really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,568 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.

2016 BMW X3 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2016 BMW X3 Owner Comments

problem #9

Dec 152020


  • 80,000 miles


My emergency brake keeps malfunctioning, I have been unable to use them for about 3 months now. Also starting around 2/20/21 when im at a red light for more than a minute and the light turns green, my transmission gets stuck and the car wont go, a warning sign comes on. Then I have to re put it in drive and can go.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 172018


  • 30,000 miles
The vehicle was a 2016 BMW X3. My sister bought it used at approximately 30,000 miles a few months ago. It was me, my mom, and my 1 nephew and 2 nieces. We decided to use it to take it on a trip to tybee island. But, my sister didn't come with us. While on islands expressway approaching the intersection at bryan woods rd South to tybee island, my mom pressed the brakes and it made a scrubbing sound. It didn't accelerate, though. It stopped after. We both just dusted it off our shoulders and continued to tybee island. We then went back to the house. On the same day, in Decatur, ga we were heading out onto flat shoals pkwy at around 9:00 pm. Mom was at the stop sign. Suddenly, the truck raised to approximately 4000 RPM and surged into traffic a bit. My mom was scared she pressed in more on the brakes and the truck did a burn out. We could've got hurt bad. As a car was driving past us and the car was surging, our vehicle was almost hit! it accelerated for about 5 seconds and stopped. My mom was very anxious and refused to drive that truck again. We had to get my brother to pick us up. She was scared, and that bothered the kids. My sister also had an experience like this and she just thought it was her mind. After we got off of vacation in atlanta, my sister took it to the dealership. The dealership said they looked through it and said nothing else after that (my sister's words) my mom is angered. I hope BMW does a recall on this from all the cases that have occurred and all the damage that has happened. I will put this case under my mother's name.

- Jackson, MS, USA

problem #7

Dec 292017


  • 28,500 miles
While braking to slow the vehicle to a stop behind traffic at a red light, after coming off a highway exit ramp, the brakes failed to respond to added pressure applied to bring the vehicle to a complete stop. The BMW X3 kept moving forward, and collided, at very slow speed, with the stopped vehicle ahead. I quickly checked to ensure that my foot was properly on the brake pedal and depressed the pedal again, which again failed to bring the vehicle to a complete stop, resulting in secondary contact with the vehicle ahead. When attempting to move the vehicle to the side of the road, the electronic transmission repeatedly jumped into park from drive, requiring me to turn off the ignition and restart the vehicle before I could safely move it to the side of the road.

- Cape Porpoise, ME, USA

problem #6

Sep 072017


  • 14,500 miles


2016 BMW X3 xdrive28 I I pulled into a friend's driveway and applied the brakes approximately 2 feet from the closed garage door. My car "leapt " into the side of the house, then careened into the garage door. The car accelerated with such force that both airbags were deployed. I am sure that I did not hit the accelerator by accident. At the close proximity to the garage I could not have accelerated to cause such a violent crash that deployed the airbags. My car was declared a " total loss ". this was one of the more frightening experiences of my life. It all happened in a split second. I am thankful that I was not in traffic.

- Cardiff, CA, USA

problem #5

May 102017


  • 11,500 miles
I had pulled into a parking lot traveling very slowly then turned left into a parking space with my foot on brake but just before coming to a complete stop the car suddenly surged forward at great speed, leapt over a concrete "log" designed to stop a vehicle and crashed into a concrete wall 3 feet in front of the car. My first reaction was to lift my foot from the pedal thinking I had depressed the accelerator in error, however the car increased speed and I just had time to glance down and ascertain that my foot was on the brake before the car plowed into the wall, deploying the air bags. The whole incident was over in 2 - 3 seconds and the car was perfectly aligned in the parking space except for the front wheels being the wrong side of "log". the X3 was not drive-able and was towed on a flatbed to the BMW service center and subsequently declared a complete write-off by the insurance company. I am horrified by the fact that many car manufacturers are aware of this sudden unintended acceleration problem yet, because it is difficult to prove, usually put all reported incidents down to operator error, therefore absolving them of responsibility. My insurance company is not investigating the cause, neither is BMW. Why is that? is it going to take a fatality before something is done to rectify this very real problem. Below is the contact details for the chubb claims examiner who is willing to share his report and photos should NHTSA decide to investigate. Sam jackson 800 432 2482 ext 0860 sam.jackson@chubb.com claim # 77140147

