off, which affected my ability to retrieve time and temperature on the dashboard reader. They had to order the part, which was replaced on November 26th. The part is called sop battery safety terminal (battery cable plus pole). I was told that the wires tested as "broken intermittently." I was told that when this battery cable works correctly it will shut off the gas pump so that there was no danger of fire. I was concerned about driving the car even when the driver side seemed to be all right, because if gas leaked the whole car would be on fire, not just the passenger side. Since there was a recall of the airbag system, I thought this might be also related. The dealer said he had seen this before on other cars but he could not say how many. I am grateful that this could be fixed before any accident occurred.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #25

Jul 202014

328 6-cyl

  • miles
Driver's side door would not unlock. I tried to unlock the door with the fob, central button on the dash, and the metal key stored inside the fob and nothing will unlock the door. The only way to get into the car is to open the passenger door and reach over to the driver side and pull the handle. With a child in the car in a safety seat, my concern is that all of the doors will subsequently fail and I will be unable to get myself and my child out of the car. I've seen numerous reports online about this very same issue for this year model vehicle and two years older - either driver's door only, passengers doors only, or all of the doors - and the only way to get out of the vehicle then is through the sunroof. This is a very serious safety issue.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

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