hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,287 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.

2008 BMW 550 lights problems

lights problem

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2008 BMW 550 Owner Comments

problem #11

Jul 132015


  • 100,000 miles


Frayed and disintegrating headlight wiring present throughout my headlamps. These are sealed enclosures for which there are no preventive maintenance items. This is a serious safety issue as the headlights may fail without warning, particularly in hot weather. These are non consumer replaceable parts and prohibitively expensive to replace and should not be failing after only 8 years of service.

- Mauldin, SC, USA

problem #10

Jun 282016


  • 125,312 miles
I had a parking light go bad and while I was replacing it I noticed that the wiring inside the headlight assembly is no longer insulated. The insulation has become brittle and is flaking off. I removed the cover for the other headlight and the same thing has happened to that light. It would seem that these bare wires could cause a vehicle fire.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #9

Jun 212016


  • 140,000 miles
Bought a 2008 BMW 550I and experienced headlight failure with the headlight fuse blowing repeatedly when I went to change the bulbs noticed that all the wires in the headlight were bare. Used liquid insulation to fix the issue however have seen numerous of this car catching fire from the issue after some research

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #8

Feb 242016


  • miles


Fraud activity possible clone refinanced identity theft remote access was put on unauthorized threat safety for owner. Two loan start dates one in repo

- Ft Worth, TX, USA

problem #7

Feb 152016


  • 94,000 miles
Just bought a used 2008 528I (E60) w/94K miles, in otherwise perfect condition. Went to change the angel eyes from drab yellow to lux led's. noticed bare wires on both sides of the bulb connectors, on both sides of the car. Tried to use electrical tape, just made more bare wire. The more I touched the wires, the more insulation flaked off, almost like a powder. I've never seen anything like it. Can't possibly be safe. Definitely a fire hazard. Neighbor brought over a bottle of liquid tape, and I re-coated all the bare wire I could see, making sure each wire was separated so a short would not occur. That is a good temporary fix. Will have to stay on top of this problem, since most, if not all, of the headlight wiring is made with bad, quickly degrading wire insulation. A real disappointment in otherwise good german quality and engineering. I guess the source procurer at the factory saved BMW some big bucks on that wire!! this is definitely a NHTSA safety recall issue. Tort lawyers should have a field day on this one. Photos of this problem are available at: www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?2132684-headlight-wire-jackets-just-flake-off

- Canyon Lake, TX, USA

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problem #6

Oct 012015


  • 139,000 miles
Electrical wiring insulation/sheathing within the headlight unit/housing is showing signs of and or outright deterioration which in turn exposes bare wires within the headlight housing. At this point, the daytime running lamps have been the only effected lights but the wires for the headlights are also noticeably troubled. The issue is not speed, movement or area dependent. For further reference, I will provide a link to an owner's forum detailing other's dilemmas due to this exact issue: www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?T=798640 I look forward to a response.

- Kingsville, TX, USA

problem #5

Apr 282015


  • 77,000 miles


I recently started experiencing fuses blowing on my right front head light units. Errors would indicate it was the 'right daylight parking unit' and then would clear or stay constant. When it was constant, it was due to a blown fuse. It turns out when I had a BMW certified technician look at the issue he said that the problem was related to the wiring inside the front head light. The wiring had insulation that was starting to flake off allowing contact of the two wires going to the bulb and was even apparent on other wires within the head light assembly. If I hit a bump or went over rumble strips these wires could touch and short causing the fuse to blow and/or error message. After 3 fuses and buying an unnecessary set of H8 bulbs, the technician fixed the wiring with some electrical tape but suggested that a file a complaint here since there is no open recall for this common issue. He also told me this problem with wire insulation falling off was very common on BMW's that were 5-7 years old. I could see burn marks on the wire an installation from where the short occurred and was shocked that all the wiring within the head lamp on both the right and left front showed these flaking and cracking. After researching online at several BMW forums I found many similar issues and images almost identical to the ones my technician took. I would like a recall to be issued by BMW to replace the head light assemblies or internal wiring with wires that have a better/proper insulator that doesn't flake off. I've not had the back lights checked, but found that this is common on most if not all BMW light assemblies front/back for a few online research queries. Also where can I send the digital pictures my technician took of the wiring?

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #4

Nov 222013

550 6-cyl

  • 97,700 miles
Malfunction of left headlight. Dealer inspection revealed"headlight wires leading to bulb socket have corrosion on them and casing around the wires is coming off". there was a recent vehicle safety recall for this model car for similar issues with rear lamp bulb carrier: Recall campaign no. 13V-407 potentially serious safety issue with malfunction of headlights leading to dangerous driving conditions or crash can occur especially at night or in bad/inclement weather.

- Ocean Springs, MS, USA

problem #3

Nov 012013

550 6-cyl

  • 66,050 miles
The rear back-up lamp outage warning light came on my dashboard. I attempted to replace the bulb and saw that the wiring harness had been burnt around the brown wire. I searched online and saw that this has happened many times to other with the same yr make and model vehicle. I reported it to the deal who in turn referred me to contact BMW North America. I received an E-mail response from them saying that there is a recall in process and to wait 4-6 weeks. The problem, is that my tail light is not working. It is unfortunate this cannot be fixed immediately. I want to ensure that I am included in this recall.

- Placentia, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 012012


  • 48,600 miles
The grounding wire in the connector to the tail light bulb holder melted and melted parts of the connector. This resulted in no signal, brake and running rear lights. A recall has been called for BMW E46 3 series for this exact problem. The recall should be expanded to cover the 5 series as well.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 112011

550 6-cyl

  • 72,500 miles
Ground wire for passenger side tail light burned up. Ground wire, both sides of electrical connector, and tail light bulb holder all burned up. Passenger side brake light, tail light, turn signal and back up light do not function at all. Improperly rated fuse did not blow before circuit burned up and melted. This circuit is not designed correctly. This is a safety hazard to myself and anyone driving behind me. Car model is a 2008 528xi.

- Lawton, MI, USA

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