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #4

Jan 232017

X3 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
I was in traffic at a light and moving slowly behind car in front of me. I was braking and the car just kept going forward. I hit the car in front of me. Then I hit it again as it moved forward and a third time as it moved forward. All the time I was hitting the brakes. The car seemed to be accelerating.... I finally had to pull off onto a sidewalk and put the car in park to get it to stop. The police who arrived on the scene also tested the brakes and said they were not working. Later when the car was towed the brakes worked? I do not want to drive this car without the brakes being fixed. I am waiting for news from BMW on the situation. Very scary....

- Asbury Park, NJ, USA

problem #3

Dec 172016


  • 10 miles


This is the second time in this vehicle that our brakes have failed. We filed a complaint the first time, gave the car to BMW service, had an engineer from BMW come and look at the car - the engineer filed a report saying that the brakes were fine and nothing was wrong with the vehicle. We begged and pleaded to be given another car but BMW na refused to budge. Forced to take the car back, we drove this morning and as we were slowing to a red light nearing a busy intersection, our brakes failed once more. I pushed down on the brake pedal and the car accelerated into the intersection. I had to honk the horn to warn other drivers and use the emergency brake to stop the car. This is a 2016 BMW X3 xdrive28I and it is unsafe to drive. Two brake malfunctions 1 month apart, BMW refuses to admit any fault.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 182016


  • 3,100 miles
I was slowing to a stop at a red light on a very busy street and the brakes in my X3 failed. Instead of slowing the car down - it sped up and crashed into the car in front of me. I pushed down on the brakes and the car jumped forward. There is minimal damage to the front bumper but I am scared to get behind the wheel again.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #1

Dec 292015


  • 2,500 miles
This all happened the same day beginning about 10am on 12/29/15. The car is a 2016 BMW X3 that I bought new in August 2015. 1.slowed to brake at a red light. I was the first car at the intersection. As I pushed the brake to come to a full stop, the car lurched into the intersection. I looked down and saw my foot on the brake and the car in drive. Fortunately, there was no cross traffic. I slowly accelerated and continued with my errand. 2. I stopped at a business with a parking lot. I slowly drove through the lot and found a open spot. Each parking spot had a concrete "stop bar". I slowly turned into the spot. When I pushed on the brake for a full stop, it lurched forward over the "stop bar" and hit the car parked directly in front of me. I put the car in reverse and was able to get back over the "stop bar". I looked carefully at both cars and could find no damage on either one. 3. I drove slowly directly to the BMW dealership where I bought the car on August 13, 2015. Two different service techs drove it and they ran all possible system tests on it. They could find nothing wrong. 4. I was so afraid to drive it, I traded in the 2016 X3 for a 2016 X1 the same day - 12-29-15. Both were new when I bought them. The X3 had 2,500 miles on it when I traded it in. I drove 139 days. 5. my concern is that the X3 will be sold as a used car without any further investigation into the problem. 6. the NHTSA reported that 88,000 bmws (various models including the X3) were recalled in 2014 for a brake problem. I gave this information to the dealership. NHTSA campaign number #14V627000, NHTSA action number: PE13030. I do not know if this problem is the same problem I had. NHTSA complaints like mine: 4 out 8 complaints for 2014 X3 4 out 8 complaints for 2015 X3 0 out of 1 complaint for 2016

- Bonita Springs, FL, USA

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