(Updated with detailed information) In perhaps the largest recall ever announced, MINI USA is recalling every Cooper S and JCW model sold from 2007 to 2011. The recall effects almost all 2007 – 2011 R55, R56, R57 and R60 models with the turbocharged Cooper S engine. For a full list of the cars affected and the specifics behind the problem, read on…
The issue involves the electric auxiliary water pump on models that are equipped with the N14 turbo engine. The auxiliary pump is controlled electronically by an engine control unit. After switching off the engine, the electric auxiliary water pump conducts heat away from the turbocharger.
Under certain conditions, the pump’s electronic circuit board can malfunction. The malfunction can occur as a result of certain design features in combination with high operating temperatures.
If the water pump can fails, there’s a slight chance that the circuit board can overheat. And in an extreme case, overheating of the circuit board can lead to smoldering of the water pump. If smoldering occurs, this may also lead to an engine compartment or vehicle fire.
Here’s the full list of Cooper S models affected:
2007-11 / Cooper S (Dec 2006 – Oct 2010)
2008-11 / Cooper S Clubman (Dec 2007 – Oct 2010)
2009-11 / Cooper S Convertible (Dec 2008 – Oct 2010)
2009-11 / John Cooper Works (JCW) (Jun 2008 – Oct 2010)
2009-11 / John Cooper Works (JCW) Clubman (Jun 2008 – Oct 2010)
2009-11 / John Cooper Works (JCW) Convertible (Apr 2009 – Oct 2010)
2011 / Cooper S Countryman (Nov 2010 – Jan 2011)
How can you tell if this is happening to your MINI? The first tip-off will be a plastic burning smell, or burning and/or smoke from the front of the vehicle may be noticed.
What Should I Do While I Wait for MINI to Notify me of a Fix?
First you can continue to drive your car. However MINI recommends parking your vehicle outdoors until repairs have been performed. Those who own affected cars will receive a letter asking them to have this service performed by their authorized MINI dealer, do so as soon as possible.
At this point MINI is fixing all cars in its inventory and will be announcing a formal recall shortly. Any new or pre-owned MINI in dealers inventory will be held until the recall can be completed, but customer cars are not yet being held and the recall repair will not be happening until the service bulletin is released.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the cars after 12 engine fires had been reported including five that destroyed the cars entirely. In eight of the 12 cases, the fires occurred when the cars were parked and turned off.
We’ll have more as we get it…