1st Gen R50 Cooper Extended Airbag warranty not honored by MINI USA!

Discussion in '1st Generation: 2002–06 R50, R53 & 2004–08 R52' started by valvashon, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. valvashon

    valvashon New Member

    Jan 30, 2012
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    Technically, MINI USA doesn't need to cover my repair, but I doubt that anybody reading this will agree with them.* So let's start from the beginning:

    August 8, 2011:

    My airbag light in my 2002 R50 (purchased used in 2007 from MINI of Hawaii) had been on for a couple of weeks and this was the date of my appointment to have it looked at.* Don't remember how long it was between the light coming on and when I booked the appointment.* Did some research and discovered that there had been an extended warranty issued for 31,500 2002-2003 MINIs that trigger the airbag light due to high resistance in part of the wiring harness.* More on the NHTSA/safercar.gov website at Search for Defect Investigations | Safercar.gov | NHTSA; look under the "Defect Investigations Summary" for campaigns PE5053 and DP05006.

    Seattle MINI finds the airbag light fault is caused by the high resistance defect in the wiring harness (on the left side) and repairs or replaces the connectors with the high resistance.* Faults erased, airbag light off.

    August 9, 2011:

    Post this extended warranty fix at northamericanmotoring.com (Airbag warranty almost up for 2002-2003 MINIs! - North American Motoring) to help others out, since the extended warranty didn't seem to be common knowledge.* Helped a few people out this way.

    June 5, 2012:

    Posted on the previously mentioned thread that my airbag light was back on.* Again, not sure how long it was on before I posted.* End of school, end of Little League season, too busy to make an appointment.

    June 25, 2012:

    Make appointment with Seattle MINI; get confirmation on June 26th.* Appointment is for July 10, earliest day that I can get in.* Happen to have that day off from work already.

    July 10, 2012:

    Service advisor was Sasa Losic. *Charged $137.10 for diagnosis; "Tech found code for Right side front airbag.* Not covered by warranty in service day 06/09/2002.* Explained to customer that this repair is covered only for 10yrs or 150k.* Repairs declined by customer".* Of course I declined the repairs as it was something that should have been covered by MINI USA since I'm less than a month out of the extended warranty period; the light had been on since before the 10 year period was up and the other (left) side had already gone bad.* This was obviously one of the cars that ended up having bad parts installed.* Both the service advisor Sasa at Seattle MINI and Mark at MINI USA (888-275-6464) told me that the warranty is for 10 years from the date of the car being in service and not one day more and refused to budge on this.*

    Mark even told me that he was a service manager there and that there was nobody else I could speak to about this. *Mark did offer to speak to the service manager at Seattle MINI, but said that was going to be pointless as he would also decline to repair this under warranty.

    Was going to call back today (7/11) but thought better of it, as I shouldn't need to grovel to get safety related warranty work done. *Should I have given them a second chance? *I kind of thought I did when I called MINI USA. *If you have the little card in your glove department with "MINI Safety Tips", you need to go to the bottom and cross out the phrase "At MINI, your safety is a priority" since it obviously isn't.

    You may remember seeing an infamous picture of Johnny Cash making a certain hand gesture. *That's obviously how MINI USA and Seattle MINI sees us early R50 and R53 owners now. *Well, same to you. *I'll continue to enjoy my MINI, PSMINI (our local club) and all the aftermarket suppliers. *However, I now see no reason to darken the door at Seattle MINI or any other MINI dealer.

    Val

    P.S.- I really didn't want this to be my first post over here, but you know how it goes sometimes. I promise I'm not a troll or a troublemaker, just too busy to post everywhere I read things or register. We're a two R50 family, and I have lots of technical tips to share, from changing a belt on an R50 to completely refurbishing one of the early clamshell type keys (I'll even do it for you!) so go easy on me. I'll be back more often. I certainly won't be killing time at the dealership anymore...
     
  2. rum4

    rum4 Club Coordinator
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    Aug 17, 2011
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    well I hope you get it repaired for safety sake even if they don't cover it. If you called before the end of the warranty period and they made the appointment after that date then yes they should cover it, I think
     
  3. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    May 4, 2009
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    So for $138 you decide to complain about a 10 yr warranty being up.....
     
  4. Mr. Jim

    Mr. Jim Mudshark
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    May 22, 2010
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    I believe most manufacturers have the 10 year on the air bags. In my 97 Land Rover it has a warning label right on the visor warning that the airbag system should be tested after 10 years. I guess they figure at 10 years it needs replacing and that's a big ticket item for them. It's all about the Benjamins.


    The 138 was for diagnosis I would think, not the repair.

    Welcome to M/A and good luck with the fix.
     
  5. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Helix & RMW Powered
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    Sorry for your bad luck, but I don't like STEALERSHIPS either.

    You could always use a small piece of electrical tape and cover the stupid air bag light from the back of the speedo and call I a day. (wear your seatbelt)

    Or

    You could trade your car for a new carbon filled model.:wink:
     
  6. ScottinBend

    ScottinBend Space Cowboy
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    $138 for diagnosis.....hmmmm missed that.
    Wonder what the cost for the repair would be.
     
  7. valvashon

    valvashon New Member

    Jan 30, 2012
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    Seattle MINI Service Manager Ryan called this afternoon to discuss the situation. We're meeting on Monday at 11:30 am. I'll keep you posted.

    Val
     
  8. ZippyNH

    ZippyNH New Member

    Jan 25, 2010
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    Good luck....but at some point to keep the cost of NEW cars reasonable, the oem must draw the line...out of warrenty means out of luck. 10 years is pretty generous....heck you car has out lived many of its classmates so to speak....
     
  9. ric in richmond

    ric in richmond New Member

    Jul 21, 2012
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    So what happened? I have a 2002 mcs and the airbags light came on this week. 179000 miles. What is usual mode of failure?

    My light had come on before this and moving the seats seemed to fix it and the light went out.

    Ric
     
  10. jcauseyfd

    jcauseyfd New Member

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    According to a post on another site, the Seattle MINI dealership fixed the problem at no cost to the poster.
     
  11. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
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    jcauseyfd thanks for filling in the missing piece of the airbag puzzle.

    Airbags are going to be a problem as our cars & others get older. Dis-functional airbags are becoming a problem already for some makes. Our Miata has a supposed working airbag, but many Miatas are having dead airbags with blinking lights. In many states that is a fail for the annual inspection. Even better than that parts to fix them are NLA. :crazy:
     
  12. Metalman

    Metalman Well-Known Member
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    To make matters worse.... Aren't there like 12 of them in the MINI?
     
  13. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
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    Apr 22, 2009
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    I believe that you are discussing the wrong warranty with MINI and your dealership.

    I think that you should be discussing the 2-year warranty on the parts that were used in your Aug 2011 repair... they should be covered until Aug 2013.

    I had an old Nissan Altima with 35,996 miles on it when I pulled into the dealership for a few warranty fixes. Had I driven the extra 4 miles without having the car in their shop for confirmation/diagnosis, they would not have covered the work. They have to draw a line somewhere...
     
  14. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

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    I agree with having to draw a line somewhere. What worried me is when these cars & others get old & no parts exist to make the repair. My Miata is already there & the MINI will be in the future.
     

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