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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 16
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,720 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 1 of 26)

problem #507

Aug 242016


  • 58,000 miles


Electro-hydraulic power steering system recall. MINIcompany and dealership refuse to tow our car for repair. We recently experienced this issue of steering "freezing up" - severely limited, on the highway, which was scary and did not feel safe. All dealerships require driving on the highway from our home. Dealership stated that it was safe to drive, but I do not agree, having experienced the problem first hand. MINIrefuses to tow because it was not part of the recall. Please note: Incident date is an estimate. Will get actual date asap. Note: This steering limitation has also happened last winter when trying to steer the car out of a parking spot. I was not able to move the steering wheel (1/16). Called dealership, but did not have new part in stock yet and did not know when it would be available. Car did not do it the next time (few days later). Dealership never contacted us to alert the part was available (as it now is).

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #506

Aug 122016


  • 67,545 miles
The power steering goes in and out. Sometimes it steers properly and sometimes it is like turning a truck. Happens both while stationary and when moving.

- Studio City, CA, USA

problem #505

Jul 012016


  • 178,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. the contact stated that the power steering failed intermittently and the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic diagnosis. It was unknown if the vehicle was repaired. The contact was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 178,000.

- Farr West, UT, USA

problem #504

Oct 012015


  • 145,000 miles


Over the past 9 months my power steering will stop working, I will usually notice this when I start my car and go to move I am able to drive my car but it is very difficult to steer, if I turn off my car and turn it back on occasionally it will start my power steering back up this is not a constant thing but is happening more frequently. I have found that there is a recall on the power steering for the MINIcooper but my VIN number isnt included in this recall I am very concerned that I have the same problem I need help please

- Port Orchard, WA, USA

problem #503

Jun 272016


  • 180,000 miles
Complete power steering failure on my way to work this morning while turning a corner from the highway to city street. I found an open safety recall Dec 2015 for 2005 model MINICooper S but my 2005 VIN is not included. It seems a major safety concern like this would be taken care of by the oem.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #502

May 232016

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles
Takata recall. The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. Without warning, the steering wheel was tight, extremely difficult to turn, and seized several times. The contact had to use extreme force to maneuver the vehicle each time the failure progressed. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering). The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V205000 (air bags). The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000. Parts distribution disconnect. Updated 08/03/16 updated 08/09/16.

- West Deptford, NJ, USA

problem #501

Apr 212016


  • 123,000 miles


The power steering has failed in this vehicle. MINIcooper has a recall on this make, model and year but says my VIN is not included. Mechanic stated power steering unit needs to be replaced.

- Queensbury, NY, USA

problem #500

May 262016

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 131,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while driving 35 mph, the vehicle lost power steering ability without warning and became difficult to steer. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the power steering pump failed. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 131,000. Updated 07/12/16 updated 07/14/16.

- Coos Bay, OR, USA

problem #499

May 022016


  • 87,000 miles
Electro/hydraulic power steering unit failure @ 87,000 miles. Unit will not shut off unless the battery cable is disconnected. MINIusa refuses to cover the part under the current recall.

- Aventura, FL, USA

problem #498

May 012016


  • 86,000 miles
There is a power steering pump recall for this model (NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000) but the date cutoff is for cars produced by February of the 2005 model year. My car (2005 MINICooper S with 86,000 miles) has a production date of June 2005 and is not eligible for the recall. The power steering pump has failed making steering difficult and more erratic. Steering now requires substantially more force, so my wife is currently unable to drive the car without concerns for her own safety. If the manufacturer feels that the part they used after February 2005 was not subject to this "glitch", then why is the part malfunctioning in the same manner as the admittedly faulty part?

- La Porte, IN, USA

problem #497

Sep 102015


  • 67,155 miles


The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering); however, the failure of the power steering pump caused metal fragments to enter the rack and pinion, which caused a failure. The manufacturer was notified. The contact was informed that because of the tread act, the manufacturer was only obligated to repair the power steering pump under the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 67,155.

