really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,023 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.

2006 BMW 530 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 BMW 530 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

May 102014

530 6-cyl

  • 77,000 miles


Since 2011, I have needed to have my, 2006 BMW 530xi, vehicle serviced. Serviced for trunk leakage, battery cable replacement, sunroof/moonroof non-drainage issues and passenger airbag sensor issues. I have paid perhaps three - to five thousand dollars for alleged repairs. None of those repairs were permanent and the issues continued on/off until 5/10/14. On that day/date I drove the car several hours shopping and preparing for mother's day. When I stopped the engine in my driveway the car shut off but I could not remove the key fob from the ignition. There was no power throughout the vehicle, e.g. no dash lighting, no internal lighting, no alarm light flashing and no ability to lock doors or open the trunk. Neither BMW-N.a. nor dealership accept any responsibility for the water leakage or other repair issues, even though some manufacturer recalls were announced to the public for these issues, those were said to me to be only for specified VIN numbered vehicles and not mine. I would like to participate in a class action against BMW for these issues and I have saved all my repair receipts to validate my vehicle problems.

- Mt. Vernon, NY, USA

problem #23

Nov 262012

530 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
One day while driving, my car had an alert come on the I drive saying the passenger restraint system was malfunctioning. It stayed on a few months and then went away for a few months. Now the problem is occurring again.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #22

Jan 162013

530 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
We have a 2006 BMW 530I in January of 2013 we had a ignition coil go out with around 75000 miles which was about a 275.00$ to get fixed. Then on 6/26/13 we had 2 more ignition coils go out at 78000 miles, that time it was $507 $ to fix, this must be a faulty part because now 12/16/13 with 82000 miles it has happened again! I am going to pay for the remaining 3 to be changed. When I called BMW there was a recall apparently from 2002-2004 for this. By way of my VIN.# I found out my car was made 9/2005 I feel this problem never got fixed or simply just changing the brand of the coil was not the answer to the problem! because its not fixed. I have never owned a car with issues like this. When I spoke to a independent certified BMW mechanic I was told it has been a problem!

- Gresham, OR, USA

problem #21

Dec 142011

530 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Ref NHTSA campaign number: 08V384000 while my vehicle is the same model year, model and specification listed in the recall, my vehicle's VIN is not "included" in the list of recalled vehicles. I have and am currently experiencing this exact seat sensor mat problem. BMW is unwilling to cover any warranty work as the specific VIN is apparently not affected despite the fact that clearly it is. I am concerned about the safety of the occupants of my vehicle based on the unreliability of this component and feel the recall should be expanded to include all vehicles that experience the same problem.

- Ogdensburg, NY, USA

problem #20

Aug 102013

530 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
Have a problem with the right headlight in my 530I 2006 BMW. The angel light bulb burned out and when I went to replace it, the wire covers started to come off exposing the wires completely. After replacing the bulb (which was a bit difficult to do), most of the wires in the headlight had no protection and were completely exposed. I had to cover them with electric tape to prevent some shorts, but missed a section I guess, since now the computer is giving me a adaptive headlight warning message and the light is not pointing to the proper direction. I have done some research on line and found that it is happening to a lot of people. Contacted BMW of North America, and they said since my car is out of warranty, they cannot do anything about it. The material used to cover these wires is not correct, as it will break off just by lightly touching them. I feel this is a safety concern where there may be short circuits while the car is running and it would affects the car's computers. In my case, the light control module is also shorted and must be replaced. I would like to know if there is anything you can do to find out if this is a safety concern or not. I believe it is specially on a car still new. Let me know if you would need any further information. Thank you.

- Davie, FL, USA

problem #19

Sep 192012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW 530xi. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnosis where the power supply and battery were replaced. After the repair was performed, the contact noticed that the instrument panel and other gauges became inoperative. The vehicle was not repaired for the most recent failures. The manufacturer issued a recall for the 2007-2011 model year vehicles under NHTSA campaign id number: 13V044000 (electrical system) but not for the 2006 model. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Gronton, MA, USA

problem #18

Jan 172013

530 6-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


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. I have contacted BMW and they say my VIN is not part of this recall, however I am experiencing the same issue as the recalled vehicles. I am worried about passenger safety! please help!

- Hidden Springs, ID, USA

problem #17

Apr 152010

530 6-cyl

  • 81,500 miles
I contacted BMW North America by phone regarding a recall for this issue. They told me that my 2006 BMW 530xi was not included in the recall. Yet, my car exhibits the exact problems outlined in the recall. The front passenger air bags will be deactivated and the air bag warning lamp, as well as the passenger air bag "on-off" lamp will be illuminated. This includes a warning in idrive system stating "passenger restraint" system issue. How is it that other 2006 5 series vehicles were included and my car was not? the local dealer is saying this is more than $1000 to repair, not sure how they would know that without seeing the vehicle.

