Back in October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating certain turbocharged Mini models for vehicle fires. The investigation came after reports of at least 12 vehicles lighting up, and now the investigation has officially lead to a recall.

NHTSA has announced on its website that Mini will recall 88,911 turbocharged models built between November 2006 and January 2011 for a water pump problem that could result in a fire. The government agency says on its website that "the electronic auxiliary water pump that cools the turbocharger has an electronic circuit board that can malfunction and overheat." If that happens, the board could smolder and result in a vehicle fire.

Affected models include the 2007-2011 Cooper S, the 2008-2011 Clubman S, the 2009-2011 Cooper S Convertible, the 2011 Countryman S and John Cooper Works models from 2009 to 2011.

Owners of recalled vehicles will be asked to bring their Mini model to the nearest dealer for a free water pump replacement. Hit the jump to read over the official NHTSA release.
Show full PR text
Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
MINI / COOPER S 2007-2011
MINI / COOPER S CLUBMAN 2008-2011
MINI / COOPER S CONVERTIBLE 2009-2011
MINI / COOPER S COUNTRYMAN 2011
MINI / JCW 2009-2011
MINI / JCW CLUBMAN 2009
MINI / JCW CONVERTIBLE 2010-2011
Manufacturer: BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC Mfr's Report Date: JAN 10, 2012
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V008000 NHTSA Action Number: PE11036
Component: ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING
Potential Number of Units Affected: 88,911

Summary:
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2007-2011 MINI COOPER S, 2008-2011 MINI COOPER S CLUBMAN, 2009-2011 MINI COOPER S CONVERTIBLE, 2009-2011 MINI COOPER JCW, 2009-2011 MINI COOPER JCW CLUBMAN, 2009-2011 COOPER JCW CONVERTIBLE, AND 2011 COOPER S COUNTRYMAN PASSENGER CARS MANUFACTURED FROM NOVEMBER 14, 2006, THROUGH JANUARY 18, 2011. THE ELECTRIC AUXILIARY WATER PUMP THAT COOLS THE TURBOCHARGER HAS AN ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT BOARD THAT CAN MALFUNCTION AND OVERHEAT.

Consequence:
THE CIRCUIT BOARD MAY SMOLDER WHICH COULD RESULT IN A VEHICLE FIRE.

Remedy:
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE WATER PUMP FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING FEBRUARY 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW AT 1-866-275-6464.

