San Francisco, CA: Preliminary approval of a defective automotive class action settlement has been granted, potentially ending the lawsuit pending against BMW over allegations the German auto-maker concealed a defect in the transmission of its Mini Cooper cars.
US District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, who is hearing the complaint, (Aarons v. BMW of North America LLC, Case No. 11-cv-07667, in the US District Court for the Central District of California), has requested additional information about the class size and suggested some revisions to the existing preliminary settlement. However, if approved, thousands of Mini Cooper owners could be eligible to receive as much as $9,000 for vehicle repairs.
According to attorneys representing the plaintiffs, approximately 1,200 Mini Cooper owners had to have their transmissions replaced at BMW dealerships. However, many drivers took their Mini Coopers to a third-party facility for repair, and that number is not known.
The lawsuit claims that the transmission defect, which can cause significant delays in acceleration, loss of forward propulsion and total transmission failure while driving, was concealed from Mini Cooper customers, by BMW. However, BMW, at the same time, allegedly issued bulletins to BMW dealerships acknowledging the defect. The transmission defects also included the failure of the transmission without warning. These failures and defects may have contributed to traffic accidents resulting in serious injury or death.
The plaintiffs further claim that in an effort to keep the prices of the Mini Coopers low, BMW sacrificed quality, thereby making cars of a substandard quality and putting consumers at risk.
Below you will find a letter that I sent to email@example.com. When I first contact Mini Cooper Assistance, I was told that my case did not qualify to be "escalated to the next level." After more than an hour of insistence, my case was escalated to the next level. The letter below accurately reflects my experience. I was denied any compensation by Corporate Regional Headquarters. I will say that my local dealer in Towson, MD did offer a 20% coupon to fix what would be an $8-$10,000 repair to the automatic transmission. That offer combined with my out of pocket expenses to fix the transmission would far surpass the KBB value. To date (BEFORE the transmission problem was FINALLY diagnosed) I have invested a total of a shocking $17, 819.49. I have in my possession every Mini Cooper dealership paid invoice over the history of ownership of my 2006 Mini Cooper S (R53) hardtop two door coupe (with a non-CVT transmission). Here is the letter recapping my service history:
Re: Mini Cooper S (R53), History of Maintenance and Repair Issues
Thank you for speaking with us earlier today.
As promised, I have attached a table setting forth the various maintenance and repair services performed on my MINI Cooper S (R53) since it was purchased new in October, 2005. It currently has about 66,500 miles on it.
I am confident that once you verify the figures in this summary you will feel as strongly as I that the fair and right thing for the MINI Cooper Corporation to do is to replace my transmission with a rebuilt one at no cost to me. Here are a few reasons why I say this:
I am the poster child of the “little old lady” who drives to church on Sunday and to the market a few times a week. Please do the arithmetic with me: 11 years and 5 months equals 4,165 days … 66,500 miles comes to just shy of an average of 16 miles per day that I drive this car. More importantly, I care for my MINI as I would a child. At each service interval - (I have never failed to miss one) - the MINI is religiously in the shop for maintenance care and, not just any shop - always faithfully to the MINI dealership who sold me the car. And, what has my devotion and customer loyalty to MINI Cooper cost me in “world class inspection”, maintenance and repair? It has cost me an astounding figure of $17,611.49. To make bad matters far worse, I have now received the alarming news that for a mere $8,000.00 in parts and labor I can have a brand new transmission to replace a transmission that has been sending off signals that it has had a serious problem for years - long before the warranties had expired. From almost the outset of purchase, my Mini Cooper S has periodically failed to escalate when I’ve called for more speed and lurched in and out of gear.
In the early years, the problem occurred with such infrequency, that I gave little or no thought to the possibility that it might be a transmission problem but rather that it was the “nature of the beast.” Of course, 8-10 years ago I was not yet adept enough to reach out through the internet with extensive research to discover that I was not the only MINI Cooper customer experiencing this phenomenon. Today, with a few key search words of "MINI Coopers and transmission problems", much that was once unknown to me has been revealed. Quite understandably, during the warranty period no MINI Service Representative asked me whether I was experiencing an occasional lurch or racing sound during gear change.
To say that I am disheartened is an understatement of monumental proportion because I am way beyond hitting the “tip of the iceberg.” I ask that you do the right thing for one of your most loyal customers and PR cheerleaders; Fish me out of the water of this fiasco and make me whole.
I look forward to further discussion and a positive outcome.
The P.S. to this horror story is that MINI Cooper turned its back on me and I am forced to drive a potentially life-threatening car - or do without personal transportation. I am 67 years old and my husband is 86. We are both retired and living on a fix income.
Posted by KAMIL A FILIPCZUK
I just purchased a used 2006 mini cooper and after driving for a week the transmission started to slip on me and it is going bad. Did not know this was recalled and wish I would have seen it earlier. Is it possible to still have this replaced? The car currently has 82,000 miles on it.
Posted by Mary McGrath
I own a 2007 Mini Cooper convertible. I am the 2nd owner. It has already had the engine replaced at 25,000 miles. It now has about 65,000 miles and I'm being told by mini that it needs a transmission. I wasn't aware of the engine class action. I just happened to see this about the transmission do I have a recourse. Thank You.
Posted by Lori
I have a 2008 MINI cooper S hardtop. I had the transmission fixed in 2014. At the time it had only 90,000 miles.
Posted by Chrristi
I have a 2005 mini cooper and having transmission problems. as it wont go into first and starting to have issues with other gears as well..
Posted by James
I have a 2005 mini and I never received any information about transmission problems,until I saw it on you tube! Why weren't all mini cooper owners alerted to this issue? From what I am seeing it may be too late for me!!! Seriously?was this reward only to those that had problems and complained? As per usual once settled I'm not entitled to compensation! I will contact my attorney to find out if there is any thing that can lead compensation,due to the ineffective of miss handling this transmission recall or notice of said lawsuit.I am highly disappointed with this so called closed door settlement.
Posted by Joe Holsberger
I have a 2006 Mini Cooper S that I just bought used with 64,000 miles. I just found out today that the transmission is shot and it will cost me over $ 6,000 to get repaired. Who can I talk to about this faulty transmission. Please help.
Posted by Jeanette
I'm an original owner of 2004 Mini Cooper with very low mileage (78,000). My transmission just started failing.
Mini refused to do anything about it. Please help!
Posted by Gabrielle Taylor
I Own a 2010 Mini Cooper S that was affected by the recall for the timing chain. I need to file a claim for this
Posted by Rebecca
I have a 2005 Mini Cooper S convertible. I had to have my transmission rebuilt about a year ago. Am I still eligible to take part in this lawsuit? I can show proof of work done.
Posted by Heather
I owned a 2008 Mini Cooper Hardtop and took excellent care of the vehicle. It only had 110,000 miles and was serviced regularly by a BMW/MINI dealership. Driving to work driving 45 the transmission failed and the car no longer moved. I was quoted over 10k to fix the transmission. Is it too late to file a claim for this obviously faulty transmission?
Posted by Edgar mendez
I own a 2005 Mini Cooper with 46,000 miles,I am the first owner. I believe the car is beginning to have transmission problems. Can I file a claim against BMW?
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