WASHINGTON — BMW of North America is recalling 86,018 2002-'05 Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S cars because they may experience temporary or permanent loss of the electrohydraulic steering assistance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The 2002-'05 Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S convertibles are included in the recall.
"If the vehicle experiences a loss of power-steering assist, extra steering effort will be required at lower speeds, potentially increasing the risk of a vehicle crash," said NHTSA in its recall summary.
BMW told federal safety regulators it is aware of 20 accidents and five occupant injuries that are "possibly related to this issue."
The vehicles were under investigation by NHTSA prior to the recall. Mini USA had previously extended the warranty on the affected parts for up to 13 years and 150,000 miles on the affected vehicles. This recall supersedes the current Mini extended-warranty program covering the components.
BMW said owners can continue to drive their vehicles. Drivers encountering a problem can call Mini Roadside Assistance at 1-866-646-4772.
Mini dealers will inspect the electrohydraulic power-steering system, replacing the components and wiring as necessary. The recall is expected to begin on December 1. Owners can contact Mini customer service at 1-866-825-1525.
Edmunds says: Mini dealers are awaiting parts for this recall. If you own one of these cars, wait for your official recall notice and then schedule a service appointment. It's a good idea to stay in touch with your dealer for the latest information.