A potential fire risk caused by faulty waterpumps is being cited for MINI’s decision to recall more than 235,000 Cooper S and JCW cars. 29,868 cars in the UK built between March 2006 and January 2011 are affected. Company investigations revealed that smouldering caused by heat build-up in the wiring are the cause – and it known that there have been four fires across the world, with one in the UK.
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.’