— It hasn't been a good start in 2015 for BMW's MINI division, and now the trend continues with the recall of 91,800 MINI Coopers for airbag problems.
BMW says the recalled cars are the 2005-2006 MINI Cooper and Cooper S cars and 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertibles. The cars have problems with the front passenger-seat occupant detection mats which can cause the front passenger airbags to fail in a crash.
The same airbag problems have been a thorn in the side of BMW for years.
In July 2008, BMW recalled 200,000 model year 2004-2006 X3, 3 and 5 Series models, with an additional 120,000 model year 2004-2006 X5, Z4, 3, 5, 6 and 7 Series receiving a 10 year/unlimited mileage extended warranty.
About four years later, BMW added an additional 76,565 model year 2006-2007 X5, 3, 5 and 7 Series. In addition, certain model year 2006-07 Z4, 3 and 5 Series received an extended warranty.
In 2014, BMW reviewed warranty-related issues concerning the 2005-2008 MINI models even though the warranties had expired on those cars. The automaker collected the affected parts and sent them to the original supplier that determined numerous problems had occurred with electrical resistance of the sensor mats.
The problems were blamed on production, installation and wear to the sensor mats. BMW decided to order this newest MINI recall to fix those problems.
The recalled 2005-2006 MINI Cooper and Cooper S cars were manufactured January 5, 2005, to November 28, 2006, and the 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertibles were built from January 5, 2005, to July 31, 2008.
The MINI Cooper recall should begin May 1, 2015, when dealers will replace the front passenger-seat occupant detection mats. Owners of the 2005-2006 MINI Cooper and Cooper S and the 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertibles can contact MINI at 866-825-1525.
The MINI Cooper has made the news at least three previous times in 2015, including MINI nailed by the Federal Trade Commission for violating warranty laws.
In January, the MINI Cooper was recalled because the cars failed to meet side impact performance requirements for rear seat passengers.
And in February 2015, the MINI Coopers were recalled because stickers contained incorrect information about the maximum weight capacity.