really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,926 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.

2011 BMW 528 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2011 BMW 528 Owner Comments

problem #8

May 112016


  • miles


This malfunction light has been coming on since I bought this vehicle. It is extremely frustrating because every time I have that this car serviced they have never truly fixed the problem. It may stop for a moment and then any random day it will give me this warning as you SE in the picture provided. A bigger problem that is unexceptable is that the car keeps flashing a warning about the coolent is needed and that it needs to be fixed or there could be engine damage. This warning has been the main concer. I have had the coolent go into the engine which caused my car to shut down on a busy hwy 3 seperate times, risking a danger to myself and others on the road. I have not heard a word from BMW of North America that they care about my concerns and I feel that this problem has literally affected my health and well being. I have huge anxiety issues because of this car. I hope my letter is heard so that I may have justice for this car. I am overwhelmed with nervousnes everytime I drive it. I feel like something bad will happen to me orcsome else. Please help this matter become res olved!

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #7

May 202016


  • 40,000 miles
While driving for 15 minutes with seat warmers on my husband (driver) turned it off. We were travelling on Suburban roads around 40 mph. Then at a stop light he noticed a burning smell. We continued driving when light turned green. Then I noticed the smell a few seconds later, so I opened a window expecting to find smell a fire nearby or hear sirens. At that point we saw a ploom of smoke come from under his seat towards the passenger side open window. He immediately pulled over, jumped out of the car and turned everything off. The smoke took some time to clear but did stop. Several minutes later we drove 1 mile to the BMW dealership. We were told its not under warranty, and would cost $1,700 to fix. I declined to pay $1,700 to fix and requested they disconnect seat heater. BMW personnel informed me it could not disconnect power to seat heater without disconnecting the entire ac/heat system. This is a personal safety issue, not a warranty issue. For a seat heater to cause smoke it caused a fire and this is a defect. The car will catch on fire if the seat warmer is activated. I asked dealership what if I loan my car to someone who does not know about the defect, they suggested putting tape over the button. This is not acceptable safety measure to prevent burns, fire, or even death. Consider for a moment people have small children that ride in this vehicle. On a cold morning I could have buckled kids in, turned on car, seat heater, and talk to a neighbor for 2 minutes, or teacher at the carpool line.... what would have happened to the children? there is no visible damage to vehicle but BMW personnel did agree there was smoke smell in vehicle caused by seat warmer.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #6

Jul 012015


  • 38,000 miles
Acceleration after slowing down has a very unsafe lag that can cause an accident. Driver has to depress the pedal almost to full throttle to get a response then the vehicle accelerates unsafely. Dealer checked the car for 5 days and could not find anything wrong with the car. It is a software fault.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #5

Mar 012014


  • 45,000 miles


Prior to any knowledge of a safety recall on my car I reported an abnormal sound coming from my engine. I had called BMW roadside about the noise I heard. I asked for them to take it to the dealership to have it looked at. Ever since that first time of me hearing a strange noise there has been 3 separate engine shut offs while driving on the frwy. Each time those incidents have occurred I would call roadside and try explaining myself but having the most difficult time due to me being diagnosed with ptsd, anxiety disorder and copd. It would be serviced and given back to me with certainty that the problem was fixed. There were two more times after that while driving on frwy. I am appalled by the utter lack of concern for my life or the lives of others. I have not been able to control my anxiety every since. This car has been in the shop more than I have driven it. I demand the attention to these negligent unacceptable outcomes. I expect a remedy to this horrific experience I have endured. I expect ultimately that I be compensated in the highest way possible. My life will never be the same. I hope that you will look deeply into my specific concerns, and hold this manufacturer accountable for their lack of care in making me be put in life threatening situations 3 xs. Thank you NHTSA sincerely, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #4

Nov 252014

528 6-cyl

  • 50,400 miles
Involved in an accident. Other vehicle going southbound crossed over median strip of highway, hit three cars going northbound, mine was third car to be struck. Offending car did a 360 in front of me, I slowed to about 25 and he moved into me. I struck his rear passenger side corner. I had front end damage over $5K. No airbag, but default messages and an airbag icon came on the video screen and the front instrument panel. It states "driver and passenger airbag or restraint system malfunction."

- Mount Laurel, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jun 182014

528 6-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
This vehicle has a hesitation of throttle acceleration from idle and shifting between gears.presents a real safety issue from idle position to acceleration. A 1-2 second delay consistently happens. The BMW dealer reported to me that they are aware of this situation but do not have a solution yet. If enough reports of this incident were handed in then it may necessitate a cure from BMW. Apparently not enough squeaky wheels per say for BMW to act.hopefully this along with hundreds of these complaints already on your web site about this very same issue is enough to get BMW to act on this safety issue.

- Harrison Twp., MI, USA

problem #2

Apr 242012


  • 3,000 miles
Just parked the vehicle, turned off the vehicle and smelled something burning. Exited the vehicle, observed smoke from under the hood, opened the hood and observed flames from the left side of the engine, mostly on the top left of the engine now. Called the fire department who extinguished the flames, and had the car towed to the dealer. The vehicle is now in their lot waiting for their investigators to look at the vehicle. The first comment out of the dealership, maybe an animal built a nest in the engine area. This vehicle only had 3000 miles on it, purchased in June of 2011, and is garage kept.

- Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

problem #1

Aug 192010


  • 6 miles
I purchased 2011 model BMW 535I in August 2010. There are 3 cigarette lighter power outlets inside the car and electricity is supplying all the time regardless of whether vehicle is being locked or not. If I use accessories like gps, charger, coffer warmer etc. And left in the locked vehicle under summer sun could really be a fire hazard. I have contacted to BMW customer relations and local service asking to rewire to stop power supply while engine is stopped or/and vehicle is locked but they refused to fix the problem. I have another complaint regarding the steering like other owners which is that vehicle is pulling to the right all the time at all speed. I'd like to request NHTSA to order BMW to fix those problems asap as a recall!

- Macomb, IL, USA

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