definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
42,293 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 535 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2011 BMW 535 Owner Comments

problem #2

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 #1

Oct 222014

535 6-cyl

  • 44,586 miles
I was driving at around 20 mph with a friend of mine sitting on the passenger seats and the car system tells me "passenger restraint system malfunction. Continue to wear seat belt." I checked online and its because sensors for the air bag system are malfunctioning. This has been a problem in all bmws since 2006. I read online that it reoccurs frequently and that I will have to pay at least $1200 to repair it if I am out of warranty. I will have to pay atleast $150 for diagnostics. I strongly feel I should not be the one paying for bmws mistake at any given time. BMW has recalled around 200,000 cars affected by this problem and have extended the warranty program for 10 years for the affected cars. This is a serious liability issue. Incase I am in an accident tomorrow and the air bags are not deployed, it could lead to the loss of one's life. I urge BMW to look into this issue as soon as possible. My car has never been in an accident, never in floods and neither in fire. I have absolutely no incidents with the car. I have a recall for the vanos bolts that affects the engine as well and I still have not heard from BMW. Incase the bolts go off the engine would lose power and it could lead to a unfortunate circumstance. These both issues are life threatening and needs to be fixed right away. I request you to urgently look into the matter.

- Brighton, MA, USA

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