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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,820 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 112008


  • 37,000 miles


My car's right rear control arm had broken in half. This arm prevents the tire from swinging sideways. Lucky for me, I was going slowly at the time. The control arm consists of two 1/4" pieces of metal with holes in them at evenly spaced points. Both of the metal arms were broken in line with the holes that were part of the manufactured design. I paid $1900 for an extended warranty through universal underwriters(now called zurich) at MINIof concord, California. Control arm replacement is listed as covered. Their reason for not covering it is because it has a slight bend in it (I don't see it) and it is because of that it eventually broke. The metal that makes up this arm is no more than 1/4" thick: Poorly made, especially when coupled with these holes that are in it. This part should be made to withstand impact. To me it is obvious this is a manufacturing defect and I am appalled that neither the dealer or the insurance company that I bought my extended warranty from will pay for it. I could have been killed had I been on the freeway when this happened. I have gone from a MINIlover to one who will sell it after I'm able to afford to repair it. I am currently price comparing in private repair shops.

- Corte Madera, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 082006

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 23,000 miles
Just driving along on a straight smooth road at 40 mph when the lower rear control arm broke clean in half nearly causing me to lose control of the car as the wheel rotated up into the fender well. Scottsdale MINIinsists that this arm should only break if the car was crashed and therefore they will not honor the warranty. I am the original owner and have never hit any significant potholes or other road hazards. There are many similar cases of this failure reported on the internet but MINIis apparently reluctant to classify it as a design flaw.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #2

Jan 262006

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 37,282 miles
On 1/26/06 I took my car into tuffy auto to have the tires rotated, at the time the mechanic told me that the right rear lower control arm had a crack in it. At that time I called MINIand told them that my right rear lower control arm was damaged. I was told by the service manager at MINIthat my driving was the cause of this and that it wouldn't be covered under warranty. I then took pictures of the lower control arm while it was still attached to my car, these pictures show that there was a shearing effect on the rear-most part of the arm and there was no bending on the arm. I then had the car taken by flat-bed to my MINIdealership where they are replacing the lower and upper control arm. My pictures refute what they are saying about this being a drivers fault and they are refusing to warranty the work.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 272005

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 42,000 miles
While pulling into the parking garage at work, the rear of my MINICooper S made a noise. The control arm on the right, rear suspension broke. When looking under the rear, the control arm was in two pieces, broken in the middle. The vehicle is at the dealer and I will be requesting the part back.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

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