It's a MINI fire risk: 235,000 MINIs recalled
Almost a quarter of a million MINIs are being recalled worldwide because of a fire scare. The recall includes around 30,000 cars in the UK, and relates to those built between March 2006 and January 2011.
It's been found that a circuit board on the turbocharger's water pump poses a fire risk, which in an extreme case could cause the car to burst into flames.
It's highly unlikely that any MINI will do that, but MINI says that if the circuit board malfunctions it could overheat and smolder, which could spark a fire.
Turbo petrol versions of the MINI are affected, which means the recall includes Cooper S and John Cooper Works (JCW) models. Owners should take their car to the nearest dealer as soon as possible, and a new, modified pump will be fitted.
There have been four cases of MINIs catching fire as a result of the problem - one of those in the UK. There have reportedly been seven cases in total in the UK, including those not involving major fires. No injuries have been reported as a result of the problem, says MINI.
VOSA is investigating two of the seven reported UK incidents, and MINI has confirmed that it is helping with these enquiries.
Whether this will affect MINI's solid reputation and sales figures remains to be seen - the company reported record sales in 2011, thanks in part to the new Countryman SUV - but it's not the first time the BMW-owned company has brushed with fire.
First-generation BMW-era MINIs were affected by faulty power steering pumps, which also had a smoldering issue.