BMWNA Official Statement: N54 Turbo Lag

We have confirmed the following with BMWNA and is in fact an official response to complaints about turbo lag. Models affected are the 135i, 335i/xi, 535i/xi and the X6 xDrive35i.

The turbo lag is not overwhelming for most and to some it is not noticeable. The cause of the lag is due to a change in the engine software; some were built with the new software while others obtained it through an update at the dealer. The reason BMW was updating the software was because of certain noise concerns and the by-product of the update was the increase in lag and the desired decrease in noise.

For some time the lag was denounced and was never officially acknowledged; this statement changes all of that. It also indicated engines may be updated with software that does not cause lag but may cause this “noise “. We would think most enthusiasts would welcome the noise over the lag but for certain others it may be the other way around. You apparently will have a choice.

BMWNA Statement:

“In an effort to address specific noise concerns, BMW updated the turbocharged engine software on 335i/xi and 535i/xi models built from June 2006 through March 2008. The updated software causes a small amount of increased “turbocharger lag” under certain circumstances and, while not substantial, the lag may be perceptible to the most sensitive BMW drivers. X6, 135i, and 3 Series/5 Series vehicles from March 2008 production onward are not affected. Release of the new software to restore the original turbocharger response is planned for January 2009, and it will be available for vehicles produced from September 2007 through March 2008 when they are brought to an authorized BMW center for a repair which requires a programming update. Clients with vehicles produced from June 2006 through September 2007 may request installation of the January 2009 software update. Clients who get this update should understand that there is a possibility of slightly increased engine noise levels under certain circumstances. ”

We would like to thank our friends at the BMWCCA (especially Satch) for initiating the movement for and obtaining the official statement. Further information will also be in the January issue of Roundel (join the Club!). Thank yous go out to our other sources for helping us confirm this information; we appreciate it!

When we have more specifics we will provide you with them.

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  • Joe Bimmerfest

    This reminds me of the steering fix that they eventually came out with for my 2001 330i. They took it back to the older, tighter steering with the fix and I loved my BMW from there on out. Kudos again BMWNA for doing the right thing.

  • Tim

    Joe – I’m not sure BMW deserves any kudo’s here. Sounds like BMWCCA circled the wagons and forced their hand:

    “We would like to thank our friends at the BMWCCA (especially Satch) for initiating the movement for and obtaining the official statement.”

  • We are happy that BMW stepped to the plate here as Joe states but as Tim reiterated; they had to be pushed into the batter’s box.

  • Michael

    And everyone was telling me I was nuts feeling the lag…

  • Dave

    You’re still nuts and there is no lag!

  • wade russell

    Why is it so HARD for you guys to give BMWNA credit for a great response to it`s base??!!! Wade

  • Wade,

    We are giving BMWNA for a great response, but you must understand that this has been a long drawn out process and there are other specifics to this that will be further elaborated by the staff at Roundel.

  • Michael

    Dave, engine idle is maybe 700rpm. Turbo kicks in at 1400-1500rpm. Therefore by definition engine toque will be low until engine revs up to 1400rpm. Will you feel it or not depends on personal sensitivity and the way you drive.

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  • Parker

    I know this is old now, but its January. Is there any confirmation when the new software will be released?

  • Chris

    I called them today; they have no resolution yet and nothing to offer their customers. I’m amazed: they tried to blow-off the issues of:

    1) Oil cooling, so huniliated when the Infiniti beat the 335i in limp mode 2) High Pressure Fuel Pump Failures; once again blew-off the customers 3) Software issues for the NIC 4) Software issues for the turbo lag; blown-off customers again. I am not cutting these clowns any slack. It’s been over a year BMW; wake the h&ll up!

  • Parker

    Its released. See E90post forums.

  • Frank

    I’m disappointed with BMW on this, and credit BMWCCA and the bmw community for putting preasure on BMW. I bought a 335i coupe with a six speed transmission for the performance, not the quiet drive. I think the majority of those who bought the 335i bought it for the same reason. I feel if any software version changes the driving charcteristics of the car you spent 48K on, then BMW should tell you before they update the software. Provide a list of updates and bug fixes to the customer.

    I went for service on my car to have the ipod adapater installed and address a rough idle issue. They replaced the software and since then that rocket fealing when you hit the gas went away. For those who wonder, the software update takes several hours. I took the car to the dealer complaining about lag and unpredictalbe acceleration and they always said nothing is wrong.

  • Frank

    Anyone try to get the update. I have taken my car three times for service and complained about it. I tried to call them today about it and I got the run around.

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  • BOSCO M

    Does anyone have a link to the official statement by BMWNA? Or a PDF copy? Looking for something I can take to the dealer without having to too much.