really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,177 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.

2004 BMW 525 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 BMW 525 Owner Comments

problem #20

Jun 182018


  • 81,000 miles


Passenger side seat belt and airbag light stays on.

- Whiteland, IN, USA

problem #19

Apr 102018


  • 175,000 miles
Passenger seat/airbag warning malfunction. This warning has been on since I purchased vehicle. It is obviously the common seat mat sensor failure. And it would appear that either my VIN isn't on the previous recall or it has expired for my year and model. But my wife sits in that seat and if we have an accident and her airbags do not deploy whose fault will that be?

- Lehighton, PA, USA

problem #18

May 012017


  • 158,000 miles
Passenger restraint system warning appears each time we get into the vehicle and start the ignition. Airbag deployment red icon constantly illuminated on the dashboard. The air conditioning system is not working properly. The car does not cool or get cold until the car is in motion. We had a mechanic who we purchased the car from 3 years ago to diagnose the problem but it still continues to not cool properly.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #17

Dec 052016


  • 142,354 miles


Passenger restraint system light on, effecting airbag, belt tensioner or belt force limiter. Called BMW was told VIN number not in recall how can that be recall is for 2004 BMW. Cost is over 1000. Car was stationary.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #16

Feb 072016


  • 148,000 miles
I purchased a use 2004 BMW 525I and within 2 days the a message came up indicating passenger side airbag/seat belt issue, remain using your seat belt but see your nearest BMW center.

- Gay, GA, USA

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problem #15

May 202015


  • 106,100 miles
I own a 2004 BMW 525I and the passenger side airbag and seat belt sign came on few weeks back. The dealer says it's not covered but NHTSA site indicates it is covered on BMW 525I 2004 vehicles. This dealer is estimating a $650 diagnostic fee to see what need to be done. What can be done to get the passenger side air bag sensor fault issue? my last option is the junk yard, and never buy a BMW.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #14

Feb 092014


  • 55,000 miles


I was driving in traffic when smell and smoke came from the bottom of my car, I park the car and check, my seat was burn, I turn off the heating and I'm not be able to used again the dealer on park ave in South hackensack NJ don't get back to me. Plus now last week May 31 the passenger safety light came on we are thinking the car is curs.every repair is very expensive.

- North Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #13

Mar 182014

525 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles
The following message came on the screen of the idrive of the car when my 76 year old mother was placed in the passenger seat after returning to the parking lot after her doctor visit: "passenger restraint system malfunction". it has been on since.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #12

Feb 012011

525 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
There is a faulty restraint malfunction on the front passenger side seat. Regardless of whether or not a passenger is in the seat at all the airbag sign indicates that it is off. I am aware that this is a common problem and a malfunction in other BMW 5 series and the dealer ships that I've went to refuse to acknowledge this even though BMW headquarters released a recall for some a couple of years ago.

- Davie, FL, USA

problem #11

Jan 162013


  • 70,000 miles
The seat belt and airbag warning light are on in car, based on my research, I've found that this is manufacture fault, when I called BMW dealer they told me that my car is not covered under the recall campaign for the same manufacture fault. I think BMW manufacturer is at libel at present, let's just hope nothing happened to myself and family while operating this vehicle. I want BMW to add my car to the recall campaign because this is a safety issue.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #10

Dec 192013

525 6-cyl

  • 99,700 miles


Obd warning, fault with passenger side restraint, passenger side air bag is off, possible problem with belt tensioner.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #9

May 262012

525 6-cyl

  • miles
The restraint light came on in my car and for some unknown reason the light will not reset. I know for a fact the dealership replaced the passenger side seat cover or something while under warranty, but this started around 2010 or 2011 not sure. But just a few days ago I was told it may be under a recall status as well because the passenger seat was serviced. And the light says *passenger restraint system fault in passenger restraint system affecting airbag, belt tensioner, or belt force limiter. Continue to wear safety belt. But my wife and I are both concerned with this problem so is this a recall and when can it be fixed, I plan on keeping this car but really do need the BMW company to step up to the plate and back their product as one of the best, thanking you in advance. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Cataula, GA, USA

problem #8

Nov 082013

525 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Pass. Restraint system fault in passenger restraint system affecting airbag, belt tensioner, or belt-force limiter. Continue to wear safety belt.

