definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,089 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 262009


  • 14,527 miles


Car surges continuously after taking off from a red light or stop sign. I have had to pull off the road until it stops. This is a known defect of this auto. This happens every day. It is sporadic. Several complaints have been made, and I have been told by BMW's repair department that they know of no such problem, then they admitted they did know of the problem, but it was a "software" issue and no download was available for me, and then eventually the dealership stopped returning my calls.

- Morgan Hill, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 032008


  • 4,917 miles
The gear shifting/transmission in my 2008 3.0 X5 is an ongoing and dangerous problem from day 1. the car does not accelerate reliably and I have had many near collisions. I have been complaining to BMW service (port chester, NY) since Sept. 3 2008. I purchased the car new at the end of May 2008. BMW service told me BMW usa was aware and there was a "software update" coming the beginning of Oct which should address this problem. I called the service center in Oct and was told no update was released yet. I called BMW of North America on Oct 6 and was told that there was a system update released to address this issue and they would contact the service center manager. I left several messages before he returned my call. The update was installed on Oct 14, 2008. There was absolutely no improvement to the hesitation/stalling. On each subsequent service visit I complained of this same issue. Each time they acknowledged the problem. I had a test drive with the repair foreman who admitted that BMW was well aware of this issue. It was a new system that was designed to get better gas mileage and was "reactive" to the owners driving style. It was not working and they did away with it for new vehicles. The repair foreman has seen many 2008 3.0 X5's with this problem. I was told a second update was coming to fix the problem. On Sept 28, 2009 the update was done update, which again did nothing. I advised BMW I was filing a complaint with this Agency.within a few days someone called to say they would take care of this problem and service manager would call. I never heard from anyone again at BMW service. I had a near miss accident again. BMW is hiding this dangerous problem from the public!! interestingly, when I complain, BMW does not enter the complaint into their system, but always say they will look into it. Are they hiding these complaints? please help me before it is too late. There are many others with this problem.

- West Harrison, NY, USA

problem #3

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 #2

May 302008


  • 72,000 miles
2002 X5 would not go into reverse.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #1

May 232008


  • 1,000 miles
There is a significant problem with the engine/transmissions on the BMW X3 model. I have had a 2007 and now a 2008, the 2007 bought back by BMW due to major issues. The problem is that the transmission is not reactive, and causes major hesitation, delayed shifting, and awkward responses from the throttle which is a serious issue when merging or passing etc. The car does not get up to speed, and at times literally "chokes" which can cause an accident as someone behind you can just begin to accelerate and plow right into you. BMW has no fixes for this issue at the moment; others per a BMW forum have also let your office know about this problem. BMW basically does not consider it a safety issues, but it definitely is. This occurs all the time, and the manufacturer says there are no engine software updates (last one did nothing) to rectify the issues. This is an inherent defect in the vehicle and it is dangerous. This system does not let you select an X3 model. It is a BMW X3.

- Chestnut Ridge, NY, USA

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