Main dealer blames owner’s short journeys for 12-month old MINI’s battery failure

Repeated short journeys and use of in-car infotainment system caused battery failure, says MINI

Main dealer blames owner’s short journeys for 12-month old MINI’s battery failure
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The owner of a 12-month old Mini Countryman Cooper has questioned her main dealer after it blamed her short journeys for her car’s battery failure. 

After her car failed to start, the owner – known only as J.S – called MINI Assist and was told that the battery was discharged.

An assistant charged it for half an hour and the owner later drove her car to the dealership where the car was charged for a further 24-hours, only for it to ‘conk-out’ the following day.

The owner was told that diagnostics showed that the vehicle had completed 105 journeys in the past five weeks, averaging at three miles per trip.

“I have always taken the same route to work for the last 14 years”

The owner said: “The garage told me that because I hadn’t been driving enough each day, this has caused the battery to fail.

“They then charged me £304.39 to replace the battery.

“I have always taken the same route to work for the last 14 years and even though I don’t drive far, I do still take regular longer trips to Northamptonshire and Wiltshire.

“Never in that time have I had a problem with a battery failing.”

“The battery did not have a fault”

A spokesperson for MINI said: “Since being contacted by Ms S on Monday, our customer service team has looked into her case, together with the retailer and technical team.

“The retailer has established that the battery did not have a fault, but has degraded due to sustained draining of the power without enough recharging taking place.

“Each time features on a car such as navigation, radio, electric tailgate or air conditioning are used without the engine running, the power comes from the battery without it being recharged.

“Repeated short journeys may not be enough to recharge the battery fully under these circumstances.

“The Mini owner’s handbook makes it clear that additional charging may be needed in such cases.

“Batteries are included in the vehicle warranty against defect, but our technical inspection has shown that Ms Sargent’s battery is not defective and that the issues are most likely to be associated with the usage patterns.

“On this occasion, as a gesture of goodwill our customer service team have replaced Ms S’s battery free of charge.”

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Home Page Forums Main dealer blames owner’s short journeys for 12-month old MINI’s battery failure

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  • #188559 Reply

    This type of problem is becoming more commonplace, especially with modern cars full of infotainment systems and associated electronics, as BMW has stated. Not so much of an issue with older cars and those without start-stop. It sounds to me like the dealer’s initial diagnosis was correct.

    Those regular short journeys will not be doing much good long-term for the engine and exhaust system either.

    #188578 Reply

    £304.39 TO REPLACE A BATTERY!!!!!!!!!!

    #188579 Reply

    Not surprising really. Presumably an AGM high capacity battery (at BMW / Mini dealer full retail price), then the labour fee to remove and replace the battery, then add on the charge for diagnostics, then VAT on top.

    Would have been far cheaper to get a smart maintenance charger, or even better, use the car more often for long journeys.

    #188580 Reply

    The main headline suggests that the dealer was at fault.
    In a warranty situation the dealer can only carry out the wishes of the manufacturer.
    Good to see that the manufacturer confirmed that the dealer was correct before coughing up.

    #188581 Reply
    Eddie Bamber

    The owner may well have used her car for similar journeys for the last 14 years without incident, but they were different cars with probably less tech. Also, batteries ( like everything else ) are not what they once were.

    #188584 Reply

    Agreed this will happen more and more often. Reminds me of early DPF faults, customer buys the car thinking it will give great MPG around town, only to find, no it won’t.
    You could argue that they haven’t had the needs of the technology fitted explained and therefore been miss sold a car of which to suit their needs, you could argue they should have done their own research. Which wins?

    #188585 Reply
    Auto Butler

    Not great press for BMW, price is an out rage

    #188610 Reply
    Martin Vandermeer

    Price is quite reasonable for AGM high capacity battery.
    We charge them out at 250 as the minis take about 20mins to fit along with the programming afterwards.
    People stating the price is a rip off clearly don’t understand modern
    Batteries and modern vehicles.
    Gone are the days of a £50 battery that is easily fitted.

    #188652 Reply
    Steve J

    why would anyone want to buy a Mini ?

    #188606 Reply

    Did the BMW salesman tell the purchaser that the vehicle was unsuitable for commuting short journeys ? is that not the purpose for the stop / start feature with AGM batteries ? and that the driver will be tracked and spied on by BMW due to the hidden black box….Oh is that what happened over the emission scandal, maybe its acceptable in Germany.
    And why fit a replacement battery when BMW claim it is not defective ? protect there own product and blame the customer usage.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)


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