the boot!


2007 Mini Coopers have a known engineering defect: the "tensioner"

This supports the timing chain. If the tensioner fails, the timing chain fails, resulting in catastrophic engine malfunction.

Repair estimates can range from $3k to $15k; the latter is more than the Blue Book value of these cars in 2013.


MiniUSA refused to recall; rather, a very quiet "service bulletin" was issued.

This resulted in thousands of customers with suddenly inoperable cars, making payments on vehicles that costs thousands to repair.

These bulletins don't qualify owners for a subsidized repair. And, it avoids the bad PR for an emerging brand at the time.


Going through this once is bad enough. Try twice. Paying for a car with a defect that will only fail again.

I am not the only one. A simple round of searching will bring you to so many similar stories of customers forced to retain lawyers, or accept a repo as an only way out.

MiniUSA has done it for the last time. This begins a PR blitz, & a warning shot across the bow; listen now, Mini/BMW, or hear plenty at the Class Action.


From the April 2013 Jere Beasley Report (Case Law Review)

Mini Cooper Engine Defect Class Action Filed
A class action lawsuit was filed last month against BMW of North America LLC in a New Jersey federal court. It’s alleged that an engine defect in some of its 2007-09 Mini
Cooper vehicles have cost vehicle owners thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs. The named Plaintiffs, Joshua Skeen and Laurie Freeman, contend BMW
has known of the defect, which causes cars to suddenly quit without warning, since 2008, but failed to tell prospective purchasers about the problem, offer a recall or reimburse vehicle owners who have already paid to replace or restore their engines. The complaint reads in part: Despite the safety risk to class vehicle occupants, Defendants failed to disclose material information regarding the defect in an at tempt to avoid the cost of repair and, instead, unfairly shift the cost of repair to class members.
The models mentioned in the suit are the 2007-09 Mini Cooper R56 and the 2008-09 Mini Cooper R55. The alleged problem is a defect in the Mini’s timing chain tensioner,
which maintains an appropriate tension of the engine’s timing chain. The timing chain controls the timing of the engine’s valves, but when the chain doesn’t have proper
tension or synchronization, the engine’s pistons and valves collide with great force and the engine components suffer so much damage that the engine seizes and the
vehicle loses all power, according to the complaint. The named Plaintiffs both bought new Mini Cooper S models in 2007 and allege that while the timing chains used in
the Mini Cooper are meant to last about ten years or 120,000 miles, they encountered problems with their engines far sooner than expected. Mr. Skeen said he paid $3,288 in
January to replace the car’s engine, which had logged a little more than 74,000 miles, and Mrs. Freeman said her timing chain tensioner was first replaced in July 2009 under
warranty, but needed to be replaced again in February, costing her $1,381. She said at the time of the second replacement, her car had logged nearly 88,000 miles.
Most cars use rubber timing belts, but the timing chains used in the Mini are much more durable and expected to last the tenyear life of the car, according to the complaint.
It was alleged that BMW advertised the timing chain as “maintenance-free” throughout the engine’s life. It was further alleged that according to the Mini maintenance
program, the chain and tensioner don’t require service. But in reality, the complaint said the timing chain tensioner isn’t maintenance free, and that motorists have
submitted complaints to NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation over safety concerns related to the engine defect. It’s also alleged that one such complaint was filed after a
Mini engine quit just as a motorist was about to enter a highway. Others were said to have been filed by folks who had or narrowly avoided accidents when their cars quit in the middle of traffic.
The Plaintiffs contend BMW has been aware of the issue since at least January 2008, when it issued a technical service bulletin addressing the alleged problem. They
also said the carmaker hasn’t recalled the affected vehicles to repair the defect or offered a suitable free replacement or repair. The complaint also alleges BMW hasn’t
offered to reimburse class members or paid to repair their cars. The suit alleges breach of express and implied warranty claims and New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and Georgia and Illinois law violations. The Plaintiffs are represented by: William J. Pinilis of PinilisHalpern; Raymond P. Boucher of the Law Office of Raymond P. Boucher; Paul R. Kiesel, Jeffrey A. Koncius and Maria L. Weitz from Kiesel & Larson and David Markun of Markun Zusman Compton. The case is styled Joshua Skeen and Laurie
Freeman v. BMW of North America LLC, case No. 2:13-cv-01531 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.


#GiveMiniTheBoot #MiniUSASucks


Search: 07 Mini Cooper Tensioner Where it all began: Timing belt "just fell off"


Class Action: Skeen, Freeman et al. v. BMW of North America LLC,
case No.2:13-cv-01531
 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey