really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,486 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2006 Mini Cooper Owner Comments (Page 5 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #92

Mar 202014


  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper. The contact stated that the air bag light intermittently illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Hamilton, VA, USA

problem #91

Oct 302012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 36,363 miles
The seat sensor is faulty. It reads that someone under 30lbs is in it (disabling the airbag) the dash light verifies it is off. This problem is intermittent to this day. So if a crash occurs the sensor won't read correctly if anyone is in the seat or not, the airbag may not deploy and if it does will do so possibly with too much force.

- San Antonio , TX, USA

problem #90

Nov 132013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 75,500 miles
The red air bag warning light came on. It won't go out. The MINIdealer in birmingham said it's not covered under warranty. MINIusa said the same thing. However, BMW recalled their 2006 models for the same problem. Several other MINIowners are reporting the same problem. The owners' manual states that the air bags may not deploy properly in the event of a crash if the warning light is on. This is a safety issue, and MINIusa needs to address it.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #89

Oct 182013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


The air bag system warning light in the gauge cluster is lit at all times. The repair shop tells me that this is because the sensor mat in the passenger seat has failed and must be replaced. My research indicates that this is a very common issue that is unjustifiable expensive to repair. The repair shop also tells me that all of the air bags in the car are disabled as long as the warning light is on, putting all passengers in the vehicle in danger of sustaining greater injuries in the event of a crash. These cars are made by BMW, which apparently acknowledged the same problem in other cars they produced and made repairs. I feel that they should be required to address this problem in MINIcoopers, too, via a federally mandated recall campaign.

- Weare, NH, USA

problem #88

Nov 262012


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper S. the contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection where they stated that the passenger's seat mat needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- Richmond, VA, USA

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problem #87

Sep 062012


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper. The contact stated that the front passenger's seat was occupied when the air bag deactivated warning message displayed. The contact stated that the dealer replaced the seat mat sensor but the repair did not remedy the issue. The contact took the vehicle back to the dealer for a diagnostic test, which confirmed that there was a defect in the seat mat sensor. The dealer did not replace the seat mat sensor. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #86

Oct 152013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


The BMW MINICooper 2006 has the same safety problem as described in the NHTSA action number : EA08001, NHTSA recall campaign number : 08V384000 but was not included in the vehicle recall list. There are many many owners having to pay $1000 - $2000 for repairs concerning defects to the front passenger seat air bag occupant detection mat. The broken circuit can lead to the deactivation of the passenger air bag and the illumination of both the air bag warning light and the passenger air light. The repair of the detection mat forces the replacement of the passenger seat. My vehicle is now one of the increasingly large number of MINICoopers with the failed safety system. Many states have yearly safety inspections and the airbag safety situation needs to be corrected before the inspection passes. The MINICooper "R" series vehicles need to be added into the EA08-001 NHTSA recall 08V384000.

- Haleiwa, HI, USA

problem #85

Jul 012013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • miles
The air bag light is continuously lit on my 2006 MINICooper. Initially the light was intermittently on; however now it remains permanently light. The dealer has indicated that the passenger OC3 mat is faulty and will be require a $1,000+ fix. Internet searches have found that this is a common problem with this vehicle and the same issue has occurred multiple times on some vehicles, even after being repaired with new parts. Additionally, BMW, the parent company of MINIhad a similar problem with their BMW vehicles and a recall was issued. MINIoften uses BMW parts in their vehicles so it is possible and quite likely that similar parts were used. This is a genuine safety issue and one that is wide spread with this particular vehicle.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #84

Sep 032013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
On my 2006 MINICooper S coupe, the passenger airbag off sensor light on the roof came on as well as the airbag sensor light in the center console indicating that the passenger seat could not detect the weight of a person in the passenger seat and therefore would not alert the airbag to turn on. My husband and I have both sat in the passenger seat and the light remained on. We then had a garage that specializes in imports look at the code, which is stating that there is an issue with the seat mat sensor and it is no longer recognizing the weight on the seat. This is a huge safety issue and a costly one at that. The seat cushion must be replaced and potentially the entire seat. I have noticed this same complaint on this site as well as other sites for models dating anywhere from 2002-2006. There is also a trend with this issue occurring when the car is 7 years old (2013 for 2006 models) regardless of the mileage. I have called MINIand while they were very nice and helpful, there is nothing they can do to help with the cost of repairing this factory issue. When I called our local dealer they had mentioned a type of assistance or warranty extended on the 2003-2004 models, but not 2005 or later. Is it possible that this is just now becoming an issue and should now be addressed or added to the extended warranty" is there grounds for a recall" there seems to be a trend of how and when this mat malfunctions. Please help those of us who have had this problem and are bound to have this problem in the near future get this fixed! thank you!

