The problem, according to the notice below, stems from the occupant detection mat for the front passenger seat, which may fail to detect a passenger present and therefor fail to deploy the airbag in the event of a crash.
The specific models affected by the recall are the Mini Cooper and Cooper S hardtops from the 2005 and 2006 model years and manufactured between January 5, 2005, and November 28, 2006, as well as the Mini Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible from the 2005 to 2008 model years, manufactured between January 5, 2005, and July 31, 2008.
To address the issue, Mini dealers will be replacing the front passenger seat occupant detection mat, with recalls set to commence on May 1.
Report Receipt Date: APR 06, 2015
NHTSA Campaign Number: 15V205000
Component(s): AIR BAGS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 91,800
Manufacturer: BMW of North America, LLC
BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain model year 2005-2006 MINI Cooper and Cooper S vehicles manufactured January 5, 2005, to November 28, 2006, and 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible vehicles manufactured January 5, 2005, to July 31, 2008. Due to manufacturing, installation, and exposure issues, the front passenger seat occupant detection mat may not function properly and, as a result, the front passenger air bag may not deploy in a crash.
An improperly functioning mat may cause the passenger frontal air bag to be inactive when the seat is occupied, and in the event of a crash, the air bag will not deploy, increasing the passenger's risk of injury.
MINI will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger seat occupant detection mat, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 1, 2015. Owners may contact MINI customer service at 1-866-825-1525.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.