really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
99,667 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.

2001 BMW X5 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2001 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #6

Jul 232016


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 BMW X5. While the vehicle was parked, the front passenger side air bag inflated on its own without warning. The driver and passenger were injured, but did not receive medical attention. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the air bags malfunctioned. The cause of the failure was not determined. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #5

Jul 232016


  • 149,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 BMW X5. The contact stated that while in park, the front passenger's side air bag deployed inadvertently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and sent technicians to inspect the vehicle. The failure mileage was 149,000.

- Grand Prairie, TX, USA

problem #4

Aug 042014


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owned a 2001 BMW X5. While driving approximately 45 mph, smoke entered into the vehicle and both the passenger and driver side air bags deployed. Shortly after the contact exited the vehicle, it became engulfed in flames. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 118,000.

- Saugus, MA, USA

problem #3

Mar 152014


  • 138,000 miles


The airbag warning light on the instrument cluster turned on when I had a passenger in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. It would go off after a few start cycles with no passengers, but then come back on the next time a passenger was in the front passenger seat. I was able to read the codes which indirectly indicated a fault in the occupancy sensor mat in the front passenger seat. I replaced the sensor mat and related wiring interface and the warning light and errors have not returned. There are many owners groups that discuss the apparent high failure rate of these occupancy sensor mats and we have noted that more recent X5 models were recalled, but that earlier models were not. I suspect that the earlier models have the same - or a related - problem.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #2

Feb 062004


  • 43,000 miles
The consumer parked and turn the vehicle off. After exiting the vehicle the consumer turned around and noticed smoking coming from the steering wheel. The consumer then re-enter the vehicle and the driver's side air bag deployed. This resulted in the consumer having a contusion, eye abrasion and 2 disc in their neck.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

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problem #1

Mar 192002

X5 4WD

  • miles
Driving on the exit ramp from fdr drive to the 49th street exit, when suddenly... all air bags on the driver's side began to pop. Front, rear, 5 in all. No accident. Did not hit anything. No apparent/obvious reason. Car ground to a halt; will not move - right in the middle of the road. Car was pushed aside to allow others to pass. Contacted BMW road assistance. Car was towed to BMW of manhattan. They are looking it over, and will tell me their findings. Cursory inspections suggests nothing could have caused it. No scratches, no bumps, no nicks, no nothing! arrrrrgh! nlm

- New York, NY, USA

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