Rear Headrests Won't Lower - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2010, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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Rear Headrests Won't Lower

Just took delivery of my 2011 MCS today, and I'm already in love. Only thing I've noticed is that the rear headrests are rather large and block the view in the rear view mirror. I checked, and the headrests were at the second lowest setting offered, the lowest setting is blocked by a piece of plastic around the top rung of the metal insert.

This is hard to explain, but the headrests are held in by two metal inserts, and on one of them is a circular plastic piece that is held there by a bit of metal that sits in the indented bit of the metal where the headrest locks into place. If this piece were not there, I would easily be able to lower the headrest further, and thus get better vision out the back without taking the headrests completely out and making it uncomfortable for rear passengers.

I could probably get some pliers and break the plastic off, but before I start messing up my brand new car, I wanted to ask around if anyone else has these inserts, and why they are there. Also, what's the best way to remove them?

Thanks! I will be posting pics of the car up soon.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2010, 04:34 PM
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I think you'll need to post a photo of this clip as I for one don't recognise it. It's not shown on a parts list either:

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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I was told by my salesperson that people have been prying theirs off. I solved the problem before I left the dealership by removing the headrests altogether, since my back seats will never see passengers. The "safety" clip is new for 2011. It's there because Mini says that's the minimum safe height for rear passengers. Never mind the fact that those passengers would have to be amputees to fit in the back comfortably.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 2010, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks phinz, I will pry mine off as well then.

For those who have ordered 2011 models and haven't received them, or are interested, here are some images of what I'm talking about:


Last edited by MINIAC; Nov 23rd, 2010 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Make images clickable thumbnails
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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I'd like to bump this post because I am wondering the same thing for my 2012. It's clear that the headrest was originally designed to go all the way down, but the doohicky on the right side (see photo) prevents it.



Anyone come up with a solution besides removing the headrests?

There is a pin in that little doohicky that can be pushed, I am tempted to remove it , but would like to know if that's a smart idea before attempting.

Anyone? Anyone?


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2011, 08:31 PM
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For anyone wanting to fix the rear headrest, I have confirmed that all one has to do is merely remove (push out) the metal pin that's in the plastic collar.

Now your headrest is free to go to the bottom!


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 8th, 2011, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry I didn't update the thread, I used pliers to get the plastic piece off. Now the headrests lower completely and I can see out the back just fine.

It seems crazy that they would sell the car with the rear headrests in a position that restricts your view out the back. I have no doubt they did it to please the lawyers.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2011, 08:06 PM
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I just picked up my Cooper, and had the same conversation with my dealer. Basically, she blamed the government, but suggested that it was removable and that the Internet would know how. Basically, it's the pin thing mentioned above.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 19th, 2011, 11:11 PM
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All these damn bureaucrats - all they seem to care about is saving people's lives! You'd think they had something better to do.....

A low headrest is a serous threat to the spines of passengers in a rear impact - it's actually worse than not having a headrest at all. A bare seatback will allow the neck to be rotated violently backwards, giving whiplash, while a low headrest offers the opportunity to stretch the neck while it is being bent, which can lead to an unpleasant snapping sound.

So when carrying passengers, make sure the headrests are raised up high enough - the test is the top of the headrest is at least at eye level.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2011, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Angib View Post
All these damn bureaucrats - all they seem to care about is saving people's lives! You'd think they had something better to do.....

A low headrest is a serous threat to the spines of passengers in a rear impact - it's actually worse than not having a headrest at all. A bare seatback will allow the neck to be rotated violently backwards, giving whiplash, while a low headrest offers the opportunity to stretch the neck while it is being bent, which can lead to an unpleasant snapping sound.

So when carrying passengers, make sure the headrests are raised up high enough - the test is the top of the headrest is at least at eye level.
well said..

best postion for top of h/rest imo is between centre of the forehead and top.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 2011, 03:50 PM
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well said..

best postion for top of h/rest imo is between centre of the forehead and top.
Agreed - but I am not sure why MINI would prevent the headrests from being lowered.

If the driver is a single person who never has people in the back seat, why should they be forced to have their rearview window blocked (which in itself is also a safety hazard).

Give some credit to the driver/owner.

I would prefer that MINI simply put proper usage instructions in the owners manual. Seems a bit too "nanny-ish" to me.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 06:05 PM
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I just used the smallest alan wrench to push out that silver pin out from the stopper. Its easy enough. I think its more dangerous for the driver to have the rear view obstructed by the headrest than making it ergonomically correct for the passenger who, in my case, will never exist since no one will fit in the back sit anyways. Just sayin...
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