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NHTSA Investigates Mini Cooper S Engine Fires

A preliminary investigation is under way into a dozen reported Mini engine fires.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating the Mini Cooper S lineup after 12 registered complaints were made about their vehicles catching on fire. Eight of the complainants claim their cars caught fire while the cars were parked without the engine running; another five say fires burnt their cars to the ground. No injuries or deaths have thus far been recorded but complaints demonstrate an increasing trend with the bulk coming in the past year.

Specific models include the 2007 and 2008 Mini Cooper S variants and as such 36,000 owners in the US could be affected by the investigation. At present, the cause of the fires is unknown but there are suggestions that an oil leak in one of the lines connected to the 1.6-liter turbocharger engine could cause oil to drip on the extremely hot exhaust system, sparking a fire. Results of the investigation are expected to solve the mystery and although a recall has yet to be issued, the agency could announce one depending on their findings. Photos displayed are of the 2007 Mini Cooper S.

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