really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
398 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 550 steering problems

steering problem

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2011 BMW 550 Owner Comments

problem #18

Aug 102011

550 6-cyl

  • 1 miles


There are two major problems with my 2011 528I august10 build. The first is the pulling to the right that the car has had since day one. I took it to the service department and they were completely oblivious to the problem. After some persistence they decided to check the car out. The struts were rotated and software updated and now "drives straight". the car drives straight for maybe 25 feet before the car starts tugging hard right everytime. I took the car back to the shop and they said that there was nothing more they can do and it is all "within tolerance". this is a potentially very dangerous issue that needs to be seriously addressed. The second issue is the initial lag in acceleration when pressing the gas pedal. When at a dead stop or cruising at highway speeds, you have to floor the car to finally get it to decide which gear to start in. This acceleration lag can be a couple of seconds and when pulling out in traffic a couple of seconds can mean alot. I hope BMW addresses these issues or I will be forced to sell my car and never look back.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #17

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 #16

Jan 312011


  • 375 miles
I purchased my 2011 550I in January of 2011. Two weeks after actually getting the car on the road I noticed the vehicle veers to the right. I took the car back in and the dealership stated they performed an alignment. Car still pulls to the right in addition to now I have a loud whining noise at 2000 rpms. The chief mechanic has had my car for two weeks now and cannot identify the problem. Additionally, there was a lot of loud creeking noises coming from my rooftop liner. The entire had to be replaced to resolve the issue according to the dealership but I don't have my car back yet due to the whining issue being unresolved. The veering right issue seems most common among all complaints and is why I decided to log a complaint.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #15

Oct 282010


  • miles


Two safety issues with my 2011 BMW 535I: 1- steering: The steering wheel pulls to the right. It also cannot be controlled if any wind is blowing. I have to slow down just to keep it centered. 2- transmission: The throttle is initially non-responsive from stop or low speeds, then suddenly it jerks to the front, almost hitting the car infront of me.

- Riyadh, 00, USA

problem #14

Jan 042011


  • 70 miles
I have a new BMW 550I with sport package and 19" wheels. This car is trying to kill me. The car steers wherever it wants to. I have had it to the dealer since day one and they refuse to acknowledge any problem. They have changed the software and the steering column to appease me, but to no avail. This car will pull you toward the guard rail and only a frantic, panic, save my life move can keep the car from crashing. I fear for my life when I drive this car. I have never and I repeat never driven such a horrible car.maybe when I a am killed in this car BMW will pay for my funeral. This is the biggest cover up in the history of cars. They have lack of conscience that is inconceivable that they are torturing new owners of this car who paid good if not blood money to own one and now desperately want help to fix or get rid of this car. I want out. I am talking to lawyers and maybe this is the only language BMW understands. Class action suit seems logical. I am contacting media and anyone else I can.I tried to trade this car in at several dealers. Both of these dealers sent me a letter stating that they would not take my car in trade after test driving it. They said it was defective and unsafe. They want no part of it. In all of my life I have never heard of anything like this. A new car costing 75K and they won't take it in trade with 6000 miles. Never have I heard of this. So, good luck with your piece of crap F10 550I and I hope you live through it.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #13

Jan 032011


  • 500 miles
My 2011 BMW 550I sedan has had steering wheel grinding sensations and loud noises when I turn the wheel at low speeds. Sometimes there is a "thud" coming from the steering component also. BMW states there are no fixes for this and that it is not a safety issue. This is indeed a safety issue since the steering wheel and the steering wheel area indeed has a problem. The service dealerships is stating it is a valve block problem which has a current backorder of 2 weeks. However, people who have replaced the valve block is still having the same steering wheel problems with their vehicles. I have included a link to a BMW forum that has about 1 in 3 owners experiencing this problem- www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?T=495019&page=18 if there is a steering wheel failure at higher speeds, it can potentially lead to huge catastrophies.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 022011


  • 1,874 miles


BMW 2011 535I - vehicle pulls to right immediately after letting hand of steering wheel. I purchased the vehicle on 12/31/2011 new and it has been in the shop since 1/2/11. It was released to me today with the problem not being fixed. Issue is a safety issue as it can pull vehicle into lane with out driver turning wheel.

- Fowler, CA, USA

problem #11

Dec 022010


  • 1 miles
My 2011 BMW 528I pulled hard to the right the day I drove it off the dealer's lot. The car remains in the dealer's shop. It has had two wheel alignments and a software download. I have driven it after the work was performed and it continues to want to pull right. The vehicle has 375 miles on it.

