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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 06-22-2013, 09:17 AM
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dkreidel dkreidel is offline
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X5M seat issue - need advice

The drivers seat in my '13 X5M kills my back in less than an hour in the seat. The passenger seat is fine; I can ride for 800 miles in it comfortably. Both front seats in the GF's '13 X5 3.5 are equally comfortable, as are both seats in our '12 650 vert. I've had 20+ BMW's and never had an uncomfortable seat before.

The X5M lives in Montana, and there isn't a dealer in the state. I knew this would be a fight, so I drove it 1,250 miles back to the selling dealer in SoCal to have them look at it. Of course, they reported the seat is fine and there's nothing they can do. The GF has no issues in either seat of my X5M but she doesn't look like me

I've escalated this to BMWNA's customer service but so far no joy. If I can't get this fixed I'm going to have to get rid of the car - and I like it otherwise. Any suggestions on how to get BMW to replace the drivers seat?
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'13 X5 35i - alpine white over black • X5M wheels & tires "it's our car"
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...and a bunch of old English motorcycles

Last edited by dkreidel; 06-22-2013 at 12:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2013, 01:31 PM
UrbanExtant UrbanExtant is online now
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Wouldn't just buying a replacement seat be cheaper than the expense you'd incur in replacing such a new vehicle with depreciation and all?

More importantly, it has been my experience that if you befriend your service advisor, and/or the shop foreman, you'd be amazed the things one of them can find wrong in any given situation that would get the car manufacturer to cover an item. Just food for thought.
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2013, 03:44 PM
ard ard is offline
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You do understand that your root issue is that you cannot objectively prove the driver seat is defective.

If you did, two things would happen:

1. You'd be 'safe' spending $4000 to replace it, knowing it would fix the issue...'

and

2. BMW would replace it first, since it is defective.

You realize BMWNA and the dealer and all of us, are just saying 'his back kills him, why is it the seat?"


Compare seats (seats, not how you feel sitting in them) and find something wromng with yours and it will be easy. Take measurements, angles, hard/soft spots, etc.... find one or two other cars to compare.

Remember, BMW doesnt warrant their seat to not hurt....they warranty it to be free of defects, and those defects must be identifiable.

Good luck- this is a tough one.

A
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
You do understand that your root issue is that you cannot objectively prove the driver seat is defective.

If you did, two things would happen:

1. You'd be 'safe' spending $4000 to replace it, knowing it would fix the issue...'

and

2. BMW would replace it first, since it is defective.

You realize BMWNA and the dealer and all of us, are just saying 'his back kills him, why is it the seat?"


Compare seats (seats, not how you feel sitting in them) and find something wromng with yours and it will be easy. Take measurements, angles, hard/soft spots, etc.... find one or two other cars to compare.

Remember, BMW doesnt warrant their seat to not hurt....they warranty it to be free of defects, and those defects must be identifiable.

Good luck- this is a tough one.

A
I know. I can't say exactly what is wrong - it feels like the lumbar support is either up too high and/or won't fully deflate although it is definitely deflated as far as it will. I'm guessing it's the way the backrest is padded under the leather or ?? I asked the dealer to swap the passenger seat to the drivers side but apparently they are different (besides control position). I had no reason to drive the car 1,200 miles (and 1,200 back) other than get the seat resolved. I pointed this out but it fell on deaf ears. The car is still in SoCal and I'm in Montana trying to develop a strategy.

Your'e right, I need to be able to quantify what is different - angles, firmness, something to show the driver's and passenger's seats are different. You'd think after 20+ new BMW's they 'd work with me on this and simply replace the #$%$#^ seat.
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'13 X5 35i - alpine white over black • X5M wheels & tires "it's our car"
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...and a bunch of old English motorcycles
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2013, 10:40 PM
ard ard is offline
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This intrigues me....

First, unless you know the driver and passenger are supposed to be the same, dont waste time quantifying these differences. I have the contour seats and my recollction is that they are different.... you need to compare yours to another car's driver seat.

There are probably a couple of ways to look at this. The simplest would be to actuate the seat adjustments and see if yours has the same range of motion of others- to the extent you can visualize these.

The difficult thing is that the differences may be in stiffness or support- so unless you apply pressure to the exemplar the same as your seat, trying to discern the differnce might be impossible... hmmm.

