Many news outlets are reporting details about the recent MINI Cooper recall. We have provided a quick overview of pertinent information regarding the engine fires which will hopefully answer most of our reader’s immediate questions.
BMW is recalling almost every MINI Cooper S and/or JCW model produced between 2007 and 2011. This includes R55, R56, R57 and R60 models – vehicles that use the N14 turbo engine.
BMW’s recall comes on the heels of an investigation by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted last fall after twelve separate complaints were filed regarding engine compartment fires in turbocharged MINI vehicles. A handful of these complaints described “engulfing fires” which resulted in “total vehicle loss.” In a majority of the cases, the malfunction and fires occurred when the vehicle was turned off.
The issue is caused by a malfunction of the electric auxiliary water pump circuit board. Malfunctions of the circuit board can result in overheating. In rare cases this circuit board overheating has caused the water pump to smolder – in even rarer cases this smoldering has resulted in the type of engine compartment fires that originally prompted the probe.
BMW has stated that there have been 81 documented cases of auxiliary water pump failure worldwide, including four official instances of a burned engine compartment, as of November 2011. No accidents or injuries have been reported related to the malfunction.
MINI will be addressing the malfunction for its existing inventory of vehicles, which may result in a sales freeze on the problematic MINI models.
For those who own a MINI under recall, BMW dealers will replace the faulty water pump. The recall is expected to begin in February. Owners can contact BMW at 1-866-275-6464.
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