Notes:
OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      xspeedy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Holy crap. With all that goes wrong on a Mini we are finally seeing a recall. I can't support a company that refuses to stand behind its product.
        PoMoMangler
        • 2 Years Ago
        @xspeedy
        Yeah, the Cooper S seems like such a great performance bargain and they are a hoot to drive but they are unbelievably unreliable. They are still the bottom of the bucket according to Consumer Reports. It's just not acceptable these days, especially for a $27k car.
          You guy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PoMoMangler
          The answer for the hoot to drive is coming from Subaru and Toyota. :)
      Kent Koester
      • 2 Years Ago
      They still haven't done anything to fix those dual mass flywheels. I had one of the supercharged S models, even though it was a blast the fact that BMW wouldn't repair a faulty DMF that was out of warranty by 40 days and wasn't even over the warranty miles says quite a bit about BMW.
        Dvanos
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kent Koester
        When a car is out of warranty it doesn't matter if it's by 40 hours or 40 days. You have to understand that in your case the dealer would of had to eat the whole charge for a new DMF. However I see where your frustrations are coming from a car under 50k shouldn't have flywheel issues.
          NightFlight
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dvanos
          100% false. You obviously don't know how these things work. Dealers absolutely can, and do offer goodwill warranty repairs. They don't eat the cost.
          Klinkster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dvanos
          The manufacturer...who keeps $$ in reserves for "Good Will". They all do it - but clearly some do it better than others. ;) Given that BMW has benefited massively from the recent devaluation of the Euro, you'd think they'd kick a few bucks to customer satisfaction and loyalty. But that's typicaly BMW for you...ignorant.
          sebster718
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dvanos
          @NightFlight Who pays the cost of the repair then?
      dan1malk
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am in the market for an A-B segment vehicle and totally dig the Mini (even the base model,) but I'm so turned off by the reliability I'm looking elsewhere.
      kontroll
      • 2 Years Ago
      actually - BMW on Monday said it has launched a global recall of 235,500 mini vehicles, a step taken by the German auto maker because electronic circuit boards could overheat and cause a vehicle fire.
      ToastedMini
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is long overdue … and 10 months to late for my beloved mini!
      donnieorama
      • 2 Years Ago
      This isn't surprising--Minis have awful reliability.
      Klinkster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Headline focused on "recall" over faulty "water pump"...when it really should be saying: "RECALL" over "FIRE HAZARD". Come on AB...call a spade a spade and leave the bias for CNN.
      SloopJohnB
      • 2 Years Ago
      LOL...A Fiat will do better than this? As bad as BMW electronics can be, Italian electronics is an oxymoron. That being said, BMW can't seem to source a decent water pump anyway. Their E46 water pumps (other than the S54 engine) were scatoh...aftermarket Stewart Warner pumps are da bomb!
        chirowolf
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        I laughed out load when the guy said "Fiat would be better" Right after he said " I heard mini were unreliable" ha ha "I heard" Meaning I have no idea what i'm talking about.
          lostboyz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @chirowolf
          They are consistently ranked as the least reliable brand
      Timothy Neal Templet
      • 2 Years Ago
      Some of you may notice that I gripe about the quality of my Mini all of the time on this page. This is one of the problems it has. The car has already had the water pump replaced. it had under 20,000 miles at the time. It is without a doubt, the hottest running car I've ever owned. Yet, it NEVER shows that it is running hot on the dash warning lamps. Recently, it has started leaking coolant from the expansion tank. I imagine that is related to this problem and the fact that the water that cools the turbo is under extreme pressure. It also burns oil. I wonder if that can be related to the heat of the engine, or to the fact that it has also had to have it's timing chain replaced because parts from the automatic adjuster broke off and got into the engine oil. This car now has a little over 60,00 thousand miles and no warranty. I'll swear, I HATE this piece of crap, and this recent recall only makes me hater it more. Prior to owning this car, I owned a BMW 3 Series that caught fire through the air conditioner relay and burned up while sitting at a stop light. You think I would have been smart enough not to buy another BMW product? Nope, I was stupid at the time. I'd really like to see this car burn up as well. I wonder how many owners out there could brag by saying they've owned two BMW products and lost them both to fire? What an elite club that would be.
      Anubis
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm glad my Mini nightmare is over. I try not to think about the car but I saw the poor car on a used car dealer's lot almost two years after I sold it (at under wholesale price). No one wants it.
      chirowolf
      • 2 Years Ago
      Man, what is up with all the Mini Hate. How many of you own one? I have had a Mini Cooper Clubman S for 2 years with no problems at all. It is driven hard daily and has yet to even hicup. hit the sport button adn the thing is just tooo fun. As for resale they always seem to have some of the highest resale in the business. I have had many hi specked sports cars and for shear fun of driving I have yet found a car that is this fun. Oh yes, i also average in the mid 30 for gas mileage. Now if you want to talk VW horror stories... I could go on for hours
        Shaglounge
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chirowolf
        Yeah I've owned three. And the later ones (2007-2011 on) are crap. There are few cars that are more fun, but that doesn't excuse appalling build quality. High pressure fuel pump failure, cam chain tensioner failure in mine... Check the blogs for the 'real' story. Glad to see Mini recalling instead of offering to fix via a service bulletin
      JonZeke
      • 2 Years Ago
      In other news, certain models of Japanese sedans are recalled due to incorrect level of beige. The NHTSA investigated a number of prosaic sedans that were reportedly "under beige." As a result of the recall the owners of the aforementioned models are encouraged to bring their cars back to dealerships where less characterful engines, less precise steering racks, and low-rolling-resistance tires will be installed to bring beige in line with proper averages. Some vehicles affected might have color in their interiors, these two will be brought in spec to either black or... ...beige.
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