really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 11
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,504 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 X3 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2006 BMW X3 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Feb 132019


  • 5 miles


Heated seats gets too hot and burnt me on the left butt cheek. Definitely a fire hazard as I could also smell something burning in the car.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #33

Oct 122018


  • 95,000 miles
Heated seat malfunctions causing "hot spot" that burns skin on rear upper leg.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #32

Nov 202018


  • 99,000 miles
Problem with the driver's seat heating mat. Problem with determining the cause of errors posted on the photo

- Bielsko-BiałA, AL, USA

problem #31

Mar 152016


  • 126,000 miles


Driver's side seat heater wire burned through the seat, melted a spot on my vinyl raincoat and subsequently burned my buttock. Vehicle was in motion on a city street at the time.

- Concord, MA, USA

problem #30

Dec 052017


  • 100,000 miles
My heated driver side seat shorted out and burned a hole in the leather seat, and luckily being in the auto industry and having a knowledge of seat construction I immediately turned the seat off. There are numerous reports of this issue on various BMW forums., including fires! I think this is a serious safety defect that BMW should be held accountable to fix and repair.

- Auburn Hills, MI, USA

problem #29

Aug 182017


  • 105,000 miles
Head protection system was deactivated the air bag warning lamp illuminated and the air bag "on-off" lamp illuminated as well. After purchase there was no illumination of these lights and then about 2 years later while driving in the city at about 45 mph, both lamps illuminated when my son and I were heading to the store. I called BMW and they told me then that it was probably due to a cracked seat mat sensor and a recall on those sensors was being extended for 2006 X3 models. I called our local BMW today to schedule a repair of the seat and have the car parked in the garage since August 2017 due to a possible vehicle safety issue with a system failure of airbag deployment. My son has been unable to use the car for college which is 4 hours away. Now I would like to understand why this vehicle is not considered under the extended warranty notices of 08V384000 or 17V605000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #28

Jan 022017


  • 122,000 miles


As I drove home from a long flight home after the holidays, the engine caught fire due to a frozen crank case ventilation system which caused oil to spray out in the engine compartment. I pulled over when I noticed smoke in the passenger compartment and smoke coming out of the hood. I was able to blow out the fire. Temperatures were 5 degrees F that night. The dealer stated there was a "more robust crank case ventilation system" that they would install at my cost. After the week long repair, the dealer brought my car to the front and turned on the seat heaters. I drove about 5 miles before noting a pinching/painful sensation on my left upper thigh. I pulled over to find a burn mark on the leather seat and a burn on my left upper thigh. It appears to be due to a short in the seat heater.

- Wasilla, AK, USA

problem #27

Jan 272017


  • 172,800 miles
Driver seat heater caught on fire this morning dealership said no recall yet million msg boards clearly show faulty issue I have documented over 30 separate cases already since 2009! smoke filled car burn smell burned hole right thru seat happened in minutes safety issue 100% bmwgallerynorwood said not covered to fix"!"! have on video&pics glad my 16 year old son was only in driveway when this happened his sweatshirt ruined with burn marks imagine if he was on main rd!!

- Sharon, MA, USA

problem #26

Jan 112017


  • 78,000 miles
Heated seat malfunctioned when turned on the seat got so hot it burned the back of my thigh, strong smell of something burning. Turned it off right away. I had just turned th car on it happened within seconds of turning the heated seat button on.

- Middletown, NJ, USA

problem #25

Dec 262015


  • miles
Driver's seat heater element overheating. Turned on seat Dec 2015, got too hot. Used diaper to insulate leg. Seat heater melted diaper to leather. I have not used it since. An internet search indicates this is happening to other cars of this model.

