really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,672 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 550 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 BMW 550 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Mar 022019


  • 80,000 miles


Headlight wire insulation flaking off and wires are shorting causing headlight to go off. Wires short and arcing. The headlight went off while driving on highway at night.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #20

May 022016


  • 200,000 miles
Navigation display reboots constantly. Works periodically. This display gives me access to all of the cars features including warnings and malfunctions with the vehicle. If the display works when the car is on it may not work if you turn off the card and turn it back on.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #19

Apr 012017


  • 140,000 miles
Head lights angle lights wires getting very dry from the heat of the light and the insulation coming off the optical wires, lights go out, possible shorting and become very unsafe.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #18

Mar 012015


  • 103,000 miles


Air conditioning stop work causing motor to heat

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #17

Feb 012015


  • 100,000 miles
Steering wheel malfunction locks preventing the vehicle to start steering wheel locks while driving

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #16

Jan 012015


  • 65,000 miles
Defective elv steering lock prevents the car from starting. The lock can't be disabled. This should be a recall. The lock is unnnecssary for safe operation of the vehicle. The lock can't be disabled. At the very least, the owner should be able to disable it.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #15

Feb 142015

550 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 #14

Feb 032014

550 8-cyl

  • 103,481 miles
In the earlier part of the year, I noticed the battery cable (located in the trunk of my car) was very hot to the touch and began charring. I called the local BMW service center because I read of other consumers having the same issue (article in consumer reports, the New York times and msnbc.com. Each article stated BMW would be issuing a recall. I called the local BMW dealer service center and my consultant told me there was not a recall campaign for that issue with my car. On, 9/14/14 the car started giving electronic errors and acting like it was going to stall out on the interstate and we were driving at approximately 70mph. I had the car towed into BMW of nashville's service center on 9/14/14 and was informed that I was responsible for paying for the charges to replace the cables and they know it is a known defect that effected millions of cars. Please investigate this issue.

- Hermitage, TN, USA

problem #13

May 102014

550 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 #12

Nov 262012

550 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 #11

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 #10

Feb 212011

550 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

problem #4

Jul 042007

550 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,859 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW 525xi. While driving 60 mph, the lights on the dashboard illuminated and the vehicle decelerated to 10 mph. The vehicle was unable to drive over 10 mph. The dealer stated that there was water on the passenger floor of the vehicle, which damaged all of the wiring and sensors. The dealer was unable to determine where the water originated, but suggested that it may have entered through an open window while it was raining. The current and failure mileages were 13,859.

- Westbury, NY, USA

problem #3

May 312006

550 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
After numerous services for electronically defective problems, my cars computer shut down. Just shut down. Since the computer controls all function I was left with no control over my car. I was left with no gps, no climate control, no entertainment control, and in order in have the car services with a complimentary vehicle it had to make weeks to be serviced. Even though I was sold on the fact that the company will be pick up the car, how you do wait. The car had to be serviced two times and became a huge in convince.

- Bay Shore, NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 152005

550 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
I purchased car in May 2005 and within 4 weeks my car lights and signal would just flash out of control. The car would then beep all the time. The dealer said they don't know why. Then the computer locked my car. After waited almost 2 hours for roadside the dealer came to bring me to a rental car dealership. The car was towed and then the car was re keyed. The computer was updated and all electronically defects worked better then delivery.

- Bay Shore, NY, USA

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