Missing a class-action window proves costly for Mini Cooper driver

Missing a class-action window proves costly for Mini Cooper driver (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Scott Hester says the transmission on his 2006 Mini-Cooper has been slipping.

His is not an isolated complaint. So many Mini's have transmission issues that it prompted a 2011 class-action lawsuit against the car maker. To settle the suit, Mini agreed to repair the transmissions on approximately 124,000 cars.

But Scott says Mini will not step up to repair his now, telling him he missed the window to sign up to be a part of the class-action lawsuit.

Scott claims he didn't even know there was one.

"We never got any notification,” he said.

Scott is on his own to pay for any repairs, including demanding more than $100 to even test-drive the car.

“Now that I find out that this was a known issue, that they got sued over because it's a bad transmission design, yeah, I'm a little ticked off,” he said.

A spokesperson for Mini's parent company, BMW, did not answer questions about the lawsuit or settlement. Instead, Mini agreed to look at Scott's car for free.

After that test, BMW’s spokesperson wrote, "We are confident that the vehicle is operating as designed and have no further comment."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration oversees car recalls in the United States. A NHTSA spokesperson says that, unlike a class-action lawsuit, "a recall never expires."

Unfortunately for Scott, NHTSA’s records confirm that no official transmission recalls have been issues for the 2006 Mini.

Court records also confirm that Scott did, indeed, miss the time period to become part of the class-action lawsuit.

and says he's setting up a google alert for his car so that he makes sure to know if it's a part of any class action suit in the future.

In a class-action, most of the time those affected are automatically made part of the class and receive a notice in the mail. Those in the class have to opt-out if they don't want to be included.

That doesn’t always happen. People who aren't notified must contact the attorneys and ask to be included before the window closes.

In online blogs, some lawyers suggest setting up a google alert for your car’s make and model along with phrases like “class-action,” or “lawsuit” to help ensure you don’t miss a notification.

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