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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: October 26, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    US study Mini fires as Jaguar suspends X-Type recall over cruise control problem

    Michael McAleer

    US road safety experts are studying complaints that engines could catch fire in Mini Cooper S models built for that market. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into models from 2007 and 2008.

    The federal safety agency said that it has received 12 complaints of fires. Five of the blazes destroyed the cars. Eight fires happened when the engines had been shut off.

    No injuries have been reported, NHTSA said. The agency said there was an increasing trend of fires, with most of the complaints coming in the past year.

    It opened a preliminary evaluation on October 11th and will try to find the cause of the blazes. Depending on the findings, a recall could be ordered. The fires could affect S models in the US of the Mini Cooper, Cooper Clubman and Cooper Convertible, the agency said.

    A spokeswoman for BMW Ireland said that while they are aware of the investigation in the US, there has not been a requirement for the Irish or UK operation to carry out a similar investigation. “Any MINI owners experiencing any difficulties with their vehicle should, as always, contact their local MINI dealer who will investigate any reported faults,” she said.

    Meanwhile Jaguar has suspended a recall of some of its X-Type diesels as the software repair for the problem with cruise control units has not always downloaded successfully on the cars.

    The premium car brand had planned to recall almost 18,000 cars relating to the fact that “in some circumstances the cruise control may not respond to the normal inputs”.

    Letters received by customers say that in some circumstances the cruise control, if engaged, cannot be disengaged in the normal manner. Turning the ignition off will cancel the cruise control function, the letter said.

    The potential problem occurs in X TYPE 2.2-litre diesel models manufactured between 2006 and 2010. According to a Jaguar Ireland spokesman the Irish market has 135 vehicles affected and to date 13 vehicles have had the software re-programme of the vehicles engine management control module completed successfully. However, he said Jaguar has made the decision to temporarily suspend the recall action as a result of concerns that in certain cases the software re-programme has failed to download successfully.

    “The National Consumer Agency in Ireland was made aware of the recall when it was launched on the 25th August, 2011 and has also been advised of its suspension status as of the 19th of October, 2011,” he said.

    “To date there have been no Irish cases of driver concern whilst operating the cruise control, however affected owners are being advised not to use the cruise control system until the required update is completed. As soon as Jaguar Cars Ltd releases the new validated software download, the recall action will be reinstated and all affected owners will be notified immediately.”


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