BMW's recall of fuel pumps on 130,000 turbo-powered vehicles left some Mini owners scratching their heads - since they've had the same kind of failure on their BMW-designed Cooper S models since 2007. Mini's reply? No recall here.
While the volume of complaints and general tsuris over the problem hasn't risen to the level of BMW, dozens of Mini owners on forums such as North American Motoring have reported failing high-pressure fuel pumps in turbo-engined Cooper S models, some with just a few thousand miles on the odo. As with BMW, the symptoms included hard starts and rough running; and as with BMW, the answer from Mini has to decry any widespread problem, with many dealers reported telling customers the problem stemmed from bad fuel.
In July, Mini did announce it was extending the warranty on the high-pressure pumps to 10 years or 120,000 miles, just as BMW did, on 2007-2009 Mini Cooper S vehicles.
But as far as Mini's concerned, that's where the similarities end. Mini spokeswoman Nathalie Bauters told Jalopnik the N14 engine in the Cooper S used a different fuel pump than the one under recall by BMW. "We feel the action we took this summer is sufficient," she said.
While such problems annoy current owners, they also can sway future customers to look elsewhere. In its annual rankings of reliability released today, Consumer Reports ranked BMW and Mini 23rd and 25th respectively out of 27 brands — due in no small part to engine complaints.