really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,761 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.

2004 BMW X5 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #9

Dec 112017


  • 105,000 miles


Vehicle started smoking from under the car and air vents while car was in motion air conditioning was running and the owner pulled over and the fire department put out the fire and broke 3 windows unnecessarily in the process. Car ended up being totaled and resides at owners property. Could be based on other reports and a possible recall on blower motor on 2001-2003 recalls were checked and are current on this vehicle checked by dealer and NHTSA website

- Chesterfield, MO, USA

problem #8

Jun 012017


  • 157,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW X5. While attempting to start the vehicle, the engine stalled without warning and the oil service and battery indicators illuminated. The dealer was not notified. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure, but did not offer any assistance. The failure mileage was 157,000.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #7

Sep 022016


  • 119,000 miles
Water damage. The vehicle has taken water in the rear trunk area. When looked at, there is a puddle of standing water covering the electronic components such as the radio amplifier and other electronics. Vehicle was stationary and not moving. Water seems to occur only when raining. Radio and speakers do not work and give off a ruffling sound even when key is out of the ignition. We have disconnected the battery from the car to prevent any further damages.

- Tukwila, WA, USA

problem #6

Jan 052014


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 BMW X5. The contact stated that the service engine soon warning lamp kept flashing intermittently for an extended period of time. As the failure progressed, the vehicle started riding roughly, shaking, and vibrating. The first time the vehicle was taken to the dealer, the technician reset the code, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who replaced the coil springs and the spark plugs. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer a third time since the failure persisted. The manufacturer was notified of the failure several times. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Armonk, NY, USA

problem #5

May 142013

X5 6-cyl

  • 151,846 miles
I was came back from work to have lunch. Car was parked in drive way. After 30 mins of lunch when I came out of the house, I saw smoke coming from the front of the car. Car was not running. Keys were in my pocket. I opened the hood and saw fire in the cooling fan. I pulled my water hose to stop the fire. Waiting for towing truck to come and take it to BMW service. I am surprised to see how a non-running car can catch fire. There is something wrong with bmws.

- West Des Moines, IA, USA

problem #4

Feb 202012


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 BMW X5. While driving approximately 35 mph, the entire instrument panel turned pink. The contact also noticed a fishy odor in the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostics where the technician advised that the battery cable had burned the alternator. The technician replaced the battery and the alternator. There was a manufacturer's recall that could have been related to the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #3

May 012006


  • 35,000 miles


Brake lights keep failing due to metal used for connections or computer allowing too much electrical juice to connection. This happens every few months when the metal connection turns black. It now has melted & damaged the tail lite unit and the entire tail lite assembly must be replaced to fix it. The unit is very expensive. I have not replaced it. I have been scraping the black off the metal connector for probably 4 years. Now the mechanic says the entire tail lite assembly needs to be replaced. I have not replaced it. I ask if there was a recall and they said no.

- Rochester, IL, USA

problem #2

Dec 212004


  • miles
2004 BMW X5 steering vibrates and pulls slightly to the left, cigarette lighter came apart, center console opens on its own. ** answer required*** when the consumer looked under the vehicle, he noticed one side of the vehicle was lower than the other, which may have been the cause of the vehicle pulling to right and the horrendous vibration. The seat frame was loud because it moved back and fourth and did not fully lay flat. The sunroof leaked. The lights flashed on and off at regular intervals, the left rear window was inoperative, the right rear door never opened, the horn starting blaring on and off for no reason. The audio controls on the steering wheel did not work. The key sometimes did not unlock or lock the doors.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #1

Dec 022003

X5 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
The consumer experienced sudden acceleration. There were random problems when the vehicle was accelerated from stop. The electronic system would fail 3-5 times per week. The problem was unable to be solved.

- Cumming, GA, USA

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