really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,644 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.

2013 BMW X3 engine problems

engine problem

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2013 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #9

Dec 102016


  • 65,000 miles


Timing chain malfunction/engine failure

- Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #8

Jun 272016


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 BMW X3. The contact stated that the warning indicators flashed for the oil pressure low and drive train, and the vehicle suddenly decelerated without warning. The vehicle started to coast and randomly stalled. The vehicle was unable to restart and was towed to an independent mechanic who was unable to replicate and diagnose the failure. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that metal shavings were in the oil. Further diagnostic testing was required to determine the cause of the failure. The vehicle was then towed to a second independent repair shop for further testing. The dealer and manufacturer were notified. The approximate failure mileage was 78,000.

- Hinckley, OH, USA

problem #7

Apr 152016


  • 85,000 miles
On year after puchasing car, and after warranty period, starting getting drivetrain malfunction error. Smoked on turning on ignition a couple of times. Took to BMW and was told it needed a turbo. Was told by BMW mechanic that every one of this model needed a new turbo. $6000. Internet blog sites also indicate that the turbo goes out all the time. If it is a manufacturers defect new then this should be a recall. People can't pay $6000 on new cars for turbos when they know it is defective.

- Hickory Flat, MS, USA

problem #6

Mar 062016


  • 75,000 miles


Had been driving for approx. 5 minutes in residential area. Check engine light, low oil pressure warning & black smoke thru dashboard. Could see flames under the hood. Within 5-6 minutes car was fully engulfed in flames. Nothing left except for the frame. Total loss, almost no warning.

- Princeton Junction, NJ, USA

problem #5

Sep 112015


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 BMW X3. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact stated that the failure recurred intermittently. The contact stated that the vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine needed to be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #4

Jul 012013

X3 4-cyl

  • miles
Firstly approximate incident date is approximate and may be off. Its just been over 2 years I have owned this BMW and I have kept my BMW for check engine error repair for 4 times at stevens creek BMW. 3 times out of this 4 has been between June 2014 to till date. Once again the check engine error is on which makes it the 5th time. At this point I don't think this BMW is reliable and I don't have the energy and patience to keep taking appointments and getting such errors fixed on monthly basis. I don't intend to keep using this vehicle and getting it fixed on monthly basis. Its good that my BMW is still under the 4 year coverage but if this wasn't available then I would have incurred huge expenses on monthly basis to get these errors fixed. Getting the same error on repeated basis proves that this BMW has a manufacturing defect. BMW customer relations isn't helping me on this. They are just wasting time saying we are getting reports from dealer and awaiting the BMW western regional team to look into this. The last check engine light came on during thanksgiving break and I took an appointment with stevens creek BMW for 12/03/2014. On 12/02/2014 the check engine light didn't come on. I checked with stevens creek BMW and they said since the check engine light isn't on we can't diagnose the reason why it had switched on so please don't bring in the BMW as we wont be of any help. So I didn't bring my BMW to dealer workshop. Based on this BMW regional management has denied looking into my case and said we can't provide any assistance.

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 242014


  • 13,500 miles


My wife was driving on a local side street (speed limit 25 mph) at a speed of approximately 20 mph and I was sitting in the passenger seat. We were coming upon numerous stop signs, so in order to avoid the BMW autostart/stop feature (this feature shuts the car engine off when the car stops to save fuel) from activating, I reached over to turn off the autostart button. This button is located directly next to the start/stop button. Instead, I accidentally hit the start/stop button (this is a keyless car) and while traveling at 20 mph the car engine shut off and we had to coast to a stop without power steering or any power, before being able to start the car. In order to restart the car, the brake pedal must be pressed. If this happened while at highway speeds, an accident would have been very likely to have occurred. This is a design safety issue that needs replacement/recall.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #2

Apr 132014


  • 16,150 miles
In stop and go traffic on the interstate I was braking after moving forward a few feet and the engine started racing causing the car to lurch forward (given I was on the brake) until the brake would not hold any longer at which point the car accelerated in traffic despite me pushing even harder on the brake. The brake was completely unresponsive at this point. I avoided rear ending the car in front of me by swerving around him but could not avoid the vehicle farther ahead in traffic and hit the right rear of a uhaul storage unit towed by a vehicle and the BMW flipped onto its right side. Miraculously, we walked away with only minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises. Seat restraints and airbags worked perfectly which is the only kind thing we can now say despite having no prior issues. Whether it is an onboard computer malfunction or not we will never own another BMW... and if the other online posts have been there when I purchased the vehicle in Sept 2012 (and had I read them) then I never would have purchased the vehicle. Coupled with other carcomplaint.com, BMW community blogs, and NHTSA posts surrounding 2012 and 2013 X3 events of the identical nature there should be an immediate investigation as to the simultaneous and concurrent event of the throttle acceleration while braking, and the brakes failing (as if the computer thinks the brake pedal is the gas pedal?).. and a recall before deaths occur... though it is likely they've already occurred since the dead can't testify as to a problem that other BMW dealer service departments fail to replicate and therefore discount. The back hatch of our vehicle also flipped open allowing items to fall onto the highway (despite no impact to the rear of the vehicle) though all passenger car doors remained closed. The vehicle has been totaled. We would certainly not get into that car ever again even if it were repairable.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 112013


  • 150 miles
The contact owns a 2013 BMW X3. The contact stated that while trying to accelerate from a stop the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. After inspection, they advised her that the vehicle was acting as normal. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 150. The current mileage was approximately 200. The VIN was unavailable.

- Mountain Lake, NJ, USA

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