Lost Control! Had an accident Mini cooper S 2008

sharadovsharadov Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in MINI
Hello Everybody,

I bought a brand new Mini Cooper S 2008 with an automatic transmission and had an accident
which happened in a real weird way.

Let me describe it:

I was in the right-most lane in a stationary position, trying to merge into the left lane.
I was just trying to do the usual when the car shot out and I thought that it would do a complete 180.
Thats when I turned the steering in the opposite direction completely and hit an armoured security truck
in the same lane I was originally in.
The car was at less than 10mph, even the airbags did not deploy since the speed was so low.
The right rear side is damaged and the car is in the workshop.

The way all this happened took me by surprise.
I am an experienced 30 year old driver, been driving for about 10 years, this is my fifth car.
It was 8:45 am in the morning,clear day, no sun in my face, the road was clean and free of debris and oil.
I was driving in the normal mode and not the sport mode.
I only had the car for three days and had driven about 100 miles when this happened.

Do you think that there could be some structural/stability problems with the car.
If it does have these problems, what is the best way to determine it does have these problems.

Thanks in advance!


  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    Let me describe it:

    I was in the right-most lane in a stationary position, trying to merge into the left lane.
    I was just trying to do the usual when the car shot out and I thought that it would do a complete 180. Thats when I turned the steering in the opposite direction completely and hit an armoured security truck
    in the same lane I was originally in.
    The car was at less than 10mph, even the airbags did not deploy since the speed was so low.

    The Mini is a front wheel drive car. I find it difficult to understand how it would have attempted a "180" without road contamination or something else to that effect, or a steering reaction on your part.

    I haven't heard of anything like this happening to a Mini, so I would guess that whatever it was, it isn't a widespread issue. If something unexpected "engine-wise" happened, it may very well have triggered a code on the computer system, so you might be able to get the dealer to check for that.
  • coolrunningcoolrunning Member Posts: 117
    The steering radius of a MINI is extremely tight because of the narrow track of the front wheels and the short wheelbase. This makes the car handle much like a go-kart, which is why most people consider them "fun" to drive. If you were stopped and trying to merge left into the center lane, it may be possible that you had the wheels turned almost to the lock in the left direction before you began to pull out. The car would likely lurch left and begin to make a U-turn (180?) before you realized what was happening. Admittedly, unfamiliarity with the car could contribute to the surprise when it "went out of control", but I have experienced similar surprises in rental cars for the same reason. You were probably used to driving a much larger car than the MINI, and they do take some practice to handle properly. Driving well requires that we understand the handling characteristics of our cars even at low speeds. It is unfortunate you wrecked your new car, but it is doubtful there was anything mechanically wrong with your MINI before the accident occurred. One way to find out is to try to repeat the phenomenon in a deserted parking lot when you get it back. You may be surprised to find it could happen again, if you inadvertently give the wheel a bit too much turn to the left before you proceed out into the lane of traffic with more throttle than necessary. I am glad you were not hurt! :sick:
  • sharadovsharadov Member Posts: 2
    Hello coolrunning,

    You hit the nail on the head. Actually thinking back, that is what happened.
    I have been going over the incident in my head, and actually went to the accident site and tried the same stunt with my larger Mazda Millenia and it would not budge.

    Thanks for offering a great scientific rationale to the whole incident.
    I will be more careful and get familiar with the car once it it back...from the bodyshop.. :(
  • coolrunningcoolrunning Member Posts: 117
    You're welcome. I recently met someone who had a MINI for about a year and had no desire to ever own another small car. She had a lot of trouble driving in rain and snow because the car was so "twitchy". It has a tendency to spin on slick surfaces, and she finally got rid of it because of that. She said it once spun backwards in the rain as she was getting on the interstate highway at approximately 50 mph! Although she never wrecked it, it wrecked her nerves so often she traded it off on a Chrysler Pacifica and has been happy ever since. :)

