The MINI Cooper, Clubman, Countryman, Roadster and Coupe sure are fun to drive, but are their owners taking the fun too far? A recent study from the Sloman Institute shows that MINI vehicles have higher accident rates than ANY other vehicle on the road.
The study examines data taken from over 250,000 insurance claims filed in the 2011 calendar year. Of those claims, 17% (42,468) were attributed to vehicle collision where a MINI vehicle was involved. One might deduce that accident numbers this high for one particular brand would point to a pervasive manufacturing defect. For obvious reasons, MINI took interest in the Sloman report and conducted their own 3 month internal investigation on MINI vehicles produced between 2008 and 2011. Aside from the famed engine fires, MINI found no other mechanical issues that would render their vehicles more susceptible to a crash. In a controversial follow-up study, the Sloman institute conducted a comprehensive behavioral analysis of MINI owners.
Sloman’s behavioral report noted that the average age of a MINI owner was 30 years old, a full 8 years older than the next most accident prone car, the Suzuki Kazashi. The analysis of the MINI-owning demographic showed that alarming rate of MINI “owners” were unemployed or earning part time wages. This lead Sloman to conclude that on average, MINI owners were younger and thus possibly more immature than other car owners, and that in many cases, MINI drivers were young adults who were not paying for their vehicles and thus less likely to appreciate the full consequences of damaging their vehicle. Couple this with the MINI’s sporty pedigree and you’re left with a recipe for disaster: youthful drivers + fast cars = CRASH!
“It’s no secret that young drivers experience higher rates of accidents than older ones,” said a Sloman representative who elected to remain anonymous. “When you mix the relative inexperience of a young driver with a small, fast car, you have created the perfect recipe for disaster. Fast equals fun, sure. But fast also equals danger. The numbers here don’t lie and its time that MINI take examine their moral compass and decide what’s the best decision moving forward. Discontinuation of the John Cooper Works hot rods would be a good place to start.”
Unsurprisingly, MINI took issue with the conclusions of the behavioral report. “This indictment of the MINI consumer base represents a gross mischaracterization of our customers. We make fun cars, and last we checked, that wasn’t a crime.” Pressed for further comment, MINI's representative noted, "If driving a MINI is wrong, I don't want to be right."
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