BMW recalls Minis that may catch fire

Westwood, NJ – May 28, 2023 – BMW (OTCMKTS:BMWYY), which owns the Mini brand, is recalling 97,933 vehicles in the 30 “salt belt” states due to the risk of fire because of water and salt entering the cars.

This is the second recall issued by BMW over the defect internationally but the first one of its kind in the U.S.

The following models are covered by this recall: 

  • 2007 – 2013 Mini Cooper
  • 2008 – 2014 Mini Cooper Clubman
  • 2007 – 2013 Mini Cooper S
  • 2007 – 2013 Mini JCW

Recall summary

Affected vehicles were registered or sold in the states that use road salt in the winter “to control snow and ice” and also experience large temperature fluctuations throughout the year.  They are also equipped with a sunroof.

Repeated temperature changes result in damage to the sunroof drain hose, allowing water to enter the cabin and combine with the road salt that may also be present in the footwell to form an “electrolyte solution.”

The solution may then come into contact with a computer called the footwell control module (FRM) which controls lighting and power windows. This may lead to the module short-circuiting, causing a fire.

Recall risks

You can read more about the risks caused by vehicle fires in this article about a Hyundai recall due to the same risk. For tips on what to do if your car catches fire, please see this article about a recent Navistar fire-related recall

Background of the recall

This is the second recall because of this issue internationally but the first one in the U.S. In 2018, these cars were recalled in the Canadian market due to the risk of fires caused by corrosion in the FRM. Following the recall, the manufacturer received reports of the repaired vehicles experiencing fires. The subsequent investigation found the sunroof hose to be the culprit, leading to the present recall.

As of May 2023, BMW has received reports of six incidents in the U.S. market involving the defect, with no record of accidents or injuries.   

Other BMW recalls

In May 2022, BMW recalled 61,221 vehicles over a defect that allowed the sunroof to close even when the key fob is inside the vehicle, leading to an increased risk of injury. 

In July 2022, BMW also recalled 6,930 vehicles for failure to display critical safety information while the car is being parked by a valet, presenting an increased danger of an accident.  

The repair

The remedy for the issue is being developed. It will be offered free of charge once it is made available. BMW will reimburse owners who paid for their own repairs before the recall was announced.

Owners of the affected vehicles will receive letters with more information on July 3, 2023.  

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

More than 97,000 vehicles are affected by this Mini footwell control module recall. To run a Mini recall check or check for more BMW and Mini recalls,  please use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Joseph EstabilloBMW recalls Minis that may catch fire

BMW recalls vehicles over risk of seat belt failure

Westwood, NJ – September 6, 2021  – BMW (OTCMKTS:BMWYY), which also owns Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, has recalled 21,537 vehicles with faulty child restraint systems that increase the risk of injury to a child during a crash.

This recall affects some 2021 Toyota Supras made with BMW engines, as well as a wide range of BMW models, including: 

  • 2021 BMW 4 Series, including the 2021 430I
  • 2021 BMW 2 Series, including the 2021 228I
  • 2021 BMW 5 Series, including the 2021 540I
  • 2021 Mini Cooper
  • 2021 Rolls-Royce Phantom
  • 2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost

For a complete list of models and model years included, please refer to this page.

The affected component in this BMW recall is a seat belt retractor, which is what is used to hold the seat belt in place.

Recall summary  

This recall is part of an ongoing series of recalls – that already includes Ford and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz – caused by faulty seat belts provided by Swedish-American supplier Autoliv.  

These seat belts come equipped with two types of retractors – one that immobilizes the seat belt in the event of a crash and one that prevents the seat belt from moving right after it is buckled. The latter is referred to as the automatic locking retractor, or ALR, and is activated by pulling the seat belt “all the way out,” weaving it through the child seat and buckling it in.

But, because of “out of tolerance” parts provided by the supplier, the ALR may deactivate early, “before the webbing fully retracts.” 


Faulty ALR will not hold the child seat firmly in its place. Although the seat belt would still lock up during a crash, there is an increased  risk of injury during sudden stops. The risk is lower when parents use the lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH) system in place of the seat belts, as reported.

Warning signs 

Drivers may notice that the torso section of the seat belt is not locked firmly while securing the child seat.

Other BMW recalls

Earlier this month, the 2021 Toyota Supra, as well as some of the X and 5 series cars, were recalled because of a brake assist problem. Some of the older X series were recalled in August out of concern that they may stall while in motion due to a faulty fuel pump.

