I read your April 28 article on the Mini Cooper (U.S. Mini owners want rear fog lights") with interest.
I own a 2003 Mini Cooper S and have wondered why rear fog lamps are not available as either standard or optional equipment.
You reported: "Michael McHale, Mini communications manager, says BMW's product marketing group, which decides the content in vehicles, opted to make rear fog lights unavailable on the U.S. version of the Mini."
The new Range Rover has rear fog lights, as does the Land Rover Freelander. Every 1995-forward Range Rover and 1994-forward Discovery has had rear fog lamps as a standard feature; and from 1994 to 2000 BMW owned Land Rover.
It would seem that McHale's explanation is nothing more than an attempt to cover up a small "oops" at BMW/Mini.
And that's not the only one. Every Range Rover since 1993 has had a heated windshield as standard equipment; Discoverys since 2000 have offered that feature as an option, and it is standard on Freelanders in the United States.
Not long after I purchased my Mini, I inquired about adding that as an option to my car.
The response I received was no more lame than McHale's explanation on the fog lamps.
Who are these product marketing guys, and how did they miss two of the most desirable and safety-oriented features that European car buyers desire?
Editor's note: Mini USA's general manager says the company will add rear fog lights. See story, Page 22.