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 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #60

Jan 172012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles


Power steering failed while car was being driven. Luckily the car was at low speed at the time and I was able to get to a safe stop by using brute force to steer the car. Power steering than reappeared intermittently over the next few days, finally failing completely. Mechanic says power steering pump failed and that it is a common problem with minis. Cost will be over $1200 to repair. It appears the issue is already being investigated by BMW, yet they have taken no action to recall or fix.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #59

Jan 212012


  • 61,000 miles
I would like to report a power steering failure on my pregnant wife's 2002 MINICooper. The car only has 61K miles on it. She was driving last night, in the rain, and the power steering pump went our as she was on a freeway transition ramp at a speed of 40-50 mph. She almost lost control of the vehicle and almost hit the side rails. Fortunately she was able to avoid crashing. The power steering pump started to work intermittently after the car was shut off and restarted. This is a huge safety problem and MINIBMW needs to address this problem before somebody gets seriously hurt or dies.

- Spring Valley, CA, USA

problem #58

Dec 152011


  • 118,000 miles
Power steering failure--the power steering in my MINICooper S 2002 began "cutting out" and became more frequent over a few days. The "cutting out" happens without warning and is potentially quite dangerous as the vehicle becomes almost unmanageable when making a turn. This makes driving the vehicle very unsafe. Upon researching this problem, this is a very common problem which will eventually occur with most MINICoopers even through fairly recent years of manufacture and often at fairly low mileage accumulation.

- Highland, UT, USA

problem #57

Dec 082011


  • 49,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 MINICooper. The contact stated that the power steering pump continued to run while the engine was turned off. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer nor repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 49,000.

- West Hampton , VA, USA

problem #56

Nov 092011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The power steering failed when driving. It became impossible to steer. It was as though the car steering became locked. I was very lucky to have a police car stop to assist me to move me to a safe spot on the street.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #55

Mar 112011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 106,871 miles
Power steering failure. This occurs intermittently. Most recently, last week, it was out for 3 days and then it started working again.

- Mazomanie, WI, USA

problem #54

Oct 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


I bought a 2002 MINICooper S almost a month ago and lost the power to steer my car in a turn at almost 50 mph. If Toyota would have had this problem I'm sure some one would be in jail or maybe you would here it on the news. This is my third MINIin 6 years and I never heard a peep about this scarey problem. I would like to thank are government for making the roads so safe. At least they are taking the effort to stop those pesky kids and there texting. Thanks again!

- Indianapolis , IN, USA

problem #53

Sep 282011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
I was exiting the freeway when my battery indicator light went on; I lost power steering and saw a large amount of smoke coming from under the hood. The MINIdealership has determined that the power steering module failed, and subsequently burned the wiring harness. There have been several reports of faulty manufacturing in regard to this part from bbc in uk, as well as on many forums, in particular North american motoring.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #52

Sep 032007


  • 60,000 miles
The power steering fails with no warning. The car becomes extremely difficult to control. It happens without warning and at various speeds. It may last just a few minutes or much longer - hour or so. Usually does not occur when just starting the car but no other known pattern. It happens 1 to 2 times a month or more.

- Terre Haute, IN, USA

problem #51

Sep 272011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
Heard of powersteering issue but still purchased car. Driving to work smelled burning and lost powersteering, if this happens to a woman driving around a rotary and kills someone will you wait for 50 people to get killed before something is done. This is complete inadequate research on your part Ford recalls due to electricalshort of the idle air control valve and cruise control cut pressure switch had to burn down houses when they had the cruise control issue which no recall till months after they knew it was a fault. By the way I am a mechanic ase certified own a shop in wakefield [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Stoneham, MA, USA

problem #50

Aug 132011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 64,982 miles


There have been three instances when my power steering went out on me...I could have had an accident had I not been in a residential area during those times.

