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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,733 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2008 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 052015

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 103,300 miles


8;30 am three car intersection accident. Traffic light controlled 4 way intersection, auto traveling South bound ran red light and collided with two cars traveling East bound through intersection at approx 35 mph.. 1st car impacted Toyota mini van drivers side. Force of accident so severe that it forced mini van into my auto. The mini van impacted my MINIprimarily into my drivers side door. All three vehicles had to be towed from scene of accident. My MINICoopers drivers side door demolished. Force of impact so great the it bent the frame underneath the drivers door 3-4 inches according to the repair facility it was towed to. Vip auto body. The window that was approx 1/3 open shattered the window. I sustained injuries to neck, back, shoulder and right side of head which hit the door panel upon impact. I have done extensive research since this accident and there are several air bags and side door impact bag curtains in the MINICooper and none of them deployed. There is an actual sensor in the middle of each door to activate the air bags, obviously the one in the drivers side door was not working. This car supposedly has a 5 star crash rating according to MINIusa and my original window sticker. I contacted MINIusa the day after the accident, and they instructed me not to have any repairs done until one of there tech's came out to inspect the MINIand do a diagnostic check of the air bag system. I did so. The tech came out 5 days later, and a week after that the results came in and MINIusa said everything was working properly as far as the air bags. Liars. Anyone with any common sense can see that the air bags should have deployed with the force of this impact. They just don't want to take any responsibility for this accident. My MINICooper was deemed a total loss. Any investigation into this accident would be very appreciated maybe even saving a life in the future....updated 04/23/15

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 202012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 35,900 miles
As I was driving my car started chugging. I pulled over and kept chugging. I stopped the car, looked under the hood and saw if something was wrong. Did not see anything. Started it up again and once I accelerated it stopped chugging. Drove it very scarcely and brought it into the dealership. Was told it was a timing chain. Very lucky that it has not snapped or skipped because you would have possibly lose control. The car only has 36000 miles on it and has had the oil level topped off every few fill ups. They do not look at this as a manufacturing defect, even though it has happened on quite a few cars. My local mechanic said he has never heard of a timing chain snapping or stretching to where it needs to be replaced at 36000 miles. It is dangerous and also very costly to pay for.

- Burlington, WI, USA

problem #1

Jul 182012

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 37,000 miles
My wife and I live in munich, germany, where she works for the us government. Last Wednesday, while on the autobahn our car began to make sounds as if it was driving through a puddle or that there was some sort of fluid being splashed on the undercarriage of the car. Because it was a sunny day, I knew something was wrong and I was preparing to pull the car over to investigate the cause of the sound. Before I could do so however, I heard a popping sound and suddenly the car became flooded with a thick white/gray smoke from the vents and dash. I pulled over as quickly as I could and by the time I got out of the car, the entire hood and inside cabin was engulfed in smoke. Rather than pop the hood, I first ran to the trunk and grabbed a reflector (which is required by law here) and ran 20-25 feet behind the car to place it on the ground, to warn oncoming traffic. No sooner had I done this, when I head an explosion, quickly turned around and saw that the entire front half of the MINIwas now engulfed in flames. I could do nothing but sit and watch, as within moments the fire had spread throughout the rest of the car and soon became an complete fireball. German police and fire officials showed up 15-20 minutes later and by the time the fire was extinguished, all that was left was a charred frame of metal. Fortunately I was not physically hurt by the explosion or the fire. However, mentally I have replayed the experience a hundred times and each time I ask myself, what if I had popped the hood first, or what if I had taken even an extra 30 seconds in pulling the car over? thinking about it just makes my blood run cold and feels me with dread. We purchased the car in '08 in Virginia and never had any issues with it and it was even in the shop earlier this year, where the fluids were all topped off and everything was told to be in excellent running condition.

- Apo, AE, USA

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