really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,191 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.

2002 Mini Cooper steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #80

May 082012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


I was trying to get onto an off ramp and when I was into the turn I almost ran into a concrete barrier because the whole steering wheel locked up. The steering wheel always locks up sometimes it with a few miles and others it is good until it locks up. Very dangerous.

- Dover, DE, USA

problem #79

Mar 232013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 123,400 miles
After a short trip, I had just parked the MINIFortunately, it was outdoors and within 50ft of my tool chest. On turning off the ignition and removing the key, I noticed an unusual noise; the [electric] power steering pump continued to run. A few seconds later, smoke appeared. I raced to my tool drawer, grabbing the first suitable tool, channel lock pliers, and proceeded to hastily disconnect one of the battery terminals. Smoke was heavy at that point. Disconnecting power prevented further damage, and was fortunately done in time, before the wiring harness was incinerated, or the situation became a self-sustaining conflagration. Apparently, although there is a 100A fuse present, the fault protection on the power steering pump circuit is inadequate. I removed the power wire to the pump, to allow the vehicle to be driven, with heavy [non-assisted] steering, pending service. Since the outcome is not so bad, why should I complain? consider if the vehicle were parked indoors, and/or if the same event were to happen to someone with less electrical aptitude. I don't expect accessories to last forever; the vehicle is 11 years old with 123K miles. I do object to the failure mode, in which the power steering pump circuit becomes an incendiary device...

- Pewaukee, WI, USA

problem #78

Feb 192013


  • 102,000 miles
Power steering pump failure and drained battery (recently replaced). Car will not start, and can not access passenger or trunk door due to electrical failure.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #77

Apr 182012


  • 72,000 miles


Power steering failed as I was driving, unable to steer car. After some time, power resumed intermittently.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #76

Feb 262013

Cooper 4-cyl Diesel

  • 135,000 miles
Power steering failed in the middle of driving nearly hit the outer barrier because of the amount of force required to move the steering wheel. I feel if my wife had been driving it would have been a major wreck. I did some research and found that this is a very prevalent problem with the MINIcooper. From my understanding Canada has issued a recall on the power steering pumps. Would like to log a complaint to see if we can get MINIusa to take some action.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #75

Jan 192013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,900 miles
Power steering fails- car loses all power assisted steering pupm continues to run after engine shut off, possible fire result.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #74

Sep 162012


  • 86,156 miles


My power steering fan continues to run even after the care is turned off. It completely drained my battery so I replaced the battery. Two weeks later the same thing happened and I learned that my power steering pump and fan are defective. Also intermittent loss of power steering while driving and needless to say this can be very dangerous.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #73

Sep 172012


  • 45,065 miles
The contact owns a 2002 MINICooper. While driving approximately 20 mph the steering wheel became difficult to maneuver. The contact was able to park the vehicle but stated that the power steering had become inoperable. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 45,065.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #72

Jul 272012


  • 66,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 MINICooper. The contact was traveling 20 mph when the power steering assist failed. The vehicle was not taken to dealer for inspection and the manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 66,000.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #71

Jul 262012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Faulty power steering pump causing a loss of complete control of the vehicle. 80,000+ incidents reported with this make/model of vehicle with the knowledge of vehicle manufacturer. The pump has since been re-manufactured to fix the issues but MINIof North America refuses to issue a recall for the serious safety aspect of their failing part.

- Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #70

Jul 202012


  • 102,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 MINICooper. The contact was driving 20 mph when the steering assist failed. The dealer was notified and informed the contact that the steering rack, power steering pump and the fan might have to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileages were 102,000.

- Hebron, KY, USA

problem #69

Jul 062012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Power steering went out at highways speeds, after 3+ hours of driving. After cooling down for an hour, power steering came back, but only lasted 5 min., and was out for another day. Comes and goes, depending on how hot the weather/engine is, but stays out longer and only works for short periods of time now. Please issue a recall/extended warranty as Canada has soon!

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #68

Jul 012006

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
My wife has been complaining of intermittent loss of power assist. I drive her car very little however I recently had the problem happen to me. One of my hobbies is sport car racing (most recently at summit point raceway in wv) so I do expect the unexpected however it is so intermittent it is often forgotten. It will be fine for weeks then it happens again. Thousands of reports in the uk and Canada issued a recall. You don't lose your steering just the assist. Next time you are alone on a back road with a curve turn your car off and you will see what the described problem feels like. Lets not have a serious incident before BMW resolves this issue. This has been going on for years.

- Yardley, PA, USA

problem #67

Jun 222012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 94,316 miles
Power assist pump failure.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #66

Apr 102012


  • 89,000 miles
I was driving along and lost the power steering. It was very difficult to steer. I got home parked the car and let it go. The next morning it was fine. However, this morning, 6/8/2012, it happened again as I was turning in an intersection. Fortunately for me there weren't many cars on the road, as it was very difficult to turn. If this had happened in even a semi-busy intersection, I would have been in trouble.

- Bedford, TX, USA

problem #65

Apr 192012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 88,670 miles
While driving steering became stiff. Almost unable to turn wheel when I slowed to park. After turning car off and back on, problem resolved. Still happens at least once per day usually while slowing or downshifting. Always resolves after restarting car.

- Del Mar, CA, USA

problem #64

Mar 142012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 39,087 miles
Power steering pump stopped functioning making car unsafe to drive.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #63

Mar 072012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,500 miles
I was driving the car in lacey wa. Smoke started issuing from the car. I immediately pulled into a parking lot. I opened the hood and smoke was issuing forth. After 5 minutes, I spotted flames. I had a small fire extinguisher but it was insufficient to put out the flames. A passing motorist arrived with a larger extinguisher and put out the flames. An insurance adjuster informed me that the fire was due to a faulty power steering pump.

- Brinnon, WA, USA

problem #62

Dec 302011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
While on a short vacation out of town, close to 230 miles from my home, my Cooper S' power steering failed and almost cause me an accident. I immediately checked the fluid and saw that there were no visible leaks present. After making arrangements for a rental vehicle, I noticed that the power steering started working correctly again. Because of that I proceeded to return home and the steering did not fail for the remainder of the trip. During March of 2012, the power steering failed again, during a commute home from work on Friday, May 3rd. To this day, I have no been able to afford additional repairs or diagnostics, because of the monthly payments, insurance, fuel and previous issues of repairs under 75,000 miles including the head gasket, and heater core. Regardless of the policies that BMW/MINIand the NHTSA have concerning used vehicles, and warranties, absolutely no vehicle produced by an internationally known company or business should be producing such unreliable, unsafe and potentially dangerous motor vehicles and not take immediate responsibility to isolate and terminate the issue rather than ignore and deny responsibility for poorly manufactured products.

- Antioch, TN, USA

problem #61

Jan 182012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
Complete loss of power steering while in oncoming traffic lane during overtaking on two lane road. Steering required an extreme amount of effort. Barely managed to move back to right hand land before getting dangerously close to oncoming traffic. Power steering did not recover for another 2.5 mins of driving. Pulled over to side of road, turned car off, on again, power steering returned. Electric power steering pump now runs continuously even when key is turned off. Indicative of electric power steering pump controller failure. I continue to have concerns that power steering may cut out at any time again, and that if the pump continues running constantly even when the key is removed it may start a fire at some point. I have to disconnect the negative terminal of the battery to prevent the pump from running continuously.

- Frederick, MD, USA

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