- Pearl City, HI, USA

problem #49

Jul 072011


  • 78,000 miles
Power steering failed while going down a multi-story parking lot. Very scary. Car corrected itself. Later that day it happened again. Called my mechanic (a MINImechanic) and was told this happens all the time with 2002-2005 MINICoopers. Will need to replace pump and fan which will cost me $1200 Inc. Labor. This is a problem that MINIusa is very aware of. They released a car with known problems (Inc. Cvt transmission issues) how can they do this? so far O one has been killed (that we know of) but I know it will happen one day. This is a very dangerous issue.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #48

Jun 022011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 BMW MINICooper. The contact stated the steering failed while driving at a low speed and had to be held with force with both hands in order to turn it, or keep the vehicle under control. There were no warning lights before or after the failure occurred. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who performed a diagnostic test that located the failure in the power steering pump. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer stated the failure was not recalled, and they would not assist with the repair. The failure and the current miles were 114,000. Updated 07/20/11 the consumer stated the vehicle then began to make a humming sound in which the power steering pump was running when the vehicle was off, which caused the battery to die. Updated 08/01/11

- Saint Louis , MO, USA

problem #47

May 202011

Cooper 4WD 4-cyl

  • 50,008 miles
Driving approximately 25 mph and vehicle lost power steering....made it home...checked all fluid levels...all okay....got back in the vehicle the next morning to take to service station and power steering was working again...garage could not find problem...scared to drive it now for fear of loss of steering again!

- Wa, WA, USA

problem #46

Dec 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 MINIcooper. The contact stated that when traveling at various speeds, he would lose power steering intermittent without warning. He noticed that the power steering cooling fan would remain active without power to the vehicle. The dealer or manufacturer was not notified nor was the failure diagnosed or the vehicle repaired. The current mileage was 65,096. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000. Updated 06/24/11 updated 06/30/11

- Ceres, CA, USA

problem #45

Apr 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Power system on my 2002 MINICooper went out. This seems to be a common occurrence. And very dangerous and costly. BMW had better do something about this because I almost creamed a cop...

- Palatka, FL, USA

problem #44

May 032011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 MINICooper S. the contact stated while driving approximately 45 mph a sudden loss of power steering occurred without prior warning. The vehicle was driven to the side of the road with difficulty in turning the steering wheel. The contact restarted the engine and was able to resume normally. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the power steering pump would be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 132,000. Updated 07/08/11 the consumer stated the power steering goes out intermittently at random times. Updated 07/18/11

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #43

Apr 252011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 36,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 MINICoopers. The contact was driving 40 mph when the power steering failed. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic shop where they informed him that the fuse that controlled the power steering charging system had blown. The component was replaced at a the contacts expense. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was contacted to report the failure. The failure mileage was 36,000. Updat ed 06/03/11 updated 08/08/11

- Prudenville, MI, USA

problem #42

Apr 222011


  • 90,000 miles
Power steering pump in 2002 MINIcooper failed while making a right hand run, caused me to drift into the oncoming lane, almost hitting the oncoming traffic.

- Lander, WY, USA

problem #41

May 182009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I always maintained my 2002 MINICooper and at 80K miles the transmission blew up just before I was to enter a very busy freeway in los angeles, downtown area. There was plenty of oil in the transmission. I was told it was not a fault of my care after the mechanic looked at it upon tow in. It just stopped fast and short with a huge jerk forward and explosive noise. The mechanic said it blew in big chunks. I couldn't move it from traffic in neutral and had it towed to the shop. 80K is early for something like this and I see many people are reporting this happened with even less mileage, 34K, 48K...no replacements and so many failures like this? MINIturns their heads; would not replace or even talk to me. Previously too the power steering pump also just stopped and no movement on the wheel. Seriously dangerous. I was told by the dealership one time in mountain view, I had an oil leak. At the time the amount they wanted me to pay was high, $700 or so (just after warranty ended). I took it to another mechanic. He took me under the car and showed me there was not a spot of oil under that car in any nook or cranny. In thinking about this after transmission problem I realize these things are telling me MINIknows about their MINImechanical problems. Also when the new ($4350) transmission was purchased, la, MINItold the mechanic they had 5 transmissions in stock in their parts department at all times because this was so common. That's proof they know it's a problem. Yet no recall to people with these issues and these can cause serious life threatening problems.

- Santa Monica, CA, USA

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