This 'Faults and Fixes' section makes the Mini look much worse than it is; I'm sure the percentage of dissatisfied owners is very far outweighed by satisfied ones. Almost any new car has teething problems -- and most even have cronic ones. There are many faults discused on VW and Toyota forums too. Mercedes has similar electric window lowering problems, and on and on. It's a car problem, not a Mini problem
I think the Mini needs more time in the market before a balanced, proper opimion on quality (particularly long term) can be reached. I do not believe we can consider the amount of problems listed in the forum as being a true reflection of the Mini's early quality. True it represents a statistic we should not ignore but equaly there are probably as many others who have no trouble at all. I think we would need to sample a much larger number of owners to get an accurate indicator (BMW should have this information but of course it will never see light of day through normal channels !). I changed from a VW MkV Golf GTI and this was an obsolute dog in the first 2 years of 4 years I owned it. I cannot recall much press about the problems this car had, (my dealer used to say ever time I reported a problem 'oh that one, yes we know about that, every time !!!).
The Mini is unique in that it has to establish it's self in tough market place while trying to replace the orginal model while living up to the BMW name and reputation. Not an easy task I think !
I understand the reasoning behind the position that this board seems to invite more gripes and complaints that would be usual however, generalizations cut both ways.
I, too, would like to know if there are people out there with high-mileage Minis (Cooper S's specifically). It would give me some peace of mind instead of the often-quoted "first-year teething problems" statements.
The internet special interest group is a brand-new phenomenon. Before these existed, no-one had a centralized, easy-access complaint board. The only way you'd hear about many product problems would be by hanging around service departments, knowing someone who had a problem with a car and discussing it at the water cooler, or working at a dealership. Trends were much harder to notice and track.
Now, every person with a problem can log on and belly-ache about it and ask if anyone has had a similar problem. While it is useful and reassuring for the individual who has the problem, it can be disturbing to go from trouble report to trouble report.
I am a moderator on an independent forum dedicated to guitars built by a particular manufacturer. This manufacturer has one of the highest quality-control standards of any musical instrument manufacturer I've seen in my thirty tears of experience. They also have one of the best warranty departments of any musical instrument manufacturer I've seen, and they really go above and beyond the call of duty to correct any discrepancy.
Still and all, if you watch the board, you'll see a fair amount of discrepancies crop up and people feeling like they've fallen through the cracks. The immediacy of the internet makes it possible for us to get personally involved with these people's problems. The truth is, it is a practice a previous generation used to call "borrowing trouble", and warned us against.
Want to hear real automotive trouble? My dad's first new car, a mid-1950's Buick, was delivered without the customary load of crankcase oil. It got just a few miles down the road home before he needed a rebuild. The dealer handled it as "operator error", my dad never got satisfaction, and we never owned another Buick.
Our early Mini (Morris 850) did much better.
May your motoring be trouble-free!
"Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes." JRR Tolkien
I don't want to start a flame war and I write the following with some trepidation but I think it needs to be said, again.
Mini2, like so many web boards, is a virtual community built around a common interest. Like any community, we have leaders, complainers, moderators, happy-go-lucky oblivious members, visitors, and even problems.
Itís tempting to desire a community where everyone uniformly likes the central idea, in our case, the Mini. In pursuit of that goal, we sometimes downplay or condemn other members of the community for complaining or expressing concerns about the Mini.
Granted, we generally don't like to see ideas and objects we cherish being denigrated. It often makes us feel like we ourselves are being judged. But how do we handle criticism in an intelligent, civilized, respectful manner? Afterall, we donít want to be a totalitarian community, do we?
The creator(s) of Mini2 came up with an inspired solution to this tension. We have several, topically organized discussion areas -- neighbourhoods if you will. This way, we can focus on only the topics we like personally.
There are many places on this site where people can extol the virtues of the Mini. The Faults and Fixes neighborhood happens to be the one place where people are meant and invited to discuss, well, faults and fixes. To criticise people for bringing up problems in this forum verges on being hypocritical.
Please, letís let people complain about their cars without fearing condemnation or scorn. We need it as an integral and essential part of our legitimate community.
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