BMW/MINI Agrees to settle three class-action lawsuits over defective transmissions

The Mini Cooper S is a hot little car. Unfortunately for its owners, it's actually a little too hot and might catch fire.

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?

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, you can help make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint

    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

  2. Notify CAS

    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

  3. Report a Safety Concern

    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

  4. Contact MINI

    MINI Support

    Mini Customer Relations No Address Listed USA

    This site is not affiliated with MINI.