really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 6
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,744 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 1 of 2)

problem #39

Jul 122016


  • miles


Insulation around the wiring in the headlights has completely crumbled off and bare wire is exposed, could possible touch and cause a fire. Passenger air bag sensor in the seat is faulty and I recieved a recall notice but BMW says there is no recall on my car and refuses to fix.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #38

Nov 032014

530 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • 93,000 miles
The contact owned a 2006 BMW 530xi. While driving approximately 25 to 30 mph, the vehicle had an abnormal odor. The contact pulled the vehicle over at a fuel station, opened the trunk, and noticed flames. The fire was extinguished by a patron. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was destroyed and towed. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign numbers: 12V126000 (electrical system) and 08V384000 (air bags). The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 93,000. Updated 11/02/16

- New Britain, CT, USA

problem #37

Sep 202015


  • 90,000 miles
Recall campaign no. 12V-126: Battery cable insulated bulkhead connector the issue involves a battery cable bolt connection in the trunk. Specifically, this bolt connection is secured to the trunk floor panel by an insulated bulkhead connector. The insulated bulkhead connector may have been incorrectly attached to the trunk floor panel. Over time, this can lead to a loosening of the bolt connection and cause an overheating condition - exactly same thing happend to

- New Britain, CT, USA

problem #36

Oct 202015


  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 BMW 530xi. The contact stated that smoke emitted into the vehicle from the rear without warning. The contact was able to pull the vehicle over and noticed flames coming from the trunk of the vehicle. The contact was able to extinguish the flames. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V126000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was not available. Parts distribution disconnect.

- New Britain, CT, USA

problem #35

Apr 212016


  • 142,141 miles
Internal headlight wiring insulation flaking off exposing copper wire causing failure of parking and daytime running lights and failure of the front headlight system as well as the risk of fire. Also having issues with intermittent cruise control, power ports and fan inside the car.

- Purvis, MS, USA

problem #34

Mar 012015


  • 103,000 miles
Air conditioning stop work causing motor to heat

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #33

Feb 012015


  • 100,000 miles


Steering wheel malfunction locks preventing the vehicle to start steering wheel locks while driving

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #32

May 072015


  • 145,000 miles
The micro power module in the trunk burned up, crashing the screen/audio/service screen. The car is drivable but I cannot access any features from the dash computer screen, none of it works. There is a distinct plastic burned smell in the trunk. I have since learned this is a common problem...when I called my BMW certified mechanic, I barely explained my issue and his response was "let me guess, you have an '05 or '06 BMW 5 series, correct? the microprocessors in the trunk are burning up...they've since moved them from under the tire". my car could have burned down. Clearly BMW knows they have a problem as they have since moved the processor. I shouldn't have to pay for this costly repair.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #31

Mar 012015


  • 145,000 miles
After traveling for several weeks, my 2006 BMW 530I was parked in my drive way. When I returned home, I opened by door to find mold growing all over the seats, interiors surfaces, and a bad odor. I opened the back door and found 4 inches of water standing in the floor board. I immediately used my wet/dry vac to suck all the standing water out. As I looked around mold had grown all over the leather seats, interior trim, and carpet. I started to do some research on bimmer forums to see what might the culprit. This appears to be a common problem with many BMW sunroofs of this vintage. I was able to remove the back seat and I found that the cloth between trunk and rear seat was also saturates with water, mold, moisture. I had read to pull back the carpet and I found at lease 2 inches of standing water in both rear floor board areas. I also noticed many electrical components were under water. My alarm was constantly going off. I would reset it from the key remote and it would starting sounding off like the alarm was set off. I had to disconnect the battery terminal to get this to stop. So it is clearly a short in the electrical system. I am just returning form a business trip and plan to get it towed to a dealership to get an estimate to replace the carpet, deal with the mold that I am not sure how will be treated. And address all the electrical issues since I do not have a way to drive it now. I have owned 6 other BMW and this one for 5 years. I have never seen any kind of flooding like this.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #30

Mar 022015


  • miles
The wiring insulation is peeling around all of the wires in the headlight assembly. This is not a serviceable part, but the light bulbs are serviceable. This seems to pose a fire risk because bare conductors of opposite polarity are exposed to one another.

