Would my car fall under lemon law?

I bought a brand new 2017 Mini Cooper S Convertible in June of 2017. Within 3 months, I had an issue with the clutch, a small pin ended up getting dislodged and needed to be repaired which was covered. A couple of months later the AC in my car wasn’t working and as a result of the previous incident. After that, I had issues with my car engine automatically shutting off the way it normally should at a stoplight. However, it would do this when my foot was pressed down on the clutch and I was in gear. It happened now 5 times but the first 4 happened before my warranty was up. They “fixed it” 3 times but once they couldn’t “recreate” it so they never did anything. The first 3 times it happened, one of those was the one they couldn’t “recreate” was before 18,000 miles. It has done this auto shut off while I’m the process of making a turn off of a busy roadway, and most often it happens right once the car is started and I’m backing out of my driveway or about to drive off my street. It is now happening yet again and has done it now 3 times in the past 5 days.

I’m wondering if it would still fall under lemon laws in NJ since the 18,000 miles expired before the 4th occurrence and because they couldn’t “recreate” the issue so that 3rd time isn’t on paper as ever having been repaired. I’m stuck paying for a new car that is in the shop more often than I get to drive it.

It’s not likely any Lemon Law would apply.,

Have they run diagnostics on it and gotten any diagnostic codes?

Just some food for thought here… What about the possibility of the problem being nothing more than scaled over battery cable terminals? Maybe cleaning those would help.

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They run diagnostics each time and nothing ever seems to come up. One fix they claimed it was a system update that was needed. Another one they ended calling the manufacturer and following what they told them. Each time they’re saying it’s something different but on my actual receipt of what they did the diagnostics tests come up normal.

We’re car people, not lawyers, so take anything we say with a nice big grain of salt.

In my state, none of the problems except for the engine stalling would apply toward the lemon law, because it needs to be the same problem that happens repeatedly. The stalling thing would probably put it under the lemon law since you reported it within 2 years of purchase and they have been unsuccessful in their repair 4 times. Where you might have a sticking point is that the 4th time they did not attempt to repair it because they claim to have been unable to replicate it, however a good lawyer would probably point out that any time anyone wanted to get out of the lemon law they could just pretend not to see the problem on the last attempt.

At any rate, if you want to pursue lemon law, the dealership will almost certainly tell you to jump in a lake, so you will need to retain counsel, and they can better advise you than we.


Do a web search for lemon law in NJ and see what they say.

Thank you, I completely understand what you’re saying! For the record, I know the first two issues would never fall under the lemon law, just figured i’d explain the entire history in case one issue could have caused it. The only issue is the engine shut off at this point which they continue to try and repair but it never lasts more than a few months before it starts up again.

Not to mention each time i’m there they try to sell me extended warranty claiming I probably burnt my clutch out and that’s the cause of it? Just a ton of bs in reality. Thank you though, I will be reaching out to a lawyer to see what steps I can take to figure this out!


The Mini is pretty far down on the list of high quality cars. Not as bad a Fiat 500 or Jeep but pretty bad.

I’d suggest you plan on trading this car for another car as soon as you can. Good Luck!


I’m a 24-year-old graduate student, quality isn’t what I need. Not to mention I had an 03 for 5 years and never had a single issue, neither has my mother who has one or anyone I know. The cars are great cars, fun as hell to drive especially when they’re manual. Thanks for the input though!

And yet you are here asking about lemon laws regarding a fun to drive car that tries to prevent you from driving?

Your statement makes no sense.

Past performance is no guarantee of future quality.

I wish you good luck with it but I expect your problems with this car to continue.


Dealers are good at saying “We could not recreate the problem.” They do it intentionally so it can’t go against one of the “3 repair attempts” Lemon Law rule.

I learned this the hard way in a Lemon Law hearing. And it was pretty clear the dealer was getting this directive from the auto manufacturer.


Having worked several years in car dealerships in the past, I can say there’s another reason they do it. Although it is in the best interest of the customer, dealer, and manufacturer to promptly remedy problems, the customer care system can break down at the mechanic level.

Warranty repairs usually don’t pay a mechanic as well as ordinary “customer pay” service, sometimes the difference is huge.

Also, intermittent or difficult to diagnose problems can be quite time consuming and even more so less financially rewarding for a mechanic. They’d prefer to get such a vehicle out of the way so that money can be made. Many mechanics have families and mouths to feed, etcetera.


You know how many lemons there are? Tons and they’re not picking and choosing brands. Tons of mustangs too sir, many higher end brands as well. So you commenting about what you believe to be a “good” car really doesn’t mean much to me. I asked for advice not for an opinion on whether it’s a quality car. I’ve personally heard TERRIBLE things about newer mustangs…

And I am sure they are all true.
This site gets much more problems associated with Mini Coopers and Fiat than all most any other vehicle brand name.
Also, this is a open forum so all replies might not be just what you want.


Also, it’s a very human mistake to work from one’s own experience or from stories one hears rather than looking at a broader picture via overall patterns and statistics. No personal failing; we all do it. The problem is that anecdotal evidence is very selective and may or may not be representative. For at least a start in terms of larger patterns, you could look at the annual April issue of Consumer Reports to see how the various makes and models stack up in terms of repair records. Brains are handy but they sometimes take incorrect shortcuts.


I didn’t comment about a “good” car, just one brand with a poor reliability and quality ratings as determined by independent reviewers like Consumer Reports and JD Power.

Just because you don’t like what I have to say about the brand you chose to purchase, doesn’t mean it is wrong.


Okay thanks.

That makes sense, thank you!

I notice more Subaru complaints than anything else and they seem to have a public perception of great quality. I see more disparaging remarks about Chrysler products than I do owners complaints, however I do admit the have had worsening quality and even design problems, which is why I am now driving a Toyota. I just don’t LIKE the Toyota as much as I did the Chryslers. Nothing fits me right.

I presume you mean you as a younger, and probably single person you prefer a vehicle that’s a little more exciting than driving a Corolla. I drive a Corolla, but I can see your point of view. hmmmm … I guess what I’d do in that case — rather than using my time and resources pursuing the lemon law idea – is to instead focus on finding an independent shop that works on Mini’s. Ask your friends, co-workers, fellow church-goers, bar-hoppers etc, anybody you have a personal relationship with, which shop they use, interview a few, then choose one of them and get a file started. It may be that all you need is the right mechanic working the problem, and once you find that mechanic they’ll discover its an easy fix. Given the symptoms, I expect whatever the problem is, once it is properly diagnosed the fix won’t be difficult. And then you’ll have a good mechanic to call on if there are future problems.

This sounds to me like a dangerous problem. This is also a problem which might open you up to legal liability. If I had a car which stalled while moving even once, and a professional mechanic could not find and repair the cause, I’d be getting rid of that car real fast.

It sounds to me like quality is exactly what you need, and common sense would dictate that quality and reliability are far more important than “fun to drive”. You’re not having much fun when your car inexplicably stalls out while “making a turn on a busy roadway”, or “backing out onto [your] street”, right? I guarantee you that it’s going to be a lot less fun when oncoming traffic slams into your stalled vehicle, especially if the other driver is able to overcome the presumption of fault in court.

I would suggest trading this in, if possible, or if not possible because you owe too much, depending on your financial situation you might have to just let this thing go, and get an old used car that you can pay cash for. Regardless, you should be looking at something like a Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, etc. You know, something that will get you where you need to go with reasonable comfort, performance, and economy.

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