ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,828 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.

2002 BMW X5 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #8

Mar 282018


  • 142,000 miles


Vehicle fire was parked for a couple of days and owner went to car and notice that the interior of the vehicle had a past tense fire. The airbags were deployed expect for the one on the passenger side door. No exterior damage noted to the vehicle or in the engine compartment. The fire origin was on the passenger side dashboard behind the glove compartment and airbag, please contact sioux city fire rescue for further information.

- Sioux City, IA, USA

problem #7

Jun 192015


  • 155,003 miles
The contact owns a 2002 BMW X5. While reversing the vehicle into a parking space, the front driver and passenger side air bags deployed. There were no injuries. The contact mentioned that various warning lights were illuminated after the failure and the vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, where it was diagnosed that the battery safety terminal failed due to a thermal event. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 155,003.

- Cavecreek, AZ, USA

problem #6

Dec 292014


  • 86,000 miles
I've had to replace all 4 window regulators, my rear hatch seems to open for no reason, my rear window wiper is working with the switch in the off position, led's are going out again and now the dreaded apparent oil separator with tons of grey smoke billowing out the back of the car after being left in an airport parking lot for 4 days whilst it snowed outside. Seems I've had every typical problem other than the car catching fire for no apparent reason. I have owned bmws in germany and the us for a long time, however, I think I'll be switching brands with my next vehicle. BMW doesn't seem to be proactive enough for my liking with some of these way too common issues. This is a very low mile vehicle for it's age and it's acting like a model T.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #5

Nov 202006


  • 70,123 miles


Two safety concerns: (1) led on dashboard faded out. Key driving information is now not available in order to safely drive the car. (2) rear tailgate will now unexpectedly un-latch and pop open in which I have to pull over, get out of the car and close it. It is caused by poor sealing which doesn't keep out rain and snow. Once I close the tailgate, it will eventually open again! BMW knows about these safety problems on the X5 and would not help with material and labor cost of $ 1565.

- West Simsbury, CT, USA

problem #4

Feb 072009


  • 79,000 miles
Heat/ac kept blowing after car was turned off causing battery to die so the car wont start in the morning. Original part was defective BMW knew about it and upgraded the part. Which I bought on ebay then the problem was solved. The name of the part that is defective is the final stage resistor. BMW will not issue a recall for this problem.

- Marcy, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 162010


  • 87,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 BMW X5. While driving approximately 25 mph approaching a traffic signal, the brake warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The engine stalled within seven to ten minutes after the brake warning illuminated. The failure didn┐T prevent the contact from opening the door remotely. The defective battery was replaced with a new battery. The vehicle was driven for twenty minutes with the new battery which functioned normally. The following morning the battery was inoperable. The original battery was recharged and installed in the vehicle. The vehicle was in operation for approximately 45 minutes and the engine stalled without warning. The dealer was notified for service repairs. The current mileage was 87,525. The failure mileage was 87,500.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #2

Jul 282002


  • miles
Onboard computer readout is missing lights. More and more lights are starting to fail. The service guy has a simple solution, buy a new board.... nice a relatively new car needs an expensive part that just failed on it's own.

- Hendersonville, NC, USA

problem #1

Dec 272002


  • 3,000 miles
Electrical system continuously fails, causing the interior lights, side rear mirror, trunk latch, and automatic locks etc to malfunction. Dealership cannot fix or find the cause.

- Clarksville, MD, USA

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