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Section: Recalls/Campaigns

NHTSA Forces MINI USA to Recall Vehicles for a Free Upgrade

MotoringFile Sections: R56 (Hatch), Recalls/Campaigns Dec 21st, 2009 20 Comments

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.

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Details Behind the Cold Start Fix

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), Recalls/Campaigns May 18th, 2009 29 Comments

Since our story last week on the 2007-2009 Cooper S cold start issues we’ve had loads of emails asking some basic questions on the issue and the fix. So in an effort to clear up some of the confusion, here’s the inside info into getting this fix applied to your 2007+ MCS.

First up the PuMA reference we used earlier is simply BMW speak or a file created to track the problems on one specific vehicle. The actual reference number for the timing chain rattle problem is SIM-11-02-07. This file provides information to the service advisor and repair tech for diagnosis, parts required, repair procedures, and warranty reporting requirements.

The first section of the SIM-11-02-07 document deals with verifying the timing chain rattle is occurring and not due to other potential issues. continued →

MINI Solves the R56 Cold Start Issue

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), Recalls/Campaigns May 12th, 2009 59 Comments

death rattle

The Death rattle. It’s a story we’ve been following closely on MF since 2007 and a topic many of you have been extremely concerned about. Last year we posted a lengthy expose on the topic that you can read here. But for owners affected, this news will bring a huge sigh of relief.

For a bit of background on the issue, here’s a description of the issue we posted last year:

The cold start issue has been a common theme popping up in the Faults and Fixes threads on various MINI forums. Specifically, MCS owners complaining about a peculiarly loud engine rattle on start-up. Now the R56 is an “interesting” sounding engine to begin with. The direct fuel injection solenoids give the car a very diesel-esque sound at idle. But this is a very different sound altogether.

BMW has determined that the cold start rattle was/is being caused by the timing chain tensioner (which is in turn powered by an oil-pressurized piston). More specifically the sound is caused when the tensioner piston doesn’t extend all the way (or at all) which then allows the timing chain to come in contact with the guides on the engine cover. continued →

US R56 Tailpipe Recall Now Mandatory

MotoringFile Sections: R56 (Hatch), Recalls/Campaigns Feb 19th, 2009 55 Comments

Thanks to those tireless consumer advocates (can you feel the sarcasm?) over at the NHTSA, MINI has now issued letters to 2007-2008 R56 MCS owners telling them that they must bring their car in for tailpipe re-fitting. Even if the consumer isn’t interested MINI is now obligated to perform the recall retrofit during the next scheduled service.

Enjoy your short tailpipes! continued →


Common Issues: Power Steering Failure

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, R50 (Coupe), R52 (Conv.), R53 (Coupe), Recalls/Campaigns Feb 18th, 2009 80 Comments

A very interesting story over at BBC sent into us recently concerning Power Steering issues on R50/R53 MINIs.

BMW’s customer service told Heather this wasn’t a common fault, which is surprising because we’ve heard from dozens of other Mini owners who’ve told us they’ve had exactly the same problem, and have had to fork out anything up to £800 for the repair.

Not a common fault? Show of hands to those of you that have had power steering problems. As it turns out, we are not alone.

Matt Pike is an independent Mini mechanic, and a supplier of spare parts. He says he can barely keep up with demand for replacement power steering pumps: “At least 60 per cent of our regular customers have all had pumps changed. And we’re getting at least two calls a day from people after power steering pumps because they’re such a big failure. I’d say it’s the most common problem we have with the Minis.”

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Cold Weather & Your Experience

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile, Recalls/Campaigns Jan 22nd, 2009 74 Comments

Since the recent record breaking cold-snap in much of Northern America (and even some parts of Europe) we’ve heard all sorts of MINI owners experiences with their cars. While the vast majority of them have been quite positive we wanted to reach out to those who have had some issues with the extreme cold. At temperatures as low as -30F we expect some issues, so lets hear about them. What have you experienced with this kind of cold? And if you haven’t had issues let us know that as well.


It’s Official: MINI Recalling MCS Due to Tail Pipe Burns

MotoringFile Sections: Recalls/Campaigns Dec 16th, 2008 48 Comments

We’ve reported that BMW was fighting this recall (for obvious reasons). Now it would seem they’ve finally succumb to the NHTSA’s pressure. Here’s an excerpt from the NHTSA (sorry for the all caps – that’s how they roll in the US government apparently):

BMW IS RECALLING 28,450 MY 2007-2008 MINI COOPER S VEHICLES. THE CENTRALLY LOCATED TAILPIPE EXTENSION PROTRUDES SLIGHTLY BEYOND THE REAR BUMPER. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR INADVERTENT CONTACT TO OCCUR WITH A PERSON’S LEG.

+ MINI Cooper S Recall / NHTSA

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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