Other Mini Cooper and Rolls-Royce recalls

In April, BMW recalled close to 50,000 Rolls-Royce, Mini Cooper and BMW models due to a defective water pump, as reported.  In November of last year, there was a BMW and a Mini Cooper recall due to hybrid batteries that may catch fire.  

The repair

Dealers will replace affected passenger seat belts free of charge during an inspection. It is not yet  known when the owners will receive additional information about this recall.

Is your vehicle a part of this recall?

This recall includes more than 20,000 vehicles and covers several brands and models. To check for this and other recalls, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Bojan PopicBMW recalls vehicles over risk of seat belt failure

BMW hybrids recalled for contaminated battery, fire risk

Pleasanton, CA – April 14, 2022 – BMW of North America has remedied issues with 4,444 models including the 2021 BMW X5 and the 2020 BMW X3 due to a risk of fire caused by debris in hybrid battery cells. 0 of these vehicles have been declared as unreachable and 0 has been removed from the recall. One group of these 2021 BMW X5 and the 2020 BMW X3 models with hybrid battery issues were remedied in 2020 and four more groups were remedied in 2021.

Pleasanton, CA – Sept 30, 2020 – BMW (OTCMKTS: BMWYY) has recalled 4,509 hybrids in the U.S. that may have debris in the hybrid battery cell, which could lead to a fire. The recall includes:

  • 2021 BMW 330E hybrid sedans
  • 2020-2021 BMW 530E hybrid sedans
  • 2021 BMW 745LE hybrid sedans
  • 2020 BMW i8 hybrid sports cars
  • 2020-2021 BMW X3 hybrid crossovers
  • 2021 BMW X5 hybrid SUVs
  • 2020-2021 Mini Countryman crossovers

These cars are equipped with the following high voltage battery models:

  • 8658344-11/345-11
  • 8678566-10/567-10
  • 9452661-04

Recall summary  

The recall concerns these hybrid vehicles’ high voltage batteries, some of which may be contaminated with debris due to a manufacturing issue at Samsung, the battery producer. The debris could cause the batteries to short-circuit, which could lead to a fire. BMW is aware of a total of four incidents related to this issue, which all took place between early August and mid-September. No related accidents or injuries have been reported to the automaker or the National Highway Transit Safety Administration (NHTSA).


Equipment failures accounted for at least 20% of vehicle fires between 2009 and 2017, according to a report by the U.S. Fire Administration. Researchers have said that hybrid-electric vehicles are as likely to catch fire as gas-powered vehicles. 

If a vehicle catches fire, the driver should:

  1. Pull over as quickly as it is safe to do so, to a safe location off the road such as the breakdown lane or rest stop.
  2. Once stopped, TURN OFF the engine (using the key or a smart button, if available).
  3. Get everyone out of the car. Never return to a burning car for anything. 
  4. Move everyone at least 100 feet from the burning car and well away from traffic. Call 911.

Hybrid car fires require different firefighting techniques than gas-powered vehicle fires. Engaging with a burning hybrid without the right protection could lead to electric shock, exposure to toxic fumes, and lithium burns. If you experience a hybrid vehicle fire, make sure emergency services know that the vehicle is a hybrid so they can best protect you and themselves.

The repair

According to BMW, the remedy for this issue is still “under discussion.” Customers should look for a recall notification in the mail, which will be sent out sometime in October.

Until the remedy is available, BMW is telling drivers not to charge the battery of their plug-in vehicles, drive in manual mode, sport mode or use the shift paddles.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 4,500 vehicles are included in this BMW recall. Use MotorSafety’s vehicle identification number (VIN) look up tool to find out if your vehicle is affected by this or other recalls.

Rebecca RandBMW hybrids recalled for contaminated battery, fire risk

BMW recalls vehicles with defective water pumps

December 16, 2021 Update – BMW of North America has remedied issues with 31,460 models including the 2012 Mini Cooper S, 2012 BMW 650i, and  2012 BMW 550i with Electric Water Pump Failures. Besides this, 902 have been removed from the recall. Three groups of these models were remedied in 2018 and other three groups were fixed in 2019 for unexpected Electric Auxiliary Water Pump Failure in BMW vehicles.  