- Coral Gables, FL, USA

problem #29

Feb 142015

530 6-cyl

  • 138,570 miles


A message on the vehicle display screen indicated that the right-side low beam headlight was malfunctioning. I removed the headlight assembly to replace the bulb and found the wiring insulation is crumbling to the touch, resulting in a short circuit. The headlight bulb is not actually burned out. There are many complaints about this on the BMW forums but BMW and the headlight manufacturer, hella, refuses to acknowledge the problem or do anything about it.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #28

Dec 212014

530 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
Failures of multiple wires/electrical components in the tailgate/rear window wiring harnesses. Search for BMW E61 tailgate wiring problems. The failures are caused by a poor design where the wires entering the hinge guides (4) for the glass and tailgate are repeatedly flexed at a sharp angle until the insulation, then the copper wire breaks. Safety issues - possible electrical short circuit leading to fires (highest load is for rear defroster); lighting failures (rear high brake light, license plate lamps and others); reduced visibility due to loss of wiper/washer/defroster; rear glass latch opening while underway, possibly resulting in loss of cargo or ingress of exhaust fumes. This is not an easily repaired problem and has cost over $2000 so far. I'm worried about driving this car as it is the main transportation for my children and their friends.I discovered it when the remote lock/unlock using the key fobs failed, the trunk inoperable and uncloseable, the radio stopped working, the lights in the rear of the car stayed on permanently and I had to drive home one night with the trunk wide open because the wiring had stopped working and it could not be closed. As I investigated I found many broken ground wires, along with several others with broken insulation, some with broken copper strands etc. I have already had the right and left wire harnesses replaced at an independent dealer for about $2200. This is a safety issue and I'm worried that more will come.

- Orinda, CA, USA

problem #27

Nov 222014

530 6-cyl

  • 96,900 miles
When I started my car the idrive displayed the "increased battery discharge" message. I then smelled a strong odor of smoke and melted plastic, and the idrive stopped working altogether. I couldn't figure out the problem until I searched this website and several BMW devoted message boards to discover that the problem could be traced to a defective design related to the micro processor module that controls the idrive. Apparently, BMW thought it was a good idea to install the mpm, an important and sensitive electrical component, in the spare tire wheel-well where liquid can gather easily. A small amount of water spilled in my trunk, and the mpm burned and melted along with the attached wiring harness. Obviously, this is a serious and dangerous design defect. And mine is not the first instance of this happening - why hasn't a recall been required? it also seems that BMW issued at least one service bulletin regarding this issue, and directed its dealers to relocate the mpm to a safer location. My vehicle has been to the dealer several times since the bulletin was issued - at least twice for problems with the electrical system - but the dealer never mentioned the bulletin or suggested that they should relocate it.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #26

Sep 112014

530 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
As I was driving a warning came on my idrive display that there was a parking light malfunction. I later removed the headlight to replace a bulb and upon doing so I noticed bare copper wires. I then removed the main cover and saw that literally every wire had portions of the outer wire jacket deteriorating. When I removed the parking lamp assy. To replace the bulb, the wire jacket just flaked off. Due to the severity of the damage I immediately took the headlight to lauderdale BMW. Lauderdale BMW had a specialist look at the headlight. The specialist said that though it did look very bad unfortunately it was just due to the Florida sun! there is no support for the headlight either from hella North America (the actual manufacturer of the headlight) or from BMW. No parts can be ordered for it. The only option available is to purchase a complete new headlight assy. At $1500 I wrote to hella North America and they referred me to BMW germany. I wrote to bmwna and they responded that it was just normal wear and tear. Imagine that, an 8 year old headlight deteriorate to bare wires is by BMW's concern, normal wear and tear! that's shameful! at this point I cannot install the headlight assembly back into the car for fear of a dead short and possible fire! I have a 1995 Chevrolet S-10 that at 19 years has no wiring issues and definitely no bare wires! for BMW though it is considered completely acceptable after 8 years! yet both vehicles sit side by side in the Florida sun everyday! is it right that BMW vehicle pricing on the average is so much higher than Chevrolet and yet BMW's build quality and what is acceptable is so much lower! when this happens, something is terribly wrong!

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #25

Jun 272014

530 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
I discovered failures of multiple wires in the tailgate/rear window wiring harnesses. Through research online I have found this is a common problem with this vehicle over several model years - search for BMW E61 tailgate wiring problems. The failures are caused by a poor design where the wires entering the hinge guides (4) for the glass and tailgate are repeatedly flexed at a sharp angle until the insulation, then the copper wire breaks. Safety issues - possible electrical short circuit leading to fires (highest load is for rear defroster); lighting failures (rear high brake light, license plate lamps and others); reduced visibility due to loss of wiper/washer/defroster; rear glass latch opening while underway, possibly resulting in loss of cargo or ingress of exhaust fumes. Central locking mechanism fails. If there were to be an accident and/or interior fire escaping the vehicle would be difficult this is not an easily repaired problem. It would be beyond the capabilities of all but a skilled mechanic with proper tools. I discovered it when the remote lock/unlock using the key fobs failed. As I investigated I found the broken wire, along with several others with broken insulation, some with broken copper strands.

- Nashville, TN, USA

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

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