Notes: Power steering problems are a major issue with the 2004 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:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
75,000 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.

2004 Mini Cooper accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2004 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #2

May 292014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


My 2004 MINICooper S has a passenger seat belt/air bag light that is illuminated at all times. Originally, it was sporadic, and connecting the seat belt would cause the light to go off. Now it is lit all the time, whether there is a passenger in the seat or not. I was told today that the sensor is bad and will cost $1600 to fix, which includes completely replacing the entire passenger seat. My mechanic says that the air bag will not deploy in the event of an accident. This is most concerning. Obviously, the default should be for the airbag to deploy. What if I am in an accident and my passenger is gravely injured (or killed!)"? unacceptable! I have read that BMW has issued a recall for BMW models with a similar problem. MINIcooper should be included in the recall, as they are made by BMW, often using the same parts! where is the oversight?!"

- Belfast, ME, USA

problem #1

Jul 052010


  • 70,000 miles
On my way up driveway I noticed a sharp stinging sensation in the lumbar of my back. Felt sort of like an "continuous electric shock". I immediately arched my back as a reaction to the sting and had to straighten my back in order to control the vehicle. When straightening my back I felt something hot, very hot this time like something that was on fire. I could not longer control the vehicle grabbed for the handle opened the door and rolled out onto the driveway while the vehicle was moving. The vehicle bucked and stalled out. I immediately looked at the vehicle interior and noticed that the seat was smoldering and there was a hole the size of a quarter burned through the seat in the lumbar. It was a 100 degree day so I wasn't using the seat heater, nonetheless it was on, malfunctioned, caused a fire which resulted in me jumping out of the moving vehicle. I also read online about this happening to another 2004 MINICooper S "passenger seat" as well.

- Towaco , NJ, USA

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