hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,394 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 M5 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2006 BMW M5 Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 012014


  • 85,000 miles


Well documented (on the internet) problem with the passenger side active restraint system failing, typically due to the passenger side occupancy mat. This problem has been documented in almost every model manufactured since 2000, but has only been addressed in a few, select, vehicles. This is the most common complaint for this model on carsafety.gov and has not been acknowledged by BMW of North America. This problem, in itself, can lead to a variety of malfunctions in the event of an accident causing serious injury or death. The problem has also led to a large market of "dummy sensors" being sold on ebay and similar sites, which trick the computer into thinking the airbag sensor is correctly functioning. These dummy sensors do not remedy the problem and can lead to an increased risk of injury or death. Synopsis: Airbag system warning light and restraint system warning light appear in instrument cluster. Idrive system reads: Passenger restraint system malfunction. Seat sensor mat for the passenger seat air bag disengages when passenger is seated. The disengaging of the passenger air bag poses a great danger for the passenger due to the passenger air bag will not deploy in a accident causing injury or death. BMW is aware of this ongoing problems with the M5 E60 series, but will not address this issue of safety. BMW charges the owner up to $5000 dollars to fix this safety issue.

- Phone Only, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 012014

M5 10-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My vehicle is reporting a passenger restraint system malfunction as reported in the NHTSA campaign id number: 08V384000. I have contacted BMW na multiple times and the state my VIN is not listed in the recall. I find this very alarming and unsafe. My vehicle fits all parameters as stated by the recall documentation but I am still left in this possibly unsafe situation when a problem has been documented and recalled. Please assist if possible. Thank you in advance for your time.

- Speedway, IN, USA

problem #5

Sep 132013

M5 10-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The dashboard air bag and seat belt warning lights would activate whenever anyone would sit in the front passenger seat. They eventually would go out, but now are permanently on. The central computer display also puts out a similar text warning message whenever I start up the car. It claims that the seat belt and airbag are malfunctioning for the front passenger and I presume are now disabled. Looking into this, it is a faulty sensor mat within the front passenger seat. This particular make and model (E60) is plagued with this issue, and BMW offered a recall on early (2005 build?) cars, but has refused coverage for anyone else although it is the exact same issue. My car is a 04/2006 build. The job has been quoted for some at the dealership up to $3,500 in parts and labor and requires a whole new seat bottom (which contains complicated heating, cooling, adjustment mechanisms, and leather). A friend with a much earlier model (1999 BMW M3 coupe) E36 had the exact same issue in < 100K mi, so this is not new to BMW.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #4

Mar 102014

M5 10-cyl

  • 61,256 miles


Front passenger seat air bag seat occupancy sensor mat, the passenger restraint system malfunction warning lamp illuminated. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included on any recalls. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 62,000. Passenger air bag light on, showing air bag off. "important safety recall" note: For current recall January 2014, BMW states: "the recall involves the front passenger air bag seat occupancy sensor mat, over time, due to the frequency of front passenger seat usage, the sensor can become damaged. If this were to occur, deactivation of the front passenger air bag could result, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a crash. If the front passenger air bag became deactivated, the air bag warning lamp on the instrument cluster and the front "passenger air bag off" lamp in the overhead console are illuminated at the same time." Note 2: this is exactly what's showing. It was off yesterday and now its on. The 2006 E60 M5 is not included, but the other 2006-2007 5 series are, and there are numerous cases of the error occurring with this vehicle. Was told by the dealer its a seat sensor and the whole seat would need to be replaced for $2000+. I think BMW should take responsibility, in ensuring the issue is resolved for owners of these other affected vehicles, by this seat sensor issue. Car was manufactured prior on or before Nov/2005.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #3

Jan 312013


  • 63,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 BMW M5. The contact stated that when the vehicle was started, the passenger seat belt and passenger air bag warning lights illuminated. The contact also stated that the failure recurred several times. A dealer was notified and stated that while it was a common complaint, there was no recall. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 63,000.

- Canoga Park, CA, USA

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problem #2

Aug 152012

M5 10-cyl

  • 85,500 miles
Passenger occupancy sensor is bad. This causes a warning message to occur that states that the restraint system is malfunctioning. After further research, if this message is displayed, the airbags will not deploy in the event of a crash.

- Fairview, OR, USA

problem #1

Sep 092010

M5 10-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
This error appears on the console every time I turn on the vehicle; exact error message is : pass. Restraint system, affecting airbag, belt tensioner or belt-force limiter. Continue to wear the safety belt. The passenger air bag passenger light is permanently on both the display console and dashboard. Took in for service at braman BMW dealership in miami on 9/20/2010 but the repair was rejected under the current recall (air bag seat sensor mat involving of 8/13/2008). According to the service technician this problem is caused by the same part (seat mat sensor) which the entire bottom seat has to replace. The car had around 54K when this problem started.

- Miramar, FL, USA

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