- North Oaks, MN, USA

problem #10

Oct 312010


  • 50 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW 550I. The contact stated that shortly after purchasing the vehicle and driving at various speeds he noticed that the vehicle would pull to the right abnormally. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer in which they inspected the vehicle and made repairs by performing an alignment and other unknown repairs. The failure persisted. In addition, the steering wheel was exhibiting an abnormal grinding when turning in either direction. He then took the vehicle back into the dealer and they replaced the front torsion bar but to no avail. The manufacturer was contacted and they informed the contact that if he was unsatisfied with the vehicle then he should turn it back in to the dealer. The failure mileage was approximately 50.

- Los Angelos, CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 062010


  • 3,000 miles
Vehicle ran off of right edge of road due to steering pulling to the right. Right wheels/tires suffered $2400 damage. Tires/wheels replace, alignment done and car still pulls to the right. This is a defect from BMW - numerous us owners are experiencing problems with steering on 2011 BMW 5 series cars (see other NHTSA reports).

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #8

Aug 192010


  • 6 miles


I purchased 2011 model BMW 535I in August 2010. There are 3 cigarette lighter power outlets inside the car and electricity is supplying all the time regardless of whether vehicle is being locked or not. If I use accessories like gps, charger, coffer warmer etc. And left in the locked vehicle under summer sun could really be a fire hazard. I have contacted to BMW customer relations and local service asking to rewire to stop power supply while engine is stopped or/and vehicle is locked but they refused to fix the problem. I have another complaint regarding the steering like other owners which is that vehicle is pulling to the right all the time at all speed. I'd like to request NHTSA to order BMW to fix those problems asap as a recall!

- Macomb, IL, USA

problem #7

Jun 262010


  • 75 miles
Car pulls to the right. Does not steer linear. It is hard to determine where the car is going with this pull. It drives like this all the time. It is especially difficult in wet weather. It has been like this since I purchased it new. The dealer has tried rotating tires and rotating strut towers, but no resolve. The dealer told me it's a steering software problem in which they have no fix for.

- Broomfield, CO, USA

problem #6

Jun 262010


  • 12 miles
Brand new 2011 BMW 550I, car pulls hard to the right, car is difficult to control at high speeds, problem is constant, cars honk at me sometimes when driving next to me because the car swerves back and forth uncontrollably. Took to BMW and they confirmed problem but said they have no fix. They told me to keep driving the car until they figure out how to fix it. It is the only car I have and is a danger to the road! this car should not be driven but BMW will not take it back so I am stuck driving this dangerous car on the road risking my life and others at BMW expense.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 262010


  • 12 miles
Brand new 2011 BMW 550I, car pulls hard to the right, car is difficult to control at high speeds, problem is constant, cars honk at me sometimes when driving next to me because the car swerves back and forth uncontrollably.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 072010


  • 950 miles
2011 BMW 535I has a tendency to drift to the right when being driven.

- Parrish, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 162010


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW 535I. While driving approximately 60 mph the vehicle began pulling to the right. He stated that he had to steer to the left in order to keep the vehicle straight. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that they were aware of the problem. The dealer also advised him that the manufacturer told them that it was not a alignment problem or a tire problem but a software problem. The dealer stated that there was nothing they could do until the manufacturer was able to find a remedy for the failure. The failure was constant. The failure mileage was 100 and the current mileage was 700.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #2

Jun 232010


  • 1 miles
I purchased my 2011 BMW 535I on 06/23/10. The car had less than 1 mile on the odometer. As I pulled off the dealer?S lot, I noticed that the car had a hard pull to the right. The service department took it in the next day to fix it. Their equipment showed that the vehicle was within alignment specifications, but went ahead and did an alignment anyway (actually 4 of them) in an effort to resolve the problem. They attempted another solutions (tire swaps, etc.), but they were unable to fix the problem. The contacted BMW North America and spoke with technical representatives there who confirmed that the problem was a known issue with the electric steering that was new to this model but that they had "no fix at this time". I met with a regional BMW tech rep at my dealership almost a month later. He told me BMW was working feverishly to get the problem resolved - that they considered it a safety issue and a number one priority. At the time, it was believed that a software fix would be ready in 10-14 days. It's almost been a month now. I can tell you, it is scary to drive this car. Just from doing some reading and exchanging information in BMW owner forums, there are a multitude of these cars out there with this problem. BMW isn't talking direct to the consumers about this or putting out any information at all. I just want it fixed and safe - it's been almost 3 months since the car was delivered to me and released for sale to the North american market.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #1

Jul 102010


  • 100 miles
Ever since I've owned this vehicle, I noticed it pulls to the right. It constantly pulls to the right and the dealer has no fix yet.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

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