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Mini forced to recall cars for too-long tailpipes

by Andrew Ganz

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is forcing BMW, which owns Mini, to recall all 2007-2009 Cooper S coupes because their tailpipes stick out too far beyond the rear bumper. The NHTSA is concerned that "inadvertent contact [could] occur with a person's leg" should they walk behind the Cooper S, the defect notice states.

Dealers have to remove a tailpipe extender and replace it with one a few inches shorter - free of charge for Mini owners, of course. The tail pipe extender installed at the factory doesn't actually serve a purpose - it's just cosmetic, so it won't change performance of the Cooper S.

Mini is to begin contacting owners in January to schedule tailpipe extender replacements. In the meantime, try not to light your pants on fire when you walk around the back of your Mini Cooper S.

This wouldn't have happened if everyone was driving electric-powered Mini Es... see our Quick Spin here.