really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
129,400 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.

2002 BMW 540 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 BMW 540 Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 152019


  • 160,000 miles


I have a 2002 525I which I drove to work on January 15, 2019. After being in work for 15 minutes, I was notified that the entire front end of my car was engulfed in flames. The top of the hood, under the hood, and under the front end of my car was completely on fire. I have read about the pvc recall for 2007-2011, but I also read "BMW had looked into heat damage involving the heating and cooling system as early as 2007 but stepped up its analysis work in September." That was from a chronology report provided by BMW to NHTSA, and quoted from abcnews.go.com. What this tells me is BMW didn't look back any earlier than 2007. It was terrifying, and thank god no one was hurt. What is BMW doing about this" and what is my next course of action"

- Newark, DE, USA

problem #2

Dec 102013


  • 151,345 miles
After starting up my car, there was a slight whine under the hood. I gave the car a little bit of throttle to see if the whine went away and heard a loud bang. The car was still running but my battery light was on. I needed to get home, and I thought that my car may not start again if I turned it off so I drove home. Immediately I noticed that I didn't have any power steering. As I drove my engine temperature got higher and I barely made it home without overheating. A few days later I looked in the engine compartment and saw that the power steering pump had broken free of the engine - the bracket had sheared off. That in turn caused the belt to fall off which was turning the water pump and alternator. I got on the computer and looked up the problem and found a lot of people experiencing the same problem, some driving during the incident. This is a real defective design and causes me to be concerned about the safety. I hope nothing tragic has to happen to someone for this to be considered a recall.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #1

Sep 302012


  • 76,854 miles
I was driving in stop and go traffic when I noticed the steering felt a little stiffer than usual. After about 5 miles and better flowing traffic I pulled into a restaurant for dinner when my upper radiator hose exploded. I pulled into a stall and opened the hood to inspect what happened. The hose was very apparent and after further investigation I noticed the power steering pumps pulley at a very sharp angle compared to linear with the serpentine belt. I can only assume that from the bracket on the pump breaking, it caused a chain reaction of events. First the bracket brocket putting the pump at a steep angle N forcing the belt to go off track which then caused all the other accessories to be disabled including the water pump which overheated the car.

- Kapolei, HI, USA

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