definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,760 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.

2003 Mini Cooper suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #5

Nov 092010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles


My 2003 MINICooper has almost caught on fire several times, replaced transmission, electrical harness, power steering pump, A/C hoses and A/C service, wheel bearings, injection plugs etc....... I still cannot find the real problem why is causing a short, it has almost caught on fire several times, this car has been the most dangerous car I have ever own, I have never spend so much money on trying to fix any vehicle, right now I'm about $11,500 in costs of repairs, this is a crime to the consumer, I have been reading about a class action lawsuit that is in progress, I hope and pray that we get justice from the maker of MINI

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 192010


  • 26,799 miles
My MINICooper S has less than 27,000 miles on it. It has been carefully driven and has sustained no crash damage. Had several warning lights come on the car and had failures with the ABS, steering angle sensor, and front wheel sensor. In addition and most importantly, I was told that I had "mushrooming" and cracked front shock tower mounts on both sides of the car, and that alone would cost over $1,400 to repair. I was told that hitting potholes or other road hazards caused this. In addition, the dealer, roadshow MINIin memphis, tn, stated that the shock towers and front bushings were considered wear items, and that they could be redamaged immediately if the car came in contact with another pothole. Additionally, I was told by MINIusa that no engineers or national representatives could be contacted, and that the dealer would handle all questions and concerns. I asked if there were any upgrades and fixes offered by MINIand was told that there were none. However, this problem seems to be fairly common, and there are several aftermarket companies that address this issue, . the service manager at the dealership stated that he sees this problem on 3-4 cars in the shop every month. It appears that this is a design flaw, that there can be strut collapse or suspension failure while driving, and that MINIshould have addressed this problem with these cars. For normal driving conditions to have resulted in deformed and cracked strut towers is unacceptable and represents a hazardous situation. I have never owned an automobile that had strut tower failure under normal driving conditions.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #3

Dec 312008


  • 69,000 miles
I bought a new 2003 MINICooper with a 3 year 36K warranty 6/26/03. While under warranty and receiving recommended maintenance through the dealer, the car required repair of the driver's seat which was frozen in the reclined position. Shortly after the warranty expired, and 10,481 miles after a dealer maintenance check, the brake light indicator began flashing. I took it immediately to the dealer. I was told the entire brake system needed replacement for $886.60. At the same service visit, I was told the front struts needed replacement to the tune of $1600. My male friends who are mechanically inclined and/or engineers said that one would need to be doing stunts in a car to need that kind of repair at 50,293 miles. It was not clear why the indicator only tells when brakes are totally shot, or why the most recent service check had not shown worn pads and disks. Later, at 53,007 miles, the driver's side window failed and that cost $497.51 to replace. At 62,516 miles the air conditioning system died which cost $1173.58 to replace. The automatic door lock on the driver?S side does not work and lord knows how much that repair will cost. Now at 69K, the manual transmission needs replacement. My present mechanic (cheaper and more reliable than dealership) says the replacement of the transmission and clutch with a remanufactured system will be >$4000. This is an outlandish amount of repair and repair cost for a $19,000 car with 70K mileage. I have had 2 previous Honda that were cheaper than the MINIand never needed a clutch or transmission. My son drove my $14,000 '95 Honda civic until last month and it had 200K miles. I will never buy another MINIor BMW for that matter, based on this experience. I will be sure to discourage others from buying one. I hope a class action suit is formed.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #2

Oct 162006


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 MINICooper. Upon taking the vehicle in for an oil change, it was discovered that the driver side struts needed to be replaced. Approximately four months later, the passenger side strut needed to be replaced. The front and rear brakes were also replaced and the vehicle had an oil pan leak. The driver's and passenger side window motors failed and needed to be replaced. The current mileage was 12,900 and failure mileage was 10,000.

- L.I.C., NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 132006

Cooper 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 70,000 miles
After reading internet forums regarding the MINIcooper cars. I learned of a recurring problem with the front strut towers deforming under regular driving conditions. Upon inspection of my own MINIcooper by myself I found that my towers were distorted in a mushrooming of the top sheet metal. I found online the manufacturer of a machined aluminum plate that bolts on top of the tower adding additional strength to the top of the tower. My vehicle did not have cracks in the tower but other people are finding cracks as well as the distortion. I believe that if the tower where to crack completely that the front struts would be forced up and causing the car to loose the ability to control steering.

- Richmond, CA, USA

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