Last post on Oct 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM
You are in the MINI Cooper
What is this discussion about?
MINI Cooper, Transmission, Convertible, Hatchback
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#162 of 548 Re: 2004 MINI Cooper Clutch Problems [gusp]
Jul 18, 2008 (10:06 am)
Sadly, I too have had a very similar experience - not on an '04 Mini, but on an '05. Clutches are clearly an ongoing issue with these cars, but one that the company refuses to acknowledge, chosing instead to pass the blame (quite criminally) back to the consumer.
I generally to not repost messages that I've posted to other forums, but I'm really adamant about getting the word out here, so I'm making an exception.
I recently filed this complaint with consumer affairs:
Clutch problems seem to be a recurring theme on this page. So I thought I would add my experience to the mix.
At about 19,000 miles, the clutch on my 2005 Mini Cooper S convertible began groaning during takeoff (ie, while moving from a full stop into first gear). I mentioned this to the dealer in San Francisco during an appointment to fix a non-related issue, and she later informed me that the clutch was in fact wearing and would soon need to be replaced. She added, much to my surprise, that my warranty would not cover it. Terms of the warranty cover clutch replacement only after 30,000 miles.
I took issue with this and, after posting to an online forum, was contacted my a Mini National Customer Service rep, who agreed to look into getting me full coverage.
Several months later, and after much back and forth with the rep (who for the record was very patient and courteous) the end result was this: Mini agreed to cover 50% of the cost, but only on condition that I agreed up front to shoulder the other 50%.
Though I'm paraphrasing, their reasoning was this: if a clutch needs replacement within 30,000 miles, it must be due to driver abuse.
This really blew me over. What a blatant leap in logic. From my standpoint, if a clutch needs to be replaced within 30K (or just 19K in this case), it's a pretty clear indication that the clutch itself is deficient or defective in some way. To provide some background here, I am 37 years old and have owned stick vehicles exclusively since I first got my license 21 years ago. I have never, ever, ever gone through a clutch in less than 70K, and have seen them last well beyond 100K on vehicles that I've owned. There is no way that the problem I'm experiencing is due to abuse on my part, and the mere suggestion is just absurd and proof of this company's refusal to stand behind its product.
Other postings here on Consumer Affairs prove clearly that I am not alone on this issue.
Furthermore, I have spoken to various mechanics (from BMW) who have confirmed that these cars have clutch issues. My service adviser at Mini in San Francisco even admitted as much, but kept insisting her hands were tied by corporate policy. So, in the end, the dealer is bound by corporate, and corporate passes the blame right back to the consumer. What a fantastic business model!!!
Needless to say, I will not be purchasing or recommending any other Mini's. I've also decided against taking the company up on their 50% offer. Though that may sound absurd, my local mechanic wants $1200 to do the whole job. Mini quoted me $1800 for the work, $900 of which I would owe. I will gladly pay $300 extra to see an honest man perform an honest day's work before I'll see another nickel of my hard-earned pay in the hands of these clowns.
You can find this complaint, along with many others, on the consumer affairs website here (just do a text search on "clutch" and you'll see what I mean).
This company is behaving just shamefully, and consumers need to know. Knowledge is power!
#163 of 548 Re: 2004 MINI Cooper Clutch Problems [minimad2]
Jul 18, 2008 (9:48 pm)
My experience with Mini of San Francisco was similar to yours, except no one even did me the courtesy of calling me back regarding my failed transmission at 70k. Mini USA also told me that my transmission failure could be related to the way I drive or to different "geographical conditions". As you know, we don't get alot of snow or inclement weather out here, so neither "argument" made sense. I love my Mini but I would think twice before getting another one (and certainly not at Mini of San Francisco).
#164 of 548 Don't just complain - take action Mini owners
Jul 23, 2008 (3:01 pm)
Go to message #162 where there is a link to Consumer Affairs - I usually never go to this length but after reading everyone's complain about the same issue- transmission failure, our voices should unite and hopfully there will some good that will come out of it. As of now most of us are all out $7,000 +/- except those who got lucky and received help from Mini customer Service. To those that received help - more power to you!
#165 of 548 SPROCKET WITH EXCLAMATION POINT LIGHT
Jul 23, 2008 (6:19 pm)
MY 2008 AUTOMATIC MINI OCCASIONALLY DISPLAYS A SPROCKET SHAPE WITH AN EXCLAMATION POINT INDICATOR LIGHT WHEN I TURN IT OFF. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN EVERY TIME I TURN MOTOR OFF. NO PROBLEM WITH PERFORMANCE. HAVE ANY OTHER MINI OWNERS EXPERIENCED THIS??????
#166 of 548 Re: Fearing the worst re: transmission [cracker2225]
Jul 31, 2008 (1:29 pm)
I went ahead and fixed my transmission through an independent as well. I found a person who is trying to get signatures together for a class action suit. If you are interested, here is her email address: no2numba-tu.com
I believe she is in San Francisco as well. There is strength in numbers.
How is your Mini driving now or did you get rid of it?
#168 of 548 Re: Fearing the worst re: transmission [mspepper]
Sep 11, 2008 (3:35 pm)
My transmission just went at 66000 miles, 2003 mini cooper. I have 1 month left on my extended warranty. Does anyone know if I'm going to have a problem collecting, never dealt with extended warranties before.
I'm seriously thinking about getting rid of it, but can only get 7000 from a dealer. My sunroof (moonroof) has leaked since day 1, fixed it once, but didn't last. My air conditioning has never worked. I have owned it for 2 years.
The dealer is about 2 hrs away so I have been taking it to private mechanics. The tires cost me almost 1000. and a new muffler cost me about 1000. From the sound of it I'll be lucky if I don't have more transmission problems even after puchasing a new one.
#169 of 548 Re: Fearing the worst re: transmission [miccrab]
Sep 11, 2008 (4:07 pm)
I have collected about 60 people whom I have been in contact with who also had the same problem. My car failed at less than 60K miles. I know at least one person who was not able to collect through the extended warranty. If you would like to join us, please write me at no2numba-tu.com. Thanks! -winnie
#170 of 548 Re: Fearing the worst re: transmission [miccrab]
Sep 11, 2008 (5:14 pm)
I am looking for a 2003 Mini.....Let me know if you want to sell it and where you live? A few words about it and pictures can be sent to: wilemakeitaol.com
#171 of 548 Re: 2004 MINI Cooper Clutch Problems [gusp]
Sep 17, 2008 (9:41 am)
I have a 2006 mini that makes clutch noise on almost all my shifts from 1st gear. When I complained to the dealer I was told that is common in 2005 and 2006 and there was nothing they would do about it. I was also told it is not under warrenty. Reading other peoples clutch problems in this forum I see some say they were covered under warrenty and some people had their clutch "de-glazed"? The dealer told me if it makes this noise all the time my clutch is going out. I only have 32k on the car and have never heard of a clutch going out with that few miles. I am very disappointed because I thought BMW had a reputation for excellence. I am thinking about selling my car but how can I when it makes that noise? I asked the dealer this and he just shrugged his shoulders. What have other people done about this noise?