Dec 10th, 2008
We had to see this coming.
NHTSA announced on Friday that it will hold a public meeting Dec. 17 and take comments until Dec. 12 on its Initial Decision that model year 2007 and certain MY 2008 Mini Cooper S vehicles contain a defect related to motor vehicle safety. Notified of this, BMW said it would not conduct a safety recall and instead has started a service campaign, which NHTSA has rejected, the notice stated.
The alleged defect is in the vehicles’ exhaust pipe tips. NHTSA said its Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) and BMW “have received numerous complaints indicating that consumers’ legs have been burned while they access the rear cargo area of the subject vehicles via the rear hatchback shortly after the vehicles have been driven. As reflected by the complaints, people accessing the cargo area naturally place their legs at the rear of the vehicle. People are burned as they inadvertently contact either of the two hot exhaust pipe tips while removing items from, or placing items in, the rear cargo area. Some of the burn injuries are significant second degree burns, causing blistered skin or scarring, often in a half-moon shape pattern matching the approximately 2 3/4-inch diameter of the exhaust tips.
Oct 17th, 2008
Sent in by MF Reader James, it’s the actual letter he received regarding the service action MINI USA will perform to shorten the exhaust pipe on the R56.
MINI division’s quality monitoring has learned that some Cooper S owners have contacted the centrally-located tailpipe extension at the back of their vehicles, while hot, with their uncovered legs.
To address this issue, MINI has decided to conduct a service action on these vehicles and we have shortened the tailpipe extension to help reduce the chances of inadvertant contact with the leg
If you have an R56 Cooper S, keep an eye on your mailbox for the same letter or head to your dealer and have this tended too. Click the image for a full size scan.
Oct 9th, 2008
We’ve been getting reports that Clubman coming to the US with the Anthracite headliner option have been getting the standard headliner due to a shortage.
According to a thread on North American Motoring, dealers were sent a bulletin at the end of September telling of this problem and recommending that dealers not deliver cars. Of course, some cars were delivered.
If ordered your MINI with the Anthracite headliner option and are expecting delivery soon, you might want to check in with your dealer.
Oct 8th, 2008
MINI USA is officially recalling all 560 2009 JCW MINIs due braking issues. It’s not entirely clear in the description given by the NHTSA but it would seem that the brakes either aren’t the correct size or are simply not what was said to be offered on the car. Here’s an excerpt Inside Line which quotes the NHTSA:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in its recalls summary pointed out that the affected vehicles have the 16-inch diameter, not 17-inch, front brake discs. “Depending on traffic and road conditions, as well as a driver’s reactions, reduced brake performance could increase the risk of a crash,” NHTSA said. continued →
Oct 7th, 2008
We’ve been informed that MINI USA has quietly begun offering owners a chance to replace their exhaust tips to keep them from extending too far from the edge of the car. As reported previously on MotoringFile, the NHTSA is looking into several complaints (three to be exact) that they have received leg burns from contact with the exhaust pipe on the R56. The Feds are currently conducting an “engineering analysis”, which is sometimes a precursor to a safety recall.
We’ve been told MINI USA is taking this step to avoid an actual recall. So if you have an ’07 or ’08 R56 MINI and really really want short tailpipes, head down to your MINI dealer.
Sep 6th, 2008
This from Edmunds Inside Line.
The federal government is looking into complaints from some consumers that they have received leg burns from contact with the exhaust pipe in the 2007-’08 Mini Cooper S. The engineering analysis, which is sometimes a precursor to a safety recall, involves up to 20,000 vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Here’s an excerpt from the complaint report on the NHTSA website:
The office of defects investivation (ODI) opened this investigation based on three consumer complaints on the 2007 model year MINI COOPER S. The complaints reported being burned on their legs by the hot exhaust pipe tip while they were removing cargo items from the rear hatch area of the their vehicles.
No injuries and no recall has been announced yet. Something to keep an eye on. And be careful loading and unloading the boot after you have been driving. Those pipes do get very hot!
[ Feds Look into Complaints of Exhaust Pipe Burns from Mini Cooper S ] Edmunds Inside Line
Jul 7th, 2008
MF Exclusive: For all those who might have missed the story initially (and all 200 comments) some R56 Cooper S’ have been experiencing some odd noises on start-up. After posing the question to friends at MINI early this year, we finally have some answers. Sources tell us that the cold start or noisy start issue that some R56 owners have been experiencing has been acknowledged, at least internally, and a fix is in the works. Various solutions have been sought from the dealer level on up to address the problem (with very mixed results). From an engineering standpoint the problem has to be repeatedly replicated to find the source of the issue and that takes time. According to these same sources the problem is within the engine management software and a fix is currently in the works. This is still preliminary but hopefully those who are experiencing the issue won’t have too much longer to wait. continued →