Yup, as the pictures suggest, the shift knob, boot and surround all came right off this shiny new 2014 MINI Cooper S. To make matters worse (for MINI at least) the car itself just so happens to belong to Consumer Reports, which is none too pleased about the issue.
Apparently the shifter broke free during a spirited drive, but not during official evaluation. The site comments on the obvious seriousness of this defect, which has the potential to cause an accident.
While the actual shifter did stay intact, enabling shifting, a less-experienced driver might easily (and understandably) panic in such a situation.
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New MINI Falls Apart During Test Drive!
Car Crushing reports, in part:
Posted by NorCal MINIs