really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 14
Injuries / Deaths:
12 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,876 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.

2007 BMW X3 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2007 BMW X3 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Nov 012016


  • 105,000 miles


In cool climate on November 1, 2016. Turn on my heat seat, then I smelled something burned, then I felt sharp burn on left butt cheek. Then I knew something wrong with heat I turned off, , on November 7, 2016, I tried again, ,, burning smell is so bad, the heat still burned almost through out side layer of seat

- Norwich, CT, USA

problem #33

Oct 272016


  • 111,000 miles
Heated drivers seat started to burn me left side of seat. Burning smell. I shut it off, but it looks like it would have continued to burn through seat if I had not. Can feel the wire through the leather seat. Called BMW and they said they would "help" with the cost of repair, but I have to pay a diagnostic fee first. Will take this to me regular mechanic first.

- Cortlandt Manor, NY, USA

problem #32

Oct 012015


  • 95,000 miles
A warning code is triggered that affects the operation of the airbag. The warning code is passenger seat occupancy sensor. The airbag light in the dash flashes on and off randomly whether there is someone in the seat or not. It does not matter whether the passenger side seat belt is fastened or not. BMW has a recall for earlier years of this same problem on this vehicle, but not for this year which also has quite a few of these failures. Obviously they have not fixed this problem and need to recall all vehicles with similar occupancy seat sensors that affect the airbag.

- Elmhurst, IL, USA

problem #31

Jan 232016


  • 119,000 miles


While driving I turned on driver seat heater. It smelled like it was burning so I turned it off. I took it to the shop and they said that sometimes it burns a hole in the seat. I turned mine off before it could do that. They unhooked it so that I can't accidentally turn it on.

- Sparks, NV, USA

problem #30

Mar 272016


  • 110,000 miles
BMW X3 heated seat burned hole through seat. If heated seat is turned on, visible sparks or fire will come through hole. Hole is directly below driver's left thigh. BMW has issued a recall for other models, but not the X3. The X3 is susceptible to the same issue.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #29

Feb 082016


  • 85,000 miles
My passenger seats seatbelt light comes on and airbag light comes on when there is just a purse in the seat. It beeps over and over until you click the seatbelt when no one is in it. I know that it feels weight. But it's supposed to be around 45 lbs. Not 10lbs. I will keep a watch on this to see if its having airbag issues with a adult sitting in it. Just like the recall on the drivers side as well, already.what happens if something happens before the new parts are out to fix this recall?? little to late.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #28

Jan 282016


  • 85,000 miles


My drivers side seat has many times started over heating and you can smell the electrical burning. Gets real hot. I have had to turn it off it gets so hot and I always am looking for electrical fire when I smell it. Its real strong. This is dangerous, could start a fire while my car is warming up in the snowy winters. What if this caught fire under me and burnt my legs or body before I could get pulled over. Regardless its faulty and dangerous.

- Sevierville, TN, USA

problem #27

Jan 212016


  • 147,000 miles
Due to cold weather, engaged the driver side seat heater. Noticed a sharp pain in my leg and then began to smell and see smoke. Fortuneatly, I was quickly able to realize the seat heater appeared to have a short in it, and turned off before burning through the leather and setting my cloths on fire. I will be contacting my local BMW dealership to see what, if anything they are will to do. I feel there should be a recall before someone is seriuosly hurt or killed. The engine was idling when seat heater was on. I was backing out of driveway and driving down street when I noticed. If I would have had seat heater on and then stepped away from vehicle as it was warmimg up, I am confident the driver seat would have caught on fire or at least severly damaged it.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #26

Dec 282015


  • 125,000 miles
While driving less than 5 minutes with driver seat heater on, smelled electrical smell, felt pain in leg, then felt shock/burn. Not sure which. Turned off seat heater. Electrical smell comes and goes. Small burn hole in seat. Not able to use seat heater anymore.

