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Mini faces lawsuit in Florida over quickly-wearing CVT transmissions

by Paul Rachwal

Mini now faces class-action lawsuit in Florida for prematurely-wearing CVTs in older Coopers.

BMW's Mini brand is facing a class-action lawsuit from a group of Florida-based Mini owners. The lawyers argue that a manufacturing defect in the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) of earlier Mini Coopers leads to premature transmission failures.

The lawsuit covers 2002-2006 Cooper hatchbacks and 2005-2008 Cooper convertibles sold in Florida. The lawyers argue Mini violated Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, The Wall Street Journal .

Cooper owners in California have filed a similar lawsuit in 2011, after they were required to replace or repair the transmissions at their own cost of between about $6,000 and $9,000. These plaintiffs and other owners believe Mini has attempted to save money by cutting corners during the CVTs' development. They seek restitution as Mini dealers won't replace the faulty transmission under warranty.

CVTs use pulleys and a chain to infinitely vary the gear ratio, but are more complicated than traditional automatics. They only have two pedals, and engine speeds remain more consistent depending on what drivers require of their cars.

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