    Good luck with your MINI, and be careful! ;)
  • feliciatwofeliciatwo Member Posts: 68
  • feliciatwofeliciatwo Member Posts: 68
    I just bought a 2008 Mini Cooper after selling my Subaru Outback...
    for the mileage and for the fun.
    Thought the Consumer Reports above average reliability was enough of an endorcement....and other things. I've now read that if it needs a repair there are no spare parts and it has no effective stability control as advertised. I realize this is no Duck on water like my Subaru was ...but its sounding more and more like a i've made a BIG mistake in getting a Toy instead of a Car.
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    I've now read that if it needs a repair there are no spare parts and it has no effective stability control as advertised

    Don't believe everything you read. My wife has an 05 convertible and has been hit twice. Repair and return time was no longer than any other vehicle I have had repaired. The only unexpected delay was for the backup sensors mounted in the rear bumper, and that was less than a week. The car was completely drivable during the time we were waiting on the sensor delivery.

    I don't know what you meant about "no effective stability control", but her car has that option. Have you heard that it doesn't work? I haven't...

    40K miles and no service issues...
  • feliciatwofeliciatwo Member Posts: 68
    Where did you see "NO Stability control"
    I'm pointing out the Fat difference between full time all wheel drive with V. coupling which is standard on Subarus along with fog lights which CANT be added aftermarket on a Mini. Those are things I miss I did NOT say NO stability control which is apples and oranges.
    I also miss not being able to close my sunroof. Odd to pay this much for a Toy and not be able to close the sunroof to heat and dangerous sun rays.

    Fun to drive? Yeah, as long as you avoid getting too close to a 6" curb. ...and can avoid the frequent flooded steets of South Florida.
    I'll play with it while it has a warrenty...but it will never be a subaru. More fun to drive...but I'm limited on where I can drive ....
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    Looks like you have a reading comprehension problem.

    I never said "NO stability control". In fact, I used your exact wording...go back and re-read the posting.

    As for not being able to close the sunroof, are you saying it won't close completely and seal againt rain leakage? If so, you have a problem with your particular car, and should have it repaired by the dealer. I have never heard of a Mini sunroof leaking

    It seems to me that you didn't do sufficient research before buying the car...No Mini has ever had all wheel drive, and surely you must have known that before purchasing the car...

    You probably would be better off in a Suburu...
  • feliciatwofeliciatwo Member Posts: 68
    Yes. due diligence in research was observed in the purchase of this Mini cooper.
    And yes, I was , and most people would be better off in a Subaru for most occasions. It was time to sell my AWD as it uses more fuel than i want during this "time in our nations history".
    This is a "Stop Gap" purchase , to own until a bio- Diesel WITH Hybrid arrives in the USA. I had hoped the Clubman would be a diesel as rumoured it would be a few years ago.
    I don't know about you but I use a variety of sources for auto research...including this site for 6 years....as well as Intellichoice, consumers Reports, Car & Drive, Automobile magazine and various online reveiewers,
    (I also, by the way , like the type of lasered steel they use. (Cheaper for them to buy but an improvement in strength over their earlier cars).Too, I waited to buy until they worked out their transmission and some of their electric deficiencies.
    The sunroof on the mini cooper does not , by design , or lack of it, close "to the sun" as most other cars do. The "sliding portion is a sliding screen rather than sun blocking solid" . Most people like the OPTION of whether to let the sun in or not. I have "retrofitted this sunroof which one should not HAVE to do at this price" , and yes I knew about the design "flaw" ...and bought it anyway knowing I'm handy about things like that.

    The ONLY surprise is; My brakes are squeeky (like an old ford with bad pads which I see no justification for. This is a 2008 with 48 miles on it.

    . I've had many excellant conversations on this board..with feedback that was helpful. Yours is not so far.
    Perhaps someone else out there has feedback on the brakes.

    I will enjoy the Mini .....for what it is....until a diesel/hybrid...that's fun to drive may be a Tiguan or maybe a Subaru comes along in 2010.
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    Beats me why anyone would purchase a vehicle that they did so much research on and yet have so many things about it that they didn't like.

    Sorry, but it doesn't make much sense with so many other vehicles on the market.

    As for the brakes, our Mini has almost 40K miles and no brake noise, so I can't comment on that aspect.

