2018 BMW X5 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, poor vehicle structure, and steering issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

In the world of luxury automobiles, there’s one model that gets a lot of attention. The 2018 BMW X5 is labeled as a Sports Activity Vehicle, and modern models have a tagline stating that “confidence never deters.” Yet, research proves that there is nothing to be confident about when sitting behind the wheel of an X5. It has a poorly functioning electrical system, defective steering and a sub-par structure.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Luxury models tend to have lots of high-tech features included. Sadly, the X5 might have lots of creature comforts, but nothing seems to work well.

One Edmunds review states the trouble this SAV comes with. “I really wanted this car. I like the look and the drive was nice. But I tote my kids around and spend a lot of time in the car. The technology stinks. It looks very fancy but is a lot of clicks and turns to get things done. Very distracting.Also, connecting to my iphone is awful. I still have to control everything but phone calls on my iphone. That requires me to look at my phone, unlock it and mess with it while I am driving. What good is handsfree if it is only to make calls.Don’t get me started on how podcasts and audiobooks go back to the beginning if you are unlucky enough to receive a call while listening.”

While these problems are quite annoying and distracting, there are more dangerous concerns to think about. One recall talks about the risk of a fire or shock from a defective charging cable. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V652000 illustrates that the capacitors on the TurboCord Portable Chargers could fail. For such a high-end car to face intense failure of this magnitude, it becomes clear that the X5 has no reason to be confident at all.

Problems with the Steering

Whenever a driver gets into a luxury BMW, it’s expected that the ride will be smooth and enjoyable, but that’s not what the X5 provides.

An NHTSA complaint states, “While driving the vehicle over 40 plus miles, the steering wheel gets erratic and twitchy. It tries to make micro turns sometimes to left and sometimes right making you feel as if its windy outside which is making the vehicle pull to one side of other. It becomes a challenge to keep the vehicle in lane.”

While this is a serious issue, it’s also essential to look at some recalls that have been released. The first one talks about how the lower control arm could break, which would affect the handling and control of the X5. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V439000 says that the lower-left control arm in the front might not have been hardened correctly. If that’s not enough, there’s another recall stating that some wishbone suspension bolts might not have been properly torqued, which negatively affects the suspension. NHTSA Campaign Number 17V727000 is one more reason that this vehicle isn’t safe for families. This BMW X5 might have confidence, but that doesn’t make it any less of a lemon.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

If nothing else is done right, the bones of the car should be constructed well. For the amount of money owners pay to own this SAV, one would expect much more.

Among the many complaints found in this Edmunds review, you will see numerous material-related issues. “This is definitely the worst car I’ve ever purchased. I paid $85k for my 2018 BMW X5. I’ve had numerous issues since I purchased it. It was not aligned from the factory and I had to take it in almost immediately to have an alignment done. The seatbelts were really noisy in the front seats. I had them replaced and they are a bit better now, but it’s ridiculous to have this issue on such an expensive car. The electronics leave a lot to be desired. Sometimes it will automatically switch driver profiles. Sometimes it won’t.  There doesn’t seem to be any reason why. Even the so-called ‘geniuses’ at the dealer didn’t know why. At around 8,000 miles, several interior panels started rattling and making noise. The seat motor in the passenger seat went out and that had to be replaced. I’m so done with this car and BMW. It’s my first and definitely my last. There are some nice things about the car, but it’s pretty hard for me to enjoy them when there are so many other things wrong with it.”

What’s most concerning is Service Bulletin #B513016, which illustrates how the tailgate can open on its own, even when the vehicle is locked. As a family car, this simply can’t be allowed to occur, yet BMW owners everywhere are dealing with it. To gain the confidence owners want on the road, it might be necessary to switch brands entirely.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes BMW pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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