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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,735 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Mini Cooper steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #5

Oct 102011


  • 120,524 miles


Electric power steering pump went out without any warning. I noticed it when I was going around a bend and the steering effort had greatly increased. If I had to make a emergency maneuver, I probably would not have been able to complete it successfully.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #4

Apr 242008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,400 miles
I am the owner of a 2003 minicooper. The power steering pump has failed on my MINIin addition to the cooling fan and the wiring harness to the pump. This is a consistent problem with all MINICoopers made between 2002 and 2006. It is a poor design that results in an expensive repair that will only repeat itself because the repair does not solve the issue of placement of the pump right over the catalytic converter. It I has also on numerous occasions resulted in fires in the engine compartment.

- Jamestown, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 012007

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
Without notice, the battery died. Upon install of a new battery, a fan started running before the vehicle was turned on. An independent mechanic and the dealer confirmed that the electrical steering pump and steering pump fan had failed and needed replacing. The dealer where I purchased it said I needed to take the vehicle to the dealer where I last had it serviced. I contacted corporate services who informed me that I was eligible for a goodwill warranty extension provided I took to the vehicle for inspection at the dealer where I last had it serviced. The service dealer, and corporate relations, would not provide a goodwill extension because they maintained that my mechanic caused the steering pump to fail. The dealer offered to repair the parts for about $1900 for a new pump and $140 for a new fan. After some research, including information the dealer told my mechanic, this failure is a regular problem with the earlier MINImodels and the dealers keep additional parts in stock to repair vehicles as they come in. Additionally, I read that MINIsubsequently changed the design of this component to rectify the problem but never informed prior owners of this change. Moreover, I also read that this problem has been happening with MINIduring the initial 50,000 miles of ownership, and in some cases the failure of the pump fan has caused engine fires while the vehicle is in operation.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #2

May 102007

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 58,750 miles
Power steering failure and soon after electrical smelling smoke started to come out from under the hood. Upon inspection at the dealership some of the wires had melted and the power sterring motor was burnt out.

- Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA

problem #1

Mar 142007

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The wiring harness to the electrical power steering pump and the pump itself failed without warning. This caused an unsafe condition. Phone interview update (3/23/07): Mr. Kirk started his vehicle and found there was no power steering. He checked and found white smoke was coming from the power steering unit. The dealer mechanic told him the power steering harness was corroded and shorted as seen in other MINICooper that they serviced, and that Mr. Kirk was lucky that his vehicle didn't catch fire.

- Lockport, NY, USA

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