Mini Cooper is the only car not covered by lemon law (and other fun facts)

This post is more than 2 years old.

Ok, I swear I'm not going to turn this into a Mini Cooper rant blog, but I had some interesting discoveries on Friday I wanted to share. First off: My wife and I had decided we weren't really interested in going to court. It seemed like a lot of trouble. But the lawyer called us on Friday and really wants to work with us.

Then my wife did a bit of research. Now - it is not surprising that she found folks complaining about Mini Cooper. You can find people complaining about anything on the Internet. However, some of what she found was pretty interesting. Consider...

http://www.chenelle.com/2005/03/18/mini-trouble/

From this entry: "Performance issues - idling too low, jerking motion when shifting gears automatic mode, loss of power and then jumping forward from a stopped position to go"

This is exactly something my Mini did. She also mentions indicator lights - we had that issue with our trunk. (Which by the way Brian Harris said was our fault for slamming the trunk.)

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/mini.html

From this entry - note how they accused one person of driving into a swamp (in NYC). My favorite quote from here though: "The Operations Manager first stated BMWs weren't subject to lemon laws!" Another quote:

I only slightly under 30,000 miles on my 2003 Mini-Cooper and was told I had to pay for a battery replacement because I had not driven the car enough. Even though I drive my car daily to work - I have to pay over $200 for a new battery because I did not use the car enough - this is so ridiculous. Talked to several Mini representative and all say the same - Mini Policy and yet it is not in the Policy Book provided upon purchase.

This is also what Brian Harris told us multiple times - that we didn't drive the car enough. Gee - what is it? Not driving the car enough or driving into swamps?

My wife had Brian Harris send over our service history via fax, and it is amazing how much of the history is a list of things we did wrong. Not driving it enough. Slamming the trunk. Using "bad gas".

You know what - screw this. We will fight.

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Gary Funk posted on 9/2/2006 at 9:47 PM

Where is Ralph Nader when you need him. Maybe a class-action suite.

My wife is wanting a mini but guess what. HELL NO!

Comment 2 by TJ Downes posted on 9/2/2006 at 10:36 PM

YOU GO RAY! I've never seen you this fired up :)

Comment 3 by Lola Lee Beno posted on 9/4/2006 at 2:51 AM

Go for it. I find it really insane that someone like him would consistently blame customers for messing their car up when it seems to be that all of these customers' cars seem to consistently have the same issues that make this particular model a lemon. Class action suit, I surmise?

Comment 4 by barry.b posted on 9/4/2006 at 3:00 AM

Ray, is it worthwhile letting the company or any else that matters know how public you're willing to make this fight?

got any of those cheesy rip-off shows that show shonky dealings?

letters of disgust of the issues to the CEO if the company?

hell, taking out ads in newspapers saying *why* your a disastisfied customer might get some traction. Just spend some effort to explain your personal position and avoid being mistaken for slander.

Look at Gary Funk's position? what costs less to Mini? turning you into a happy customer - or losing sales?

eh my 2c

(ppl don't write enough complaint letters to decision makers anymore... CEO's polititions, newspaper editors, etc... they've forgotten the power of the word)

Comment 5 by Gary Funk posted on 9/4/2006 at 4:27 AM

barry has a point. I really like the mini and having Mr Bean drive one make me want one more. Not to mention the movies they have been in. But I don't even think about buying one now.

Comment 6 by barry.b posted on 9/4/2006 at 6:10 AM

last comment from me on this:

I've come across some dedicated websites airing peoples dissatisfaction with a particular product. I can't find any links to prove this (sorry, busy) but I raise this to remind everyone that they *do* have a voice and all it costs is a domain name and a bit of server space.

Imagine the profile in Google (and then newspapers) if it got slashdot'ed...

(just be mindful in the wording for defimation, OK?)

Comment 7 by Raymond Camden posted on 9/4/2006 at 8:17 AM

barry: I think you have a good point - but I don't know if my little blog would scare them. I mean - sure - I'm a big name (forgive me if that sounds egotistical) in this small CF realm, but probably next to nothing in the real world.

Then again - it wouldn't hurt to bring it up. Sometimes the #s sound a lot more impressive than what they are. (Ie, I can say this blog gets 50K+ hits per month, which isn't the same as 50K+ people, but...)

Comment 8 by Lola Lee Beno posted on 9/4/2006 at 4:10 PM

If Instapundit picks this up, be prepared for an Instalanche.

Comment 9 by tof posted on 9/5/2006 at 7:30 AM

No man, it's not just 50k hits. it's whatever number of hits from your blog, plus blogs linking to yours, + a video of you explaining your problems on youtube, + www.helpmegetridofmyminicoo.... People like good ideas (like the red-paperclip guy, or the 1-million-hits-for-a-3some fella), and don't like to get screwed over so if you were to market it correctly, I reckon you could get a huge following, and frighten even the biggest of companies. That's the beautiful/scary about the net nowadays.

vive la revolution! ;-)

Tof

Comment 10 by Adedeji Olowe posted on 9/5/2006 at 12:48 PM

BMW is just being a fraud, someone should show them their place. Go Ray Go!

