BMW has agreed to settle a number of class-action lawsuits out of court. The suits stem from drivetrain issues on the 2001 to 2006 R50 Mini Cooper – in particular, its continuously variable transmission. The transmission was known to fail, often without warning on otherwise healthy and well-maintained vehicles. This wasn't the only major issue to afflict the original BMW-era Mini models.

According to legal site Topclassactions.com, the suits alleged that BMW knowingly hid the defects in the CVT from customers while informing dealers of the issue. The first suit was filed in 2011, while four additional suits have followed. Now, BMW has reportedly settled, offering to reimburse 1,200 owners that needed repairs within eight years or 150,000 miles of their purchase. Repair prices for the transmission range from $6,000 to $9,000.

Under the agreement, BMW will also offer up to $4,100 to members of the suit that had fixes performed at a third-party shop, while owners who sold their cars at a loss due to the issues are slated to receive up to $2,000. Finally, owners who are part of the suit will be warrantied for a further eight years and 150,000 miles.


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  • 50 Comments
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now all BMW and Audi should do is fess up to the crappy ZF trans behind their V8 engines. Also the inadequate service service regimes that violate ZF recommendations for the Hp9 and other 5-spd autos. ZF says 50k but Audi and BMW say lifetime fluid fill....why should anyone believe them?
      Davey Hiltz
      • 1 Month Ago

      My friend has been having transmission problems with his mini and I think I just found out why. He says that it's been really rusty in shifting gears and the repair shop said it would be as much said to fix it. I wonder if he can get in on the lawsuit, but I guess it's already over.

      http://www.sarasotatransmissionrepair.com/Transmission-Repair-Sarasota-FL.html 

      AngeloD
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's amazing that the Germans somehow managed to take an old British marque like Mini, one that was part of British Leyland and BMC at one time for Gods sake, and make the cars even more unreliable. More of that wildly over-rated German engineering.
      Indubitably
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honda had the same issues with their transmissions in their v6 cars from 98-02. Honda denied all of the issues and didn't do **** for owners that had their transmissions repeatedly fail after 80k miles due to being out of warranty.
        FrostyZoob
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Indubitably
        As a current owner of a 6th gen Accord (2001), I'll have to correct you: Honda issued an extended warranty which covered the tranny for 7 years / 100k miles. Mine failed at 95k and Honda replaced it with a rebuilt one - no questions asked.
          Holle Anderson
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FrostyZoob
          Also I have dealt with many 98-02 Honda's and 97-03 Acura's with the I4 and V6 auto trannies at my shop and almost never see any problem with the original trannies after the cars have over 200k on the odo. The actual transmission failure rates for these trannies are under 5%. From what I have seen, changing the fluid at proper intervals will help your tranny go well past 200k.
          Mondrell
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FrostyZoob
          "It was not a transmission fluid issue, there was definitely a design flaw there." There was, though it has also been speculated that an optimistic fluid change schedule and the high level of friction modifiers in Honda ATF didn't help matters. Several fellow Acura owners I know halved their change interval, used a different ATF, or both, and are nearing, if not past 200,000 miles on original transmissions. Nonetheless, the case and internals were significantly revised for successive model year vehicles.
          CJ_313
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FrostyZoob
          @ Hollie Anderson: I co-signed for a 2000 Honda Accord EX V6 coupe, new at the time, for my sister. The transmission slipped/banged when shifted into reverse "noticeably" before the 3-year lease was over (I drove it to the dealership myself). Metro Honda of Ferndale MI replaced the entire transmission, problem reoccurred just as it was ready to be turned in, from what she told me. I've read on a few forums of owners having similar issues, mostly in V6 models. It was not a transmission fluid issue, there was definitely a design flaw there.
          Indubitably
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FrostyZoob
          Mine failed at 56k, then at 106k. Didn't get it replaced. Point is, they still made bad transmissions.
      Willy
      • 1 Year Ago
      On to their electric/hydraulic pump that fails from overheating!
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      thomas.leopard
      • 1 Year Ago
      You deserve to burn in hell if you buy a mini with a cvt.
        Timothy Neal Templet
        @thomas.leopard
        You phrased it wrong, All Mini owners ARE burning in Hell. Mini & BMW need to be the ones who burn. I hope this settlement lawsuit chaps them good.
        fx16gts
        • 1 Year Ago
        @thomas.leopard
        I agree.
      Car Guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will never own a CVT vehicle. Unreliable and terrible driving experience.
        A P
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Car Guy
        They are not unreliable in Japanese cars. Just in German ones.
          TruthHertz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @A P
          Didn't Nissan double their transmission warranty on the Murano a few years back due to the treat of a class action lawsuit like this? ALL CVT's suck...
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      LOL. It's BMW! What did they expect? BMW should sue the owners for being so stupid and buying those crappy cars.
        Ft N
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Don't be jealous just because you can't afford one without going broke.
      The Other Bob
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is there a CVT in the world that is reliable?
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Other Bob
        Toyota highlander hybrid. Stone cold reliable.
          The Other Bob
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          That's a eCVT-different than what we are discussing with a typical application.
        xder345
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Other Bob
        Had a Ford Freestyle that ran to 78k before we got rid of it. CVT was totally fine, even with all the towing that we did.
      Timothy Neal Templet
      I SURE DO WISH THAT SOME TYPE OF CLASS ACTION SUIT COULD BE BROUGHT AGAINST MINI / BMW FOR THE ISSUES AND QUALITY OF THE 2007-CURRENT MINI COOPER. I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY ISSUES I'VE HAD WITH MY CAR. (INCLUDING 2 BLOWN HEAD GASKETS, 3 WATER PUMPS, TIMING CHAIN, HEATER, INJECTORS, EXHAUST) THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. Please contact me if you want me sign a petition.
      leo
      • 1 Year Ago
      what's this, autoblogs (& users) favorite car and one held to being a great driver has a CVT? hahahahhahhahahhahahahahahhahahahhaha
        Dayv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @leo
        Up until seven years ago, sure. And everyone always said you should get a manual Mini in the first place.
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