definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
30,481 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.

2011 BMW X5 engine problems

engine problem

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2011 BMW X5 Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 192014

X5 6-cyl

  • 47,100 miles


This complaint specifically addresses the recall listed below. Even though this recall was issued in April, no resolution has been available. The very thing the recall was trying to prevent, happened to me and my family. Report receipt date: Apr 10, 2014 NHTSA campaign number: 14V176000 I was stranded Friday, 09/19/14, along with my wife and dog by my new to me X5. Yes, it was the vanos recall bolts that failed. The car only made it a few hundred yards after the cel and engine malfunction lights came on. The car shook, sputtered, and died and would not restart. We were left in a dangerous situation. Additionally, since the car would not start, we could not get it into neutral. It ended up taking us more than 5 hours to get a tow truck that had the equipment that would help us. No tow truck operator knows how or is willing to crawl under and remove the transmission cover and unlock the gears. The lack of ability to go this electronic transmission into neutral is really unbelievable. I cannot imagine a much more unsafe scenario. I checked on the vanos bolts recall twice in the last month and was told no parts were available. This recall should have been handled in a timely manner and not left until the car fails and places it's owners in a very dangerous situation. I'm waiting to hear back from BMW of nashville about how extensive the damage is to internals, but they already called and said it is sheared / broken vanos bolts. Specifically the recall issue. P.S. this happened on Friday. I tried to get a loaner car, Friday, Saturday, and today and am told none are available. We never ran into that situation with our last 2 vehicles, which were both infiniti's. it's ridiculous that I am stranded and can't even get to work due to a recall for a car that only has 47K miles.

- Murfreesboro, TN, USA

problem #6

Jun 022014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW X5. The contact stated that NHTSA campaign number: 14V176000 (engine and engine cooling) exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The dealer stated that the part was not available. The manufacturer was made aware of the delay. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact did not experience a failure.

- Frederick , MD, USA

problem #5

Aug 012014

X5 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Only after about 10 minutes of driving in the neighborhood, we got a warning "engine hot, drive moderately" then a few minutes later, it said to engine hot, and to stop the car immediately. We had to pull the car over and after engine cooled a bit, take our 2011 X5 to the nearest shop in an emergency. The shop mechanic had to replace the water pump and said that it is a common problem with BMW X5, even though we only had 71,000 miles. I looked online and there is a recall affecting water pumps for BMW X5 2011 (engine and engine cooling:engine:other fuel types:turbo-charger recall number: 11V521000) but when I called BMW, it said that my particular engine is not recalled. The mechanic says this is unusual for such a new car to have engine overheating due to water pump failure, this should be investigated for safety issue.

- Oakton, VA, USA

problem #4

May 302014

X5 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles


Hi, I just purchased the above vehicle on 5/13/14 and about two weeks later my car started overheating. I kind of knew that there is a problem with water pump so I started doing some research online to see if BMW X5 was any recalls and to my surprise they recalled numerous X5's due to water pump. I also called their customer service to see if there was a recall on my car and unfortunately I was told that there isn't. I took my car to international autos on 6/9/14 for a diagnostics check and they have confirmed that water pump needs to be replaced. I believe that my car should be under recall as well since BMW seems to have a lot of trouble with this.

- Franklin, WI, USA

problem #3

Jun 072011


  • 6,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW X5. The contact observed excessive rust and corrosion within the fuel tank, exhaust system and the attaching components. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who stated that the owner would be responsible for the repair expenses. The vehicle was not repaired. On a separate occasion, the contact stated that smoke emitted from underneath the hood while driving. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road and stopped. The contact examined the vehicle and stated that there was a substantial amount of oil loss in the reservoir. The contact then added more oil accordingly. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer, who refused to measure the oil manually per the consumers request, the manufacturer was notified of the failure and reimbursed the consumer for two days of motel, food and towing costs. Unable to locate a failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 6,000. Updated 3/11/13 BMW offered to buy the vehicle back, but later changed their mind. The case went to court, and the judge ruled the offer was not binding. The consumer also stated the vehicle would run hot, and the vehicle would not go into gear.

- Escondido, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 122011

X5 6-cyl

  • 17,800 miles
Engine stalled while driving. Warning lamps indicated reduced power. Several occurrences were at speed on the interstate. Car would restart after sitting for several hours. Car was left with BMW for service. However, BMW said they could not replicate the problem and did not perform any repairs the first time. Car again died while driving at speed on highway several weeks later. BMW stated that there was loss of engine compression. Then, stated that fuel injectors were faulty. Then, claimed that it was due to "bad gas" and/or sugar in the gas tank.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #1

Apr 212011

X5 6-cyl

  • 469 miles
The contact owns a 2011 BMW X5. The contact stated that the vehicle suddenly stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who replaced the fuel pump. In addition, the driver side window was making a loud noise but the contact was unsure of the diagnosis and the repair. Also, when first starting the vehicle, the engine would roar abnormally loud. The contact also stated that there was no air emitting from the air conditioner when activated. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The current mileage was approximately 500 and the failure mileage was 469. Updated 11/08/11 updated 11/14/11

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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