really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,182 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.

2006 Mini Cooper drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Jan 092017


  • miles


I am original owner. Transmission problems. Slipping and hard shifting. Automatic and manual. 70,000 miles. Happens intermittently when driving. BMW told me to sell it right away. $9,000 to repair. Should be recalled. Very unhappy. Please help.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #30

Apr 012016


  • 90,000 miles
Once the car warms up the automatic transmission lurches when the car shifts from 1st to 2nd and 3rd gear. The engine still accelerates, however, the transmission simply whines and no power is distributed to the wheels. Very unsafe when pulling out in traffic. MINIadvertised these vehicles as never requiring transmission fluid changes. The vehicle has less than 100,000 miles. No recall exists, however, the issue is well documented on web forums.

- North Easton, MA, USA

problem #29

Nov 272015


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle started losing power. The accelerator pedal was being depressed with no response. The vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road and was able to be driven home at a low rate of speed. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Sunrise Beach, MO, USA

problem #28

Oct 302015


  • 69,000 miles


To make you aware of a potential safety problem. The 2006 MINICooper cvt transmission has had numerous failures. A California judge recently ruled in favor of a class action suit against BMW(MINICooper). We just became aware of the transmission going out in our car. It still runs and shifts but our concern is that it could quit at an inopportune time and cause an accident. MINIhas shown no moral or ethical interest in replacing the transmission at no cost or reduced cost to the consumer.

- Macon, IL, USA

problem #27

May 012015


  • 100,000 miles
Driving home from work as usual, I was exiting the highway when I felt a jolt from the engine compartment, the engine seemed to sputter and as soon as I slowed down to 30 mph or so the car would not shift back up to the higher gears. Luckily I was only a quarter mile from home so I put the hazard lights on and drove very carefully into my driveway. I put the car in park and got out to look under the hood to see if anything was drastically wrong ( any leaks, smoke, etc.). nothing appeared to be malfunctioning so I put the car back into drive and instantly stalled the engine. I then called a tow truck to have it towed to my local MINICooper dealership to diagnose the issue. I was told it would need an entirely new cvt transmission.

- Glenmont , NY, USA

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problem #26

Feb 062015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
Vehicle has had several issues. Latest is transmission which shifts erratically from 2nd gear to 3rd gear causing the vehicle's tachometer to race from 2,000 RPM to nearly 8,000 RPM within a second or two. The vehicle then accelerates/jerks forward erratically. The dealer says this is a transmission issue that would cost $10,500 to repair/replace. There are hundreds if not thousands of complaints about MINICooper S transmissions yet the dealer/manufacturer is unwilling to address the issue.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #25

Dec 062014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 58,136 miles


The vehicle would not shift into 2nd/3rd gear after a traffic stop. The gears would shift erratically resulting in loss of power and we almost had an accident. Check engine light is on and a message shows up "ep" which means transmission is on emergency.

- College Station, TX, USA

problem #24

Jan 092014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
La transmision esta fallando, cuando llega a las 2100 RPM el siguiente cambio O sea la 4ta cambio no entra O tarda en entrar lo Q pasa ES entonces suben las RPM Y SE acelera est ES constante, en las primeros minutos trabaja bien luego de unos cuantos minutos de rodar esque comienza a molestar necesita arreglo inmediato.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #23

Jul 252012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
38,000 miles: Air bag warning light for passenger side seat stays illuminated. Air bag warning light remains on after vehicle has started and does not turn off. 54,900 miles: Aisin automatic transmission - automatic transmission failed thereby making the car inoperable. The car showed signs of gear change slipping between 2nd and 3rd gears. Transmission diagnosis, catastrophic failure of manual valve body and internal gears. Required a complete transmission rebuild.

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #22

Feb 032014


  • 94,500 miles
I am current owner of a 2006 MINICooper S. I purchased the car new around April 2006. Over last 2 months, I have started to see a problem with power train. The car jerks horribly while trying to accelerate when it tries to change to higher gears. This happens either in the "drive" mode where the car automatically changes the gears or while driving in "M/S" mode where the driver gets the option to change the gear. Over last 1-2 weeks, the vehicle jerks when I switch from park to reverse. I took the car to MINIcooper dealership and their diagnosis was to replace the transmission at a cost of $8500. My car has around 96,500 miles and has been maintained well. When I talked to the dealership, they indicated that they have seen about 2 to 3 cars having problem (just within that dealership) in recent times (the person I talked to was relatively new). It is unreasonable for transmission to require a replacement at such low mileage. In addition, it looks like this seems like a systemic issue given just one dealer has seen a few of these and a quick search indicates a number of other owners of MINICooper S encountering this issue over last 12 to 18 months (translates to transmission systematically breaking after about 7 to 8 years of operation). The problem has the potential to result in collisions since the car will not accelerate as expected.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #21

Mar 032014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles


The automatic transmission seems very jerky and hesitant. It has died on me once while driving as it stalled out. I am afraid the transmission is close to failure.

