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Discussion Starter #1
It appears that the underlying reason for the many problems being experienced with new MINIs is BMW's apparent strategy of using it's sales in the first year or so as a test bed to complete development of the car. There is no other logical explanation for the sheer scale and serious nature of the quality and reliability issues which are hitting their customers at the present time as is clear from the correspondence on MINI2.

As evidence to support this point of view, here is a direct quote from a letter I recently received from BMW(GB)Ltd in response to a complaint about my new MINI:-

'There have been some well-documented teething problems with the MINI but they are being worked on and eliminated at the moment.'

What an admission for a company which sells itself on a 'quality engineering' image to make! Surely they owe it to their trusting, but perhaps naive, early MINI customers to willingly rectify the inherent defects in the cars they purchased and protect the reputation of BMW while the still have the time.
 

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My dealer commented the MINI was always going to be a problem in it's first year. Most BMW's get "beta-tested" in Germany before they hit the UK! You guys in the US should be OK. We've sorted all the niggles here before you get your cars! ;)
This is not an excuse for the problems current owners are having, but most new cars have problems in there first year of production. The MINI is a brand new design. It is not based on another BMW platform. BMW don't even make another front wheel drive car. Remember the Merc "A" class in it's first year? Things could be worse!
I have gone against my own rules with the MINI. Never buy anything from the first production run. The Yamaha R1 motorbike I have had numerous re-calls in it's first year. Thats why I waited until the third generation of the bike until I bought one. Never had a problem with mine.
Just had to have that MINI!! :rolleyes:
 

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As I understand it, the MINI is actually a Rover design, based upon their experience building other FWD cars. When BMW took over, they changed the rear suspension to the Z-link and added the Siemens electronics. It was running around in prototype form for four years, so they claim.

The problem is that BMW tried to make the MINI into a "personal luxury vehicle" and that is the major source of the problems. They, like most major companies, employ "testers" who are afraid to say anything negative for fear of losing their jobs or the opportunity to see any new products. I've done prototype testing for a few companies and I have always pointed out the shortcomings. (I don't get to see much stuff these days because they know I'll tell the truth and they don't want to hear it.) In every case, they refused to listen to me and did it the way they wanted because they didn't want to change things on the assembly line. Needless to say, they had a lot of customer complaints that had to be corrected. They should learn "there is never enough time to do it right, but there is always enough time to do it over."
 

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mr.bill said:
The problem is that BMW tried to make the MINI into a "personal luxury vehicle" and that is the major source of the problems.
I must admit that if they brought the MINI out with the same handling, styling and engine/gearbox, a pair of bucket racing seats and no electronics I would have been more than happy! ;)
 

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You and nearly everyone else. Honda, as an example, offers three trim levels; DX, EX and LX. MINI only offers only the equivalent to LX. If you want a Honda without all the electronic gizmos, you can get one. I wish BMW had done that with the MINI. The cars are due here in two months, which means they are probably being built now. That means the early ones will have the same problems as the ones being sold in the UK now. I expect they will sell every one they bring in because not many people here are aware of all the shortcomings. But if the electrical systems go bonkers and it pulls hard to the left, it won't be long before all hell breaks loose. If BMW isn't careful, it is going to gain a reputation as "The Yugo of the 21st Century."
 

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I have ordered a Cooper as I couldn't wait any longer, although the faults do give me concerns. BMW have been working on the faults for at least 4 months and cars seem to still be coming off the production line with the same old faults.

'There have been some well-documented teething problems with the MINI but they are being worked on and eliminated at the moment.'

I have had similar responses to this from MINI customer services but how long realistically do they need to sort out faults. Have they successfully eliminated any of them?
I hope by March when I collect my MINI the faults are eliminated or alot less common. Heres hoping

:(
 

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I decided to go ahead and order because the pulling to the left does not affect all cars. I would rather know what % it does affect but I can't so I am taking the chance. The two people I know personally with MINI's both haven't had problems. Adds a little more confidence. Therefore the cars I have driven don't have the pulling to the left fault as annoying as it must be. The only fault I have experienced in person is a faulty airbag light which would not go out. Lets hope I get one of the fault free examples. We all know too much about this car in some respects, although knowledge is power.
 

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Just a thought

If the internet and these forums were around when the original Mini was first launched, it wouldn't have become such an icon and the Faults & Fixes forum would have crashed the server from over-use! ;)
 

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And another thought

Wouldn't it be good if companies were honest and said that the first batch of cars to be released were 'beta test versions'. At a reduced price of course. That way they could sort out all these problems and suffer no adverse publicity. Just say 'Oh, it was a beta test version - we've sorted it on the final production cars'.

And if anyone from BMW likes the sound of this, could they please put me down for a beta test version of the Cooper S?
:D , at that reduced price of course.
 
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