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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,748 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

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problem #83

Apr 022013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 60,450 miles


Passenger bag system has not worked for over two years.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #82

Mar 102010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
Dash light indicating a passenger airbag problem lights up.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #81

Oct 042013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
About 1 week after I bought the car, the passenger air bag off light comes on when I have a passenger and the airbag malfunction sign comes on the dash. In the manual it says :in the event of a malfunction, have the airbag system checked immediately. Otherwise, there is a risk that the system will not function as intended in response to a severe impact occurring within the system's normal triggering range. I have bumper to bumper warranty but they told me it is not a safety issue and I have to pay 100 to have it looked at. I just want to make sure everything is okay. But I do not have the money to do that.

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #80

Jun 112013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


Passenger safety indicator light remains on. Called local MINIservice center after reading multiple complaints on this issue and they stated they (MINIusa) have/will not service/repair the faulty seat module. This must be considered as a safety issue for the passenger and should be dealt with under an extended warranty or recall.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #79

Sep 152014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
The passenger air bag light, noting that the airbag is turned off, remains on even with a passenger present. With no passenger present in the seat, it still remains on, telling me the airbag is inactive. There is a weight sensor in the passenger seat, that triggers this light, and it appears this sensor is faulty. It started out with the light coming on intermittently, but now has remained on for a lengthy period of time. I understand this is an expensive fix for a very cheap part, and that the repair must only be done by the dealer. I feel that MINIshould be responsible for this fix, as it's a very important safety feature on the car, and it has affected many other MINIowners, with cars built after January 2005.

- Christiansburg, VA, USA

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problem #78

Dec 072014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 93,545 miles
Airbag sensor mat is faulty. This appears to be a common problem. For one thing, it is impossible to get the part; internet forums and the dealership indicate there is a backlog for this part. This suggests that it is a widespread problem. Also, the part is $900. The dealership charges $1,348 for labor. No wonder BMW/MINIare not interested in extending the warranty to cover an obvious safety issue. Can you follow up on the takata airbag recall and fix this problem?

- Quincy , MA, USA

problem #77

Oct 022014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles


Red air bag light on center dash and yellow air bag light will not go out. This has been on going problem for years but just recently the lights will not go out.

- Bailey, CO, USA

problem #76

Oct 012009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 39,700 miles
Around this time my airbag indicator light began coming on intermittently. The dealer was asked about this during my service visit (Oct 2009) and I was told that to investigate the passenger seat sensor would be over $100 in labor as it would require removing the seat. I declined the service. Within the last year the airbag light has remained on permanently even with passengers in the seat. I've recently done some research online and discovered that this is a common problem with this year and model of MINIrelated to a failure of the occupancy sensor of the passenger seat. I have also found that a similar problem with similar model years of BMW has recently resulted in a recall. As this is likely the same problem I am experiencing, and as this is a safety concern, I am reporting this to bring awareness to the airbag and occupancy sensor issue for MINICooper.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #75

Sep 172014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 61,322 miles
My passenger air bag sensor lights goes on and off. It does not matter if a person is in the seat. I don't know if the air bags will work or not. My research on the internet suggest this is a common problem with the minin passenger weight sensor similar to the ones in bmws.

- Heber City, UT, USA

problem #74

Aug 212014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The passenger air bag light (typically only on when someone under-weight ie. Car seat is present) remains on regardless of whether there is someone in the seat or not.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #73

Nov 012012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 50,291 miles


When passenger exited vehicle, light airbag off notification came on. This happens every time someone exits the passenger seat. Also airbag warning light & seatbelt not buckled light come on.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #72

Aug 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 650,000 miles
SRS light came on...passenger seat sensor issue.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #71

Jul 262013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 82,992 miles
The air bag light is on and says the passenger air bag is turned off. It appears that there is a weight sensor in the seat and it is defective. I have researched this issue on the internet and have found this to be a common problem. One of my concerns is that there is conflicting information not there as to weather the air bags will work or not in this condition. The dealer fix cost between 1000 and 1200 dollars to fix. These safety items should last the life of the car and not cost this much to repair. Why isn't BMW recalling this car and fixing an obvious defect?

- Lake Ariel, PA, USA

problem #70

Oct 012013


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper. The contact stated that the passenger side air bag light failed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the entire seat needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate mileage failure was 60,000.

- Fort Bragg, NC, USA

problem #69

Jan 152014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
The passenger side airbags remain on with or without someone in the seat. Causes concern if airbags will operate in a crash.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #68

Jun 292014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
Airbag warning light appeared and overhead light signaled passenger airbag "off" even though an adult male (168 pounds) was sitting in the seat. Multiple experiences over several days. No malfunction occurred when the seat was empty, only when occupied by a bonafide adult.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #67

Apr 292014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
The airbag light that warns of the passenger airbag being turned off comes on sometimes when nobody is in the seat and sometimes when a full sized adult is in the seat. From what I have read this means the airbag sensor is defective and the airbag could either fail to work or deploy when it should not. I have learned that BMW issued recalls for many of their cars built with this particular seat sensor but have not done so with the MINIAre you aware of a recall for the MINIwe are very worried about using this car to carry a passenger but we have to do so every day. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

- Montoursville, PA, USA

problem #66

Apr 152011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 66,900 miles
The airbag light in the car shows that the airbag is off when there is someone sitting in the front passenger seat. The light comes on and then goes off, over and over again, whenever the seat is occupied. This indicates to me that the person sitting in the seat has no reliable airbag protection. This has been going on for over three years in my car. Original complaint was on 5/31/11. Still no action. Emailed MINIusa and they told me there were no recalls and offered no help. This was done about one month ago. Do we have to wait until people start dying before this safety issue is fixed by MINII am not the only MINIowner having this problem. BMW has recalled cars having this same problem. They deemed this a safety issue. Why shouldn't MINIcan you help with this problem"

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #65

Mar 252014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 105,530 miles
Air bag warning light came on! passenger light turns off and on with passenger in seat. Passenger warning light goes off with out passenger in seat. I looked on several internet forms and this seams to be a problem that MINIhas had for some time without a recall. The fix for most problems is an expensive 1200.0 to $1400 seat sensor. I fill that this is a serious safety concern which MINIshould address.

- Mansfield , TX, USA

problem #64

Oct 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
My car started with a low hum and as time has gone by the sound has gotten louder and ever since the sound has been there the power steering has intermittently gone out, but now is out almost all the time. My wife drives the vehicle the most but we were planning on giving it to our 17 year old daughter for her graduation present but now that this problem is an all the time thing we will have to go purchase a different vehicle for her. It is just frustrating that after reading all the complaints and them being the same it almost seems useless to file a complaint due to MINInot wanting their vehicles to be good. Also about 3 months after purchasing the vehicle the airbag light for the passenger seat is always lit.

- Kodak, TN, USA

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