Westwood, N.J. – May 18, 2018 – BMW of North America has recalled almost 48,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective electric auxiliary water pumps, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects numerous models across multiple brands, including:


  • 2011-2012 BMW 550i and 550i xDrive sedans produced between April 23, 2010, and Sept. 14, 2011.
  • 2010-2012 BMW 550i Gran Turismo and 550i Gran Turismo xDrive sedans produced between July 30, 2009, and Sept. 8, 2011.
  • 2012 BMW 650i and 650i xDrive coupes produced between Dec. 10, 2010, and Sept. 15, 2011.
  • 2012 BMW 650i and 650i xDrive two-door convertibles produced between Jan. 12, 2011, and Oct. 31, 2011.
  • 2009-2012 BMW 750i, 750i xDrive, 750Li, 750Li xDrive and 760Li sedans produced between Oct. 14, 2008, and Sept. 13, 2011.
  • 2011-2012 BMW ActiveHybrid7 sedans produced between Sept. 24, 2010, and Sept. 6, 2011.
  • 2010-2012 BMW X5 xDrive 50i and X5 M sport utility vehicles produced between July 30, 2009, and Nov. 19, 2011.
  • 2008-2012 BMW X6 xDrive 50i and X6 M sport utility vehicles produced between Nov. 15, 2007, and Nov. 18, 2011.
  • 2010-2011 BMW X6 Hybrid sport utility vehicles produced between Sept. 14, 2009, and Sept. 12, 2011.
  • 2007-2012 Mini Cooper S and JCW coupes produced between June 28, 2007, and Sept. 23, 2011.
  • 2008-2012 Mini Cooper S Clubman and JCW Clubman coupes produced between Jan. 28, 2008, and Sept. 23, 2011.
  • 2011-2012 Mini Cooper S Convertible and JCW Convertible coupes produced between Oct. 28, 2010, and Sept. 23, 2011.
  • 2011-2012 Mini Cooper S Countryman and Cooper S Countryman ALL4 four-door hatchbacks produced between Jan. 19, 2011, and Sept. 13, 2011.
  • 2012 Mini Cooper S Coupe and JCW Coupe models produced between June 22, 2011, and Sept. 23, 2011.
  • 2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster and JCW Roadster coupes produced between Aug. 11, 2010, and Sept. 21, 2011.
  • 2010-2012 Rolls Royce Ghost sedans produced between Jan. 24, 2011, and Sept. 25, 2011.

BMW suspects just 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles contain engine control unit-driven electric auxiliary water pumps that may overheat within high-temperature environments. Specifically, the circuit boards installed in these components are prone to heat due to a critical design flaw. Consequently, electric auxiliary water pumps using these circuit boards might overheat to an extent that causes smoldering, which in turn increases the likelihood of engine fire. This threat poses a serious safety hazard to occupants. However, BMW has yet to receive reports connecting the defect to any accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

BMW engineers first noticed instances of electric auxiliary water pump failure back in June 2009, according to an earlier defect report submitted to the NHTSA. This discovery prompted additional internal testing, which revealed an issue with the circuit board assemblies installed in the pumps. Later in September 2009, Mini, a BMW brand, discovered a vehicle that suffered electric auxiliary water pump failure. BMW initiated a field monitoring program in response.


In May and June 2010, the automaker came across two other vehicles that showed signs of engine compartment burning. This finding prompted BMW to form a special task force to address the issue. The group, in November 2010, confirmed that the vehicles experienced engine compartment fires due to electric auxiliary water pump failure linked to circuit board degradation. In September 2017, Chrysler recalled several models that presented the same fire risk due to water pump failures.

The company continued to monitor the field for the next year, during which time 81 vehicles worldwide suffered electric auxiliary water pump failure. Four of these vehicles experienced engine compartment fires.

In December 2011, BMW completed internal tests involving both BMW and Mini vehicles. On Jan. 3, 2012, the automaker initiated a voluntary safety recall involving more than 88,000 vehicles across both brands.

More than four years later in October 2017, BMW received a field report detailing an instance of electric auxiliary water pump failure in a 2011 Mini Cooper S. The company evaluated the vehicle referenced in the report and confirmed the root cause.

BMW then found that this particular model was not included in the 2012 recall, which forced it to reassess its engineering and field data. This review revealed multiple instances in which BMW had inspected damaged vehicles that showed signs of electric auxiliary water pump failure, including BMW 550i and 750i sedans.

The automaker then launched a formal review of the amended electric auxiliary water pump assemblies installed in vehicles following the 2012 recall campaign and found that these fixtures were failure-prone despite the presence of enlarged circuit path spaces, hall sensor holder gaps and improved plating and soldering.