- Decatur, IL, USA

problem #496

Mar 302016


  • 110,000 miles
My son was driving the MINIcooper and the steering stopped working, he had called MINIwhen he got it in Nov 2015 about recalls and they said that the MINIwas recalled for the steering and the passenger seat air bag. When we called the local MINIdealer they said only the air bag. I just got off the phone with a cassandra from MINIand she said there is a recall for the steering for minis made between March 2005 and February 2005 and his car was on the tail end of it and they would not warranty it to be fixed. I believe that these car dealers know about safety problems but don't want to fix them properly. My son could have been killed if not for the fact that it came back long enough for him to get the car stopped. I hope that you can get this resolved so they will take care of this safety issue

- South Barre, VT, USA

problem #495

Apr 032016


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving approximately 65 mph, the power steering failed. The fan for the power steering pump was not working properly. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 86,000.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #494

Mar 182016


  • 140,230 miles
Power steering pump went out while driving and it stays on when the engine is off. I was on a city street when it happened. I have to disconnect battery cable so it doesn't drain the battery.

- Houma, LA, USA

problem #493

Mar 112016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V660000 (steering). The part needed to repair the vehicle was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified. The contact had not experienced a failure. VIN tool confirms parts not available.

- Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA

problem #492

Oct 182010


  • 103,383 miles
Takata recall.I was on the highway when I lost my power steering. I was able to move to the shoulder but the slower I got the harder it was to steer the car. I had to buy a new steering pump and have it installed. My steering failed for the exact reason MINIissued the recall but they won't reimburse me because my car is not within the date of manufacture. MINIinstalled the defective steering pump but won't do the proper thing and let me recover my costs of $795. Again my steering pump failed for the exact reason MINIapproved the recall. I had 103,383 miles on the car when it happened and only recently did MINIfinally approve a recall on the pump.

- Egg Harbor Township, NJ, USA

problem #491

Feb 082016


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. While driving 60 mph, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. When the vehicle was turned off, the contact noticed that the electric fan kept running. The following day, the vehicle failed to start. The battery was dead. When roadside assistance arrived, the battery was jumpstarted and the fan remained active. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the power steering pump and the power steering fan needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 67,000.

- South San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #490

Feb 182016


  • 103,500 miles
Battery died and replaced. Drove 2 days and battery died and again replaced. Drove and steering became extremely stiff. Checked fluids and no power steering fluid. Happened again with both battery and P/S fluid. Became aware of recall in 04 and 05 MINIcooper's and took to dealer. Bad power steering pump and fan as well as 2 hoses. Was told my car was not covered under recall because the build date is May. Was quoted $1300+ for repairs.

- Waukee, IA, USA

problem #489

Feb 152016


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper S. while driving approximately 15 mph, the power steering failed and caused the steering wheel to become very difficult to turn. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the power steering pump was faulty and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 115,000.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #488

Feb 112016


  • 53,000 miles
On 2/11/2016 I got home from work and I parked my 2005 MINICooper S (53,000 miles) on the driveway, turn off car and stayed with my kids & wife since they were waiting for me outside, my wife notice a sound & smoke coming from the car, the smoke were coming from the engine, I immediately open the hood & there was more smoke coming out, the headlights & all the lights turned on & stared flickering, also the wipers turned on, couple of seconds later the botom of the engine was engulfed in flames. My wife ran to get the water hose & I were able to put the fire out, we were lucky that I didn't walk inside the house like I always do, it could have been a horrible tragedy for me, my family and even our neighbors. The next day I had the car towed to my mechanic who after an inspection found out if was the power steering pump that got on fire and damaged all the wires around it, since he is a MINIspecialist he told us about a recall for that specific part, but to our disappointment he ran our VIN # and found that our car is excluded from that recall since its a late 2005 production. That exactly same thing happend to us with the actuators, one day while my wife was shopping with my kids, they just got locked inside the vehicle with the windows rolled up, it was a summer day and luckily she was able to get out through the back trunk, we contacted MINIbecause there is also a recall for the actuators and they also excluded our car saying that it was a late 2005 production and were not able to get the recall. The way we see it MINIis not taking responsibility for their defective components, it is not fair since I have no way to find out if my car was build with not defective parts, obviously it was. I am terrified by the idea this could have been worst since we R always driving with our kids. U need to do something about this & make MINIliable for these safety issues.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

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