2008 Mini Cooper S JCW

Mini and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced an investigation into certain Cooper S models after reports of engine fires on at least 12 vehicles, five of which resulted in a total loss. Interestingly enough, Bloomberg reports that in eight of those cases, the fires occurred while the vehicles were parked and turned off.

At this point, the investigation covers around 36,000 2007 and 2008 model year Mini Cooper S models. A spokesperson with NHTSA said that the complaints indicate a growing trend and that most of the reports have occurred within the last year.

Neither Mini nor the automaker's parent company, BMW, have commented on the investigation at this time.