Last year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation following 12 separate reports of engine fires. Of those, 5 fires were so extreme they turned the little car into a big pile of charred junk. The worst part? Most of the fires actually happened after the engine was turned off and the owner had walked away.
That's why we'd like to congratulate the 2007-2011 Mini Cooper S for making our list of "Vehicles to Avoid Parking in an Attached Garage."
What's Causing the Fires
The investigation discovered a couple things. First, this only seems to happen in turbocharged engines. Second, the problem is due to a malfunction on the circuit board of the auxiliary water pump. The water pump is designed to stay on even after the engine is turned off in order to cool down the turbo. However, instead of doing its job of protecting the engine from fires, the pump is actually overheating and setting the car ablaze itself. What a rebel.
What Vehicles Are Affected
In total, there are 88,911 vehicles affected. They include the following vehicles with turbocharged engines:
- 2007-2011 Cooper S
- 2008-2011 Clubman S
- 2009-2011 Cooper S Convertible
- 2011 Countryman S
- 2009-2011 John Cooper Works models
BMW, the parent company of Mini, says it will begin notifying affected owners next month because it needs time to get its supply and repair process in place for the number of recalls they’ll need to do. In the meantime, may we recommend parking your Mini away from any structures and preferably near a fire hydrant?
Concerned owners should give BMW a call at 1-866-275-6464.
Mini Fire on YouTube
Actions You Can Take
This step is crucial, don't just complain on forums! The sites below will actively manage your complaints and turn them into useful statistics. Both CarComplaints.com and the CAS will report dangerous trends to the authorities and are often called upon by law firms for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough.
Step 1: File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com
CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases. Add a Complaint
Step 2: Notify the Center for Auto Safety
The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits. Notify the CAS
Step 3: Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues. Report to NHTSA