A faulty water pump that could lead to a smoldering electrical board, which might then start a fire, is at the root of a recall of 88,911 MINI Cooper S, Cooper S Clubman, Cooper S Convertible, and John Cooper Works models.
MINI says that 100 percent of the vehicles in the recall contain the faulty water pump, but the series of incidents that would have to happen to cause a fire appears to be somewhat less likely: under "certain conditions" the auxiliary electric water pump, which helps cool the turbocharger after engine shutoff, can malfunction, which might cause the circuit board to overheat, which might then cause the circuit board to smolder, which might in turn finally cause the fire.
MINI says at least 81 cases of water pump failure and four fires have been caused by the defect worldwide. The investigation into the problem has been ongoing for over two years. As a result of the failures, MINI has decided to voluntarily recall the affected cars.
The fix is, as you might expect, a matter of replacing the defective pump, which includes the problem circuitry. Dealer notification will happen this month, followed by owner notification in February.
Year models and numbers of affected vehicles include:
2007-11 MINI Cooper S (60,476)
2008-11 MINI Cooper S Clubman (16,079)
2009-11 MINI Cooper S Convertible (7,177)
2009-11 MINI JCW (1,864)
2009-11 MINI JCW Clubman (865)
2009-11 MINI JCW Convertible (349)
2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman (2,101)