hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,404 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 528 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 BMW 528 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Jul 312013

528 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


Rear exterior lights(brake, tail, & turn signal) - melted wire assembly is causing malfunction. While driving I noticed a "burning" smell. Shortly thereafter, all at once my dash indicated that my passenger side tail light, brake light, and turn signal had simultaneously malfunctioned. The wiring harness that attaches to the light assembly is melted. BMW did a recall of over 2,500 3-series vehicles for the exact same issue but has not recalled the 5-series ("??") this is a safety issue that needs to be addressed.

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #19

Jun 212013

528 6-cyl Diesel

  • 56,000 miles
I have a 2008 BMW 528I with 56,000 miles with a certified pre-owned warranty (the full factory warranty expired less than a year ago). The vehicle computer identified 3 faults and the entire rear passenger tail light cluster is non-operational. I attempted to replace the bulbs and the issue was not resolved. I then took the vehicle to a BMW dealer for diagnosis and repair; I was surprised when the advisor informed me the issue is not covered under warranty (cpo) and will cost $400+ to repair. The rear lights are a critical safety component for any automobile and must be operational at all times. I am disappointed that this repair will not be covered under the cpo warranty. I chose to contact BMW and challenge the warranty coverage based on the component criticality. BMW did not agree with my position and stated the repair will not be covered by BMW. Upon further inspection of the vehicle and tail light assembly I identified that a wire has shorted and melted several plastic parts relating to the tail light cluster. Both the light housing and the wire adapter are no longer operational due to the burned area. I am lucky this electrical short did not start a fire because it is located close to the battery and gas port. I performed a quick search online and realized several other BMW 5-series owners have experienced the very same issue with their vehicles.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #18

Apr 062013

528 6-cyl

  • 53,081 miles
On or about 25 May 2013, I started hearing a intermittent beeping sound inside the car, however there was no warning on the dash board screen therefore it was hard to trace the problem. The intermittent beeping would start and stop, while driving making me very nervous because I wasn't sure what was going to happen. The beeping sound changed to sound of something trying to reset itself like a reset pattern. Next on 6 Apr 2013, while inside a parking I thought I seen my right tail light blink on & off. Then on 8 Apr 2013, I notice my right tail was out, so I purchased and installed a new tail bulb but it didn't fix the problem. After researching, I found it was led problem and could only be fixed by a BMW shop. The BMW manual suggested taking the car to the BMW dealership, on 16 Apr 2013 I took the car to I.G. burton that's when their inspection found " right rear tail light is out ( found that ground wire is burnt and bulb holder is burnt) recommend replacing bulb holder and ground wire. It cost me $374.48 to have the problem fixed.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #17

Mar 302012

528 6-cyl

  • 54,000 miles


The warning came on that the right rear tail light malfunctioned. Within the next few days the warning went away but then came back intermittently and also stated that the right rear brake light and turn signal had malfunctioned. These warnings go on and off so my husband pulled the housing for the light out and discovered the connector plug and housing had melted because the brown wire was burnt and melted. So he went to the dealer ship to get another housing unit and new connector to fix the problem. And a few months later the other side had the same issue and he replaced it as well... now both are burnt again. I called the dealer ship to take my car in for this issue and they want $140 to look at it and they said they have not heard of this issue before. This is a safety issue and now that I look online it looks like a lot of people with this year, make and model have the same thing going on. This needs to be a recall. I feel like this will keep happening since both have been replaced already and it's happening again. Something is wrong.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #16

Apr 192013

528 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Failure of the right rear tail light assembly due to the grounding wire connector (inside the 8 pin connector which attaches to 8 pin receiver on the light) melting which rendered the brake light, turn signal, reverse light, and lightning inoperative. Also resulted in the light assembly needing replacement. As connection was failing, the ground connection was likely intermittent leading to lighting malfunction warning indications on dash and intermittent operation of right rear lights, dimmed brightness of right rear lights. The intermittent operation/failure reduces the ability to warn other cars/drivers of my car's intentions. Could result in vehicle rear end collisions. My failure mode seems very similar to NHTSA 11V438000 recall for certain BMW 3 series models. Pictures available if needed.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #15

Feb 012013

528 6-cyl

  • 67,900 miles
Left turn signal, brake light & backup light stopped working. Upon inspection, found that the wiring harness connector to the left lighting assembly was discolored and slightly distorted at the ground conductor. Around half of the ground conductor on the mating plug of the lighting assembly had deteriorated away.

- Beverly Hills, MI, USA

problem #14

Nov 282012


  • 137,300 miles


The contact owns a 2008 BMW 528I. The contact stated that a strong burning odor was emitted in the trunk area while the vehicle was parked. In addition, the contact was unable to start the engine. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for further inspection. The failure was located at the battery cables, which were not properly connected. Prior to the failure, the vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number: 12V126000 (electrical system: Battery: Cables). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 137,300.

- Mccalla, AL, USA

problem #13

Nov 152012

528 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I turned my car on and it instantly notified me that my taillight was out. Then I stepped out and tapped the taillight and it went back on then I took it to the dealership the next day now they are saying the connectors are burnt and they want me to pay 200$ to repair something that the manufacture should of corrected and perfected this is ridiculous hope someone helps me.

