A group of Florida plaintiffs have come together to file a class action lawsuit against Mini. Their issue is with the reliability of the Continuously Variable Transmissions in first-generation Cooper hatchbacks from 2002-2006 and in Cooper Convertible models from 2006-2008. A cursory web search on the matter returns plenty of results from Mini owners complaining of the same issue, sudden failure of the CVT, and having mixed fortunes at Mini dealers when trying to get the situation resolved.

The Florida suit comes a year after a class action suit was filed against Mini in California for the same reason. As with the Florida case, the California legal action Brad Aarons v. BMW of North America, LLC sees "restitution, damages and other relief" for plaintiffs who were "required to spend approximately $6,000 to $9,000 (one-third to one-half of the original purchase price) to repair or replace their CVTs, or sell their vehicle without repair for a substantial loss...." Parent company BMW has not yet commented on the matter.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      brandon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Now this is something legitimate to sue over. Not stupid MPG claims. Anyway, I don't blame them either. I hope they win.
      Chris
      • 2 Years Ago
      It blows my mind that anyone would buy a car like this with a CVT. I wouldn't even want a CVT in a luxury car, much less a sporty little hatch.
      Abe
      • 2 Years Ago
      I had an 02 CVT MINI and had transmission failure at 50k, fortunately I traded it in without any loss from its troubles (at a MINI dealer). Driving with the CVT was fun, albeit not the same fun as a manual. The computer 'learned' your driving habits and since I drove spiritedly, that's what it learned. Other MINI owners would drive my car and notice it was more responsive than other CVTs. For that I give them credit. Otherwise, get it together, BMW.
      Rocketboy_X
      • 2 Years Ago
      And there's a class action lawsuit over cracked windshields as well, which was another 'known' problem with the early MINIs.
      Kurt
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's what you get for buying a CVT cooper. They are made for a manual.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Scr
        • 2 Years Ago
        I've seen those things blow up in Muranos on test-drives from the dealership. A dealer tried to talk my brother into a Murano until we looked up their reliability rating using the free computers in the dealer's customer lounge where failing CVTs showed up like a computer virus in the complaints about the vehicle. We very politely walked out of the Nissan dealership. Funny, them computers are supposed to help sales, not hurt them.
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good, more evidence for my case against cvt's as a whole for reliability.
        A P
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        CVTs in Asian cars are extremely reliable......there are Pruis taxis with 200K on them with original CVTs. MINIs have been and still are, CRAP for reliability. BUT they get a pass on it because they are part of BMW.
          Bruce Lee
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A P
          I think the other thing is that a Prius CVT doesn't cost you $9000 to fix years down the line even if you manage to break it. For one it comes with a 7 year 100,000 mile warranty since it's a hybrid and for two the transmissions are super cheap to obtain used with low miles. You can get one with 46K miles on it right now on ebay for $650 and there's $500 ones on there too. If you want one for a mini cooper you're looking at 5x the price before taking into account the painful installation.
          kcroc10077
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A P
          They get a pass the same way BMW gets a pass. And I think the M3 is the best sports sedan but for some reason, for the most part, BMW and dependable just don't go together.
          FRENZIED
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A P
          The Prius CVT is a very reliable transmission and a completely different type of technology than the Mini and Nissan CVT. Not sure who builds the Mini CVT but Nissan CVTs (by Jatco) are crap! Dodge also used them. I had a Caliber with a CVT and it had to be replaced at 70k miles. The mechanic said they are all like that. Nissan/Jatco CV transmission are disposable piles of trash!
          jfa1177
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A P
          I couldn't agree with you more. I happen to love Minis but their reliability keeps me from pulling the trigger.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A P
          [blocked]
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        They may or may not be reliable, but I would never want to operate a car with a CVT. And yes, I said operate, not drive. Because in terms of being connected to the road, even an old torque converter 4 speed auto is purist in comparison. At least the rpm and wheel speed are related somehow.
          axiomatik
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          There's no reason for engine speed to be tied to wheel speed, that is simply what you are used to. It makes a lot more sense for the engine to stay at peak power when needed instead of wavering all over the rev range. I've rented a Nissan Cube with a CVT, and a Caliber with a CVT. It does feel/sound strange to hear the engine noise decoupled from the speed of the vehicle, but for vehicles without a lot of power, it works. That said, there's a reason both of my cars are manuals.
      BG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Someone would buy a car like a mini with an automatic or CVT transmission? Something does not make sense here, is that possible?
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BG
        lazy people and women...their excuse is it's to much trouble to shift in traffic...or they can't text and shift at the same time...both lame excuses. IMO
          BG
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris
          Don't forget the other lamebrain excuses: 1. I live where it is hilly 2. My wife (sig. other) can't (or refuses to!!) drive manual 3. It will affect trade-in value 4. There were no manuals on the lot 5. I'm a busy professional, I can't bother 6. Buffy won't be able to drive it if she wants to take the Mini to the sorority
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Indubitably
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why can't BMW, Audi, and Merc ever engineer something reliable? They are the ultimate leaders in automotive technology yet then can't build a car to hit 100k miles without it imploding.
      getoffmydinghy
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's what you get for a two pedal setup. Reason number 2,364 to drive a manual transmission. Wonder what the failure rate is on those, hm?
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just a bad idea all around. Every manufacturer who has them has had great difficulty with them, even Toyota. If they bought Nissans, at least they would have a lifetime warranty on them, which Nissan had to do to prevent just this type of lawsuit due to the very high failure rate of these transmissions. It amazes me automakers STILL put these POSs in their cars. The reliability is just terrible and most people don't know how to drive them to get anywhere near the mileage listed on the window sticker. Of course, the heavier the vehicle and the harder you drive them (as you would drive a Mini), the less reliable. Just stay away from them as you would leprosy, you are just asking for trouble. CVTs are just for golf carts.
        JD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        not all Nissan CVTs have a lifetime warranty
        gary
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scr
        I work at a Subaru store. Knock-on-wood, we've had virtually no issues with the CVT's in the Outbacks and Legacies.
    • Load More Comments