Stupid Recall

Mini Coopers recalled for tail pipes that are too long

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.


This is… I can’t even begin without pondering about just how far humans are out of natural selection. It’s sad really, what’s next – mandatory caution stickers on your rear bumper?

Give it five years, this will be standard on every car...

Give it five years, this will be standard on every car...

I don’t care for Minis, hell I’d go as far as to say I rather drive a Miata… but to make them replace their exhaust finishers with slightly shorter ones because some friggen idiot might burn them self on their own car is pretty bad.

Then again, just think about it — some guy walks too close to your car just after you parked it, gets singed and then sues you. Especially in this case, as I’m sure most Mini owners will ignore the recall… now guess who’s liable when that asshat is looking for some quick cash?

-Dave out


10 thoughts on “Stupid Recall

  1. I have actually heard that they have a comfortable drive with a roomy interior. I think they even won car of the year when they first came out. I would never buy one but I would accept one as a gift.

  2. I am in favor of the recall. It does not impinge on consumers’ freedom. And any car where you can burn yourself through normal use was designed poorly. The government is helping consumers by saving them from having to sue BMW to get the same result: fix a bad design.

  3. I knew you’d be the devils advocate on even this Mike. My point exactly is that with the government spoon-feeding people everything they get even more lax and stupid. I shouldn’t need the government to protect me from my exhaust pipe’s heat. So go hug a tree, liberal hippie!

    Actually, I wasn’t talking shit from leg-room standpoint. The MX-5 certainly looses out on that. I’ve never sat in a MINI, but I’ve been in an MX-5 and it was very cramped. But I’m quite picky about leg room anyway, so roomy to you guys does not necessarily mean roomy to me anyhow (especially with Mike).

    They are both lame girly cars IMO, but at least the MX-5 is a RWD roadster that can handle very well. I’m not so sure about the mini, it is FWD after all. Hence my comparison of the two.

  4. Also, getting back to the original topic, if I burned (read: barely singed) myself on my tailpipe I’d think to myself:
    “ouch, that was fucking hot. I should be careful not to do that next time”
    rather than:
    “ouch, now who do I blame and how can I sue them? Also, where was the government to save me from this terrible burn?!”

    The more people that fall into the second statement, the more the world needs to end. 😉

  5. The recall affects more than just stupid people. It also affects average people, like me and you, who could most likely never force BMW to recall the tailpipe on their own. Average people rely on well funded and powerful government agencies like NHTSA to protect their interests.

    Also, I am checking with NHTSA, but I do not think the recall is mandatory for consumers. If you do not want the government to protect you then refuse the tailpipe. It is your choice.

    I was not suggesting that someone would sue BMW strictly for cash. I was suggesting that, without NHTSA, a group of people would have to file a class action lawsuit to get the same result: fix the broken tailpipe.

    As for ending the world, I am also inconvenienced by stupid or inconsiderate people. But that fact of life has nothing to do with NHTSA’s recall. And it does not mean the government should stop helping us.


  6. I think recalls are rarely mandatory. In fact, I cannot imagine a situation were the issuer of the recall could do more then strongly suggest that you get it done.

    But as I said in the OP, should something go wrong and you didn’t go to the dealer to have the recall taken care of, all the liability then falls on you.

    That said, I sure as hell not take my car in to get such a silly recall fixed. That is just excessive and stupid, and that was another point of my post. A tail pipe that sticks out is not “broken” – I see cars all the time with duals sticking out. Stock or not.

    The need for the government to step in still exists, however there are clearly times when it gets unreasonable and I think this recall is an example of that.

    I would venture to say that not many MINI owners will take this recall seriously anyway.

  7. I got a non-answer.

    Project: NHTSA Hotline Center
    Case: Mandatory Recall?
    Case Number: xxxxx

    Date: 12/24/2008 Time: 15:52:13
    Creation Date: 12/24/2008 Creation Time: 14:46:56

    Entered on 12/24/2008 at 15:52:13 by CLR:
    Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Vehicle Safety Hotline Information Center.

    Recalls are announced for safety reasons and we urge those who receive them to take their vehicles to be repaired.

    We hope that you find this information helpful. However, if you need additional information on our services please feel free to contact us at 1-888-327-4236.

    Thank you, Response Team

    Disclaimer: “This response is for information purposes only and does not constitute an official communication of the U.S. Department of Transportation. For an official response, please write U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Ave, SE, West Building, Washington, DC 20590.

    Entered on 12/24/2008 at 14:46:55 by michael.mientus@xxx
    From: Michael Mientus

    I was wondering if the recent Mini Cooper S recall was mandatory. In other words, if I bring my Mini to the dealer for regular service will they have to replace the tailpipe or can I refuse it?

    Also what does BMW report to NHTSA if I refuse the tailpipe? And if I sell my Mini with the old tailpipe, can the new owner get it replaced under the recall?


    From NHTSA Web Site.

    Contact Information:
    NHTSA ID: xxxxx

  8. That is a pretty useless response…

    Chances are in your hypothetical above, the dealer would just say “hey you never got this recall done” and you could tell them not to worry about it. They might tell you some BS like they have to do it though. I could be wrong of course, but dealers are not to be trusted either way.

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