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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,040 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

problem #13

Jan 012008

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles


Passenger airbag off light illuminated.

- Lincoln, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 152010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
I have a 2005 MINICooper S with 60,000 miles on it and about 55,000 miles the airbag warning lamp and passenger airbag off lamp illuminated intermittently. At 58,000 miles it has stayed on constantly. After researching the issue I took the car to a trusted mechanic and he diagnosed that the weight sensor pad in the seat cushion is defective and would require the car to go to the dealer to be replaced. I feel that this is a safety issue and the dealer should issue a recall on the vehicle since it is a well known problem. I have attempted to contact miniusa by email and have been waiting over a week for a response.

- Fpo, AE, USA

problem #11

Feb 162010


  • 99,450 miles
The red airbag warning light in the speedometer area came on at approximately 99,450 miles. It came on after driving across a city railroad crossing at low speed. I took the vehicle to the dealer and asked about the light, and they indicated that it would require additional investigation but could be a faulty seat sensor which would cost approximately $1250 to replace. They also indicated that they were not sure whether or not the airbags would deploy properly in the event of an accident. Further research indicates that this model and year may also have problems with the wiring harnesses and connections, and that only the dealer can reset the warning light. As of December 2 2010 the vehicle has 113,000 miles on it and the warning light is still on. I believe this is a safety related issue that should be addressed by the dealer as a warranty issue as I am not comfortable with the current situation but do not want to pay for an expensive safety related defect. I am the original owner of the vehicle and still have it. Thanks.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #10

Aug 012010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 49,000 miles


The airbag warning light stays on even when there isn't a passenger in the passenger seat. The light indicates the airbag is off. The light also stays on if there is a passenger in the seat. I am not sure if the airbag would work in the event of an accident. The dealer indicated I needed a new seat at my cost. To me this is a manufacturer's defect that BMW should fix.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #9

Oct 052010

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 62,427 miles
The SRS light was on and wouldn't go out. The dealer checked it and said that the passenger seat mat is defective and it was a hard fault which prevents the air bag from working. The light sometimes goes out but usually stays on. They would not warranty this and wanted $1330 to repair it. The passenger seat has probably only been sat in 10% of the time.

- Pleasant Hill, CA, USA

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problem #8

Jul 152010


  • 13,000 miles
On 2005 MINICooper S with 13,000 miles the passenger airbag warning light came on. MINIdiagnosed reason as failure of the sensor in the passenger seat, which would require $1100 repair. MINIwill not fix because car is out of warranty. MINIdid not state whether the airbag will or will not function. Passenger seat has rarely been used. MINIdenies responsibility.

- Hamden, CT, USA

problem #7

Jun 302010


  • 86,000 miles


Both my passenger airbag warning light and airbag warning lamp in the instrument panel is illuminated deactivating airbag deployment when an adult is sitting in the passenger seat and remains on when passenger seat is vacant while driving. There is also 2 technical service bulletins (tsb) I'm aware of relating to this malfunction: Tsb: Si M-65-02-06 airbag warning illuminated, FC55 for vehicles produced from August 31, 2005 - April 25, 2006. NHTSA 10026024 (my vehicle was produced in August 2005 as indicated on my driver door panel). Tsb: 720106 airbag warning lamp for OC3 seat mat fault, airbag warning lamp illuminates together with the passenger airbag status lamp. NHTSA 10019981. I spoke with 2 service managers at MINIindicating faulty detection mat, parts were in stock and will not be covered under warranty for repair or replacement estimated at approximately $1000. My only recourse is to repair it, feeling uncomfortable driving my vehicle or transporting passengers in the event the airbags will not deploy. In addition, BMW of North America, llc extended the warranty on passenger airbag detection mats to 10 yrs/unlimited mileage for specific BMW models ranging from MY04 through MY06, who owns MINIof North America. I've read several forums relating to this issue, one of which states MINIdid extend the warranty on models prior to MY05, but problem hasn't been resolved in model years thereafter as mentioned in my complaint and other NHTSA bulletins. I contacted MINIof North America with no positive response.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #6

Oct 102009

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 MINICooper convertible. While driving 35 mph another driver crashed into her vehicle. The air bags did not completely deploy. As a consequence sparks from the air bag short, caused her coat to catch on fire. She suffered 2nd degree burns on the right arm and the heel of the hand. The dealer was notified, and her case was escalated to the manufacturer. She has not received a response from the manufacturer. The current and failure mileages were 75,000. Updated 3/8/10 updated 07/27/10

- Three Rivers, TX, USA

problem #5

Aug 252009


  • 58,638 miles
"SRS" warning light (passenger airbag off) blinks on and off in a 2005 MINIcoopers with less than 60,000 miles on it. The warning light only triggers when there is someone sitting in the passenger seat. Was told by MINIdealership that it would cost $800 for the part and +$200 in labor to fix this safety issue. Not an acceptable answer.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #4

Aug 162006


  • 15,000 miles
Airbag light comes on (indicating airbag system malfunction/inop.) and auto manufacturer has no fix, definitely a safety problem. 2005 MINIcooper.

- Cantonment, FL, USA

problem #3

May 152006


  • 25,000 miles


Passenger airbag light illuminates intermittently as inoperative with or without a passenger. This could cause a loss of airbag protection in the event of a qualifying crash for the passenger.

- Goodman, MO, USA

problem #2

May 152005


  • 0 miles
Airbag cover on the drivers side has a defect edge on the MINIemblem which could cause additional injury to the driver in the event of a deployment.

- Goodman, MO, USA

problem #1

May 192008


  • 28,000 miles
I have a 2005 MINICooper S and the passenger airbag light keeps coming on and after some research on forums see that there is a common problem with this. Turns out the airbag sensor in the passenger seat is a common problem and that dealerships even carry extra parts because of this. I see that something very similar just happened with other BMW's. I think this should be added to the recall list. It appears that in an accident the passenger airbag will not deploy.

- Allentown, PA, USA

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