Comment 11 by Damien McKenna posted on 9/6/2006 at 12:13 AM

Ray, you really need to take a look at The IT Crowd, episode 2, might explain a thing or two ;-)

BTW, your Post Comment page looks funny in Safari (latest on OSX10.4).

Good luck with the fight!

Comment 12 by Raymond Camden posted on 9/6/2006 at 12:16 AM

I'll test tonight. I still don't use Safari on my Mac, just Firefox.

Comment 13 by Randy Smith posted on 9/6/2006 at 4:46 AM

I agree with Barry, register a domain name and start a movement. I checked a few names: lemonmini.com, myminiisalemon.com and ihatemymini.com are all available. You get enough traffic to your blog to make some serious noise Ray. Next you will have to set up an archive and RSS feed of your Mini escapades in your archive list. Best of luck with this.

Comment 14 by laura posted on 9/9/2006 at 4:16 AM

I've been reading about your Mini troubles for a while now, Ray, and as always I'm sorry to hear that it continues to be a problem. My husband and I have had a Mini for almost 3 years now and really like that little car. No serious troubles, and minor things that came up (air conditioning on the fritz) have been handled promptly by the dealer. I wish I had some idea why your experience has been so bad. I guess the local dealer must really share a major part of the blame. I do understand that a certain amount of "frogging" where the transmission is a bit jerky at very low speeds is normal because of the CVT software, if you have an automatic. It does seem to get better as you drive it for a while and the software trains to your acceleration pattern; also we found it improved considerably after a firmware update. Maybe the "not driving enough" has something to do with that. Anyway, good luck and hope that you'll eventually get what you need from all this.

Comment 15 by Robert Owen posted on 12/14/2006 at 8:30 PM

Just go ahead and post an entry over at http://www.lousyproducts.com .. Seems appropriate.

Comment 16 by Kelli posted on 11/1/2007 at 5:56 PM

I found your site while searching for info about MINI lemons. I also bought a MINI Cooper from Brian Harris that continues to give me problems. I am SO frustrated with Brian Harris. Did you ever get your problems solved? Did you end up going the lemon law route? I would be very interested to know how it worked out for you.

Comment 17 by Raymond Camden posted on 11/1/2007 at 6:05 PM

After Brian Harris said that the car was fine, and signed off on the fact, I traded it in. I had enough of it. BMW wouldn't do anything for me at all.

Comment 18 by Tyra Pellerin posted on 7/19/2008 at 2:44 AM

This is not about the Mini Cooper but about Brian Harris BMW/Baton Rouge, LA. I purchased a 1992 BMW 525I for my son in March or April of this year. When I purchased it they gave me a 30 day warranty. During that time the Check Engine light came on. I contacted the salesman and brought the car into the dealership to be checked. The salesman contacted me a couple of days later and stated that they checked the car out and their was no problem with the engine. I went into pick up the car and the salemans who I had been dealing with was not there. Service brought the car to me and I asked if the engine had been checked. The man told me they had no instructions to check the engine. I told him to take the car back and run the diagnostic test on the engine. He did and determined the car needed an oxygen sensor. I told him to fix it and I wasn't paying for it and he told me I had to speak with the sales manager to get it approved. I did and they fixed it. Here's the lesson I learned. Sometimes it's the car and sometimes it's the dealership. If you purchased a car that's a lemon a good dealership can make all the difference in the world. I won't ever purchase another car from Brian Harris BMW, nor will anybody I know, if I can help it. These dealerships should know that the way people are treated can have residual damage. Hit them in the pockets and sue if necessary.

Comment 19 by Tyra Pellerin posted on 7/19/2008 at 2:44 AM

This is not about the Mini Cooper but about Brian Harris BMW/Baton Rouge, LA. I purchased a 1992 BMW 525I for my son in March or April of this year. When I purchased it they gave me a 30 day warranty. During that time the Check Engine light came on. I contacted the salesman and brought the car into the dealership to be checked. The salesman contacted me a couple of days later and stated that they checked the car out and their was no problem with the engine. I went into pick up the car and the salemans who I had been dealing with was not there. Service brought the car to me and I asked if the engine had been checked. The man told me they had no instructions to check the engine. I told him to take the car back and run the diagnostic test on the engine. He did and determined the car needed an oxygen sensor. I told him to fix it and I wasn't paying for it and he told me I had to speak with the sales manager to get it approved. I did and they fixed it. Here's the lesson I learned. Sometimes it's the car and sometimes it's the dealership. If you purchased a car that's a lemon a good dealership can make all the difference in the world. I won't ever purchase another car from Brian Harris BMW, nor will anybody I know, if I can help it. These dealerships should know that the way people are treated can have residual damage. Hit them in the pockets and sue if necessary.