Having transmission problems with your MINI Cooper? You’re not alone. A federal class action lawsuit claims BMW of North America installed “shoddy” automatic transmissions in first-generation MINI’s that are prone to premature failure and cannot be reasonably repaired, forcing consumers to spend thousands of dollars to replace them and putting them at risk of serious harm.
According to the BMW MINI Cooper class action lawsuit, BMW aggressively marketed the MINI Cooper as a stylish, high performance — yet affordable — vehicle, and launched the MINI amidst great fanfare. The marketing campaign was so successful that buyers lined up to get their hands on the first generation MINIs and waited months to a year for a delivery.
“There’s a saying that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is…[and] after the dust settled from BMW Group’s marketing fervor, owners of First Generation MINIs found that they had been duped because their vehicles did not stand the test of time,” the MINI Cooper class action lawsuit states.
“In their haste to create a new ‘premium small car’ market, BMW Group sacrificed quality to meet demand and keep the sales price low, and as a result, First Generation MINIs were quickly churned out with substandard parts and shoddy workmanship. BMW Group refuses to take responsibility for these actions, and instead, prefers that its customers be left to clean up the mess it created.”
The MINI Cooper transmission class action lawsuit takes aim at BMW’s failure to disclose a material problem concerning the Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs) installed in first generation MINIs, which the lawsuit alleges are prone to premature failure.
“As a result of BMW Group’s failure to disclose the fact that CVTs installed in First Generation MINIs are prone to premature failure, consumers are 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,” the MINI Cooper CVT class action lawsuit states. Their failure to disclose the problem also places the driver and passengers at risk of serious harm, the lawsuit continues, because the CVTs can fail without warning, resulting in a complete loss of power to the drive wheels.
“As a result of its failure to disclose the material fact that CVTs installed in First Generation MINIs were prone to premature failure, BMW Group has recklessly placed the safety of the owners and occupants of First Generation MINIs at risk, and caused owners of those vehicles to suffer damages.”
The MINI Cooper defective transmission class action lawsuit seeking restitution, damages and other relief for a proposed class of all California residents who, at any time prior to the filing of this complaint, purchased or leased a 2002-2006 MINI Cooper Coupe or 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertible in California.
A copy of the BMW MINI Cooper Defective Transmission Class Action Lawsuit can be read here.
The case is Brad Aarons v. BMW of North America, LLC, Case No. 11-cv-07667, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
UPDATE 1: A federal judge indicated he will approve a class action settlement reached in this class action lawsuit.
UPDATE 2: Judge Gutierrez preliminarily approved the MINI Cooper Transmission Class Action Settlement. Details on how to file a claim will be available soon.
UPDATE 3: Notices and claim filing instructions for the MINI Cooper settlement are being delayed by disputes between the two parties. Both sides asked the Court to intervene to expedite administration of the class action settlement benefits.
UPDATE 4: Claim filing instructions are now available! See how to file a claim for the MINI Cooper class action settlement here.
UPDATE 5: A misplaced objection to the MINI Cooper class action settlement has delayed the distribution of funds. Because the objection is similar to other objections already overruled by the judge, it is likely to be overruled as well. We will update readers when more information is available.
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