Notes: The 2008 Mini Cooper has problems with the oil feed lines to the turbo leaking which is not only dangerous & a fire hazard, but also costs $1,200 to fix at relatively low mileage.

Also the 2008 Mini Cooper has a defective timing belt tensioner pulley that can cause the timing chain to break, resulting in expensive engine damage.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,833 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.

2008 Mini Cooper accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2008 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #6

Jun 092016


  • 88,000 miles


Airbag sensor mat does not recognize whether a person is sitting on the passenger side thereby not activating the airbag; this has been happening on & off for months; passenger airbag light comes on immediately despite occupancy while parked and during driving (all conditions-highway, city street, turning; etc. Started approximately from 75K miles; now constant from 85K

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #5

Jan 132016


  • 50,000 miles
Faulty seat occupancy detector in passenger seat. There has been a recall on this in several models, but they do not currently include this model/year. Failure of the seat sensor prevents deployment of the passenger airbag and can only be fixed by replacing the entire seat (expensive). No user-specific actions have caused this defect, it's a well known problem. The issue was originally diagnosed in 2014, re-diagnosed 1/3/2016. The best resolution we have been offered is 10% off repair costs.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #4

Apr 262016


  • 88,000 miles
My 2008 MINICooper was in accident in Jan 2016. The (passenger) light came on and it was immediately take to autobody shop. The passenger airbag warning light was evaluated and added to repairs. The seat map sensor is the chief problem. The car is undrivable. The dealership in sterling indicated that it would take 15-30 day to received the part. The part was delayed until March 24,2016. Three days prior to delivery it was updated to Jul 13, 2016. At this point my rental car from the insurance company ran out. I contacted customer care but was not able to receive a date nor assistance about my part and lost of vehicle. After conversation with Liberty mutual, auto shop and dealership, we were told that the vehicle was safe to drive without a passenger in the seat. No resolution has been made, many individuals ( consumer, insurance company and auto shop) involved in the situation stated it was not safe nor could loss be guaranteed. As of the 4/18/2016, the part has been put on indefinite back order. Currently there is no known time frame return of vehicle. I am without transportation and I will need to purchase another car. Additionally I have heard from other repair facilities, MINIs passenger seat occupancy sensor affects far more model years than those for which BMW has already announced recalls. I am also aware that more than 60 MINIowners are waiting on this part as well.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #3

Feb 192014


  • 45,000 miles


The weight sensor in the front passenger seat that determines whether to deactivate the airbag when a child is seated, or if the seat is unoccupied, is broken. This has caused the frontal airbag to become permanently deactivated at all times. There has been a recall of other cars for this issue, but BMW refuses to include my vehicle despite it being the same year and experiencing the identical problem.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 112014


  • 41,000 miles
Failure of front passenger seat occupant detection mat. The same BMW seat occupancy detection mat (OC3) that was referred to in NHTSA campaign number: 08V-384 has been failing in MINIcoopers on a wide scale. This causes the airbag to be deactivated which is a safety hazard when occupants occupy the seat and are involved in a crash where the airbag's activation could play a significant role in survivability. I believe the investigation should include other BMW corporate makes and models, such as MINIwhich involve the same seat sensor.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #1

Jun 192014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
It appears that the passenger seat occupied sensor is not working.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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