Currently reading: Mini recalls 235k cars over fire fears
Over 235,000 Minis worldwide have been recalled because of a potential fire risk
2 mins read
16 January 2012

Over 235,000 Minis worldwide have been recalled because of a potential fire risk caused by faulty electric water pumps. The recall – which affects 29,868 cars in the UK – includes Cooper S and range-topping John Cooper Works models across all bodystyles built between March 2006 and January 2011.

The move comes after company investigations revealed that heat build-up in the wiring could spark ‘smouldering’. There have been four fires globally, one in the UK, linked with the faulty electric unit.

A Mini spokesman commented: "We are not aware of any accidents or injuries connected with this. The important thing is that when people receive the [recall] letter, they simply go to their dealer and get a new water pump fitted if there is a problem."

An official statement said: "The turbocharged engine of the Cooper S and John Cooper Works engines is equipped with an additional water pump which draws residual heat out of the turbocharger after the engine has been switched off, to prevent carbon build-up of the oil in the bearing. Under high operating temperatures an electro-migration can occur at the circuit board installed in the additional water pump.

"The electro-migration is caused by plastic additives in conjunction with high temperatures and can lead to a failure of the additional water pump. This can lead to a failure of the additional water pump or smouldering and in extremely rare cases the possibility of a fire cannot be excluded."

This isn’t the first time that the firm has been linked to fires. Power steering pumps fitted to petrol-powered Minis produced between 2001 and August 2003 were also rumoured to catch fire, although BMW insisted that the issue would only cause overheating and smouldering - not a fire.


Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Noesph 17 January 2012

Re: Mini recalls 235k cars over fire fears

TegTypeR wrote:

Is it limited to just the Mini?

Bear in mind this is the same unit used by Peugeot, could there be issues there too?

I was wondering the same thing.

Vidge 123 17 January 2012

Re: Mini recalls 235k cars over fire fears

Its also worth noting that BMW have sold more "new" MINIs in 10 years (over 2,000,000 i believe) than were ever sold of the Classic one in 40! clearly its not exactly doing them harm!

Overdrive 17 January 2012

Re: Mini recalls 235k cars over fire fears

catnip wrote:

Vidge 123 wrote:

petrolheadinrussia wrote:

Anyway I think it is high time they quit calling it a bloody MINI - how about "FATTY" for this thing has consumed in human terms about 5 Big Macs a day for 5 years!!!

I get so bored of this! you know MINI is a brand name right, like VW, Fiat, Alfa etc? also the word mini only means small in english! in every other country its just a Brand Name.

To be fair, its taken many hours before this (surprising) fact has been mentioned, its usually one of the first things brought into any article about the MINI. And we've had no mention of Estate agents, gay men, people who are only into looks and have more money than sense, Issigonis spinning in his grave, the Countryman, etc, etc....

Come on guys, is this really the Autocar forum?

Hahaha,....that had me in stitches, post of the day.

Vidge is right. The sooner people realise Mini now stands for an overall brand as opposed to a tiny car (which the name USED TO represent decades ago), hopefully the less they will fret about the size to speak.

Fact is, nearly all cars have grown in size compared to their original forebearers. From the likes of Mini and Fiat 500, to the Golf, to the Mondeo, to even the likes of the S-class, they are all far bigger than they used to be. I'm not saying this is a good thing and shouldn't be questioned/criticised, just that I can't fathom why it is mainly the Mini that takes all the bile.

Find an Autocar car review