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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,970 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Mini Cooper Owner Comments

problem #9

Apr 072016


  • 46,000 miles


My car only has 47,000 miles on it and has the same passenger side airbag issue. It started off at times having the problem, now is on all the time. MINIwants $125 to diagnose the problem, which seems evident. Also paid $425 to fix electrical wiring that corroded and $1,700 2 months earlier this year when wheel sensor went bad and 3 lights went off in the car.

- St Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #8

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 #7

May 052014

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 39,950 miles
Passenger side air bag sensor is going off when either a passenger of average weight (150lbs.) is occupying seat or a small bump in road is hit. The air bag sensor for wiring and seat cushion replacement is no longer under a warranty for 2008 model, but is a known problem costing approximately $1200 to repair at the dealer. The 2002-2006 models had recall by MINIfor this. Along with the below service bulletin. Service bulletin no.: sim-65-08-03 component(s): Air bags NHTSA id number: 10043927 manufacturer: BMW of North America, llc summary: BMW MINIAirbag warning light is on: Mrs fc 02, 03, 05, 06. I would like a recall on this made for the 2008 model as this is a massive safety issue as I don't know if in an accident either driver or passenger airbag will deploy. Without a recall owners must pay $1200 for what is a known defect by MINIDoes someone have to get injuries for this to become a recall?

- Jacksonville , FL, USA

problem #6

Sep 042013

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


I can't tell exactly the mileage of the car by the time the alarm pop up, but it was about 64K as specified above. At that time the passenger air bag alarm comes "on" the car with a passenger seated. It all started intermittent but after a week the light remains on all the time, along with the warning "passenger air bag off". both lights (the alarm and the warning) remains on all the time. I brought the car to the service dept. And after $117 for a diagnostic, they conclude that the "sensor mat (OC3) sib 657506" (whatever that is) was broken and needs replacement. They are charging a total of $2,608 for parts and labor (including taxes). After this trouble and a stretched timing chain that was diagnose were covered the three days the car spent at the service department, I asked MINIof America to call me back, but after some E-mails back and forward, the.

- San German, PR, USA

problem #5

Sep 102013


  • miles
The sensors on this car were no good. It did not inform me that there wasn't any oil or coolant I'm the car. I only had the car for two weeks after we discovered the dealership did not inspect or service the car like they promised. On 9/10, the car turned off while I was driving and wouldn't turn back on. Two mechanics have told me the car is no good and I am not at fault for the defects. The entire time the car was in my possession, the sensors did not warn me about any services the car needed. I have been going back and forward with the dealership about the defects. I returned the car, asked for a full refund, and they have yet to do anything to honor my wishes.

- Opa Locka, FL, USA

problem #4

Oct 062011

Cooper 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
I was driving around and I began loosing power to my car, so I stopped and then I couldn't get it started again. I was in the process of calling a tow company when I popped the hood and when I lifted it up I could smell gasoline and noticed a cloud of fumes so I backed up and it caught fire so I called 911 and now my cars virtually gone. I come across some MINICooper owners club forum and its apparently happened to other people and also on youtube. Or it seems like it was the same thing since they caught fire in the engine first too. I called MINIand they are going to have me tow it there so they can diagnose it to determine what happened.

- Zionsville, IN, USA

problem #3

Jun 202010


  • 24,552 miles


2008 MINICooper S. the vehicle had a complete electrical and engine failure with no notice. While driving on interstate 287 in NJ with absolutely no notice the car lost total power. Every warning light illuminated on the dash, all gauges dropped to zero, no power whatsoever from the engine, no way to open windows or door locks as their was a complete and total electrical and mechanical failure of this vehicle - there was absolutely no notice. One moment the vehicle was operating normally and the next I had complete and total mechanical, engine and electrical failure rendering the car disabled and without power in the middle lane of interstate 287 South in morristown NJ. Vehicle brought to MINIdealer; vehicle there for almost 2 weeks-supposedly "fixed". the same problem happened a second time within 100 miles of that first service. Vehicle brought to MINIdealer again. Happened a third time for the service technician while he drove the car home from princeton to pa. Vehicle was at MINIfor another 2 and one half weeks. Now they say it is fixed and I do not feel confident they are correct. This problem is without warning and leaves the vehicle permanently disabled in a total and complete way that can lead to serious injury or death for the occupants. MINIcustomer service was abhorrent. They would not return calls and stalled time and again when asked to repurchase this vehicle which is clearly unsafe. They will do nothing. The NHTSA must investigate. The only part they tell me is wrong is the footwell module but will be no more specific. MINImust be held accountable for this defect and failure; this is of very serious nature. Again, the car completely fails-everything-engine, electrical, all power you can not open door locks, windows or the rear hatch. The engine losses all power. Please investigate.

- Basking Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #2

Sep 042009


  • 10,730 miles
2008 MINICooper S causes fire whilst parked in the garage at 2am, burns down another car and property. The sugar land, Texas fire department reports the cause of origin of the fire is suspected from MINIcooper.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #1

Apr 272009


  • 4,500 miles
Car will not start, leaving you stranded. Pushing in clutch then start button, and nothing. First time was 5 weeks ago, towed to dealer, did tests, found no problem. Happened again on 4/23/2009, giggled dead man switch on clutch pedal and then started. Happened again 4/27/2009, tried giggle thing, nothing this time. Sat overnight, then started. Only common factor has been on warm spring days around 90 degrees. Will be taking back to dealer.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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