Of course, you could just pay them $x00 to open the seat and inspect the internals for proper assembly: any errors and they cover the cost. If no errors you are out a few hundred which is about that the drive home costs.


GL

A
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2013, 06:22 AM
georgejm georgejm is offline
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I like my comfort seats especially the way the back splits in half, I find it makes a big difference. I also find the bottom real hard maybe because of the massage feature that I never use and the way the bottom opens up for my long legs, the gap feels weird. I can really tell the difference between the BMW and the Porsche when I had to move both out of the garage the other day, BMW felt better to me.

You should try tilting down/forward your seat to see if that changes anything.
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2013, 09:16 AM
BenF12400 BenF12400 is offline
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Do have the standard seats or the multicontour seats? My 2013 X5 was ordered with the latter and they are the most comfortable driver's seats I have used. Usually my back starts to ache after an hour after steady driving in our Yukon Denali or the RX330 and 350 we used to have - I had to squirm around just to get comfortable for a minute. I couldn't really justify calling this a defect in the vehicle - maybe a defect in my (aging) anatomy. No problems at all with the muticontour seats and I don't know why. Years ago a friend of mine who is an orthopedic surgeon and very wealthy bought a Jag, complained it hurt his back, and got rid of it in a few weeks (!!??).
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  #8  
Old 06-23-2013, 11:37 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is online now
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X5M seat issue - need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
I know. I can't say exactly what is wrong - it feels like the lumbar support is either up too high and/or won't fully deflate although it is definitely deflated as far as it will. I'm guessing it's the way the backrest is padded under the leather or ?? I asked the dealer to swap the passenger seat to the drivers side but apparently they are different (besides control position). I had no reason to drive the car 1,200 miles (and 1,200 back) other than get the seat resolved. I pointed this out but it fell on deaf ears. The car is still in SoCal and I'm in Montana trying to develop a strategy.

Your'e right, I need to be able to quantify what is different - angles, firmness, something to show the driver's and passenger's seats are different. You'd think after 20+ new BMW's they 'd work with me on this and simply replace the #$%$#^ seat.
First try getting all of the air out of the lumbar support. This requires holding the lumbar support button and pushing on the lumbar support air bladder with your hand until all of the air is out. Did you do this?


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  #9  
Old 06-23-2013, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
First try getting all of the air out of the lumbar support. This requires holding the lumbar support button and pushing on the lumbar support air bladder with your hand until all of the air is out. Did you do this?
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Yep, I even braced my feet on the firewall and pushed back as hard as I could. The passenger seat seems to deflate more although where it really seems to be "tight" is above the highest possible position for the lumbar if it was inflated. Any air in the lumbar is uncomfortable, but that is normal for me in all the current and past BMW's. GF pumps hers up max - we're shaped differently

I think these are comfort seats - std in an X5M as there are no optional seats. 14 way with the backrests that articulate in the middle. I can set the passenger seat in 50 different positions and be fine.I think the dealer has 1 or 2 more of the 13 X5M's left; I guess I'll need to go back to SoCal and sit in one for an hour or two and see what's different.

Even the clapped out 328 loaner the dealer gave me while they had my X5M for a week had great seats. I don't have a bad back, but I will develop one if I can't figure out what's wrong on the driver's side. Irritating, since the GF's '13 X 53.5 with comfort seats feel great
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'13 X5M - carbon black over black • BBS SV "it's our truck"
'13 X5 35i - alpine white over black • X5M wheels & tires "it's our car"
'11 Z4 - mojave over beige • 6 speed manual • Münich delivery

...and a bunch of old English motorcycles
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2013, 07:46 PM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Re: X5M seat issue - need advice

Search out my thread Discomfort Seats in the F10 forum. Same fact pattern: passenger seat is fine, but for the first 20,000 miles the driver's seat felt like my kid had stuffed his Physics textbook inside the backrest, right at kidney level.

The 535 is Mrs. Quack's car, and it didn't bother her. But I couldn't drive it more than 30 minutes without my back killing me. 1,250 miles would never have been possible.

I have a great relationship with my SA, so he brought in an upholstery guy to tear down the seat. The verdict was the lumbar bladder was mis-installed, so he rebuilt the seat. The result was "better" but still not perfect.

