January 17, 2012
BMW Recalls 235,000 Mini Vehicles Over Fire Risk
BMW announced on Monday that it is recalling more than 235,000 mini vehicles, including 89,000 Mini Coopers in the United States, over the same type of problem that led to previous recalls of BMW and Rolls-Royce vehicles.
The German automaker said the current recall is a precautionary measure due to a possible defect in the electronic circuit boards that control the turbocharger cooling system, which could overheat and cause a fire in the engine compartment.
"The electric auxiliary water pump that cools the turbocharger has an electronic circuit board that can malfunction and overheat," wrote the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on its website.
"The circuit board may smolder, which could result in a vehicle fire," the NHTSA said, adding that the safety recall is expected to begin next month.
The recall applies to certain model year 2007-2011 Mini Cooper S, 2008-2011 Mini Cooper S Clubman, 2009-2011 Mini Cooper S Convertible, 2009-2911 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.
BMW will notify owners and dealers will replace the water pump at no charge, the NHTSA said.
The electrical circuit board defect behind the recall is the same type of problem that led to early recalls of BMW and Rolls-Royce luxury cars.
BMW is still investigating whether the cause of the current problem is related or just coincidental, said Mini spokeswoman Nathalie Bauters.
BMW AG owns and operates all three vehicle brands.
To date, there have been 81 cases of water pump failure in Mini Coopers worldwide, including four engine compartment fires, although no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of this issue, Bauters said.
Additional information about the recall can be obtained through the NHTSA´s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or online at www.safercar.gov.
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