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Section: Safety

MF Exclusive: MINI USA to Launch Roadside Assistance Smartphone App

MotoringFile Sections: Marketing, Safety Aug 18th, 2009 25 Comments

iPhone App

To help ease the complexity of dealing with roadside assistance MINI USA is releasing a smartphone application this Thursday. With the roadside assistance program being free (and a great selling point for the car) MINI USA is looking to leverage the application to help get word out and make life easier should make the process easier.

Here’s how it works:

  1. The App will allow you to set up a profile via registering your VIN on the Application. This profile will store your VIN, Model & Model Year. You can also upload a picture of your MINI, give it a nickname & select the color MINI that you have.

  2. You can select a service such as; jump start, tire change, fuel, lock out assistance, tow for mechanical reason, or accident.

  3. Once you’ve selected a service you can hit the call button and you will be connected with Roadside.

  4. The App will then push all of the above data to the roadside rep on the other end of the phone as well as (with your permission by selecting “allow current location”) the latitude and longitude of your current location. continued →

MINI Fares Poorly in Low Speed Crash Test

MotoringFile Sections: Safety Jun 11th, 2009 23 Comments

According to the IIHS you’ll want to be extra careful to avoid low speed accidents if your a MINI driver. A recent study gave the car a “poor” grade in low speed impacts due to the repair costs. Here’s an excerpt from their report:

Pricey styling decisions: The Mini Cooper is the only car the Institute has tested with a hood that buckled in the front corner test. This is a pricey styling design on the manufacturer’s part, Nolan points out. The minicar’s hood wraps around the front of the car like a fender, so instead of replacing just a fender, the car needed an $810 new hood. Repairs total $2,637 in this test.

Full press release after the jump. continued →

The IIHS Crash Tests the 2009 Cooper

MotoringFile Sections: R56 (Hatch), Safety May 5th, 2009 10 Comments

The IIHS recently finished its side-impact crash testing of the 2008-2009 MINI Cooper. Below is an extensive look at the testing with both exterior and interior mounted video cameras. Overall the car got an “A” or acceptable rating – not bad for a small car. However when you look closer at the ratings you’ll see the MINI got pretty much all “G” ratings (as high as it gets) except for two categories: rear passenger torso and driver leg categories.

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MINI Scores Well in Crash Testing

MotoringFile Sections: R56 (Hatch), Safety Dec 19th, 2008 20 Comments

The IIHS has been crashing cars again. We all know the MINI scores well front and rear, but so not hot for side impact.

Mini Cooper results: This minicar was redesigned for the 2007 model year, and it earned a good rating for frontal crash protection in a previous test. New side and rear tests were conducted to assess further design changes made for the most recent models. This minicar earns a good rating for rear protection and an acceptable rating for side protection. Measures recorded on the driver dummy indicate that a fractured pelvis would be possible in a side crash of the same severity, but there’s low risk that other significant injuries would occur to the driver. For the rear passenger, rib fractures and/or internal organ injuries would be possible. ESC is newly standard for the 2009 model year.

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MINI USA Tail Pipe Service Action

MotoringFile Sections: MF Mailbox, Recalls/Campaigns, Safety Oct 17th, 2008 15 Comments

Sent in by MF Reader James, it’s the actual letter he received regarding the service action MINI USA will perform to shorten the exhaust pipe on the R56.

MINI division’s quality monitoring has learned that some Cooper S owners have contacted the centrally-located tailpipe extension at the back of their vehicles, while hot, with their uncovered legs.

To address this issue, MINI has decided to conduct a service action on these vehicles and we have shortened the tailpipe extension to help reduce the chances of inadvertant contact with the leg

If you have an R56 Cooper S, keep an eye on your mailbox for the same letter or head to your dealer and have this tended too. Click the image for a full size scan.

Feds Investigating Exhaust Pipe Burn Complaints

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press, Recalls/Campaigns, Safety Sep 6th, 2008 98 Comments

This from Edmunds Inside Line.

The federal government is looking into complaints from some consumers that they have received leg burns from contact with the exhaust pipe in the 2007-’08 Mini Cooper S. The engineering analysis, which is sometimes a precursor to a safety recall, involves up to 20,000 vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Here’s an excerpt from the complaint report on the NHTSA website:

The office of defects investivation (ODI) opened this investigation based on three consumer complaints on the 2007 model year MINI COOPER S. The complaints reported being burned on their legs by the hot exhaust pipe tip while they were removing cargo items from the rear hatch area of the their vehicles.

No injuries and no recall has been announced yet. Something to keep an eye on. And be careful loading and unloading the boot after you have been driving. Those pipes do get very hot!

[ Feds Look into Complaints of Exhaust Pipe Burns from Mini Cooper S ] Edmunds Inside Line


New Cell Phone Ban takes affect in WA & CA

MotoringFile Sections: Best of the Web, Safety Jul 2nd, 2008 20 Comments

Washington and California joined the ranks of about 30 other states yesterday banning the use of cellular phones while driving.

The new laws are almost identical in both states, with California having stiffer rules for those under 18 and Washington having a total ban on text messaging too (since Jan 1).

The good lads at Jalopnik did a great break down of the new laws in both states.

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
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2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
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R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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