2019 BMW X3 Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical and random tailgate opening issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Drivers looking for a luxury compact SUV, often gravitate to the 2019 BMW X3 because of its sleek style and spacious cabin. The automaker themselves state that “Adventure Awaits” with this model, and that couldn’t be truer. The trouble is that the adventure ahead isn’t what most people signed up for. Instead, this SUV features a defective tailgate and several electrical issues.

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Structure

The 2019 BMW X3 isn’t a low-dollar SUV; it’s a luxury model that costs a pretty penny. This extra cost isn’t a big deal for most drivers because it’s assumed that the quality is worth it. When it comes to how well this X3 was built, it’s clear that the extra money wasn’t put into the engineering.

Just read one of many reviews left on the NHTSA website, “The tailgate opened by itself while I was driving on the highway. I had a short local drive before entering the highway. About 5 mins on the highway at around 60 mph, the tailgate opened by itself. The car felt very noisy and hard to control (I was on a windy highway). I had to exit the highway, stop on a local street and close the trunk. The same random opening also happened once in my garage while the car was parked and locked, a week ago. With two random openings happening in one week, I am afraid of driving it. You never know when the tailgate will suddenly open again.”

With several service bulletins coming from the company, there isn’t anything related to this situation, despite the numerous complaints circulating. What is shown is several recalls that also show how poorly this vehicle was put together. For example, in NHTSA Campaign Number 19V563000, it is revealed that the front seatback frames weren’t appropriately welded, allowing the seatbacks to fold unexpectedly. This can occur with people in them and during a crash.

Another example is labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V291000 that describes how the instrument panel assembly might have been manufactured wrong, thereby preventing the deployment of the passenger’s front air bag. Where is the adventure? Is it from having all the groceries fall out the back of this SUV while driving or folding into a pretzel when the seat malfunctions? It appears the engineers wanted to make sure there was an adventure included in every part of the SUV.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 BMW X3 Tailgate Problems:

THE TAILGATE OPENS ON ITS OWN. THIS HAPPENS WITHOUT THE KEY FOB BEING NEAR A PERSON OR ANYTHING PRESSING ON IT. THIS IS A SERIOUS SAFETY ISSUE AND BMW DEALERS WILL NOT FIX IT, IF THEY DO NOT SEE IT IN PERSON. SO, FAR THIS HAS OCCURRED SEVERAL TIMES WHILE THE VEHICLE WAS PARKED IN A DRIVEWAY OR IN A PARKING LOT.

BACK HATCH DOOR OPENS RANDOMLY. IT WAS PARKED OVERNIGHT AND STATIONERY BUT NEIGHBOR REPORTED IT OPEN THIS MORNING.,

TRUNK POPS OPEN BY ITSELF MANY TIMES WHILE PARKING

WHEN SLOWLY DRIVING UP A HILL, THE TAILGATE OPENED AND THE CONTENTS IN THE BACK FELL OUT.

Electrical

The main parts of the electrical system include the battery, starter and alternator, but there is much more involved than that. It also runs the power windows, headlights, power steering, windshield wipers and modern technologies. When there is a problem with the electronic equipment of a vehicle, it can reveal itself in multiple ways.

One such case is demonstrated by a NHTSA complaint. “The seat ventilation on the passenger seat has failed three times. Each time the fans within the seat that activate to push air through the vents sound like they are tearing through the seat. Each time, the dealer has repaired the issue, only for it to return again. The car is going to the dealer once again after I asked for them to escalate this issue.”

We see the documentation of several electrical problems. One was part of a recall labeled with NHTSA Campaign Number 19V684000. In this case, the back-up camera fails to work correctly at times. Other electrical service bulletins include trouble with the remote to unlock the car, a missing digital speedometer and lost Bluetooth connection.

One of the more concerning issues is illustrated in Service Bulletin # B130219. This talks about how the engine wiring harness comes in contact with the vehicle’s tank vent valve line. Vibration and oscillation can wear through the valve line. From the failing structure to the faulty electrical wiring, this SUV provides more adventure than most drivers want to deal with. After spending so much time at the dealership, it’s not uncommon for BMW enthusiasts to jump ship for another brand after all this trouble

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 BMW X3 Electrical Problems.

