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 2005 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:
74,154 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.

2005 Mini Cooper drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Jun 242016


  • 69,791 miles


Front driver seat occupant detection mat doesn't seem to be working correctly as it doesn't detect sometimes when there is an occupant. Second issue is the cvt transmission of this vehicle. I get a jerking motion every now and then and found a class action lawsuit linked with these transmissions. I purchased this car after this lawsuit but apparently this particular vehicle was not taken care of. My vehicle only has 70,000 miles on it and find this unacceptable.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #21

Dec 012015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Transmission previously replaced at 48K miles by manufacturer due to noise. My transmission is broken. My tires chirp every time I push on the gas because the transmission does not know what gear to be in due to the bad body control valve. The transmission needs to be replaced because I cannot verify how much mechanical damage has taken place during the time that the valve body has been broken. Once the valve body breaks down, the mechanical unit also begins to break down. MINIneeds to issue a service bulletin telling the dealers to commence servicing the aisin transmissions every 40K by replacing the fluid. BMW/MINIs transmission fluid is not lifetime. Volkswagen issued a similar bulletin a few years ago because it also uses the aisin transmission. The independent repair shops may not replace the fluid right because the transmission fluid is hard to drain and in many cases if it's not done right, great damage is done the engine. The consumer stated the vehicle was under powered upon acceleration. The vehicle would jerk, and buck. The valve body in the transmission began to break down because the shavings from the transmission gears began to cloud the fluid and inhibit communication from the valve body solenoids to the mechanical components. Updated 03/23/16.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #20

Apr 022015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,200 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the power steering failed and the transmission was leaking fluid. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering pump, fan, and the transmission needed to be replaced. The power steering was repaired at a cost of $1900. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 64,200. Updated 7/1/15 updated 07/09/15

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #19

Jan 012015


  • 92,000 miles


My 2005 MINICooper convertible needs the transmission replaced. My car has only 92,000 miles and it is unfair that already it has to be replace at a ridiculous cost. There was a class action law suit with BMW/MINIfor the transmission that went wrong. There are many people besides myself who where not notified of this and were left out. MINIcooper should recall the transmissions.there are many forums of MINIcooper owners who are outraged and have similar situations. Please consider and make this company recall the transmissions. Thank you

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #18

Sep 022013


  • 90,000 miles
The automatic cvt transmission just down shifted and now won't go into high gear. This will happen on the freeway and will shift and clunk into gear. BMW is aware of the problem with this transmission but won't stand behind their product. It is very dangerous to drive.

- Pleasant Hill, CA, USA

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problem #17

Mar 252013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Problem with automatic transmission on 2005 MINICooper S. needs replacement $8000+. only 90K miles. Hundreds of complaints on line regarding cvt transmission defect. MINIcooper/ BMW not admitting problem to public.

- Saylorsburg, PA, USA

problem #16

Mar 132013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 82,300 miles


When accelerating from 30 to 40 miles an hour/shifting from 3rd to 4th gear, my transmission would rev up the rpms and my car no longer accelerates. It went from about 2 to 5.5 rpms, even after I took my foot off the gas pedal. Once it finally does shift, it lurches the car forward violently. It takes a while for the transmission to start acting up, but once the car is fully warmed up, it seems nearly impossible to have it not happen. It's even more frustrating and frightening because I do all city driving, where I slow down and speed up so I am constantly having to get within the 30mph range. My car stops accelerating so I am afraid of my transmission dying in the middle of traffic or slowing down so much that is causes an accident. Bottom line: My car does not function properly and potentially endangers me, so I am afraid to drive my car.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #15

Mar 092013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 72,878 miles
I am the current owner of a 2005 MINICooper S. I purchased the vehicle in 2006 from MINIof irvine with 3,000 miles. I have recently been experiencing issues with the cvt transmission. The car jerks when changing gears at any speed, as well as when switching from drive to reverse. I have taken the car to MINIof san diego to be diagnosed and have been notified that the transmission needs to be replaced at a cost of $8,000. The vehicle currently has 73,000 miles and find it completely unacceptable that the transmission is failing so early on.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #14

Nov 142012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 76,525 miles
Started vehicle in the morning of 11/14/2012. The shift indicator on the dash shows ep mode instead of D, R, N, etc. The car seemed to drive fine but there's something wrong with the shifter electronics. The car does not seem to know what drive mode is in. Putting the auto manual transmission into sports mode does not change the shift indicator on the dash. In sports modes it still showed ep. In ep mode the car does not rev beyond 3000rpm and drives rough at certain speeds. This may be a manufacturer defect with a transmission sensor, or the shifter electronics.

- Wellesley, MA, USA

problem #13

Dec 032012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 41,230 miles
At low miles the transmission has to be replaced. No fore warning just gone. I'm trying to drive and at 10 mph I'm revving at up to 3000 RPM's. this should def not be happening! I'm fuming being that I have to now replace the transmission when I have not beaten on it or anything to make this happen. So far my experience with BMW has not been good. I would have been better buying anything else.

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #12

Sep 092012


  • 83,000 miles


I had a little whining sound when I pushed on the clutch. Everything worked fine even with the whining sound. I started driving to the mechanics and my car completely shut down. The transmission came completely apart. All the teeth are gone from the second gear with no warning. I have already spent $2000, now I will have to either spend another $3000 for a new transmission, or trade in my car at a horrible loss and I will be upside down on the next car. I read that there were class action lawsuits against MINIBMW over the transmissions. I was hoping that I would find a recall on here.

