BMW Mini Cooper Recall Issued Over Risk of Short-Circuit, Fire
Nearly 100,000 BMW Mini Coopers sold in certain states have been recalled, due to a design defect that may allow water to enter the vehicle’s electrical components, increasing the risk of a vehicle fire.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the BMW Mini Cooper recall on May 19, warning that water or road salt may enter the vehicle’s footwell control module located on the drivers side, which could increase the risk of a short circuiting event.
The affected control module is located near the front driver’s side footwell, and controls the window and lighting functions of the vehicle. According to the recall notice, water may enter the vehicle’s interior due to defects in the design of the sunroof drain hose, as well as severe changes in temperature and exposure to salt used for road treatment in inclement weather. Officials indicate the water can corrode the control unit over time, resulting in an electrical short-circuit that can lead to fire and burn injuries.
BWM first issued the Mini Cooper recall in 2018, after receiving at least 16 reports of the footwell control modules experiencing various degrees of thermal damage near the footwell control module. The recall was isolated to vehicles sold or registered in Canada only, with the automaker claiming the cause of the electrical failures was due to the country’s significant use of unique salt road treatments.
However, after BMW launched a repair campaign to fix the recalled vehicles, Transport Canada issued a notice to the automaker in January, indicating that it had received multiple reports of repaired vehicles catching on fire.
BMW launched an investigation which ultimately identified the control module corrosion as being caused by a variety of factors, including large changes in temperature where the vehicles experienced multiple cycles of freezing and thawing, the vehicles’ age, and their degree of exposure to salt road treatments, which allowed the intrusion of water into the vehicle. In vehicles equipped with a sunroof, the drain hose was found to be susceptible to damage and can detach from the drain tube, which can allow water to enter the vehicle and corrode the footwell control module over time.
Mini Cooper Vehicles Recalled In U.S. Over Fire Risks
The investigation further revealed that at least six incidents of thermal events had been recorded in the United States, impacting models that were equipped with a sunroof. As a result of the findings, the automaker expanded the recall to include vehicles that were sold throughout the U.S. in states where similar inclement weather and temperature changes could cause corrosion.
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The recall impacts approximately 97,933 model year 2008 through 2014 MINI Clubman Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works vehicles produced from July 25, 2007 through June 27, 2014, and model year 2007 through 2013 MINI Hardtop 2 Door Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works vehicles produced from November 16, 2006 through November 21, 2013.
The recall applies to vehicles that were sold or registered in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin.
Owners can expect to be notified of the recall by first class mail beginning on July 3, 2023 with instructions on how to schedule an appointment to receive free repair of their vehicle by an authorized MINI dealer. BWM will reimburse owners who have already repaired their vehicles at their own expense.
For more information on the recall, owners may contact BWM customer service at 1-866-825-1525. They may also contact the NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit their website at www.nhtsa.gov.
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