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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I wanted to seek some advice from the people in the know :) I'm at my wits end with how to proceed next with my dealer or just put it down to owning a Mini.

I bought a new Countryman Cooper D 2wd manual in April 2013 and now have just over 2.5k miles on it. Had lots of issues on delivery with a dented wheelarch and the valet making lots of deep scratches in the paint (Blazing Red) that it took them 2 days to reprep it.

Anyhow, last weekend the climate control system went down, whilst the display was on and could be altered not a bit of air hot or cold would come out of the vents.

Went into the dealer on Monday and they reckon the Stage 2 relay failed (always happens according to them!) and I drove it home that night with climate working again. Started the car up late Monday evening and the problem had come back but after ten minutes the air slowly started up and then blew like a hurricane. It worked again Tuesday am and then failed Tuesday pm. Took it back to dealer (with it deciding to work again and then on start up at the dealers it failed on the tech guy who was suggesting it was something I was doing) they are now saying a blower unit has failed and once again it happens a lot with Mini's.

I also mentioned to the dealer not long after i got the car and again yesterday, that I was yet to get above 34mpg out of it with a mix of driving (50-70 mph motorway and dual carriageways mostly). Also noticed that my car makes a pinking/chatter under acceleration and will not pull away in anything above 2nd gear and seems to want to stall if it will take off in second gear. The dealer gave me an All4 Cooper D and currently have a Countryman One D as loaners and they drive like a dream, really quite, pull like trains and feel really smooth to drive - hardly any idle vibration or diesel noise at all, mine feels like a Fiesta diesel I owned in 1993 in comparison. Asked the dealer to look at it as clearly such low diesel mpg and the noise/sluggishness compared to the lower powered One D can't be right. Guess what the dealer said - they've checked it and within tolerance, it's normal to get variations in them and it happens a lot with Mini's.

I am seriously thinking I've got a 'Friday' car here and the dealer is just dodging the issues, although they are finally dealing with the climate issue hopefully. Currently have next to no confidence in my Countryman, wish we'd got something else and the dealers 'it happens with Mini's' attitude is really making me nervous for long term ownership - I spent £23k on a car that feels like it supported by Del Boy Trotter and built by the Marx Brothers. I know issues happen with all cars but our previous Toyota RAV4 ran for 3 years without a single hitch and the dealer really cared that we enjoyed owning it, just a shame it drove like a home appliance though ;)

Are the above 'issues' normal Mini ownership experinces?

Thanks
Carl
 

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Doesn't sound right to me, Carl. If your dealer doesn't take the issues seriously, I'd try taking it up with Mini / BMW directly.
 

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I wouldn't let the dealer get away with messing around. I would sit in the showroom putting customers off purchasing cars until my car had been sorted (believe me I've done it and worse).
 

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Sounds like a Dealer clutching at straws to me.......same old problem - Mini/BMW 'Techs' not knowing what to do when the computer can't tell them what's wrong. And THAT does happen a lot with Mini/BMW!!

We've had ours for 18 months now and not had any issues.
 

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I don't imagine that the problems you are having are common or normal, and it is just possible that your new car is a bit of a lemon.

but the problem is as another post stated is that the majority of dealers are incapable of sorting out these type of issues and you end up giving up and becoming more and more frustrated.

my feelings are give the dealer more time to sort out the problems and see how things go, and after say another 3 months if you are still not happy get rid of the car and but a Rav4 !!

Iain
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all,

Don't want to return to the pig ugly new Rav4 unless I lose all hope in Mini. At least the old one looked good but drove like you were operating a washing machine - new one looks and drives like a washing machine hence why we were tempted by the evil fruits of Mini ownership.

The irony is we have owned a couple of original minis with all their foibles. , a first gen Mini Cooper and a second gen Clubman Cooper and got nothing but utter reliability and good dealer service - how it seems to have dropped off in the last four years.

It's the old Mini dilemma - heart loves them, head dreads them.
 

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Try asking advice on the SurreyNewMINI forum......a Countryman owner on there got a replacement Countryman eventually because the dealer could not fix all the issues over months of trying on his 'friday' car.
 

