really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,672 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.

2008 BMW X5 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 092016


  • 132,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 BMW X5. While driving over 40 mph, an abnormal loud noise could be heard from underneath the vehicle. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the driveshaft joints were worn out. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 16V311000 (power train). The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 132,000.

- Brooklyn, NM, USA

problem #6

Sep 102016


  • 125,000 miles
Was driving at about 45mph when heard a roaring sound followed by a loud snapping sound. Rpms was stable with no warning lights. It happened right at the state border on la plata hwy 140. There's no emergency lanes on neither side of the hwy. I was able back up on reverse for 25ft and parked safely at the rest stop on the Colorado side. Engine light came on then. Had vehicle towed to a shop who discovered the front drive shaft broke loose when the universal joint snapped in half, coming off front hub. There's collateral damage to transmission casing, tranny cooling lines, and dings to exhaust pipe. O2 sensor failed and triggered engine light.

- Hesperus, CO, USA

problem #5

Oct 112015


  • 45,602 miles
In October of 2015 while making a right turn very slowly into a one lane drive thru, my BMW X5 accelerated climbed up a 2 foot wall that was on the drivers side rode the front drivers side wheel upon the wall. I tried to break and pull the hand brake the car would not stop. I turned the steering wheel to the right the car hopped off the wall on to the ground and I turned off the car. The car just accelerated so fast and hard my sister and I could not believe how it climbed the tile wall with one wheel and came down to the ground. Now I had just got the car back from the dealership 5 days earlier when they replaced the water pump and replaced the 2 front tires and did a wheel alignment a $2500 job. It was very scary luckily there was no people or another car close by. I immediately called the dealership and took it in the next morning. I explained what happened I felt that the car had a malfunction with the accelerator it made the car go so fast and hard. It wasn't just a crash into the wall it climbed the wall. Of course BMW said the engineer said there is nothing wrong with the brakes or drive shaft? what gets to me is that I just got the car back from the local dealership. I feel like the power of the vehicle was so strong and powerful there was no way that it could hop on the wall like that and not just crash straight into the wall. Oh side note the very next morning 10-12-2015 my sister heard on abc morning news that a BMW SUV just ran into a glass window at a store the car accelerated on it's own!

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #4

Aug 042014

X5 6-cyl

  • 70,049 miles


I was traveling on I-78 East in Pennsylvania, approaching exit 59, and suddenly the car jerked and began to decelerate. At that time my speed was 40 mph. That part of the interstate is pretty much uphill, that's why I was driving at a reduced speed. When I pressed down on the gas pedal a little more that's when the transmission malfunction warning light appeared. I immediately pulled off onto the shoulder. I had my car towed to the nearest BMW dealership and was told a new transmission will cost me $7,776.45 excluding labor and taxes. It's baffling that an X5 with 73K miles would need a transmission that soon.

- Laurelton, NY, USA

problem #3

Feb 092013


  • 60,000 miles
I was driving my car under normal conditions, around 40mph and all of a sudden I started to loose the power to my car to the point that it shut down in the middle of the road. I called my husband and there was nothing we could do to start the car to move it to the side. It had to be towed to the dealership to reset some electronics and was told its a safety issue on the car. I asked them to explain to me what would happen if I was on the New Jersey turnpike or staten island expressway or route 17 in NJ what would happen. No explanation well I can explain it. I would probably be rear ended and cause a pile up. I think this needs to be looked into. I wonder how many times this has happened and the accidents it has caused.

- Carlstadt, NJ, USA

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problem #2

Nov 142009


  • 13,000 miles
The 2008 BMW X5 3.0I has major transmission issues which severely affects the throttle response time and gears slips occasionally. While driving on high way vehicle will not respond to gas paddle and gears slip and make metal noises. Also when vehicle starts from a stop, gears slip and it moves the vehicle backward as if it is in reverse 'R' gear and you have to hit brakes then it will move forward with a severe jerk. Similar gear slipping happens while stopping the vehicle. The hesitation and gear slip are big safety issue as vehicle will not move fast enough as needed (while merging on highway ramp or changing lanes) and could get in to a side or rear collision. Similarly when starting from stop the sudden backward movement could result in crash with vehicle moving behind. The dealer said it is happens with X5 as it a heavy vehicle, which no body would buy as a justifiable reason for a premium luxury vehicle. These issues happen everyday and affect the safe operation of the vehicle on roads. These issues should be investigated and BMW should recall the affected vehicles.

- North Reading, MA, USA

problem #1

Oct 312008


  • 50 miles
The X5 does not response well to throttle inputs. Hesitation is extremely pronounced at all times. The hesitation feels like stalling. Not sure if this is caused by the engine, transmission, software or some other reasons. This happens mostly when the transmission is in regular "D" mode but it also happens in the manual mode at times. Passing and merging in heavy traffic should be avoided because the X5 could receive rear-ended accidents due to the sudden hesitation. Had many near-misses and suspect eventuality.

- Temple City, CA, USA

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