really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,003 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 BMW 535 Owner Comments

problem #12

Sep 142015


  • 117,000 miles


Drive train malfunction light comes on from time to time. Message: "dirvetrain malfunction; maximum output not available." Loss of power. Told by dealer service department (otto's BMW) to stop car and turn it on again. It runs just fine after this is done. But intermittent loss of power while driving on the highway is very very dangerous. I called the state trooper the first time this happened (in 2012 when the car was practically new, having less than 20,000 miles) to provide cover.

- Chadds Ford, PA, USA

problem #11

Aug 152014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW 535I. The contact received a notification for recall NHTSA campaign number: 14V176000 (power train) however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #10

Jun 092013

535 6-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
When accelerating from a stop there is a very noticeable throttle response lag of over 1 second before the vehicle starts moving. If you are not aware of this behavior when driving the vehicle this is a major safety hazard when pulling into or out of intersections. It is as if the vehicle does not know which gear to use and tries to start out in second gear, then when the car doesn't start moving the driver presses the accelerator down further until finally the software in the computer decides to downshift into first gear and then the car takes off like a rocket, which is also very dangerous if you are not expecting it.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #9

Jun 292012

535 6-cyl

  • 900 miles


2011 BMW 535 X-drive pulls to the right after going straight for a little while, very similar to all the other complaints about 2011 5-series BMW. Also jerking forward after cruising at a low speed with a slight acceleration pedal movement. 2 BMW dealerships I visited are clueless how to fix it. Although some owners (according to online forum discussions) were lucky to fix it with a special S/B procedure issued by BMW. But BMW does not inform all their authorized centers properly about this problem. And if you are unfortunate enough to get into one of those uninformed dealerships you will get a "normal" excuse etc., multiple attempts to align the car, refusal to acknowledge the problem- anything but fixing the car properly.

- Copiague, NY, USA

problem #8

Oct 152011

535 6-cyl

  • 200 miles
This car was purchased on 10/7/2011 and within the first week I reported a problem with the timing stating the car seems to have a lag on take off from a stop. Salesman stated he was unaware of any problems. One week after purchase while driving at 50mph on a highway, a warning statement was displayed 'maximum drivetrain not available' and car immediately decelerated to 30mph...very lucky to be able to get off the road. After taking to the dealership, they said they could not find any problems. Three days later I had the same problem now going 60mph. Back into the dealer I also complained about the continual lag in acceleration after stops and then lurching forward. Just received a message that they were replacing the master air flow sensor. This car is dangerous and I want it returned to dealer.

- Excelsior, MN, USA

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problem #7

Sep 302010


  • 200 miles
The car has acceleration issues when not only adding additional speed while driving but when beginning to accelerate from a stop sign or traffic light, as well. The car hesitates when accelerating and there is often a lag in accelerating while the car is stopped or at a low speed, creating a safety concern. Not only is there a safety issue, but it is not how a $51,000 luxury sedan should drive -- it is rather rough and annoying to drive the car. The car also idles at an extremely low speed or no speed when the car is started after sitting for a longer period of time. In this case, I have to apply a decent amount of pressure on the accelerator even to back out of my garage.

- Paradise Valley, AZ, USA

problem #6

Aug 192011

535 6-cyl

  • 4 miles


Car does not respond to tip-in of accelerator from standstill. As you press harder to get intended acceleration, car lurches forward dramatically and unsafely. Vehicle is extremely difficult to drive smoothly, especially in close, stop-and-go traffic. Contacted local dealership (the BMW store in cincinnati, oh) on 9/5/11 and they are aware of the problem, but BMW is currently only providing a software patch for the 535 model. I was advised to keep driving the vehicle until BMW issues a software patch for the 528, but the dealer was not aware of any upcoming fix. I am concerned that BMW has fixed the problem for the 535, but not the 528, and that a potential fix is uncertain. This is a major driveability and safety issue.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #5

Jul 202011

535 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW 528I. While stopped at a stop sign the contact depressed the accelerator, and the vehicle would not accelerate. The contact continued applying pressure to the accelerator pedal until the vehicle accelerated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics. The technician was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 50. Dealer rep stated that this is a known issue, but no fix has been published by BMW. Updated 09/29/2011

- Arlington , TX, USA

problem #4

Aug 022011

535 6-cyl

  • 65 miles
BMW 528I throttle lag/tip in/delayed acceleration from a standing stop;constant problem;have been told by BMW dealer that this is normal.it is very annoying and am fearful it could lead to safety issue.this is a brand new 2011 model with less than 500 miles on odometer.

- Danville, VA, USA

problem #3

Jul 212011

535 6-cyl

  • 1,200 miles
After purchasing a new 2011 BMW 528I (vehicle) I noticed an acceleration lag starting out from a dead stop. It has become a safety concern, especially when trying to turn onto a street from a stop sign. It crawls into the roadway when moderate pressure is applied to the gas pedal. If oncoming traffic is close this results in having to stomp on the gas pedal causing the car to jerk ahead at an unexpected rate of speed. I have had a few close calls because of this issue. Took car to dealer. They stated they reset the "learning" program that is supposed to adapt to the way one drives. This did nothing to fix the problem. After telling the dealer about this problem again, their response was that the vehicle was "operating as designed" and told me that they "all do it". since there were no trouble codes on the computer of the vehicle they said nothing is wrong with the car. This is unacceptable and I feel this will eventually result in an accident at some point when immediate and linear acceleration is needed at a critical moment.

- Villas, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jul 092011


  • 40 miles
There are 3 major issues. 1. vehicle tends to veer to the right. Feeling is quite like a vehicle that hasn't been aligned for a while. 2. the most dangerous. Upon acceleration and/or at low speed, the vehicle randomly jerks forward without any notice- making it too late for the driver to slam the brakes. If your vehicle is standing three feet behind another vehicle in stop and go traffic, you can easily crash and rear end into the car in front of you. And of course, you will be sued for not keeping your distance. This can easily cause some serious injuries. 3. vehicle wobbles as if the tires were not balanced. There are clearly unknown defects that can not be located. Took it to the local BMW dealer, they keep ascribing it to "normal" characteristics and they keep informing me that bmws are built that way, they are now sportier. However, to any new owner, it is now deadlier. The local BMW dealer also state unless they vehicle doesn't inform them about the issue they can't do anything. Its more like, until someone doesn't sue them is when they will do something about it. BMW seriously needs to look into this issue immediately before a class action lawsuit begins against them.

- Saint Johns, FL, USA

problem #1

Oct 252010


  • 4,378 miles
Brand new 2011 BMW 528I is pulling to the right and having hesitation and jerkiness issues.

- Del Mar, CA, USA

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