- Amarillo, TX, USA

problem #11

Sep 182012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 92,607 miles
The transmission on our 2005 MINIhad been slipping but we could not afford to have it fixed. My daughter was driving to various local shopping plazas applying for jobs. She could not have been driving over 45 mph because that was the maximum speed one could drive without the transmission slipping out of gear. The car began to make a whirring sound and smoke. She pulled into a parking lot and safely parked. The engine continued to smoke and all of the transmission fluid leaked onto the ground. We had the vehicle towed to our home and it now sits in our garage while we continue to pay for it and insure it.

- Winter Garden, FL, USA

problem #10

Sep 102012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 74,450 miles
After driving one evening a short distance to the store and feeling a strange pulling of the car but not really moving as fast as it should, I took it to be checked out at the MINIof the lehigh valley. I was told that it was a faulty transmission but that I could still continue to drive it short distances. This cost $138. So after a couple of short trips to work, I was on my way home on Monday September 10th when it started to "shut down", it was revving very loudly but only moving at about 20mph at the most. I had to pull over many times due to anxiety, fear and causing an accident. I had to find a back way home because I could no longer drive on any of the main roads since it was obvious that I was going to get hit from behind!

- Macungie, PA, USA

problem #9

Aug 252012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 70,595 miles
Daughter/co-owner was driving car. Shifting from 1st in to 2nd gear. Loud clunk or rattle/clicking from unside. Car lost power steering, battery light came on. Could not control vehicle. Had to call tow truck.

- Marana, AZ, USA

problem #8

Aug 092012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 66,312 miles
The transmission has failed at 66K miles - as I am researching this problem, I can see that many people have had premature transmission failures with their MINIcooper and BMW has not been willing to address the problem. The cost to us will be approximately $10,000 to repair.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 292011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 119,900 miles
While proceeding down a normal dry road I manually shifted the transmission (using manual mode on the cvt automatic transmission) from 3rd gear to 4th gear. The shift normally would be smooth however on this occurrence the engine idled extremely high and the gear kicked in after a couple of seconds with a loud banging sound when the gear finally took hold. The car behaved itself for a while but this event started happening more and more until it became a regular occurrence. Most of the time there was no loud noise but the 4th gear would not catch and I adjusted my driving so that I would shift from 3rd gear to 5th gear as quickly as possible to avoid the over revving. I brought the car in to a local transmission shop. They looked it over and advised me that there was no way of repairing the transmission and that I would have to replace it entirely. I am currently working to locate a new transmission as during the last occurrence (July 21, 2012) the car did not go into 4th gear and I was stuck on a highway without being able to move, I.e. the car would not go into any gear. After pulling over to safety I was able to put the car up to 3rd gear and return home. The car is currently unusable. I am not working with the manufacturer / dealer as previous experience has shown me that they are extremely expensive and financial gain is there primary objective. In addition all the internet blogs that I have reviewed, and joined / commented on has shown me that BMW / MINIdoes not work with their customers to rectify this bad, unsafe product. I am hoping that BMW / MINIwill work with their customers who are stuck with his bad product and I am on a list to support a class action suit against them.

- East Windsor, NJ, USA

problem #6

Jul 162012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 89,600 miles
Defective cvt transmission! the dealership said that it was no fault of ours that we needed a new transmission, but due to the way this transmission was designed!!!!!!!!

- Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 212012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,500 miles
The car suddenly would not accelerate after stopping at a stop sign, a very serious situation. The motor was running, however, the car would not move. I had the car towed to the dealer who informed us today that the cvt (transmission) had to be replaced at a cost of $7000. We are aware that there are numerous complaints on line regarding MINICooper cvt power trains in 2002 - 2006 MINIs and that there are apparently class action law suits in California and New Jersey as MINICooper apparently is refusing to issue a recall. It does not seem within reason that a car with less than 50,000 miles should have the transmission go out. Also, in that there are substantial similar complaints from others and class action law suits pending, this does not seem to be an isolated incident. I strongly believe that MINICooper should admit that its cvt power train is faulty and issue an immediate recall. Thanks for your attention to this complaint.

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #4

Jan 192011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Power steering stopped functioning. Had to replace the pump.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #3

Sep 012011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles
In the early fall, September 2011, I encountered issues with my car not shifting properly. It's an automatic transmission so I know there was nothing I could be doing to cause this problem. The car has been serviced regularly and driven with care while in my possession(I'm the second owner. No similar issues on carfax report). While the engine is cool and not yet at its optimal temperature the drive is fine and you may not even notice a problem; however, every ride, once warmed up the car begins to shift incredibly violently as it is obviously struggling to switch gears. This occurs also while slowing down and the car is downshifting creating an opportunity to be "slung" into a car from behind(this happened in the mid summer of 2011). After dropping this car off September 15th to the local MINIdealership, I did not hear from them for almost three weeks. In the first week of October I was contacted and told it looks like my car is very easily fixable and should be ready shortly. It was explained to me that a seal had broken on the transmission leaking fluid onto it causing this shifting malfunction. When they finally told me I can pick up my car(approximately October 18th) they regretted to inform me the problem was not able to be fixed and I would have to bring it elsewhere as they do not rebuild transmissions. Now it is back in my possession where I am forced to commute in it daily, driving worse than it was before I dropped it off. It now displays "PE" for its current gear from time to time. This is not the only complaint I have filed for this car matching other consumer complaints. I am a victim of their failed power steering as well.

- East Brunswick, NJ, USA

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