- Simpsonville, KY, USA

problem #25

Mar 062015


  • 85,000 miles
While driving my X3 at interstate speeds, I activated the driver side seat heater. Approximately two to three minutes later, my upper leg began feeling very hot and it started smelling like something was burning. I lowered the seat heater temperature from the hottest setting to the lowest/coolest setting, and the temperature remained the same - was extremely hot. A short time later, I also saw smoke. When I was able to pull over, I saw a hole on the seat where the seat heater had burned through. It had also burned through the coat I was wearing creating a hole. Called the BMW dealership to see if they would repair and/or replace the seat heater and seat, and they refused saying they would not pay for the repair since there was not a recall for this defect. Called BMW na and received a similar response.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #24

Nov 272015


  • 125,000 miles


The car is equipped with seat heaters. One of the heating elements failed, overheated and burned through the seat surface. In doing research, this appears to be a problem with the vehicles. BMW did do a recall on the X5, but does not show a recall on the X3. On various sites, this issue has occurred many times with owners, some with the vehicle catching on fire. I found complaints on the following sites; carcomplaints.com, bimmerfest.com and arfc.org. Just on carcomplaints, this complaint is shown 23 times; madbury, nh, portland, or, westfield, in, derwood, md, tampa, fl, annapolis, md, louisville, ky, bergenfield, NJ, holderness, nh, Liberty township, oh, laurel, md, novi, mi, cromwell, ct, prairie village, ks, hillsborough, nc, daly city, ca, alexandria, va, saginaw, tx, bethesda. Md, pittsburg, pa, selah, wa. Same issue with each. BMW of North America was contacted and their response was "it's a part of wear and tear....no offer to assist" from BMW na. Yet, the issue has continued to arise and BMW na did replace the heater element and seat surface in some instances, making the replacement a matter of preference or discrimination, or dealer's opinion of the car owner versus correcting the manufacturing/design defect problem. I would request the assistance of NHTSA to review this matter and protect the public from hazardous over-heating/ fire threats. I was fortunate to have been just getting into the vehicle and smell the burning leather and turned off the seat heating system before a fire could occur.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #23

Mar 192015

X3 6-cyl

  • 44,410 miles
While idling for less than five minutes with the seat heat turned on, I smelled smoke but wasn't sure where it was coming from and ignored it. After driving home I found that there was a hole burned through the leather driver's seat and an exposed wire was showing through the hole. Luckily my jacket didn't catch on fire. The outside temperature was in the mid 20S at the time.

- Madbury, NH, USA

problem #22

Jan 192015

X3 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
While driving smelled something burning and also realized my upper leg was in pain. Turned off the seat warmer and investigated after reaching my destination. There was a scorch mark in the seat near the bottom left bolster. Lucky this didn't cause a fire or bodily injury.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #21

Jan 092015

X3 6-cyl

  • 108,000 miles
The driver's side seat has 2 burn holes where the heater has burned through. Often there has been a burning sensation where the holes are. Until it actually burned through we just thought that it was overly hot. We have an appointment to have it repaired. I am surprised that BMW has not recalled this item already.

- Westfield, IN, USA

problem #20

Nov 192014

X3 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Driver side heated seat switch was turned on while driving. Few minutes after switch turned-on, burning smell was felt inside the car. Stopped the car and checked the engine (first guess). It was not from the engine. Sat on the seat and then realized the fume was coming from the seat. The driver seat was burned, my pant bottom was burned and my butt was also burned (not serious).

- Derwood, MD, USA

problem #19

Jun 152014

X3 6-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 BMW X3. The contact stated that the front passenger side air bag sensor illuminated and dimmed intermittently even though the front passenger seat was unoccupied. The air bag sensor would not illuminate when a passenger occupied the seat. The dealer stated that the front passenger seat needed to be replaced. The test plan indicated that the sensor was defective from the local dealer. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 91,000. Updated 08/19/14 BMW agreed to pay half of the charge for the repairs. Updated 08/21/14

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #18

Jan 192014

X3 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
The heater element in the heated seats driver's side burned through the leather and my clothes.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #17

Nov 012013

X3 6-cyl

  • 112,450 miles
While riding in car, passenger (my wife) turned on seat heat and it got very hot, began to smoke and burned 2 holes in vinyl seat back near right bolster. It burned a hole in her sweater, but we realized what was happening, pulled over and turned off seat heat immediately avoiding a burn to her skin. Hoping it was a fluke, I attempted a vinyl upholstery repair with a kit, but it too melted away when I tested the seat heater. I will not run the seat heater again on either the driver or passenger side until this can be addressed by bmwna. This is very clearly a serious and well documented issue that could result in fire and/or injury.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #16

Oct 152013


  • 53,000 miles
The passenger seat heating element got so hot that it started to smoke, burnt through the leather and burnt my wife's coat and leg.

- Bergenfield, NJ, USA

problem #15

May 252013


  • 111,000 miles
Heated seat was on "medium" setting, within one minute I noticed a burning smell then felt pain in left leg. Heated seat element burned through seat material and burned pants! no real injury but seat was hot enough to burn through the leather and my pants. Seems extremely dangerous.

- Holderness, NH, USA

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