hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,556 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.

2005 BMW 530 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 BMW 530 Owner Comments

problem #13

Jan 182016


  • 112,000 miles


My idrive showed a message indicating that the airbag in the passenger side was deactivated because of a sensor or similar issue. I took this to the dealer, asked for it to be covered under the previous service bulletin which indicated the seat mat sensor was defective. The dealership indicated they would not fix it. I contacted BMW North America and they said they might fix it if I paid for the assessment. The assessment suggested there was a defect in different sensor. And suggested that a battery cable should be replaced. All other systems in the car works fine. Both BMW and the dealer refused to fix this issue. There have been no other reported cases of the battery cable actually causing the airbags to be deactivated. Today, the airbag is still not working, and BMW has refused to fix the problem.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #12

Jan 102016


  • 177,777 miles
BMW I-drive cuts out while driving, and blinks or reboots. While driving home it cut out, and would not stop blinking. This distraction and malfunction is dangerous.

- Mason, OH, USA

problem #11

Jan 012012


  • 150,000 miles
I have xenon adaptive headlights oem made by hella. The insulation on all of the wiring inside the headlight assembly is falling off. You cannot touch a wire without the insulation crumbling off the wiring. Now having numerous faults and hid light on drivers side is non functional due to wiring shorts.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #10

May 012011


  • 60,000 miles


The idrive, known as "ccc", unit used to work just fine. It control navigation, radio and vehicle's informations for owner. Once awhile the screen blink and go blank, and then sometime it work just fine. Now it just don't work anymore. The screen now blink continuously while driving. This is causing a major distraction for me behind the wheel especially at night. I started researching online and notice a lot of owners with this model also have the same problems. They replaced the ccc unit and update software information at the dealer and it fixed the issues. I called BMW momentum of houston about the ccc. The cost is $1,500 not including labor. I believe this grand defects is a manufacturing defects. Can you please investigate into this matter so that a recall can be issue.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #9

Mar 122015


  • 160,000 miles
The micro power module in the trunk was burnt on my 2005 530I, now my idrive / audio / nav and pdc has shut down. Car starts and drives normal, except the previously mentioned accessories that no longer work, who know what other damages (if any) resulted from a mpm meltdown. I've read some horror posts of similiar events that caused everything on the vehicle to short out, which meant that basically everything ccc / M-ask / tv module / cd etc. When this happened on my vehicle, the car was actually switched off. It was only when I got back to the car the next morning when I got this strong electrical burn smell from the trunk area. The mpm probably shorted out during the course of the night. Luckily the car did not caught on fire, cause it could have then burned down my apartments as well, as the car was parked next to my apartment. From what I could visually access, only the mpm unit burned out completely and melted. I just hope that I knocked the mpm out before it could cause any more damage to the car's other electronics. My car is unfortunately no longer under warranty. The car has already been taken into my local dealership to access the damage and to give me a quote to repair, but they did inform me that it is going to be a costly affair. I find it very interesting that BMW decided to move these modules newer models from the trunk area to the body gateway module which is a much safer environment. Makes you think that they realized that there was a defect with the vehicle in placing them there in the first place. Don't know if it's safe to drive on the road do to the danger of electrical fire. I also have pictures available.

- Lincoln Heights , CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 012014

530 6-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
This has been happening to other 2005 BMW 530I owners. While braking vehicle idrive gave warning that rear driver side brake light failed and then that the rear light had a malfunction. Upon looking at the wiring harness attached to the taillight bulb carrier, the brown wire is burnt outside of the harness. The rubber coating of the wire is burnt through and the wire is exposed. The plastic wire harness is burnt and melted. The taillight bulb carrier is also burnt and melted. Exactly what has happened to my car. The ground wire has way too much current on it resulting in melting and possible fire.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #7

Aug 142012

530 6-cyl

  • 51,051 miles


Front passenger seat occupant mat is malfunctioning in my 2005 BMW 530I. There was a recall in action number EA08001 in which BMW agreed to extend the warranty or complete the repair of the problem. When I went to the BMW service facility, they would only fix the issue if I paid. I called BMW usa and they told me that my specific VIN number is not included in the repair/extended warranty. Even though my vehicle is experiencing the problem, they tell me my VIN is not included. Therefore, my passenger seat airbags do not work. I reported this problem originally in 2012 to BMW.