- Athens, OH, USA

problem #20

Dec 182013


  • 70,000 miles
Transmission starting bucking and causing uncontrolled acceleration the only "fix" is to replace the transmission at a $9,000 cost.

- Rio Rancho , NM, USA

problem #19

Oct 162013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2006 MINICooper conv S, aprox 53,000 miles, has a cvt automatic transmission, at this time shifting in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears has been erratic, with very jerky shifting and speed.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #18

Sep 192013


  • 90,000 miles
Passenger seat occupancy sensor inop rendering airbag unsafe. Requires replacement of passenger seat cushion with new sensor mat. 6 speed automatic transmission slipping and shifting hard. Occasionally, renders car powerless as in neutral even if in travel lanes making unsafe to operate. Requires replacement of valve block. Servicing of automatic transmission fluid is not required by MINIBMW but same transmission in other brands do. VW recommends atf replacement at 40K miles and doesn't have problems with valve block failure.

- Felton, DE, USA

problem #17

Apr 032013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 168,367 miles
While driving to work on hwy 270 going South between manchester rd and dougherty ferry rd in rush hour traffic sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 pm my 06 MINICooper convertible was revving up as I press the accelerator but yet barely moving. Right before the dougherty ferry exit it "kicked" into gear and began driving at about 40-50mph. I thought I may have accidentally hit the gear shifter and put it into sport drive but when I looked the gear was still in drive. So as I was traveling to work in arnold, mo the transmission would rev up and then "kick" into gear. When I got to work I explained to a co-worker (initial "J.R.") what happen while I was driving and we went out on our break to take a look and see if I needed transmission fluid. We were unable to find the transmission dipstick so on my laptop I tried looking it up to see where it was located. We learned that's there's a plug underneath but the transmission is "sealed for life" meaning it shouldn't really have any leaks. So I called home to let my wife to let her know that I was going to try and make it home in the morning when I got off at 6am. After driving up to hwy 270 and manchester going North at about 630am traveling at about 40 mph on 4/4/13 the car begin revving up again whenever I pressed the accelerator. So rather than go home I headed straight for the MINIof St. Louis dealership. I got to the dealership before they opened and didn't have an appointment so they stated they would try and squeeze me in. So I went to drive the car up to the entrance to the service bay and the car was "bucking and jerking" and barely moving. Upon talking to the service department MINII was informed that I needed a transmission and it was $8K but if I wanted to they could get me into another MINIright away. On April 9th my wife purchased a new 2013 Ford fiesta in place of the MINI

- Wentzville, MO, USA

problem #16

Jun 272013


  • 88,170 miles
I was driving on the freeway at 70mph in far left lane and the car just shut off. The brake and steering wheel got stiff and would not work right. The area of the freeway was crowded due to construction and it was impossible to get to the side. The car behind me was entirely to close and im surprised I was not hit.

- Redlands , CA, USA

problem #15

May 302013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
I have an '06 MINICooper and never had any engine/transmission issues prior to today. All scheduled maintenance was done by the MINIdealer. Today leaving to go to work, I started the car, put my seat belt on, checked the mirrors, rolled down the windows, put the car gear in "D" and started moving forward out a parking lot, and after a few seconds while driving, the car lost all acceleration and came to a stop. Then the car won't reverse nor move forward while in any gear. Towed to the dealer and later was told it's the cvt transmission and it will cost thousands of dollars to replace the cvt transmission.

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #14

Sep 122012


  • miles
In September 2012 the automatic transmission began slipping. I had it checked out and was told that the transmission was fine and that MINIsays it never needs to be serviced or have the fluid changed. Over the next several months it got worse and I was finally told that the transmission needs to be replaced. Fortunately I never had an accident or any other serious consequence as a result of the failing transmission. This car has been traded in because the transmission would cost $10,000 to replace.

- North Fort Myers, FL, USA

problem #13

Jan 162013


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the vehicle downshifted and stalled. The contact had to pull to the side of the road and shift into manual mode to shift the gears up and down. The contact also stated that the battery light illuminated while the vehicle was parked. The contact also stated that the engine malfunctioned due to the cooling system emitting smoke from the engine and corrosion on the engine itself. The contact did not take the vehicle to a dealer for a diagnostic test. The failure mileage was 74,000.

- El Garnada, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 032013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
While driving the vehicle, at any speed, the automatic power train does not shift gears properly. It will shift up, and down, and not engage the proper gear. The vehicle transmission will "wind-up", then jump into a gear. At times, the vehicle will not shift out of first gear.

- Fort Washington, PA, USA

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