Air bag warning light - Letter from MINI - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 2010, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Air bag warning light - Letter from MINI

Hi

I have been following the threads on this forum with regard to the Air Bag warning light problem seen on many MINIS. My daughter has a 52 reg MINI Cooper and the Air Bag light has come on. Having complained to MINI Customer Services I have just got this less than helpful reply from a Mr Stewart Darley (see below). MINI say that "this is NOT a common fault" which seems to be at odds with the fact that over 300 people have signed the "MINI Air bag petition". Perhaps other owners may care to contact Mr Darley to tell him what they think of this matter......

"Dear Sir

Thank you for your further email dated December 15, 2010, which has been passed to me for a response in the absence of Mrs Heather Bamforth. I am sorry that you are unhappy with our initial response and that this has prompted you to contact us again regarding this matter.

MINI UK work closely with VOSA and other regulatory bodies when potential issues arise as well as having to confirm to strict European guidelines regarding vehicle safety. While I agree that having the airbag light illuminated does indicate that safety features may not operate as designed, I can confirm that there is no immediate safety issue present. As there is no warranty on the vehicle, it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that any faults with the vehicle are rectified. As you have previously been advised, this matter is not a common fault with our vehicle range, therefore, any diagnostic or rectification work carried out is chargeable to the customer.

With regards to the research that you have carried out, the number of vehicles potentially affected by this matter is only a small percentage when compared to the number of vehicles sold. Our constant monitoring of any potential issues does not concur with your view that this matter is an inherent defect.

The dealership have offered correct advice to you on resolving this matter. The vehicle will need to be booked into your local approved dealership for diagnostics to take place and any rectification work to be performed. As above, the vehicle is now out of manufacturers warranty, therefore, this work will be chargeable to your daughter.

I appreciate that you will remain unhappy with this response, however, I trust that this email clarifies the situation.

Yours sincerely

MINI UK
Stewart Darley
Customer Service Executive

Ellesfield Avenue
Bracknell RG12 8TA
Tel: 0870 5050 122
Fax: 0870 5050 205
Mail: customer.service@mini.co.uk
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 17th, 2010, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Air bag light

Can anyone tell me how the first part of this sentence from Mr Darley at MINI is compatible with the second part?

"While I agree that having the airbag light illuminated does indicate that safety features may not operate as designed, I can confirm that there is no immediate safety issue present..

How can MINI Customer services possibly say that there is "no immediate safety issue" without examining the car and doing the necessary diagnostics to find out why the Air bag light is on?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Airbag light

I finally got fed up with MINI's so-called Customer Service Department telling me this was "not a common fault" and to see my main dealer to get it fixed out of warranty. They said "we have reached a point where further emails will not alter our position" basically meaning "don't bother writing to us again." Thanks a lot MINI.

The main dealers were quoting £90 just to run the diagnostic check and then an additional charge to fix it depending on what was wrong.

I got my local mechanic to have a look and he checked the diagnostics and reset the light for £10. He did say that if the light is on then the airbags do not work. Is this correct? It is certainly not what MINI are saying.

Also I think that non functioning air bags are at the present time NOT an MOT failure. Is this right?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jan 2nd, 2011, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterb1 View Post
Also I think that non functioning air bags are at the present time NOT an MOT failure. Is this right?
Not an MOT failure at present but there are plans being discussed to change this in the future.

On older MINI's most of the airbag warning light faults are due to a mommentary bad connection to the seat airbag wiring harness when a seat is moved/adjusted, therefore storing a fault code and triggering the warning light. The light remains on even if the fault has gone until reset by a dealer often costing approx. £50-80 outside warranty.
For around £50 on ebay, etc, you can buy a BMW/MINI SRS airbag light reset tool (such as the B200), read the fault code yourself and put out the light. You also then have the tool for any future problems. The tool plugs into the OBD11 diagnostic socket behind a small black plastic flap just above the foot pedals below the steering column.
B200 Reset Tool:-
B200 BMW Airbag (SRS) Scan & Reset Tool [E48864] : BestOfferBuy.com, Buy DVD, Shop for PC accessories, Discount MP3 Players, Bargain Deal for Surveillance Equipment, Cheap R4 for NDS, X-sim Unlock
After reading the code and resetting with the tool, if the fault is still there (or happens again) the light will come on again. You can not overide or mask an actual permanent fault with this tool but it saves the cost of paying a BMW mechanic to do the same thing.
If the light is out the SRS system will function, it self checks everytime you switch on the ignition key and if all is ok puts out the warning light.
If the light keeps coming back on and indicates it is the RH or LH seat airbag wiring harness then it is necessary to solder up the faulty seat harness connections or replace/repair the wiring harness / connectors as required, (many have been done when under warranty) or repair whatever else you may get as a fault code such as seat belt pre-tensioner buckles, etc.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2011, 05:52 AM
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Reset airbag light with B200 tool

Lots of posts about this, but I bought the B200 Airbag reset tool and it worked a treat. I had my Mini valeted and an enthusiastic cleaner must have disturbed the connection under the passenger seat and the airbag light came on. Dealer quoted £55 min charge to reset. Have reset it and it hasn't come back on. I am happy to reset other people's. I am 10 mins from J25 of M1. Instead of loads of posts here, best to send me a private message (click on my login name and select 'send private message') to arrange.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 2011, 09:10 AM
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Hi,
I have just purchased the b200 for my 2002 cooper s as 2 airbag lights have come on in 7 weeks. I had the first wiring loom chopped out under passenger seat and reset and now the drivers airbag chair is showing fault. I had it reset by garage but now gonna purchase the b200. Is it easy to use? Any tips on using it? What precedure do you use?
Many thanks
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 2011, 01:42 PM
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Useful info on using B200 here:
Link:
Phil's auto related blog, primarily lambos, air suspension, bodykits, and wild paintjobs

Reading the fault codes.

