MINI USA Recalls 92,000 MINIs for Airbag Faults

MINIUSA is recalling 92,000 cars due to a flaw in the front passenger airbag that may keep it from deploying. The recall will affect 59,000 2006 Cooper and Cooper S models (R50 and R53) and 32,530 Cooper and Cooper S convertibles (R52).

The reason is down to the occupant detection mat sensor potentially not deploying in the event of a crash. The issue is rather ironic for those who remember the fact that the entire bottom seat was redesigned to work with the U.S. spec sensor and in turn losing the better designed EU/UK version (Lounge seats for example).

According to MINI there have only been one minor injury around the issue.

For those curious the sensor was manufactured by Johnson Controls GmbH of Burscheid, Germany, a unit of Johnson Controls Inc. headquartered in Milwaukee WI.

For those affected look for an official communication in the next few days.

  • b-

    My airbag light is on in my 2005 R52 so I’m guessing im out of luck with this?

    • Roger de la Rosa

      I’m in the same boat (2005 R52)…I was assuming that this recall would fix that. I guess we need to wait for the “official” letter from MINIUSA.

      • Mike Burley

        You can call MINI customer service at 1-866-825-1525 and confirm whether you’re covered via VIN.

  • Lee

    I have a november 2003 build 2004 MY. was there a change at some point? I ran off the road a few years ago and mostly damaged the suspension on the left side. The nose of the car ended up in a muddy creek bed and hit just hard enough to set the airbags off. Both driver and passenger even though there was nothing in the passenger seat. Probably would have kept the insurance company from totaling it as it was actually under the normal threshold, but close enough that they were worried that once work started, additional things would be uncovered. As it turned out there was no additional damage as the “frame” and body were totally fine and it was just a matter of removing and replacing suspension parts and the front bumper cover. And the airbags of course.

    • r_k_w

      I have a november 2003 build 2004 MY. was there a change at some point?

      The change was starting with 1/2005 builds. This recall does not apply to your car.

      • Lee

        I get that the recall does not apply. I was wondering when they started putting the mats in the seats? (Maybe that’s what you were referencing) because no person or item was in my passenger seat yet it set off the passenger airbag.

        • r_k_w

          I was wondering when they started putting the mats in the seats? (Maybe that’s what you were referencing)

          Yes, that’s what I meant. 1/2005 was when they started putting in weight sensor mats that regulate the force of airbag deployment (to meet new federal regulations). However, I believe that prior to 2005 there was still some other simpler mechanism that detects passenger occupancy. You have a different failure from the one addressed by this recall.

  • Mike Burley

    Just confirmed with MINI USA, my $1400 repair bill from 2 years ago for the seat sensor will be reimbursed as soon as the recall takes effect May 1.

    • Michael Verdirame

      Do you have submit anything to Mini?

      • Mike Burley

        Since the work was performed at Mini of Madison, all the paperwork is internal. Mini of Madison will submit paperwork to MINI USA. Just call MINI customer service at 1-866-825-1525. Cant do much until May 1st, when the recall actually takes effect.

        • Lee

          That’s about the same way my power steering work was handled. Since did it at the dealer, they called me when that recal was announced and issued me a check after a few weeks.

  • Hmm so I should bring mine then… R53 2006? Got mine around Nov 2005