BMW is recalling over 90,000 Mini Cooper vehicles following an internal review of warranty claims that suggest the front passenger air bag may not deploy in the event of a crash, due to a faulty occupancy sensor.
The Mini Cooper recall was announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on April 17, due to a risk that the passenger airbag occupancy sensor could fail. At least one injury involving a minor passenger is already suspected of being linked to the defect.
The recalled Mini Cooper vehicles are equipped with a front passenger seat occupant detection mat, which acts a sensor to determine whether an air bag should be deployed in the event of a crash. The manufacturer has found through internal reviews that the sensor may not recognize the presence of an occupant, rendering the airbag inactive. The defect is believed to have been caused by the manufacturer’s installation error and exposure issues.
The NHTSA stated that out of an abundance of caution the automaker will be recalling all potentially impacted vehicles to inspect and repair the sensor.
The recall includes 2005 through 2006 Mini Cooper and Cooper S vehicles manufactured from January 5, 2005 to November 28, 2006, and 2005 through 2008 Mini Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible vehicles manufactured from January 5, 2005 to July 31, 2008. The recall includes a total of 91,800 vehicles in which BMW believes an estimated 10% are impacted by the occupant sensor defect.
According to the NHTSA recall acknowledgement notice, Mini is planning to notify owners and dealers of the possible defect beginning on May 1. Owners will be contacted by mail with a notice of the defect and instructions on how to schedule an appointment at a dealer who will inspect and replace the front seat occupant detection mat free of charge.
Customers with further questions may contact BMW customer service at 1-866-825-1525 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.