- Hillside, NJ, USA

problem #12

Sep 032012


  • 65,000 miles
Warning came on that the right rear tail light malfunctioned. Within the next few days the warning went away but then came back intermittently and also stated that the right rear brake light and turn signal had malfunctioned. These warnings were intermittent. About a week later the signals came on every time the car was driven. I looked at the lighting housing and discovered that both the plug and housing had melted due to a brown wire. I will be taking the car to the shop tomorrow to get fixed but it seems more damage could have been done unless I discovered the existence of the problem.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #11

Aug 032012


  • 32,400 miles
The 8 pin connector to the right rear light assembly melted. Turn signal, brake light stopped working one wire seems corroded.

- Paterson, NJ, USA

problem #10

Jun 012012


  • 48,600 miles


The grounding wire in the connector to the tail light bulb holder melted and melted parts of the connector. This resulted in no signal, brake and running rear lights. A recall has been called for BMW E46 3 series for this exact problem. The recall should be expanded to cover the 5 series as well.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #9

May 302012


  • 50,200 miles
The 8 pin connector to the rear light assembly melted. Turn signal, brake light stopped working while I was driving on the freeway.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #8

May 052012


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 BMW 528I. The contact stated that the vehicle was included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 12V126000 (electrical system:battery:cables). An authorized dealer was contacted and stated that the parts needed to perform the recall repair were on a national back order. The manufacturer was notified and stated that the parts were not yet available. The failure mileage was 32,000.

- Cartersville, GA, USA

problem #7

Apr 112011

528 6-cyl

  • 72,500 miles
Ground wire for passenger side tail light burned up. Ground wire, both sides of electrical connector, and tail light bulb holder all burned up. Passenger side brake light, tail light, turn signal and back up light do not function at all. Improperly rated fuse did not blow before circuit burned up and melted. This circuit is not designed correctly. This is a safety hazard to myself and anyone driving behind me. Car model is a 2008 528xi.

- Lawton, MI, USA

problem #6

May 162011


  • 28,000 miles
Vehicle is 2008 528I sedan. The tire monitor pressure indicator was displayed. I took the car to a BMW dealership to check the tire pressure. They said the tire pressure was ok on all 4 tires. However, it continued to display the tmp indicator. Then for the next couple of days, when the vehicle was started, various alert indicators would display briefly and the date and time were not set. I took the car back to the dealership and they determined fluid (referred to by BMW as żan outside influenceż) leaked from inside the trunk of vehicle into the rdc (communication) module, which is located under the trunk. The service advisor stated the submerged fluid shorted out the module and melted the harness. The rdc module and the harness were replaced. The trunk was not wet so I did not realize anything had leaked nor was I aware there were critical electrical components located directly under the trunk, which were not properly protected. To place the rdc module in an area where liquids can penetrate (I.e. open drunk while raining, groceries spillingż), is extremely poor vehicle design. Since the problem was a result of żan outside influenceż it was not covered under warranty and it cost almost $1000 to fix.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Oct 222010

528 6-cyl

  • 27,500 miles
Our 2008 BMW 528I has an electrical problem in which the vehicle does not have the capability of charging the battery if the vehicle is driven short distances or multiple stops. This causes the battery to run down and the vehicle to become inoperative. The vehicle will stop and not start. After four (4) trips to the dealer (trucked twice) the dealer has determined that it is an operator problem and the vehicle should be plugged into and electrical battery charger when not in use. Additionally, they indicated the vehicle should be taken daily for drives of more than 20 miles to hopefully charge the battery. The issue has us in fear of the vehicle stalling in traffic and creating a serious safety issue.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #4

Dec 232010


  • 37,000 miles
Vehicle is 2008 BMW 535xi wagon. Blocked sunroof drains meant that water drained into the vehicle, gathering in the trunk where the electronics sit. Car had multiple engine failures and warnings of transmission failure, electrical failure, sunroof error and tpm failure. Cause per BMW was blockage of rear sunroof drain. This is a common fault caused by poor design of the sunroof drains (too narrow and prone to blocking). A recall on the sedan 5 series moves the electronics to a higher position in the vehicle to prevent the electronics damage but BMW state there is no similar move possible for the wagon., also it impossible to diagnose the problem before it occurs and BMW has no suggested service steps T P[revent occurrence. When this happens its very dangerous and V expensive to remediate. BMW occasionally covers a goodwill repair but won't cover under warranty. Advice from BMW is not park the vehicle under trees! dealer indicates when this re-occurs BMW will not cover the cost again.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 042010


  • 28,300 miles
Have had 3 separate instances in the past 9 months where my car stalled or sputtered with loss of power, and once I had no steering or braking ability. Dangerous situation in freeway traffic.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #2

May 302008


  • miles
2008 BMW 535I has an engine malfunction and a problem with the fuel valves. The consumer stated the engine had very little power. Two months later, the consumer had to take the vehicle back to the dealer due to the same problem previously. The dealer informed the consumer again it was the fuel valves. The consumer experienced the problem for a third time, in he lost virtually all power in the engine. So far, the dealer has been unable to determine the cause of the failure.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 042009


  • 15,500 miles
1. rough riding - loss of power on highway 2. dozens of times over the last few months. Car has been in shop for two months out of last 12 for the same issue. 3. BMW keeps trying different things but no final fixes as yet.

- Katy, TX, USA

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