really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,229 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.

2004 BMW X3 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #5

Feb 092016


  • 109,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 BMW X3. While driving 45 mph, the contact noticed that the heated seats became hotter than normal. The contact pulled over, exited the vehicle, and noticed that the heated seat coils burned holes through the leather seats and the seat covers. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 109,000.

- Oak Creek, WI, USA

problem #4

Jan 252008

X3 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 75,647 miles
The heated seat malfunctioned and burnt a hole in the leather seat. This easily could have caused a fire, had I not turned off the heated seat immediately. The heater must have shorted out. The spot where the short occurred, on the side bolster in the seat bottom, gets very hot and burned the leather.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #3

Jan 172007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
As I was driving my 2004 BMW X3 during cold weather, I smelled something burning. I pulled my car over, turned off the heat and checked under the hood. The smell had dissipated and I could see no smoke or any evidence of fire. I restarted the car with the heater turned off, and shortly after, felt a strong burning sensation on my hip and realized that my coat was on fire. I stopped the car and jumped out and used a large book to smother the fire on the driver's seat. Field's BMW in northbrook, il took the car back that same day, and the next day confirmed a seat heater fire. I went to my doctor to confirm the burn on my leg. As of today, Feb. 1, I have not received any offer, settlement, or satisfaction from BMW. I called BMW North America myself, and received a return call from jay hansen, who seemed responsive, but I have not heard from him since. Amazingly, since the day after the fire, when they called to confirm the cause of the fire was the seat heater, I have not heard from the dealership.

- Kenilworth, IL, USA

problem #2

Jan 172007

X3 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
- the contact stated that whiled driving on the morning of 01/17/06, the thermostat on her seats turned on high. The contact stated that she smelled something burning and pulled to the side of the road. She then turned off the heater in the vehicle and opened the hood of the vehicle. The contact stated that she found nothing wrong. She got back in the vehicle and started driving without the car heater on. The contact stated that about 1/2 mile later she felt burning on her legs. She jumped out the vehicle and noticed the driver seat was on fire. The fire burned through the leather. The contact called the BMW dealership and the vehicle was towed. The dealership stated that the wires in the seat had malfunctioned. The dealership would repair the vehicle or end the lease on her vehicle. The contact stated that the dealership has offered to take care of any medical expenses and replace her clothing. The contact stated that the dealership did inform her that this failure has happened on numerous occasions.

- Kenilworth, IL, USA

problem #1

Nov 252004

X3 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,500 miles
Heated driver's seat in BMW 745I had electrical short and caused small fire, burning hole in the seat. Dealer replaced all components but did not issue receipt identifying source of defect and work performed.

- Newburgh, NY, USA

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