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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:53 AM
mzp mzp is offline
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Exclamation Seat heater catches FIRE!!!!!

Hi All,

Last night i was driving my X3, turned the seat heater on (its about -27 here!) I got about three blocks when I noticed a TERRIBLE smell accompanied by PAIN in the left cheek! I looked down saw smoke coming out of my leather seat and swerved into a snow bank. I am allright and thanks to great 4 wheel drive pulled out of the snow bank but am burned and my seat looks terrible-not to mention DANGEROUS! I went straight to the dealership and they were awesome even replacing my coat...HAS ANYONE HEARD OF THIS??? The car is going in next week to have the seat replaced and they are looking to see if any damage happened from the snow bank as well as the electrical system.

I would just like to know if anyone has info on RECALLS or other incidents

Thanks so much, so cold without my seat heater;(
michelle
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:59 AM
cubed cubed is offline
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yes I have heard of this both in BMWs and Audis. I think the common denominator is the deflection induced by your butt cheeks. Too boney and you make contact with the heating element. Flatter butt and youre better off. Yes I`m kidding. But I have heard of it on various threads.... glad they replaced everything.
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2009, 10:05 AM
mzp mzp is offline
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Thanks Cubed

That makes me and my left cheek smile! It really was something to sit in the dealership service area and go over the "accident" some other client mentioned "well at least you have a hot ass" thanks for the info, anywhere you heard of this in particular as I would like to let the service manager know?
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2009, 11:13 AM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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You may

want to play this one and see what else you can negotiate as compensation for the embarr(ass)ment (couldn't resist-sorry) trouble and personal injury etc.
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2009, 11:18 AM
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can't wait to see what happens with the new heated steering wheels.
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  #6  
Old 12-10-2009, 11:33 AM
cubed cubed is offline
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mzp -- just a quick search of the bimmerfest forum reveals many such stories. Below is one. There are stories on the web from audi`s -- audiworld.com--, vw`s, fords, etc. This is not new.


http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...at+heater+fire
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  #7  
Old 12-10-2009, 12:46 PM
Tolland Mark Tolland Mark is offline
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Yikes! Glad to hear you are ok and that the dealer is dealing with it so to speak. You didn't mention what year X3 you have and how many miles?

Since 1991 all of my cars (VW Passat, SAAB 900, 325xiT) including my X3 have had heated seats with no problems in any of them. Good luck and keep us posted on how things turn out.
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2009, 02:44 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mzp View Post
Hi All,

Last night i was driving my X3, turned the seat heater on (its about -27 here!) I got about three blocks when I noticed a TERRIBLE smell accompanied by PAIN in the left cheek! I looked down saw smoke coming out of my leather seat and swerved into a snow bank. I am allright and thanks to great 4 wheel drive pulled out of the snow bank but am burned and my seat looks terrible-not to mention DANGEROUS! I went straight to the dealership and they were awesome even replacing my coat...HAS ANYONE HEARD OF THIS??? The car is going in next week to have the seat replaced and they are looking to see if any damage happened from the snow bank as well as the electrical system.

I would just like to know if anyone has info on RECALLS or other incidents

Thanks so much, so cold without my seat heater;(
michelle
How dangerous is that. Glad that you didn't get into a serious accident.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=919220

"while driving to a friends house this morning, my drivers side heated seat burnt a hole in the leather and in my jeans. i have a small red mark on my *&^!!!
Has BMW ever done anything about this? I am out of warranty only 7 months, will they pay for this? I have a 2004 X3. If not, I will NOT buy another BMW. I have had the passenger side airbag sensor need replaced as well, it would have cost $1,000 but my service manager went to bat for me, and i got it replaced free. At that time, it was only 3 weeks out of warranty.
Anybody else having this problem with the seats in their Bimmers?"
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2009, 04:33 PM
06BMWX3 06BMWX3 is offline
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A VERY common problem(or was) with Audi and VW.

Happend to my buddy with his Lexus RX350, but got electrocuted by the heated seat, man, did he ever got scared on that one!!
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2009, 05:38 PM
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Ishniknork Ishniknork is offline
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That is the very reason I avoid things like heated seats and steering wheels. It's just one more thing to go haywire too with all the bells and whistles cars have these days.

Glad you're OK though, it could have been a lot worse!
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2009, 08:31 AM
6spdg37s 6spdg37s is offline
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That was a recall in my buddys 09 Challenger SRT-8
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2009, 08:36 AM
cubed cubed is offline
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The seat heaters in my X3 are so wonderful -- they take exactly 7 seconds to create the warmth I want and they go up my back. Very soothing. The third setting is too hot for me. But one and two are great. wouldnt trade them for a second.
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  #13  
Old 12-11-2009, 09:00 AM
mzp mzp is offline
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thanks to all

Good Morning,

Thanks everyone for your posts and making me chuckle! My X3 is a 2005 and yes the seat heaters are AMAZING, its now about -26 CELCIUS and OMG i cant wait 'till they fix this next week.

