Mini has issued a recall for older Cooper Hardtop and Clubman models for a potential fire risk. It affects the 2008 to 2014 Clubman and the 2007-2013 Cooper Hardtop, including the Cooper S and John Cooper Works variants.
The issue involves vehicles equipped with a sunroof where significant temperature changes, like multiple freeze/thaw cycles, can damage a car's drain hose. The damaged hose could loosen and eventually detach from the drain pipe within the A-pillar. If this happens, water can enter into the vehicle's interior.
In states where road crews use large amounts of road salt during wintertime, the combination of salt and water could create an electrolyte solution that could contact the Footwell Control Module (FCM) and, over time, corrode the part. If this happens, it could potentially lead to a short circuit that could result in a fire. The FCM controls various lighting and power window functions within the Cooper Hardtop and Clubman models.
The recall affects cars that were sold or ever registered in the "Salt-Belt Region," which is: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin. It also involves Mini models from Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Utah.
Mini notified its dealers about the recall this month. The automaker will begin informing affected vehicle owners via mail on July 3, with the letter instructing owners to schedule an appointment with an authorized Mini dealer to fix the problem for free. Mini is currently developing a remedy for the issue. It might not be a simple fix considering it sounds like a complex problem that could go beyond replacing a corroded FCM.
Mini had identified six incidents that could be related to the issue before using a voluntary safety recall. The incidents occurred between September 2019 and October 2022 involving vehicles produced between 2010 and 2013. All were equipped with a sunroom. The automaker has not received any report or is aware or any accidents or injuries related to this problem.