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

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  #26  
Old 12-28-2009, 12:13 PM
cpoole cpoole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
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?
BMW's explanation to me was this is a wear item, entering and exiting the vehicle causes the seat covering to bunch up, this in turn crosses the wires in the seat heater causing a short ie fire.
I have never heard of this until i bought a bmw, apparently its only 'normal' to bmw
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  #27  
Old 12-29-2009, 08:56 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Where are the lawyers here? If ever there was a product liability suit just begging to be filed here it is. Personal injury (burned butt) caused by a defective part (seat heater) and deep pockets (BMW).
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  #28  
Old 12-29-2009, 09:09 AM
cubed cubed is offline
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cpoole -- well it is not normal and it is not normal for a BMW. If you actually read this thread you'll see that it happens to other brands as well. I am guessing that your attribution to BMW as their "answer" is slightly tongue in cheek. But taking it at face value -- you need to get in their faces and remind them that normal wear never includes a fire in the cabin. They will make it right.

Its kind of like telling youthat its normal for the gas line to the engine to wear out as all of that "detergent" gas goes thru it over the years. Then the gas starts to leak and it comes in contact with the hot engine parts and the car blows up. Just normal wear, ma'am.
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  #29  
Old 12-29-2009, 01:37 PM
ekvan ekvan is offline
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seat heater fire

I also have had a fire on my seat heater (04 530I). In 2005, after dealer performed recall to prevent fire danger, my driver's seat caught on fire, fire dept came, cut open the leather and extinguished the smolder material. BMW dealer installed a new seat and was to investigate the reason for the fire after the recall repair. I don't know the result of that investigation. This AM, my seat again began to smolder. Luckily, I recognized the odor and turned the heater off with only a black charring of the leather seat. Have not yet head from the dealer on this one.
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  #30  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:52 PM
cpoole cpoole is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cubed View Post
cpoole -- well it is not normal and it is not normal for a BMW. If you actually read this thread you'll see that it happens to other brands as well. I am guessing that your attribution to BMW as their "answer" is slightly tongue in cheek. But taking it at face value -- you need to get in their faces and remind them that normal wear never includes a fire in the cabin. They will make it right.

Its kind of like telling youthat its normal for the gas line to the engine to wear out as all of that "detergent" gas goes thru it over the years. Then the gas starts to leak and it comes in contact with the hot engine parts and the car blows up. Just normal wear, ma'am.
very tounge and cheek, and this appears to be a regular problem with bmw's. I know of a lot of older cars built by other manufacters with heated that don't have this problems or complaints. Its hard to understand why bmw doesn't correct the problem, its in the entire range of vehicle. The seat covers are built by Lear corp. in the states, you think they would tell them correct or else.
Its reminds me of gm's piston slap noisy engines being explained as normal. I just empected more from bmw, i was happy with my vw, at least the seat never caught fire.
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  #31  
Old 12-29-2009, 04:59 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Does Lear provide ALL the seat heating elements or just the ones for the US built BMWs? My Tahoe had wonderful heated seats, lasted for 10 years with no problem at all, and still going. Surely BMW can do better than a old Chevy truck! The power window regulators didn't fail either.
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  #32  
Old 01-18-2010, 08:17 PM
Mtnbiker Mtnbiker is offline
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Here's another first hand experience. '05 X3 with 44K, and just recently it developed a hot spot on the driver seat, left side bolster. I smelled smoke and felt heat through my jeans and immediately turned off the seat heater - it was on max. The leather has a small burn mark on it, surrounded by leather distortion about the size of a quarter.
I called BMW NA at Woodcliff Lake, NJ and they said they had not heard of this problem and referred me to my dealer. They looked at it and said the heating pad was bad and would cost $800 to $1000 to fix, or $2000 for a new seat. Oh, did I mention the warranty is up?
Medium heat works okay for now, but I shift to low heat when the seat warms up.
Now to wait for a recall......
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  #33  
Old 01-18-2010, 08:57 PM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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How many miles do you have on that thing? I'm using my seat heaters every day here.
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  #34  
Old 01-19-2010, 07:20 AM
thayerV thayerV is offline
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The problem is not confined to BMW.

Terry Cole
Sikeston, MO
Terry Cole, who had lived successfully for 35 years in a wheelchair, was severely
burned by a defective seat heater because he does not have normal sensation in the
lower half of his body.