Thanks again to everyone, i feel much better going back to the dealership with more information, I'll also get them to check the airbag sensors. This forum rocked

m.
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  #14  
Old 12-11-2009, 11:36 AM
enamoured enamoured is offline
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I have the same year X3 too, but with leatherette that developed some cracks in lower bolsters in driver side and was replaced under warranty. I have been using the heat pretty much everyday (we are pretty much in same area) and haven't had any problems. I will be careful with them now.
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  #15  
Old 12-11-2009, 11:54 AM
nathanfbarr nathanfbarr is offline
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I had the exact same thing happen to me last spring in my '04 x3. Took it to BMW Seattle and even though it was out of warranty they called up BMW NA and they took care of it - which was good, because I was about to raise a sh!t storm. I can understand if something like heated seats stop working, but catching fire?? C'mon.
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  #16  
Old 12-11-2009, 02:23 PM
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I thought I saw a TSB on this

I thought I saw a TSB or recall notice on this. Seems like it pertained only to the non sport seats but I don't remember for sure.
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  #17  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:19 AM
AussieX AussieX is offline
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I am so glad we don't need seat heaters, but also glad the OP suffered no real injury...
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  #18  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:38 AM
jmatz jmatz is offline
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My wife and I were remarking just this weekend that we miss the speed at which the X3 seats heated. And the heated steering wheel is missed too - wish that was an option on the Volvo XC60, which we switched to in November. The seats on the XC60 take maybe 5 minutes to get to full-heat. In colder weather it will probably feel warm sooner, as the contrast between a really cold seat and once it's heated will be greater.

Sounds like the heating element must draw quite a bit more current on the X3 to reach full heat so quickly - I can imagine the potential for overheating.
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  #19  
Old 12-14-2009, 11:27 AM
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LvdB LvdB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mzp View Post
Hi All,

Last night i was driving my X3, turned the seat heater on...
Good thing you're ok

...but imagine the steering heating goes haywire, as you near a turn/bend ...could get messy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AussieX View Post
I am so glad we don't need seat heaters, but also glad the OP suffered no real injury...
Seat and steering heating is an option here but not needed either; our winters don't get that cold (heck, we barely know what snow is )
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  #20  
Old 12-15-2009, 02:47 AM
madhatch madhatch is offline
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happened on my B5 A4 Avant & was pretty common on those model year Audi's @ that time ....drove my non-heated seats 540iT for 3 winters after the A4 & its 1 of the few luxuries I enjoy in at least 1 of my whips...ironically my drivers side heated seat switch is broken (won't stay on for more than 30 seconds) ....going to stealership Friday to diagnose...
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Last edited by madhatch; 12-15-2009 at 02:51 AM.
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  #21  
Old 12-18-2009, 06:36 PM
alan of cicero alan of cicero is offline
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Unhappy me too

I have an 04' 5310I and the exact same thing happened to me (minus snowbank). I'm out of warranty and wanted to know if there is a recall or TSB on this issue. I have a hole in my seat and a burn mark on my slacks
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  #22  
Old 12-27-2009, 10:17 AM
cpoole cpoole is offline
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same thing happened to my X5, cabin completely filled with smoke and burned left butt. The truck is 7 months out of warranty but is under the certified bmw extended warranty. The seat is not covered, dealership won't do anything for me, so now i'm fighting with bmw canada. I found out bmw had recalls on this problem for other models in the past, but they are still putting the same product out there. The new seat cover is 1100 and 300 to install, crazy. My first BMW and i'm thinking my last.
I can't believe they know about this problem and keep making it the same
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  #23  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:00 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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jm, now that you have switched to an XC60 what do you find good or bad about it compared to an X3 besides the slow seat heater (that is the same BTW as my daughters' XC70 and XC90). I am seriously considering the Q5 or the XC60. Don't mean to 'jack the thread but was interested.
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  #24  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:07 AM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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I know of a fire caused by paper lodged under the seat. What is the cause for these fires? Electrical short, haywire thermostat oe what? Can we do any preventative maint to avoid this?
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  #25  
Old 12-28-2009, 12:30 AM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
What is the cause for these fires? Electrical short, haywire thermostat oe what? Can we do any preventative maint to avoid this?
Since everyone seems to experience the burn through at some particular "spot", it seems to point to wires breaking and shorting. Mostly likely from too much flexing but maybe the insulation just gets brittle and cracks. Since reading this thread I've been trying to think of ways to prevent it from happening. Right now I just play Scrooge and restrict anyone from using the highest heat setting. Which, IMHO, is too hot anyway.
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