- Silverton, OR, USA

problem #24

Nov 242016


  • 106,000 miles


Had been ongoing for a couple months the heated seat was malfunctioning. You would turn it on and the driver seat in the left side would start to heat up beginning from the butt area ending by the knee to the point where it was starting to sting and making it really uncomfortable to sit. Just recently the seat heater got really hot to the point it burned the leather and burned my wifes butt. Go to inspect it while it was on and while pushing down slightly where the burnt hole was, sparks began coming out

- Grantsville, UT, USA

problem #23

Feb 282016


  • 71,000 miles
Was driving down my BMW X3 down the road with my seat warmers on and the inside of my car started to smell like something was burning I figured something was wrong with my seat warmer so I turned it off a little ways down the road I pulled over to check and make sure my seat was okay and noticed a small burn on the bottom left on the back of my seat and I checked my sweater and there was a burn mark on it too

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #22

Jan 202016


  • 80,000 miles
I'm filing this complaint on behalf of my wife. She was driving down the highway utilizing the heated seat function of the vehicle today when she smelled burning and the seat became dangerously hot. She pulled over and turned the heating function off which temporarily resolved the the problem. A little research on the internet reveals that this is a common problem with 2006 model BMW X3S. Some cases being so severe that people's seats have burned them and even caught fire. This is extremely dangerous.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #21

Apr 012015

X3 6-cyl

  • 69,000 miles
I was driving and noticed a burning smell. I had my seat heater on and noticed a very, very hot spot on the bottom part of the seat on the left side. I hurried and shut the seat heater off, but noticed burn marks on the leather. The seat would have definitely caught on fire if I hadn't shut off the seat heater.

- Provo, UT, USA

problem #20

Feb 232014

X3 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
I was driving when I smelled smoke and realized that the driver's side seat had caught fire. I stopped the car, jumped out, and saw that a hole had burned through the car seat and I could see flames. I don't understand how this has not triggered a recall as it is obviously extremely dangerous to have your car catch on fire while driving.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #19

Dec 292013

X3 6-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
Driver side heated seat caught on fire.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #18

Oct 302013

X3 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
Seat heating system issue: Without any earlier warning signs the driver seat overheated very quickly (within one minute of turning on the seat heaters) to the point of burning the drivers skin. A burning smell occurred at the same time. The driver had to get up from the seat rapidly to avoid any serious burns. This made bringing the vehicle to a controlled stop very difficult. The driver was halfway up from the seat with the seatbelt holding the driver back. This could have lead easily to an accident as it is very difficult to control a vehicle in that position. Fortunately, the vehicle was still at a slow speed and operated in a residential area. However, the risk of an accident or injuries at a higher speed and/or more populated area would have been much greater. I believe this is a serious safety related defect under the United States code for motor vehicle safety (title 49, chapter 301). Internet research and multiple complains on the NHTSA website confirm that this is not an isolated incident.

- Lewis Center, OH, USA

problem #17

Oct 212013

X3 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
I had a problem with the driver's side seat warmer in my 2006 BMW X3 starting on about October 21, 2013. While I was driving on a couple different occasions, I felt a "shock" in my left thigh. I didn't think anything about it until the seat warmer stopped working all together. I brought it to the dealer to fix and found that the entire heating element would have to be replaced, at a cost of over $1500. As I am looking into the problem, I found that this has happened to numerous others. I am fortunate that there was not a more serious injury, and that my seat was not damaged to the extent that others have encountered. However, this is an unacceptable problem and BMW should be taking care of it.

- Bedminster, NJ, USA

problem #16

May 242013

X3 6-cyl

  • 63,670 miles
When testing the heated seats in this vehicle, after 5-10 secs, I felt a strong heat sensation on my left thigh. The there was a burn hole in the driver's seat on the left side. Switched off heat warmer right away.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #15

Jan 012013

X3 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
I felt a burning sensation under my left leg and pulled the car over. Noticed that the seat had cracked and there was a discoloration indicating a burn. I switched off the heated seat and continued. I have felt this burning sensation a few other times and would turn down the heat or switch it off altogether. The dealer suggested a change of the seat cover which costs upwards of 1000 $S

- Sayreville, NJ, USA

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