Terry Cole, a businessman from Sikeston, Missouri, had a very successful life despite
being confined to a wheelchair for the last 35 years. He took great care of his skin so that
remarkably he had never suffered from any the skin problems as many wheelchair-bound
individuals do. In November 2007, he took a 45-minute trip in his brand new GM
Cadillac Escalade. He was using a seat heater. Terry does not have normal sensation in
the lower half of his body and was unable to feel that the seat had heated to 150 degrees
during the trip, severely burning him with third degree burns.
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  #35  
Old 01-19-2010, 08:27 AM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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That begs the question of why he had the seat heater on if he doesn't have sensation in that area.
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  #36  
Old 01-19-2010, 09:57 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Good point duc. Of course, since there was no feeling, then perhaps he was not aware of the seat heater being on in the first place. This seat heater problem topic has also spilled over into at least the X5 board as well.
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  #37  
Old 01-19-2010, 10:41 AM
thayerV thayerV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducx3 View Post
That begs the question of why he had the seat heater on if he doesn't have sensation in that area.
does not have normal sensation
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  #38  
Old 01-19-2010, 10:56 AM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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You're probably right UncleJ. But as someone who works in this area of healthcare, deactivating the seat heater would have been on the list of things to do for someone with impaired sensation to this area.
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  #39  
Old 01-19-2010, 12:14 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpoole View Post
BMW's explanation to me was this is a wear item, entering and exiting the vehicle causes the seat covering to bunch up, this in turn crosses the wires in the seat heater causing a short ie fire.
I have never heard of this until i bought a bmw, apparently its only 'normal' to bmw
Now that is funny.

Maybe BMW seat designers should talk to the people who make heated blankets and throws. Now that is some bunching.
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  #40  
Old 01-19-2010, 07:27 PM
Mtnbiker Mtnbiker is offline
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As for the person with reduced sensation in their lower extremities, maybe they were using the heater for their lower back. I do it all the time, even in the summer when my back is sore.

any lawyers out there?
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  #41  
Old 01-20-2010, 07:02 AM
thayerV thayerV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnbiker View Post
As for the person with reduced sensation in their lower extremities, maybe they were using the heater for their lower back. I do it all the time, even in the summer when my back is sore.

any lawyers out there?
Unfortunately it looks like GM and Chrysler claimants are screwed:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/06/15/news...iffs/index.htm
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  #42  
Old 01-24-2010, 12:10 PM
HockeyMom HockeyMom is offline
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Just purchased a 2006 X3 CPO last month. The driver's seat had a small hole on the left side that looked like a cigarette burn. Dealer fixed the hole before we drove it off the lot but a week after driving with the seater heater on we realized what had caused the hole! The seat would heat to a very high temperature, too hot to touch, and created a burning smell. Dealer agreed to replace the seat bottom but yesterday the burning smell and high temperature returned in the lower left back area. We bought the extended warranty but based on some comments here I'm not sure if the replacement will be covered or whether the dealer with take care of this one for us too.
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  #43  
Old 01-24-2010, 03:13 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Mom, this is a well known problem that they should fix without question. A check on the X5 board indicates they are having problems with seat heaters as well. You may want to have the thing disconnected just to be safe if they can't come up with a long term solution. I have stopped using my seat heater just because of this.
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  #44  
Old 01-31-2010, 02:42 PM
Rickm5X3 Rickm5X3 is offline
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Our 2004 non-sport is now afflicted with heat element issue (left driver's side bolster, close to the seat back. It didn't burn all the way through the leather but damaged it quite a bit. Dealer will be looking at it and hopefully will offer help. Will report back.
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  #45  
Old 02-01-2010, 04:02 PM
HockeyMom HockeyMom is offline
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My driver's side seat back is on back order. Hope to have it late this week. In the meantime, I get to drive a 2010 X3 loaner.
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  #46  
Old 03-19-2010, 12:50 PM
DSpokane DSpokane is offline
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X-3 Seat Heater Fire

Okay, I had the exact same thing happen on my 2004 X-3, also on the left side of the driver's seat. Gave my wife a hot butt but she quickly turned the heater off. Left several holes in the leather on the seat. As I write this, the car is in the shop and I've asked BMW NA to get involved. This should constitute a recall!
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  #47  
Old 03-19-2010, 01:09 PM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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Report the issue here

Please, Please report your heated seat problems here- http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm.
Even if it was several years ago. This is the only hope of BMW being forced into doing something about this. I think the Gubmint is a little more responsive after the Toyota issue they totally dropped the ball on. Report the issue even if BMW did fix yours free of charge. This is a SAFETY issue plain and simple.

How safe is it when you are flying down the road at 70 mph with your azz on fire?????
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  #48  
Old 03-19-2010, 03:25 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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+1 this is a definite safety hazard that needs a recall IMHO.
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  #49  
Old 03-19-2010, 04:36 PM
HockeyMom HockeyMom is offline
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Dealer replaced both my seat bottom and seat back with no questions asked at no cost.
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  #50  
Old 03-20-2010, 11:15 PM
DSpokane DSpokane is offline
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Factory will repair at no cost

RE my 2004 X-3, the dealer contacted the factory and will repair the seat and replace heater at no cost even though the car is out of warranty. This is good, but I've not yet asked if they have actually corrected the problem with a redesign. That's next.
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