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NHTSA Forces MINI USA to Recall Vehicles for a Free Upgrade

The US government agency the NHTSA (always one of our least favorites) is requiring MINI USA to recall certain 2010 MC and MCS vehicles for inadvertently upgrading the stock 16″ wheels to 17″ wheels on some customer cars. The problem is that the label inside the door with tire pressure specifications relates to 16″ tires and thus has to be replaced. While we’re all for correct PSI, we find it a little bit of a stretch that the NTSHA believes being off a pound could result in the risk of a crash. But then again we’re also suckers for free stickers.

Regardless owners of the affected cars will receive a notice in the mail soon if they haven’t already.

Official Recall Notice (in all caps because that’s how the US government apparently talks):

BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2010 MINI COOPER AND COOPER S VEHICLES FOR FAILING COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 110, TIRE SELECTION AND RIMS. THE AFFECTED VEHICLES WERE EQUIPPED WITH 17 INCH WHEELS, BUT THEIR LABEL STATES THAT THEY WERE EQUIPPED WITH 16 INCH WHEELS. ALSO THE TIRE PRESSURE STATED ON THE LABEL FOR THE COOPER S IS INCORRECT.

>Consequence:

ERRONEOUS TIRE INFORMATION COULD LEAD TO IMPROPER TIRE FITMENT AND INFLATION WHICH COULD AFFECT THE DURABILITY OF THE TIRE AND THE STABILITY OF THE VEHICLE, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.

Remedy:

DEALERS WILL MAIL TO CONSUMERS THE CORRECTED LABEL OR THE CUSTOMER WILL HAVE THE OPTION FOR DEALERS TO INSTALL THE LABEL FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING DECEMBER 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-831-1117.

Written By: Gabe

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=552856942 Ian Harrison

    This can be important. I have 17″ runflats on in the summer (38PSI). Last year the shop put my 16″ non-runflat snow tires on as usual. I didn’t notice any problems to begin with as the weather was bad, the traffic was horrible, and I went to the airport the next day for a trip having done almost no driving.

    After getting home from my trip I almost put my car into a wall on a curve in a wet but not icy tunnel, there was so little grip. When I got home, I checked the tire pressures. They had been set at 38PSI per the sticker, but the right pressure for the non-runflats is 32PSI. I dropped the pressures and the grip was back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583828258 Morgan Moore

    Thanks for the heads-up!

    Possible Typo here: “effected cars” I believe should be “affected cars”

    cheers!

  • rosvick

    Definite typo: “… VEHICLE FOR FAILING COMPLY WITH…”

    Ten points to anyone who correctly guesses the missing word!

  • Vic

    I know this is ‘grammatically incorrect’…..but the missing word is ‘to’ hard to figure out!

  • Chad

    My MINI is buried well past the wheel wells in snow right now, so I can’t check myself, but does the door sticker say what wheels the numbers relate to? I have JCW wheels, and I’m curious as to whether the sticker reflects this.

  • Timothy

    Why is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “always one of our least favorites”? Does the author have something against improving vehicle and highway safety, preventing injury, and saving lives? How about other U.S. government safety-promotion agencies, such as the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — are those “least favorites,” too?

  • Gary

    I imagine the brass at MINI USA didn’t push back too hard on this one. Replacement stickers represent a pretty palatable recall. No sleep lost on this one.

    Suppose they would placate the NHTSA so quickly if we were talking CVTs or EHPS pumps?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rednwhitecooper Rick Intihar

    Why is the NHTSA one of our least favorites? Because there are Toyotas with sticky drive-by-wire throttles with no real recall, but they are having vehicles come back to dealers for a sticker they could just mail out and have consumers apply and save the technicians the hassle.

    Only the government could make something this simple so unnecessarily complicated.

  • rosvick

    But the labels are being mailed to customers, with the option of having a technician “professionally install” said label. Hopefully most people will be able to apply them themselves!

  • RJ

    On a whole ‘nother topic….referring to the picture of the wheel above….beautiful rim….but I always think it looks really bad to have a beautiful 5 spoke rim with just 4 lug nuts….the rim’s designers can’t place the 4 lug nuts aesthetically / symmetrically around the rim.

    OK…now back to the NHTSA discussion.

  • KPH

    Speaking of tires: On the national news this weekend a lot of the snow coverage was from DC. Two different days the featured vehicle having difficulty was a MINI. One, a Clubman delivering a Congressman to the Senate, the other an S model spinning like mad, but otherwise not moving. What are the odds?

  • RJ

    msn.com had a picture of a MINI on their home page, stuck in the snow on a busy highway, with the female driver standing outside of the MINI calling for help on her cell.

  • Pflashinaz

    Guess most of you have forgotten the incident with the Ford Explorers and the Firestone tires! Those vehicles had incorrect tire pressures labeled on the vehicle.

  • Marc

    The national butthole inspection admin says you didn’t wipe enough that last time!!!!This is pretty petty and in most countries in the world where people still think for themselves this is just another example to give a big hearty laugh at Americans when you see them!

  • Doug

    Anyone else think that is a great-looking wheel?

  • http://www.fes-auto.com Dr Obnxs

    Really, why blame the NHTSA when Mini is the one that didn’t apply the correct and required label? Sure it’s micky mouse, but Mini screwed the pooch here. Must be slow on news though….

    Anyway, life will go on.

    Matt

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=902505721 Josh Hway

    For the average driver, being off a pound or two is no big deal. The NHTSA is just taking this opportunity to throw its weight around.

  • Coyttl

    As someone who rides MARC into DC daily, amidst hundreds of government employees..

    Yes. Most of them speak in all-caps.

  • Mighty Mowse

    Thank God we have the government here to protect us. NOT!

  • Mighty Mowse

    Good thing we have the Feds to protect us. NOT!


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