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I wouldn't let the dealer get away with messing around. I would sit in the showroom putting customers off purchasing cars until my car had been sorted (believe me I've done it and worse).
we have told the dealer this is what we will be doing if they don't sort our poor fuel consumption out. [now doing manual test at their request]

had a loan mini one d countryman when ours was back in and there was a droaning noise at all speeds in a car with 8,000 miles on it [michelin tyres on that one and ours has pirelli]
the build on our new countryman is not as good as our first clubman, you can not drive the car with the rear windows open [4dr], the noise in the front is horrendous and on a car that costs close to £25k, very disapointed to say the least.
bluetooth for the phone works though, well sometimes :mad:

i've a funny feeling i wont be keeping this car long and i guess it will be at my expense :angry:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks all,

It has transpired in todays latest debacle with ................ that the a/c has not been working properly from new by the looks of it - that makes my mpg even worse to stomach.

I rang Mini UK and spoke to a guy there who took me by surprise by strongly recommending that I formally reject the vehicle today as now another part in the climate control system has failed and it will now be next week before they can get the part (a resistor) and the noise and mpg are not in line with acceptable BMW/Mini new car standards.

He has been totally supportive and talked me through the steps I need to take, including hand delivering a letter of rejection due to 'total loss of faith and confidence in the vehicle due to it failing to be of satisfactory quality from build'.

Went up to the dealer to hand over the rejection letter, as the contract of sale was between myself and ..............., and the Mini Brand Manager took the letter off me and then told me he will only act on correspondence from Mini UK and he'll inform me of the outcome in due course, he would not discuss with me the issues leading to my letter and stopped me talking to tell me it was between them and Mini and I have no party to it - thought I was the customer suffering the issues here :puzzled:
 

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Deep scratches in the paint??? You should have rejected it then. How are they getting deep scratches out without respraying it or polishing the paint til its too thin? I rejected my car because of lousy paintwork and got a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Deep scratches in the paint??? You should have rejected it then. How are they getting deep scratches out without respraying it or polishing the paint til its too thin? I rejected my car because of lousy paintwork and got a new one.
I did verbally and then was persuaded by the Dealer Principle to let them try and correct it. Hard to resist with my wife and daughter drooling over it and how beautiful it looked after waiting weeks for it to be delivered.

Luckily I had scored the dealership so low in the dealership survey that it caused all sorts of ructions and the Dealer Principle and I had an email exchange (copying in Mini UK) where I stated that despite their 'platitudes' the marks they caused were still visible and affecting the appearance of the car which was unacceptable on a new car.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thought I'd give a quick update on my (now ex) Countryman. Mini UK agreed to buy the vehicle back after I gave Mini FS and the dealer 14 days to remedy breach of contract under two separate laws; one applying to the dealer the other to Mini FS. Mini UK consulted with BMW AG and it then got resolved. Never got to the bottom of the engine problem but they seemed to move quick after they did an engineer inspection.

I was given the option of either a new factory ordered Countryman or walk away from the finance. I took the latter as I no longer have any faith or confidence in the Mini product. Owned three Mini's since the first BMW generation and this experience has convinced us never to return, was tempted with the X1 or 320d Touring but the Mini experience stopped us ordering from BMW.

So we picked up our new VW Tiguan SE Tdi 4motion last night and love it totally different from the Countryman in all the right ways, dealer great to deal with, good finance deal (paying £30 per month less than the Countryman), great discount and the dealer pulled out all the stops to urgently get me a car from VW UK central stock to meet my order - even sent a low loader down south to get it for me in three days. Car is great to drive and that is hard for me to say after being a Mini convert from a 16 year old buying an old Austin Mini 850 for £50 and spending the summer welding a new floor into it - halcyon days and happy memories and that's how I'll remember Mini - such a real shame that it resulted in my leaving Mini but my family and I are not missing the Countryman at all.

All I'd say is a certain large BMW/MINI dealer group in North West England are the worst for customer care I have ever come across in 25 years of buying new or nearly new cars. Mini UK and Mini FS when they spun into action were apologetic, wanted to make things right and apologised on behalf of the dealer even calling them to make the dealer settle the issue with me but the dealers Brand Manager was belligerent at best to the point of refusing to shake my hand when I handed the loan car back and I wished him all the best - now that is petty.

Thanks all and the best of luck with your Countryman's :)
 

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Well done Carlmelia. I've had similar frustrations at 'peeling back the onion skin' to get past the reticence and belligerence of the outer layers of MINI management. And, I agree, it isn't pleasant.

Citizen's Advice Bureau were brilliant! They outlined my rights and suggested that I was 'minded' to give the dealer three attempts to resolve my thermostat issues within a reasonable time of 2 weeks before starting formal rejection proceedings.

Only at dealer-principle level was there any real concern to resolve my issues, so my advice will always be to escalate the problem into his/her area asap. It took me 6-7 months to find this out, though...

Feel empowered to 'name + shame'?
 
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