Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: Power steering problems are a major issue with the 2004 Mini Cooper, with hundreds of owners reporting complaints to the NHTSA about their power steering suddenly failing while driving.

Some power steering failures have caused crashes & injuries. Average mileage at failure is well under 100,000 miles & the repair cost is over $1,000. Not good.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,500 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.

2004 Mini Cooper transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 112012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles


Automatic transmission in 2004 MINICooper failure at 98K miles. Cost to rebuild quoted at $5K-$8K.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #9

Jul 292011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
I have a 2004 MINICooper with 87,000 miles on it. There were no events leading up to the total cvt transmission failure that took place last Friday 07/29/11. I was entering into a large intersection when the car started bucking and rattling. I just made it into a hess station parking lot (thank goodness there was one there) when it wouldn't go any further. I had it towed to a local transmission shop and they said that the trans was dead and I was going to need a new one. They informed me that there aren't any rebuilt options and the new trans is going to cost me $5000 + $1200 for labor. I have done a bunch of research on these cvt transmissions and apparently they have been a huge problem and BMW/MINIhaven't done anything about it. I think it is a disgrace that this continues to happen and cost people thousands of dollars. Something needs to be done asap!!!!

- Abington, PA, USA

problem #8

Jan 102011


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 MINIcopper. The contact was driving 55 mph in order to pass another vehicle when the transmission failed and made it difficult to increase speed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer several times prior to the transmission failing and was told to only use premium gasoline. The contact made the change and within a few months, the transmission failed. The failure and current mileages were 58,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #7

May 122010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


Have a 2004 MINICooper with 65,000 miles total and only 6200 miles in last 20 months and car serviced regularly. Automatic transmission has now started to not shift properly and MINIservice reprogrammed transmission but problems have recurred and again MINIwants to reprogram transmission. If this does not work, transmission will have to be replaced at cost of $6500. There is no repair or rebuilding of this transmission. There are hundreds of reported problems with this transmission but BMW has not acknowledged any problem.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #6

May 102010


  • 117,000 miles
Transmission failure made car stop in traffic.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #5

Jul 102008


  • 80,000 miles
My 2004 MINICoopers transmission failed at 80K miles with no warning. Luckily I was in a parking lot and not on the highway, where I could have been killed. The cost of replacing the tranny was $7,000. MINIusa was useless when I pleaded with them to help me. After reading about all of the other complaints with the cvt trans, I can't believe there was no recall. I will never buy a MINIagain. I still owe $11,000 on the car and cannot afford another.

- Southampton, PA, USA

problem #4

Sep 242009


  • 21,000 miles


Purchased a 2004 MINICooper a year ago, with a mileage of 17,000 miles. After driving about 4,000 miles, the car broke down and was sent to local MINIdealer to get it fixed. Continuous variable transmission was diagnosed wrecked, and dealer offered a replacement (only solution) with a re-furbished cvt transmission for $9800. After negotiation, I had MINIcover the parts and I paid labor. But I have seen on so many forums that all cvt transmissions are failing so I wonder why there have been no recalls. My cvt failed when the car had 21,000 miles!

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #3

Oct 012009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles
Our 2004 MINICooper (cvt) automatic transmission needs to be replaced. The car has only 74,000 mile on it.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 092008


  • 68,000 miles
Transmission gave way.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 122004

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2 miles
I was driving normal. I was making a left turn on my 2004 MINICooper (automatic transmission) the car move a little and all of a sudden the car stalled. The car behind me was honking and I quickly shift to N and tried starting and the car started. My car has only 1650 miles. I called MINIthe next day and customer service rep told me that there is no recalls or issues known to MINIat this time.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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