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Accelerator failure (software?)

I purchased a certified automatic 2013 Mini Cooper a week ago. After a total of 254 miles driven off the lot, the accelerator quit responding in the middle of an intersection. I was attempting to make a left turn. Only the accelerator quit functioning, everything else seemed ok. The engine didn’t even rev when the pedal was pushed to the floor. I was pushed out of the intersection and shut off the car. When I restarted it the gas pedal was operational. No codes presented, and the dealership couldn’t detect codes on their equipment. They sent the info to the MINI technical department (their engineering team) who said it was a software issue. The service rep who passed this on to me said that the Techs data showed there was an “error” which caused the failure, they could verify that using the data, and that a software update would be done to correct the problem. However, the MINI service department will only document on the paperwork that an update was done, they will not document the error in writing. Seem weird? I have serious doubts about this car in our brief history together.

I’m sure they’re doing things by the book. These things always carry a certain degree of liability risk and the less said the better is the way it will be looked at.

Yes, @ok4450 you’re right. The Service Manager said that MINI corporate doesn’t want them (privately owned Mini dealership service departments) to make notes such as “there was an error” etc. But, If they won’t confirm (in writing) something occurred, im not sure why they want my confidence in it being corrected. Anyway, Thanks for your reply- perhaps my experience is not that out of the ordinary.

There are several software update bulletins issued Mini Cooper vehicles that may apply, there are several models/engines.

It is common procedure to capture operating data, submit it to technical assistance then wait for a remedy. If a software update is suggested, that is what will be performed. If you lack confidence in this vehicle sell it.

That was one of the first questions I had for corporate when I called, and there are no service bulletins for my car. I just wanted some feedback from other drivers, to weigh against my confidence level in a vehicle that MINI will only verbally attest to having a software error, if my experience was in line with common practice/common issues. Sounds like you think it is, so thanks for your input @Nevada_545

In their defense, this is true of all car manufacturers. If someone takes any car in for a Recall or service bulletin the copy of the repair order will likely have nothing more on it than a brief description of the repair per the bulletin, a labor operation number, and a labor time.

You will even see some of this on normal ho-hum repairs. Say the front brakes are repaired. The repair order may state “Replace rotors and front brake pads”. Nothing there about why the failure, contributing factors, or much of anything else.

Repair orders are notoriously skimpy anymore. It’s not something I’m fond of but to repeat a phrase I don’t really care for; it is what is is.

Personally, I wouldn’t lose confidence in the car over one hiccup. Every car made has hiccups.
If it gets to the point where the singular hiccup becomes plural then it might be time to bail out.

Some cars come with a compromise, there are several software updates that apply to Mini cooper vehicles, you can read them here;

If you want a car that putts along uneventful and without fault, get a Corolla. I don’t drive a Corolla.

I wonder if the accelerator becoming unresponsive has something to do with the extant “unintended acceleration” issues and fixes thereto. This would obviously take you to the liability angle.

Seems weird to me also, you might consider filing a complaint with the nhtsa ie

they will not document the error in writing. Seem weird?

Think about it. I have never seen a failure analysis summary on a repair order.

What is on the repair order is the customer complaint (symptoms) and the repair action and/or parts required to rectify the problem.

They don’t provide any analysis as to why the problem occurred, only what actions were taken to rectify it.

Certainly, the manufacturer would not want just anybody documenting their intepretations or opinions on the matter. That includes factory authorized mechanics and service writers working at dealerships.


I will just say that at the dealers where I worked and in my own shop a lot of notations were done to protect both the customer and more importantly; the shop.

Funny example. I was the shop foreman at a large multi-line dealer and someone came back in with their Subaru carping over something we had allegedly neglected the last recent trip in.
I vaguely remembered this problem child and asked for their copy of the repair order. They told me they “lost it”.

So I said no problem I’ll just pull our copy out of the file. The eyes got large and the couple started bitching about the dealer “infringing on their privacy rights” and that we “have no right to maintain a secret file on them”.
By the time I got to the cabinet I looked back and they were scooting out the door complaining they would never be back again.

What this was over was that they declined replacement of a very bad serpentine accessory belt, waited a few weeks, and then returned thinking they could apparently BS their way into a free “Sorry Ma’am” serpentine belt.

People…and conspiracy theorists to boot… :wink:

Sorry but “The accelerator quit responding in the middle of an intersection” seems like a pertinent piece of information that should be noted, not omitted.

“The accelerator quit responding in the middle of an intersection” seems like a pertinent piece of information that should be noted, not omitted.

Without seeing the repair order how do you know that wasn’t included in the complaint. The OP only stated that the software error wasn’t identified and documented in the correction statement. Specific software errors are beyond the technician duty to research. The tech probably received 24 minutes pay for repairing the vehicle.