- Marion, IL, USA

problem #83

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 #82

Sep 102013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 35,680 miles


The airbag warning light came on. The sensor under the passenger seat was broken. This is a very well known problem with MINIs beginning with the 2002 model, but especially with the 2006. BMW which owns MINIhad the same problem with the same year car and issued a recall, but MINInever did. The dealer wants $1500 to fix the problem, but others with the same car have had the part break as many as three times. The sensor is to detect that there is a passenger and the weight of the passenger so that the force of the airbag can be regulated if a child or child car seat is in the passenger seat. It is unscionable that MINIwould jeopardize safety after they have known of this problem for years. Customer relations at MINIusa was unwilling to resolve this issue.

- Hudson, FL, USA

problem #81

Sep 092013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 64,300 miles
In addition to my previous post, more information on this situation, this note sent to miniusa.com, my 2006 MINICooper has the airbag light illuminated above the rear view mirror and is generating an error 71, passenger occupancy sensor fault. It is my understanding this is due to a faulty sensor mat under the seat. From my research I see that this has been covered under an extended warranty for the OC3 seat mat sensor which is used in BMW as well as MINImodels. I am requesting that this sensor be replaced in my MINICooper as I fear the passenger airbag will not deploy in an accident due to the documented faulty sensor. The recall is stated at www.bmwusa.com/standard/content/contactus/voluntaryrecall.aspx,

- Munster, IN, USA

problem #80

Sep 052013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 77,000 miles
The airbag warning light is on and dealer has said the sensor in the passenger seat is bad and the pad and sensor must be replaced at a cost of $1400. I cannot believe that a car this popular has this kind of safety issue. I would expect MINIto at the very least to cover the cost of the pad or sensor. Unbelievable.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #79

Aug 202012


  • 43,160 miles
The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the passenger's side air bag light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnosis and the contact was informed that the front passenger's side seat cover would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 43,160.

- Amherst, VA, USA

problem #78

Aug 012013


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 MINICooper. The contact stated that the front passenger side air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the front passenger seat air bag sensor needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 65,000.

- Scottsville, AZ, USA

problem #77

Jan 202013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
I had to go ahead and have the air bag sensors in the passenger seat replaced last week, because I will have a passenger on a trip to Utah soon. When I complained to one of the service people, that the passenger seat was rarely used, he started bloviating as to how heat can break down the materials in the sensors.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #76

Jul 022013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 139,400 miles
Recently purchased a 2006 MINICooper for my teen child. We now discovered that the passenger airbag notification should not be on. We took it to a BMW dealer to have this looked, and we were told that it's due to a faulty passenger occupancy sensor in the passenger seat bottom requiring a replacement at a cost of $1700. After further investigation, I see that this is a common problem. This could be safety concern, and I believe that BMW should be responsible to have this problem corrected. I am not sure if the airbag will deploy if a passenger is seated. This is a situation that needs to be remedied through a recall. MINIshould extended their airbag system warranty.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #75

Jan 292013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
2006 MINICooper S passenger airbag light (above rearview mirror) is illuminated constantly (seat occupied or not). Local MINIcooper dealership says the problem is the sensor pad, which is woven into the seat bottom, and the whole seat bottom must be replaced at a cost of $1650. Dealer service manager says that MINIusa will not help with this, as the car is out of warranty and has 100K miles. I used an SRS scan tool to confirm that code 71 (seat occupancy sensor II) is set and comes right back after clearing it. Quick search through NHTSA complaints and online MINIenthusiast forums shows this is a frequent problem, especially in the 2005-06 model years. Clearly a severe safety defect which MINIusa (BMW) should have addressed. No one can tell me if the passenger airbag will deploy in a crash or not. I also find it interesting the wide range of repair costs that others who have posted here were quoted by their local MINIdealers (seems like anywhere from $1000 - $2000). Something is not right with that.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #74

Apr 022013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
From my research, the 2006 MINIhas a faulty passenger occupancy sensor in the passenger seat bottom requiring a replacement at a cost of over $1000. Since 2006 was the first year for this requirement, I believe they did not properly test the device before releasing them into production as I have researched and read on many failures of this device. I cannot determine conclusively if the airbag will or will not deploy in this situation and MINIwill be liable in a situation if it does not deploy the airbag properly with a passenger seated. This is a situation that needs to be remedied through a recall. MINIextended their airbag system warranty on the 2002 - 2005 models to 10 years or 150,000 miles and should do the same for the 2006+ models.

- Davie, FL, USA

problem #73

Jul 062013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 42,500 miles
Air bag light went on for no reason, it is due to a faulty sensor that MINIis aware of the problem but refuses to correct. I don't have 1700 dollars to replace passenger seat - so all passengers will be at risk when I drive, as the air bag won't deploy or will deploy at full force.

- Oak Forest, IL, USA

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