Last month I took my kids on a 1,000 mile trip to look at colleges. My X5 threw a CEL the day before we left, so I had no choice but to take the 535. Without Mrs. Quack's knowledge, I snuck down to the garage early that morning and BEAT on the seat like it was a speed bag. Voila. I rode in comfort the whole trip, and actually grew to really enjoy the F10.

Don't know if either of my solutions will work for you, but they are certainly cheaper than selling the car. G/L



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  #11  
Old 06-23-2013, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
Search out my thread Discomfort Seats in the F10 forum. Same fact pattern: passenger seat is fine, but for the first 20,000 miles the driver's seat felt like my kid had stuffed his Physics textbook inside the backrest, right at kidney level.
Exactly! Our X5M only has 4.5K miles; I will read-up on your seat misery. Much appreciated; thanks quackbury
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'13 X5M - carbon black over black • BBS SV "it's our truck"
'13 X5 35i - alpine white over black • X5M wheels & tires "it's our car"
'11 Z4 - mojave over beige • 6 speed manual • Münich delivery

...and a bunch of old English motorcycles
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2013, 04:18 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is online now
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X5M seat issue - need advice

Sounds like Quack's solution may work. Must be about getting all of the air out of the lumbar support. Maybe physically hitting it will extract more air than just the pushing method I described. I understand the size shape difference from the GF. My wife is small and short and she inflates the lumbar out to almost max. I am big and tall and i ride with lumbar completely deflated. I get it...


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  #13  
Old 06-24-2013, 10:47 AM
bmw550newbie bmw550newbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
Search out my thread Discomfort Seats in the F10 forum. Same fact pattern: passenger seat is fine, but for the first 20,000 miles the driver's seat felt like my kid had stuffed his Physics textbook inside the backrest, right at kidney level.

The 535 is Mrs. Quack's car, and it didn't bother her. But I couldn't drive it more than 30 minutes without my back killing me. 1,250 miles would never have been possible.




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Sounds like a drama queen whining. . Seems I heard something along those lines about someone complaining on another thread???
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2013, 08:34 PM
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BMW's Western region engineer is meeting me at the SoCal dealership to review the situation tomorrow - report to follow.
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'13 X5 35i - alpine white over black • X5M wheels & tires "it's our car"
'11 Z4 - mojave over beige • 6 speed manual • Münich delivery

...and a bunch of old English motorcycles
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2013, 04:29 PM
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UPDATE: BMW NA's Western service engineer looked at the seat today and decided it needs to be disassembled and have a few new parts replaced in the seat back, including the cover and pad. That's the good news; the bad is the parts are not in US inventory and are backordered to Germany. I'm surprised the seats for this SC redneck hooligan are sourced in DE and not the US

I really couldn't ask for much more - BMW NA has been great in trying to solve the issue
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'13 X5M - carbon black over black • BBS SV "it's our truck"
'13 X5 35i - alpine white over black • X5M wheels & tires "it's our car"
'11 Z4 - mojave over beige • 6 speed manual • Münich delivery

...and a bunch of old English motorcycles
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2013, 06:00 PM
ard ard is offline
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Well done.

A
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:19 PM
Kar Don Kar Don is offline
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X5M seat issue - need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
UPDATE: BMW NA's Western service engineer looked at the seat today and decided it needs to be disassembled and have a few new parts replaced in the seat back, including the cover and pad. That's the good news; the bad is the parts are not in US inventory and are backordered to Germany. I'm surprised the seats for this SC redneck hooligan are sourced in DE and not the US

I really couldn't ask for much more - BMW NA has been great in trying to solve the issue
I'd suggest/push they replace both lower and upper seat leather instead of just the upper. I had the seat upper leather replaced on my e46 for a similar issue and the new leather didn't match at all. After much resistance the seat bottoms were done too.


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  #18  
Old 07-06-2013, 08:04 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
The drivers seat in my '13 X5M kills my back in less than an hour in the seat. The passenger seat is fine; I can ride for 800 miles in it comfortably. Both front seats in the GF's '13 X5 3.5 are equally comfortable, as are both seats in our '12 650 vert. I've had 20+ BMW's and never had an uncomfortable seat before.

