The R56 MINI Oil Filter Housing Lawsuit Ordered to Continue by Judge

The R56 Prince engines have had some issues. One of those is at the center of the MINI Oil Filter Housing Lawsuit. This issue (and subsequent lawsuit) relate to specific defects in the lubrication system of the engine in Cooper models. Recently BMW tried to put an end to the lawsuit after filing a motion in court to dismiss the lawsuit. That motion has no officially been denied and the class action suit is moving ahead. So what’s the problem and is your car affected? Read on to find out.

The suit alleges that 2009-2014 MINI Coopers (yup – this appears to be specific to the Cooper model of the engine only) have issues relating to the lubrication system that could cause the sudden loss of oil pressure resulting in engines overheating and detonating.

From here we’ll let take it:

In addition, the complaint had been dismissed in the past, but the judge allowed the suit to be amended. Attorneys brought in a different lead plaintiff and changed the wording of the lawsuit to focus on the oil filter housing unit.

The lawsuit started with claims that all kinds of parts were involved, including the oil pumps, vacuum pump assemblies and oil filter housing units that caused oil to leak from the seals. However, the latest amended class-action lawsuit has been whittled down to focus on the oil filter housing units in 2009-2014 MINI Coopers.

BMW’s motion to dismiss was shot down when the judge ruled there is enough evidence to allege the automaker could have known about possible engine problems based on complaints made by owners.

It’s not often been reported but the Prince engines issues have been a difficult part of the MINI ownership experience for some. The good news of course is that there’s an entirely new engine range that has thus far proven to be much more reliable. But for those who have dealt with these issues, that may not be too comforting.

Have you had engine issues with your R56? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Jorge Perez

    which engine? n14 n18??

    • David Galinat

      non-turbocharged it seems.

    • Cheerio Hua

      Probably n14. Which leaks like a Swiss cheese. Mine had been leaking both oil and coolant at 60K, at 90K it starts to leak again.

    • jst731941

      I believe its N16 Prince.

  • James D

    Just a poorly written article. It says MINI Cooper affected yet show picture of a MINI Cooper S? So, which is It? Oh, and I have a 2008 MCS with 55K miles and no issues other than timing chain that was fixed under warranty.

    • It only mentions the Cooper and only has photos of a Cooper.

    • Cheerio Hua

      Mine start to have all kinds of gasket issues at about 60K or so. Thermostat, oil filter housing, turbo inlet line, water pump.. all start to leak. Hope you have better luck. I know that many people who have no issues blame on the owner for not maintaining their vehicle. But if you just google these issues, you know that it’s design issue. French made engines sucks, that’s why no French cars for sale in US for a long time.

  • Jaymes Deen

    Engines blowing up cause an oil filter? This wouldn’t happen to be related to the engines burning oil would it?

    Fact of the matter is, people are not checking their OIL FREQUENTLY, as the manual recommends, they are driving the car with extremely low amounts of oil, then wonder what happened and they had engine problem.

    • ConcernedCitizen

      Now on the F56 checking your oil is as possible as seeing the inside of the combustion chamber… I.e impossible since they removed the dipstick. To me, it’s quite stupid to do so when BMW/MINIs aren’t exactly known for electrical sensors lasting forever. I much prefer a dipstick as a backup to a failing or glitchy oil level sensor.

      I had oogles of problems with my R56 S, none related to this concern, but it wouldn’t surprise me too if engines were failing from the extremely long oil change durations.

    • OzCop

      Leaking oil like a sieve might have something to do with it. I swore the problem with mine was the oil pan gasket and replaced it 3 times before finding the actual leak. It is difficult to see anything leaking from the upper part of the engine block on an R 56 S JCW unless you remove the heat shield assembly surrounding the cat converter…and that is a job for someone with midget sized hands…

      • Sir Galahad

        I just fixed a leak at the oil filter housing. It was a $12 gasket that took 6 hours labor to fix. I check my oil religiously on my R56 S and never run low on oil, and still this sucker leaks all over the place (N14 engine). I have easily spent $1500 in mechanics labor just to have pesky leaks fixed.

  • OzCop

    I had to replace the housing on my 09 JCW S model…dealer wanted 1400 as I recall…found an OEM unit at Pelican and repaired it myself…8 + hours and several bruises and scratches later, problem fixed…


    Ahh well, glad I have the turbo. With a German designed, British built car with a french engine bound to not have Honda or Toyota reliability but its not an appliance either.

  • jst731941

    I own a 2011 Mini Base, with approx. 138,000 miles. The engine is a NA16 Prince with a severe oil leak from the oil filter housing. When I operate the car I carry a 5 Quart Castrol high mileage oil with me and when needed I top it up. I also change oil and filter every 5 thousand miles. It would be nice to get this problem solved, however BMW is known to not inform their customers of warranty problems. I waited on them for the passenger seat belt sensor recall. I certainly hope that they will recall and repair the Oil LEAKAGE problem ASAP….I enjoy my MINI.

    • jst731941

      I’m in the same boat please advise if you hear any results aring from the legal liability issue of BMW.

  • Randall Hansen

    I have a 2011 with n18 sitting in my driveway right now with no oil pressure