BMW is recalling 89,000 Mini Coopers in the United States for the same sort of problem that led to earlier recalls of BMW and Rolls-Royce luxury cars.
The problem, in all the recalls, is that a computer circuit board controlling a turbocharger cooling system can fail. The result: a smoldering water pump and, in some cases, a fire in the engine compartment.
The turbo cooling system in the Mini Coopers operates differently from that in the BMW and Rolls-Royce cars, according to a letter BMW sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nevertheless, some turbocharged Mini cars have caught fire in the same way the larger cars did.
BMW is still investigating whether the cause of the problem is related or just coincidental, Mini spokeswoman Nathalie Bauters said. Germany’s BMW AG (BAMXF) owns and operates all three car brands.
There have been 81 cases of water pump failure in Mini Coopers globally so far, Bauters said, including four engine compartment fires. No accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of this issue.
Worldwide, the Mini recall covers a total of 235,535 cars, Bauters said.
Cars being recalled include some model year 2007 through 2011 Mini Cooper S hatchbacks and convertibles; Mini Cooper Clubman S (the longer three-door Mini); and Mini Cooper Countryman S (the larger, four-door SUV Mini); as well as John Cooper Works high-performance versions of the Mini Cooper. Non-turbocharged Minis are not involved in the recall.
Mini Cooper dealers will replace auxiliary water pumps on the recalled cars.
Previously, BMW had recalled 32,000 BMW cars and 600 Rolls-Royces for possible turbo-related fires.