- Harlingen, TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 122011

525 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The passenger side air bag warning light is on and will not turn off. I have called the BMW dealership and they stated that they would have to run a diagnostics test which will cost over $100 just to find out what is wrong with it. They stated that my VIN number was one of the cars that was fixed in a previous recall for the same issue. I told them I do not have the money to pay to see what is wrong it. What if the passenger airbag fails and someone is actually injured do to this issue. The warning notification on the dash has been on for two years. The car currently has 80,000. I don't understand why the same issue happens for a previous recall and they cannot take ownership of the recall. Very disappointed. The car has a very high price tag and you would expect some sort of ownership and honesty from the BMW corporation.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #6

Apr 142012

525 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
My car has the passenger restraint system malfunction message on the navigation screen and also the seatbelt light and the airbag light are illuminated on the dashboard. There is a recall for seat occupancy sensor below and as you can see my car falls within the criteria as the cars affected by the recall but a visit to my local BMW dealer revealed that there was no active recalls under my VIN number. This is an obvious safety issue as airbags will not deploy and the risk of being seriously hurt or killed. This is something that BMW should replace in my car under the recall as it has the same malfunctioning part such as the cars listed below. Recall id # 57362 - air bags:frontal recall date Aug 05, 2008 recall date: Aug 05, 2008 model affected: 2006 BMW 3-series summary: BMW is recalling 200,000 my 2006 3 series sport seat, my 2004-2006 5 series standard and sport seat, and my 2004-2006 X3 passenger vehicles. Depending on the manner and frequency of the front passenger's entry and exit, small cracks have developed in the mat. If this occurs, the front passenger air bags, with the exception of the head protection system, will be deactivated and the air bag warning lamp as well as the passenger air bag "on-off" lamp will be illuminated. Consequences: In this situation the front passenger air bags will not deploy even if a sufficiently severe accident would occur and occupant protection provided by the system would not be possible. Remedy: Dealers will rework the front passenger seat sensor mat so that external force application to the seat does not cause a crack to the mat. The recall began on November 6, 2008. BMW will also extend the warranty on these vehicles to 10 years from first registration without any mileage limit. Owners may contact BMW at 1-800-525-7417. Potential units affected: 200000 notes: BMW of North America, llc

- Hartford, CT, USA

problem #5

Feb 222012

525 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
Restraint system fault.

- St.Louis, MO, USA

problem #4

Feb 102006


  • 14,791 miles
Since I have purchased the car in 2005 (with only 14,000) I am having problems with the passenger air bag and seat belt mat sensor of my BMW 2004. I brought it to the dealer for service. It was serviced. Right after the warranty expires with over 50,000 miles, I have the same problem. I went online to the BMW of North America website and there's a recall for car (same model and year as mine) but, they said mine is not included. I went to this BMW forums and I realized I am not the only one suffering this consequences. (go to google and type E60 BMW recall ) some of them recalled having reported this issue to you guys before. This is a safety device that goes inside the passenger seat and senses by weight activate or deactivate the airbags in the event of an accident.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 192009


  • 85,000 miles
Passenger restraint malfunction illuminated on the dash. It indicates that the seat belt lock and/or airbags may not work in an event of an accident. When I called BMW, they told me that my car is not covered under this recall and it will depend on my local dealership if I will have to pay for the repair.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #2

Oct 182004


  • 35,600 miles
Airbag and seat belt restraint icons remain on vehicle display when seat belts are engaged/fastened.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 122008


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW 5 series. The contact noticed a burning smell and felt something burning her leg. She sustained burns to her thigh and buttocks area due to the seat warmer. The manufacturer was unable to assist. The contact was able to locate NHTSA campaign id number 08V384000 (air bags:frontal) for the same year, make, and model vehicle. She also stated that the passenger side air bag was inoperable. The manufacturer advised her to expect a recall on the air bag; however, without a recall, they could not assist. The manufacturer stated that there were no open recalls based on her VIN, but NHTSA campaign id number 04V575000 (seats:front assembly:seat heater/cooler) was referenced. The failure and current mileages were less than 54,000.

- Dumfries, VA, USA

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