1. With the ignition switched OFF open the small hinged black cover (up under the steering column/footwell) that protects the port, and checking that you have the plug the right way round gently insert it into the port (it only goes in one way round), but do not force it as the pins are delicate.

2. Switch the ignition ON - but do not start the car.

3. The unit will display FA - I don’t know what this stands for but it reads the Fault in the Airbag system.

4. Press the ENTER button on the B200

5. The display will show letters or numbers - these are NOT the fault code. These relate to the table in the book that you must use to see the fault. Remember or make a note of the number. I think making notes is good with this type of fault as its always good to keep a record of what you did or tried.

6. Press ENTER again and a number will come up on the display. This is the first fault code. Make a note of this number.

7. Press ENTER again. If another number comes up on the display then this is another fault code. Make a note of this number also. Multiple codes are usual with many faults.

8. Continue pressing ENTER and recording the numbers until the display shows –. That means that there are no further faults. If you continue pressing ENTER you can cycle around the table number, and fault codes again to check you noted them correctly.

9. Check the book that is supplied for what the codes you read actually mean. The tables are fraught with spelling mistakes, but they seem accurate and can be understood. The codes were correct on the cars I have used the unit on, but I would be interested to hear anyone else’s experience.

You must deal with the fault before clearing the code. If you removed and refitted seats then the light should not really have come on, but if you removed the seats and replaced them with non-airbag ones then you will need a resistor in the circuit to “pretend” that the wiring is there. For this look on MINI COOPER :: North American Motoring and you will find details.

If the car has been in an accident then replace the items as required.

Clearing the Fault Codes

Clearing the codes is a very similar process to reading them.

1. If you have removed the unit then repeat 1 and 2 above - plug it in with ignition switched off, and then switch the ignition on, without starting the car.

2. The unit will display FA for fault reading.

3. Press the SCROLL button and it will display cA.

4. Press ENTER.

5. If the display shows — then all is good, you will also notice that the dash light goes off.

6. If it does not show — or the dash light goes off and then comes back on again then you still have a problem.

7. I have been told that trying to clear the code again can sometime clear it, but if not there is still a problem.

8. One of the problems is with the seat connectors, and I understand some people have soldered the plugs to overcome issues, although I have never experienced this myself.

This unit worked well on all the cars I have tried it on, and my own cars are all table 10 in the book.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2012, 09:55 AM
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hi again,
well it has been a year since the airbag light went on and I sold my B200 reset tool. Then the light comes on again, doh! So I bought another from Amazon, it is now called a B800 SRS airbag reset tool and costs £36. I can't post url here, but just search on Amazon for the tool and you will find it. I got mine from a seller called Loftek.
Anyway it works a treat; gotta do the reset twice though.
Next job is to clean those contacts and then duct tape the connector so it doesn't set it off again. Any ideas on how to un-connect those blue and yellow connectors under the passenger seat?
cheers
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2012, 10:45 AM
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I suppose it depends on how MINI look at it as being classed as a common fault? they have sold over 1 million cars so 300 cars with an airbag warning light showing isnt much in terms of percentage, maybe they wait until it reaches 10000 or someones injured because their airbag didnt happen to work because of it before they say, hey we need to look at this one?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2012, 11:33 PM
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More info here:
Airbag Warning Light - Forums

B200 is available here for £50
MINI SRS Airbag light reset tool B200 - For R50, R52 R53

Most plastic wiring connectors have a small hinged locking clip/button that you have to squeeze as you pull plug and socket apart to release.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 1st, 2012, 05:12 AM
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LMFAO! Ok, so 100% of the R50/R52/R53 cars have that dodgy connector. Small percentage translates to only a small percentage have complained about it.

Just like I'd blown up 4 x Midlands (*SPIT*) 5spd gearboxes, and they tried to tell me they've never had a failure.

I'm too cynical these days. Warranty is overrated. Bought my current car without a warranty. Know exactly where I stand


R56 MINI Cooper S JCW Challenge
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jun 2nd, 2012, 10:47 PM
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thanks mab01uk, I have duct taped the wires under the seat so they don't tug against the connector when you move the seat back and forward. I checked the seat has full forward and back movement before locating the best place to duct tape the wires.
This time I will be keeping my B800 reset device just in case...
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2012, 04:12 PM
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Now only £14.04 including postage and packing on all the w's cardiag do co dot uk
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