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File photo from 2008 of Mini Cooper S models at a dealership in Denver, Colorado. David Zalubowski/AP/Press Association Images
Mini Cooper

Mini Cooper S models in US investigated over engine fires

US agency says it has received 12 complaints of engine fires in cars from 2007 and 2008, with eight apparently starting after the engine had been shut off.

Updated at 13:40

US AUTHORITIES are investigating the Mini Cooper S over claims that the engines of some of its 2007 and 2008 caught fire.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that it has received 12 complaints of engine fires in the US, five of which completely destroyed the cars.

Eight of the complaints claim that the fires started after the engine were shut off.

The issue could affect S models of the Mini Cooper, Cooper Clubman and Cooper Convertible. Around 36,000 of the cars were produced in 2007 and 2008.

The NHTSA says that complaints increased over the past year and depending on its findings, a recall on the models could be issued.

Mini Cooper is part of the BMW Group. A spokesperson for the company told today that it is investigating the alleged defect and is cooperating with the NHTSA.

- Additional reporting on the AP