- West Barnstable, MA, USA

problem #16

Dec 032012

530 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Passenger airbag sensor. Warning light system failure.

- Wadsworth, OH, USA

problem #15

Dec 022012

530 6-cyl

  • 100,500 miles
A recent rain storm flooded the spare tire well compartment and fried all the electrical components stored underneath the tire. Luckily I wasn't driving the wagon that day and the car was parked on the driveway. Otherwise, the car would had shut down if it was moving and could cause an accident (happened to someone as discussed in the bimmer forum). Apparently, BMW have known about this safety issue as well as the sunroof drainage & tire well design defects for quite some time. They even generated a technical service/service information bulletin (sib54-06-06 & 61-13-06 on special roofs) for their service department to use. However, BMW keeps denying any damage liability and refusing to admit any design defects. BMW na, public relations and the sf BMW dealership responded to me that it is due to "external factors" (rains) and thereby they have no responsibility to the damaged vehicle. The service adviser told me that the repair cost would run into $15K. I am filing the said complaint and am seeking an attorney for a possible class action suit against BMW na.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #14

Jul 152012

530 6-cyl

  • 88,250 miles


This BMW 530xi wagon suffered a complete electrical failure after the sunroof drainage system drained rain water into the compartments where the battery, fuses, various wiring harnesses and computer modules are stored. Approximately 7 hours after the rain storm, the owner (with no knowledge of the improperly drained water) attempted to operate the vehicle. During the drive, the car displayed two system malfunctions, followed shortly thereafter by the message "electronic system malfunction. Continued driving not possible" and multiple warning lights and sounds. The car was parked in a safe area and later towed to the BMW dealer. The BMW dealer confirms that the sunroof drained rain water into the electronics compartments, shorting out at least four computer modules, and destroyed the battery and multiple switches, relays, and wiring harnesses. Certain system components, including an air bag control unit, showed evidence of a fire (presumably due to a short caused by the rain water.) the BMW dealer states that replacing electronics modules and the battery (approximately $4,000) are required before further diagnostics can be performed to determine if there is damage to other vehicle components.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #13

May 302012

530 6-cyl

  • 53,586 miles
On Tuesday May 29th we had a rain storm, the next day I got into my vehicle with my husband and two children to go to a soccer game. Five minutes before entering the Massachusetts turnpike my vehicle went into total electrical failure and my steering locked. Luckily I was only traveling at 25mph and was able to pull my vehicle over. I had it towed to our local BMW dealer which found that the cassette on the panoramic sunroof to be defective....that caused a great deal of water to get into the vehicle and go under the spare tire in the rear where all the electrical is. I put a complaint into BMW of North America because a. the electrical should not be put under the spare tire where water could get in and B. I was about to get on the turnpike where the speed limit is 65 mph, I am extremely lucky because if I was on the mass pike there could have been a terrible accident. It was 2498 to fix the issue, BMW was willing to pay half and relocate all the electrical to a safer more dryer place. I am writing this letter because I feel there should be a recall on this issue, BMW needs to relocate the electrical components to a safer area than underneath the spare tire. BMW of North America was extremely rude when I told them about this issue, it was basically "nothing happened to you and your family, so we know it"S a problem, so we will pay for half of it". I hope something can be done about this issue to safeguard other BMW drivers who have similar vehicles.

- West Springfield , MA, USA

problem #12

Mar 032012


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW 5 series. The contact stated that the battery failed twice. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the battery under warranty. The failure recurred within one month. The contact replaced the battery and did not notify the dealer or the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current 40,936.

- North Bellmore, NY, USA

problem #11

Sep 062011


  • 58,500 miles
The BMW vehicles with panoramic moonroofs have a known failure (see bimmerfest.com) in the water seals and drain channels associated with the sunroof. The issue is that clogged lines produce flooding in the electrical compartment. This flooding causes total electrical failure. In my case, the car was stopped and did not start again. However, a read of the message boards associated with bmws shows that many people have total failure while driving and that the steering column locks up completely. There is no ability to manually steer a BMW once the electrical goes off.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #10