BMW reviewed its production records and determined that models across its brand, Mini and Rolls Royce were affected. On April 11, 2018, the car manufacturer initiated another voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

BMW has directed dealers to replace the electric auxiliary water pumps in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. However, the automaker is still developing replacement parts. That said, the company plans to reach out to owners June 11, and once more when replacement fixtures become available. Owners in need of assistance prior to the start of the recall can connect with BMW customer service personnel by calling (800) 525-7417. Mini owners should call (866) 825-1525, while individuals with recalled Rolls Royce vehicles should use (877) 877-3735. Owners can, of course, contact the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Almost 48,000 vehicles are included in this GM recall. To see if your car is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Sean ReyesBMW recalls vehicles with defective water pumps

BMW Recalls MINI Coopers for Cushion Issues

Woodcliff Lake, NJ — December 22, 2015 — A problem with seat cushion replacement parts in some recently-produced MINI Coopers could interfere with safe airbag use. According to documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last month, nearly 40 vehicles suffer from a Capacitive Interior Sensing (CIS) system that could place front seat passengers at greater risk during a crash.

This is because the sensors could improperly register the occupant in the front seat, either activating or deactivating the air bags incorrectly. While a Part 573 Safety Recall report on the issue states that 53 vehicles were originally thought to have received the possibly faulty mats, the number has since been adjusted to 38. There are currently no reports of accidents related to this concern, and vehicles owners will still be able to use the “passenger airbag off lamp.”

The remedy for this recall requires replacing the front passenger seat. Both the report and a “Q&A” document available through the NHTSA explain the reasons behind the defective CIS system.

“The CIS mat is designed to differentiate between an installed child restraint system and an adult occupant,” they state. “In affected vehicles, incorrectly calibrated CIS mats may have been installed in the front passenger seat cushion replacement parts. Occupant classification could be impaired, leading to inappropriate air bag activation/deactivation.”

The Q&A clarifies that owners may still drive their vehicles, as long as they follow instructions from letters prompting them to get service done. Passengers should also avoid sitting in the front seats of vehicles when the “airbag off lamp” turns on.

Affected models in these BMW recalls include MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S autos produced between 2014 and 2015.

MotorSafety.orgBMW Recalls MINI Coopers for Cushion Issues

Steering Failure Triggers Mini Cooper Recall

Detroit, MI — November 05, 2015 — Mini Cooper and Cooper S vehicles with model years between 2002 and 2005 could be at risk of a failure that cuts off power steering, shocking drivers suddenly and perhaps prompting an accident.

The case goes back five years and has generated nearly 340 complaints, as drivers reported both accidents and even fires breaking out within the cars themselves. Dealers will make repairs to the power steering to fix the issue once the remedy effort begins in December, and the entire action will concern 86,018 autos, according to Automotive News.

This recall comes after negotiations between the manufacturer and the government, with the latter insisting on a recall based on previous evidence of damage. While the defect doesn’t disable steering completely, it could cause drivers to lose their control as they are operating their vehicle. The systems in these cars are currently protected by a 13-year warranty, which means those of the older vehicles would end this year.

Another Mini Cooper recall was also issued in October, concerning problems with air bag deployment in the passenger side. Consumer Affairs’ James Limbach described this action.

“Due to a manufacturing error, the front passenger air bag may not deploy properly in a low speed crash,” Limbach noted. “Thus, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 208, ‘Occupant Crash Protection.’ ” The remedy for this problem won’t begin until November 20, and will see dealers replacing the defective module, which is potentially in both four and two-door vehicles. This recall includes 6,073 cars.

adminSteering Failure Triggers Mini Cooper Recall

BMW Recalls Mini Coopers For Impact Risk

Washington, D.C. — September 29, 2015 — More than 30,000 MINI Coopers will potentially be affected by a recent recall. Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discovered that some MINI Coopers do not meet government structural regulations established by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. Specifically, the low side impact rating in these cars would put rear seat passengers in danger. The recall will officially start on September 12.

The affected vehicles have model years between 2014 and 2015. Fixing this problem will involve installing special material into the exterior of the vehicle to absorb the shock of collision. According to the NHTSA, some vehicles will also receive a small foam patch as part of the update.

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MotorSafety.orgBMW Recalls Mini Coopers For Impact Risk