The X5M lives in Montana, and there isn't a dealer in the state. I knew this would be a fight, so I drove it 1,250 miles back to the selling dealer in SoCal to have them look at it. Of course, they reported the seat is fine and there's nothing they can do. The GF has no issues in either seat of my X5M but she doesn't look like me

I've escalated this to BMWNA's customer service but so far no joy. If I can't get this fixed I'm going to have to get rid of the car - and I like it otherwise. Any suggestions on how to get BMW to replace the drivers seat?
I literally feel your pain as I had a multi-level lumbar spinal fusion 25 years ago and they do not get better with time. For the last 10 years or so I've had a horrible time finding a seat I could ride across town in let alone across the country. BMW seats have been the most comfortable of any car I've tried and I bought tickets to a local auto expo just to try them all out. What I've learned about BMW seats is that both sides should be the same with regard to comfort feel and construction. So there is definitely something going on. I hope they solve your problem. BTW, BMW puts a lot of R&D in their seats.


Last edited by usaret; 07-06-2013 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
The drivers seat in my '13 X5M kills my back in less than an hour in the seat. The passenger seat is fine; I can ride for 800 miles in it comfortably. Both front seats in the GF's '13 X5 3.5 are equally comfortable, as are both seats in our '12 650 vert. I've had 20+ BMW's and never had an uncomfortable seat before.

The X5M lives in Montana, and there isn't a dealer in the state. I knew this would be a fight, so I drove it 1,250 miles back to the selling dealer in SoCal to have them look at it. Of course, they reported the seat is fine and there's nothing they can do. The GF has no issues in either seat of my X5M but she doesn't look like me

I've escalated this to BMWNA's customer service but so far no joy. If I can't get this fixed I'm going to have to get rid of the car - and I like it otherwise. Any suggestions on how to get BMW to replace the drivers seat?
The seat bladder in my diesel was installed incorrectly from the factory and the lower lumbar support was much higher than it otherwise would be. It was giving me terrible back pain too. The dealer adjusted the bladders to a lower position. It worked temporarily. Then, the lumbar support bladders shifted higher again and to the left. I got rid of the car before they could be adjusted or seat replaced. I would push for a new seat.

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  #20  
Old 11-03-2013, 07:04 AM
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Smile Update

As closure to this thread I'm delighted to report the new upper and lower pads installed by the dealer's master tech (and supervised by the Western Region Service Engineer) completely solved the issue! I drove the X5M from SoCal to Montana (1,300+ miles) over two days and the driver's seat is now every bit as comfortable as the passenger seat.

It wasn't obvious what was wrong with the old pads and I don't know if the lumbar bladder was originally mis-installed...but I am a very happy camper now Had BMW been unable to solve the problem the X5M would have been sold before the first year of ownership - it was that bad.
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'13 X5M - carbon black over black • BBS SV "it's our truck"
'13 X5 35i - alpine white over black • X5M wheels & tires "it's our car"
'11 Z4 - mojave over beige • 6 speed manual • Münich delivery

...and a bunch of old English motorcycles

Last edited by dkreidel; 11-03-2013 at 07:06 AM.
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  #21  
Old 11-03-2013, 04:34 PM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreidel View Post
As closure to this thread I'm delighted to report the new upper and lower pads installed by the dealer's master tech (and supervised by the Western Region Service Engineer) completely solved the issue! I drove the X5M from SoCal to Montana (1,300+ miles) over two days and the driver's seat is now every bit as comfortable as the passenger seat.

It wasn't obvious what was wrong with the old pads and I don't know if the lumbar bladder was originally mis-installed...but I am a very happy camper now Had BMW been unable to solve the problem the X5M would have been sold before the first year of ownership - it was that bad.
Glad to hear you got this resolved. BTW...are you still getting the m6 vert? I notice it is gone from your sig. Curious if you decided m6 was not worth the price bump over the 650.
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  #22  
Old 11-04-2013, 07:12 AM
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Glad to hear you got this resolved. BTW...are you still getting the m6 vert? I notice it is gone from your sig. Curious if you decided m6 was not worth the price bump over the 650.
Yes, I cancelled the '14 M6 vert. I could not find anyone who wanted my '12 650 vert. I had many interested parties to take over the lease until they discovered it has a MT. Too bad, but my 650 lease is up next August so I'll get a '15 M6 instead of the '14. Someone will get a great 650 vert as it will only have 20-12K miles on it when I turn it in. By the way, the stock seats in the 650 are as comfortable, if not more, than the X5M seats.

Dick
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...and a bunch of old English motorcycles
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