I hope someone out there has had this problem and knows how to fix it (sorry it's long, but have to include the details):

In the last month, our 2001 X5 has been unable to start 3 times--dead battery. The symptoms indicate something intermittent and electronic, rather than a bad battery or alternator:

--car is used daily, but 3 times in the last month the battery becomes so drained overnight that the electric locks won't work, the inside lights don't come on, and it needs 20 minutes hooked up on jumper cables to a running car before it will start. Once electricity is applied, all of the electronics have reset themselves as if the battery had been removed from the car. In other words, the battery was absolutely drained.

--I don't think a bad alternator or battery is the cause. The symptoms would be more gradual with an alternator problem, and the battery holds a charge and passes a load test (the first dealer charged the battery and gave the car back to us---said there was no problem. It died the next week again....).

It's been to two dealers here in Germany for this problem. The service shop on Friday said the car is not going to "sleep mode" when the key is removed. However, today they called to get approval to replace two modules (a "ground module" and a "door module" at $500 a piece, labor not included) because they noted current drain to be 80 milliamps (I understand 50 milliamps to be normal to run the alarm, etc). I am not an electrical engineer, but I doubt 30 additional milliamps above normal would completely kill the battery overnight.

I've seen many posts with battery problems, unfortunately, I've seen few posts from people who have gotten their car fixed. Calling BMWNA was an experience in frustration; they deny that there has ever been any type of problem with the batteries in 2001/2002 X5 cars. Because I'm in Germany, they refuse to get involved ("We aren't allowed to contact our service shops or dealers in Germany").

Hope there is someone out there who has been through this before.