- Lauderhill, FL, USA

problem #6

Sep 232013


  • 164,500 miles
While braking vehicle idrive gave warning that rear driver side brake light failed and then that the rear light had a malfunction. Upon looking at the wiring harness attached to the taillight bulb carrier, the brown wire is burnt outside of the harness. The rubber coating of the wire is burnt through and the wire is exposed. The plastic wire harness is burnt and melted. The taillight bulb carrier is also burnt and melted.

- Broomall, PA, USA

problem #5

Jul 012013

530 6-cyl

  • miles
Same issue as every other 2005 530I owner has had. My battery was low and needed replaced and after a new battery was purchased and installed the fault light came on the I-drive system for the airbag. BMW dealer refuses to do anything about it as my vehicle is not included in the recall.. I don't understand why when there are numerous complaints on a faulty system why this should not be repaired, obviously they know that the issue is there but do not want to spend the money to fix their issue. So much for the german engineered ultimate driving machine. With all of the technology comes all of the issues it would be nice to see a manufacturer stand behind their car for a change.......if I failed to make a payment they would have surely repossessed it......funny how we cannot get something from them when they fail.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #4

Sep 202012


  • 110,000 miles
Much like the other complaints, I just copied and pasted this from another complainant. The passenger restraint system malfunction alarm came on the idrive. The dealer says that the vehicle is not covered under recall. However, the recall id #73368 exactly matches the description of my problem. Therefore, we believe that our vehicle should be covered. Please advise how to get this resolved as soon as possible so that I can get the car fixed. We are concerned because it's a serious safety issue when the front air bags will not come on in case of an accident. I went as far as to speak with BMW directly and they said it only goes to the 2004 models, and then to the 2006 models....yea, whatever. It's a safety recall, they should honor it, and BMW is completely inflexible when it comes to their customers. It's a shame not only will they not help, they want to charge over $1000 to the customer for a recall part. I'm trading my other BMW in on anything but another BMW and will drive my affected 530I until it reaches the scrap yard.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #3

Dec 302010

530 6-cyl

  • 73,594 miles


My 2005 BMW 530I has a microprocessor unit located in the spare tire sump in the trunk. Water got into the trunk and shorted out this unit. This is a poor place to locate such a vital part, as this particular microprocessor controls the vehicle's idrive system (BMW's integrated system which includes the radio, heat/air settings, diagnostics, etc). BMW will only fix this item as part of a new car warranty. Repairs caused by the poor placement of this unit can costs into the thousands if conducted by a BMW dealership. If the microprocessor shorts out while in operation it could catch fire.

- New Albany, IN, USA

problem #2

Feb 222008


  • 48,000 miles
First, the battery. Second, the module that controls the radio, cd, controls on the steering wheels, info screen, almost everything stopped working. Third, right after I had this fixed, an error message came up that the passenger restraint system failed and may effect airbags. All this in a five month period.

- Garland, TX, USA

problem #1

Dec 012005

530 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,309 miles
On September 14, 2005 I purchased a new 2005 BMW 330I. While driving to work on December 1, 2005 I turned the heater on for the first time. The heater had only been on for a few minutes when I started to smell a burning type of odor. I was not sure if the odor was coming in from the outside or if it was inside my car. The odor became stronger and resembled that of an electrical burn. I then observed white smoke coming out from the hood of my car. Within minutes the smoke became gray. At this point I was in heavy early morning traffic. I was in the middle lane which was slowing down/stopping for a traffic light. As I came to a stop the smoke was turning black and was very thick. I put the vehicle into park and turned off the engine. By this point visibility to my front was obscured by the smoke. I knew that I should exit the car. I began opening the driver's door but the cars were moving quickly and I feared being hit. I made several attempts while simultaneously hitting the BMW assist button on the rear view mirror. I told the operator that my car was on fire, and she stated that she would contact the fire department. During this I saw that there was a police car one car behind me. Fortunately he maneuvered his car into the left lane to block the traffic and I was able to exit the car. The fire trucks responded quickly and put the fire out. They did have difficulty trying to open the hood. They finally had to use a crow bar to get it opened. My car was towed to the dealership where I purchased it. To date representatives from BMW have inspected my car. I have been told that they were not able to determine what the cause of the fire was. My car remains at the dealership, the front end was burned to a crisp and there was no resolution to the situation.

- Germantown, MD, USA

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