2020 BMW X5 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 BMW X5 is a luxury SAV that’s meant to take over the market. The automaker even claims that the newest lineup stands for “confidence never detours,” but owners are wishing they had gone a different route. This vehicle suffers from a faulty electrical system, a defective powertrain, a poorly-built structure and dangerous wheels.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2018    2019    2022

Problems with the Electrical System

When trouble occurs within the electrical system of a vehicle, it can lead to many nuisances that customers don’t want to deal with.

That’s what is shown through this Edmunds review. “Had my 2020 X5 x40i for 3 months, been Pacific BMW 3 times to reprogram Wi-Fi and cell phone communication. After the 3rd visit they fixed it, now it’s out again, I will not fix it again, I realize the X5 technology is very faulty, so I’ll just drive it like an old car. Unfortunately I bought it instead of leasing so I’m stuck. I traded in a 2018 Audi Q5 with excellent technology, one of my biggest regrets.”

Beyond this, there are bigger problems to think about. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V684000 states that over 250,000 vehicles might have a faulty back-up camera system. Without a properly displaying image, drivers are more susceptible to an accident, making this a very expensive deathtrap. Maybe that detour will require only moving forward, so customers don’t need to look back.

2020 BMW X5 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Air Bags
Exterior Lighting
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
Engine And Engine Cooling
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Lane Departure: Assist

Air Conditioning Problems

Most people don’t struggle with the air conditioning system in a new vehicle as the customers of the X5 are.

Here is one report from a customer on the NHTSA. “Air conditioning quit working on Day 2 of ownership. Dealer says the compressor needs to be replaced and there is a lead time between 2 weeks and 2 months. After purchasing a car that cost about $125,000 and driving it one time, it had to be sent to the shop. Since it is so hot where I live, driving the car is out of the question. BMW did give me a loaner car, but the value of the loaner is about 45% of the car I purchased.”

BMW wasn’t feeling very generous when giving this customer a loaner. Considering all of the defects, one would think the manufacturer would be more hospitable. There is even a steering-system related recall that is causing people to need a loaner vehicle. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V434000 says that some vehicles have a steering column shaft bearing plate that wasn’t attached correctly to the vehicle, ensuring that it will loosen over time. When this occurs, the handling goes downhill quickly and could lead to an accident. Sadly, the insurance premiums are already sky-high on this model, so totaling it is not something customers are getting excited about. They would do far better to purchase a cheap car instead – it’s what they get while the vehicle is in the shop anyway.

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Problems with the Steering and Lighting

One last look takes a turn to the exterior lighting worries.

Here is yet one final NHTSA complaint. “My vehicle has not been involved in any accidents as a function of this design flaw. The following occurs when vehicle is in motion or stationary: During daytime driving, when headlights are not turned on, the digital instrument panel and digital control panel dim undesirably, making them difficult to read and creating unsafe driving conditions. This is undesirable behavior and is most prevalent on cloudy days and at sunrise and sunset. The dimming needs to be inactive if headlights are off. If headlights are on, it needs to be inactive if bright light is detected through windshield (sunrise, sunset) or if bright light is detected inside the cabin.”

While there are no important communications about the lighting issues, it only makes sense to look at one more unrelated recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V6310000 states that the steering rack pinion teeth could break when under a load. If this happens, the driver could lose complete control over the vehicle.

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.


Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • sa

    Bluetooth never stays connected – super unreliable, cars that are $18 k brand new have much better Bluetooth connectivity.

  • Edgar

    I bought a new 2021 BMW X5 plug in last October 15 and to this date ( December 3) the car is still back at the dealership because of major battery issue. Charged the car for 2 1/2 days and it charged only to about 55%, drove the car for about 9 miles, battery completely drained afterwards. Engineer from BMW corporate office is being sent to the local dealership to fix the car

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