    And, as far as your other dislikes go, I don't think there are any comments that could be made to satisfy your dislikes...not trying to be a smart [non-permissible content removed] here, but the MINI just doesn't seem to offer much of what you seem to be interested in on a vehicle.

    That's why I don't understand why you bought it in the first place, especially since you seem to have known what you were getting.

    Since there is a big demand for Mini's now, why not sell it and get something more to your taste?
  • feliciatwofeliciatwo Member Posts: 68
    Actually , there were NO vehicles on the market that matched my criteria for a purchase right now. Again, this came closest and was barely behind the Honda Fit (2009 model ONLY) You must be easy to please.
    I loved the caste iron reliability of both Honda and subaru...yet never had high praise for their Lawrence Welk approach to design .
    Meanwhile, it WAS a "business decision to unload my Outback based on declining prices on SUV's.
    I got out just in time.
    A shame Mini Cooper doesn't go the extra mile however to address the little things like being able to close the sunroof COVER. Not charging extra for so much basic stuff like "seatbelt holder"
    Mini cooper NEVER said they didn't offer "stability control"

    Do YOU understand the difference between AWD & Stability control? AND, do you understand the difference between AWD and 4WD?
    The mini cooper is terrific for WHAT IT IS.
    I serves my purpose because it is a SECOND car.
    I have a toyota Sienna for the construction Classes i conduct....which gets 29mpg on highway and can carry more than my past Honda Van.
    No car serves all purposes in this day and age...but my brakes shouldn't squeek at 48 miles .....and mini cooper isn't will never inspire caste iron reliability such as Subaru or Honda and 3rd is Toyota.

    The new 2009 Honda Fit, by the way will have about 6 more inches of storage than the Honda CRV...right now it has 4 more inches.

    Anyone else had squeeky brakes in the 2008?
    Anyone taken a Long distance trip so far in the 2008 as i'm considering it in September?
    If so I'd like YOUR feedback.
  • violetdcvioletdc Member Posts: 9
    Wow ... sorry 2 hear u're havin' so many issues!

    Well, I have an '06 MCS and have had my brake pads replaced about 3x in 34K+ miles; the only time they squealed was just a little, and just before the 2nd replacement--haven't had it since.

    The Mini Crossman (AWD) is supposed 2 come out in 2010--u might wanna check that out when the time comes. :)
  • ltqltq Member Posts: 28
    OK OK you two have been sparring. You both have your points.

    Feliciatwo, you miss your dear Subie, and I can understand that. I miss mine, too. Sometimes, when a car has taken you to so many adventures, and had no annoying features, you don't realize it until it has left you..... hmmm, like loved ones......

    But most recently I've moved into a new Clubman S from a Tacoma 4x4 with offroad legs, and it did take me places that would have bogged down a Subie completely. Yet I don't miss it. Subarus are great companions.

    Anyway, granted: really dumb for MINI to not have solid sunroof blinds. 100% agreement there. But I knew all the many little annoying things about MINIs going in, BEFORE I bought it. So more to the point that "busiris" was trying to make, I have no regrets, the engine & handling & mpg make up for all the shortcomings in the MINI.

    Read between the lines, and I believe you are both agreeing with each other. Have some fun motoring instead of blogging!!!
  • ltqltq Member Posts: 28
    Squeeky brakes: Nothing yet on my Clubman w/ 1000 mi. I'll let you know if it develops.

    Sunroof blinds: I'd like to hear a bit more about your solution to the lack of sunroof blinds in a MINI, please.

    Seatbelt holder: Actually, MiniMania.com sells one, but on my Clubman, there is a little plastic slider that holds the buckle against the wall, so it doesn't ever get stuck between the door and the seat. Simply buckle up, then move the slider against the buckle, and it's set. I just discovered it right after I ordered the seatbelt holders, !!*(^%?!?%$%^^%$ it !!!! See if you have it, that'll solve your problem. Or I can sell you my brandnew holders......

    If you are interested in a Fit, see the raging confusion in the Fit vs. Clubman discussions.
This discussion has been closed.