I PURCHASED A NEW 2019 BMW X3 XDRIVE 30I MIDSIZE SUV ON AUGUST 31, 2019. I SPECIFICALLY CHOSE THE DRIVER ASSIST OPTION THAT INCLUDES BOTH LANE DEPARTURE AND BLIND SPOT WARNING FEATURES. UPON TESTING TO VERIFY THAT THESE FEATURES WERE FUNCTIONING PROPERLY, I DISCOVERED THAT THE STEERING WHEEL VIBRATION WARNING FEATURE DID NOT WORK. NO VIBRATION AT ALL WAS DETECTED WHENEVER I CHANGED LANES EVEN THOUGH I SET THE DESIRED VIBRATION LEVEL TO THE HIGHEST SETTING AND I WAS VERY CAREFUL TO DRIVE AT A SPEED, 50 MPH, FOR WHICH THE FEATURE SHOULD BE ACTIVE. THIS WAS ALSO TRUE OF THE BLIND SPOT WARNING–NO VIBRATION DETECTED. I VERIFIED THAT BOTH SAFETY SYSTEMS HAD ACTIVATED BY OBSERVING THE APPEARANCE OF THE LANE DEPARTURE ICON IN THE INSTRUMENT PANEL AND THE ILLUMINATION OF THE TRIANGULAR LIGHT IN THE OUTSIDE MIRRORS UPON APPROACH OF A VEHICLE IN THE ADJACENT LANE. HOWEVER, NO VIBRATION WAS DETECTED IN THE STEERING WHEEL WHEN I PURPOSELY CHANGED LANES WITHOUT SIGNALING ON TESTING THE LANE DEPARTURE FEATURE OR WHEN I SIGNALED TO CHANGE LANES WITH ANOTHER CAR IN THE BLIND SPOT IN TESTING THE BLIND SPOT FEATURE. THE BLIND SPOT VISUAL WARNING LIGHTS IN BOTH OUTSIDE MIRRORS WORKED OK, BUT NO VIBRATION WAS DETECTED WHEN SIGNALING TO CHANGE LANES. I REPORTED THIS TO THE DEALERSHIP AND THEIR DIAGNOSIS WAS A FAULTY MOTOR THAT GENERATES THE STEERING MECHANISM VIBRATION. A NEW PART IN ON ORDER. I’M REPORTING THIS TO ALERT OTHERS WHO MAY NOT HAVE TESTED FOR PROPER FUNCTIONALITY OF THESE SAFETY FEATURES. ONE HAS A VISUAL WARNING FOR THE BLIND SPOT FEATURE TO BACKUP THE STEERING MECHANISM VIBRATION, BUT NOT SO FOR THE LANE DEPARTURE. THE ABSENCE OF VIBRATION COULD BE A SIGNIFICANT SAFETY ISSUE FOR ANYONE DEPENDING ON THE PROPER OPERATION OF THIS FEATURE.

THE LANE DEPARTURE WARNING SYSTEM ON MY NEW BMW X3 (PURCHASED MAY 3, 2019) DOES NOT WORK. THIS IS A NON-TRIVIAL FAILURE IN BMW’S SO-CALLED “INTELLIGENT SAFETY SYSTEM.” THE RESPONSE I’VE RECEIVED SO FAR FROM MY BMW DEALER IN OCALA, FLORIDA IS UNSATISFACTORY. THEY INSIST IT IS WORKING, JUST AT A SLIGHT VIBRATION. I FEEL NO VIBRATION, AND HAVE HAD SEVERAL PEOPLE DRIVE THE CAR AND AGREE. DURING A LAPSE IN CONCENTRATION – WHICH IS WHAT THIS FEATURE IS INTENDED FOR – THERE IS NO WARNING OF LANE DEPARTURE. IT’S NOT A SAFETY FEATURE IF IT DOESN’T WORK. I FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE THAT BMW SAFETY ENGINEERS WOULD WANT THE FUNCTION TO BE IMPERCEPTIBLE EVEN AT THE “STRONG” SETTING. BMW APPARENTLY THINKS THIS FEATURE IS IMPORTANT, AS THE COMPANY PLACED AN ASSOCIATED LIGHTED BUTTON RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DASHBOARD! PERHAPS THEY ARE WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO GET HURT OR DIE BEFORE ACTING. PLEASE RESEARCH THIS PROBLEM ON BEHALF OF CUSTOMERS BEFORE THAT HAPPENS. THANK YOU.

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