Feb 212011

530 6-cyl

  • 21,869 miles
On Feb. 21, 2011 the electrical system showed a massive malfunction warning on my 2006 BMW 530xi. The car computer instructed me to discontinue driving immediately and bring my car to the closest dealer. I brought the car to the dealer. It was determined the sunroof cassette was faulty and water from recent rains leaked through the sunroof (in closed position) ran down drain lines into my battery compartment. Water caused major damage of electrical system, modules, battery etc. BMW told me the repairs, including a needed sunroof cassette would total $23000. BMW admitted the sunroof cassette was faulty, but said I was out of warranty and it would be my responsibility to repair. I did research and found 3 internal service bulletins from BMW, si B 61 13 06, si B 54 02 08 and si B54 04 09 which addressed this issue while my car was under warranty- these service bulletins were not performed on my car. I also have seen many, many of this same issue on BMW message boards. This could have been a very dangerous situation, and I feel BMW should be responsible for this repair. Please help.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 012010


  • 45,342 miles
While driving in heavy rain, the vehicle's electronic control system issued a frenzy of alerts, and interrupted function of several subsystems including the windshield wipers. The system issued a message "continued driving not possible" and then further alerts. The BMW center examined the car and stated that water had entered the car through the sunroof drainage system and flooded the compartment housing the control systems, causing the sudden malfunction. Despite the fact that there is no maintenance protocol established by BMW for the drainage system, I had the sunroof drains checked on October 2009 and was assured by the BMW center that it was working to specification at that time. Nevertheless, BMW's center attributed the failure to the drainage system being partially blocked. (N.B. the system had not been checked for the first three years of use, so why would it fail 1 year and 1 month after inspection?) the drain system is concealed within the roof and is not accessible to car owner. The combination of the defective drainage system and the placement of the electronic control systems at the point of water collection presents a safety hazard when driving in inclement weather. Searching on the internet turns up similar complaints on other BMW models equipped with panoramic sunroofs such as the X3, X5, and 535xi and 325.

- Melville, NY, USA

problem #8

Sep 082009


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW M5. While driving between 35-40 mph the vehicle caught on fire. The vehicle had a history of electrical problems since the day of purchase. During the fire, the vehicle lost the ability to brake. He had to use the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. The fire department extinguished the flames. The vehicle was completely destroyed. He suffered minor burns on his hands. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Drewer, ME, USA

problem #7

Apr 152009


  • 74,000 miles
The panoramic sunroof on E60 BMW wagons has a faulty design of the drains which re-directs water into the rear of the car (spare tire area) causing multiple electrical components to fail while driving: Lights, windshield wipers, door locks, speedometer, etc. In my case, the failure occurred twice in a period of 18 months. The dealer and BMW North America repaired the car at owners' expense although an extended warranty was in force. There has been a technical service bulletin issued by BMW but the dealer does not acknowledge the flaw and refers to the failure being caused by 'environmental influences'.

- Sautee Nacoochee, GA, USA

problem #6

May 052009


  • 51,000 miles
The sunroof drain clogged in my 2006 BMW 530xi station wagon causing water to pool in the car and short out the electrical system while I was driving, which resulted in the loss of power to the dashboard including the speedometer. I had the car towed to the dealership and the tow truck driver told me that this was the second 2006 BMW 530xi station wagon he had towed that day for the very same problem, the dealership tells me that it's a common problem for the sunroof drains to get clogged by pollen and pine needles, which sounds like a design flaw to me. My husband inspected the trunk where the water was pooling, while we waited for the tow truck, there were relay wires where the water was pooling and heat and steam coming from the area so my husband disconnected the wires, I'm fairly sure that if we had left it much longer it could have caused a fire.

- Lynnwood, WA, USA

problem #5

Jun 012006


  • 7,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW 5 series. After starting the vehicle one morning, all of the instrument panel indicators illuminated. The dealer stated that the vehicle needed a new szl module, which controlled most of the computer functions in the vehicle. The dealer did not have the part available, but assured the contact that the vehicle was safe to drive. Three weeks after the incident, while driving 15 mph, the steering and brakes failed. The failure lasted less than a minute, but during this time he was unable to stop or steer the vehicle. He called the dealer and took the vehicle in for service. They kept the vehicle for over a month and replaced the szl module and clock spring, in addition to an electrical repair. Within a month, the failure recurred. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and returned the vehicle to the contact. The failure continued and the brakes began to squeal. The dealer replaced all of the brake pads and sensors. Even with all the repairs, the failure persists. The dealer is still unable to reproduce the failure and provide a remedy. Currently, the vehicle is experiencing unexpected acceleration. He believes that the issue is becoming progressively worse. Through research, he has found numerous complaints for the same failure. The failure mileage was 7,000 and current mileage was 31,000.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

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