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Flaming Mini report sparks safety probe.

Byline: The Judge

SAFETY watchdogs are probing a power steering fault with Mini Coopers...two weeks after I highlighted the problem.

I told how nurse Laura Miller's Mini burst into flames on the motorway leaving her with a pounds 1200 bill.

Now VOSA, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, have launched an investigation.

They said: "Our vehicle safety branch are investigating but we don't know how long it will take.

"Under the general product safety regulations we have the power to instruct a manufacturer to issue a recall if we think a model has a safety defect."

Meanwhile, a second reader, Stefani Girasoli, reported her Mini Cooper caught fire outside her flat in Glasgow's East End.

Stefani, 25, a cashier, was left with a pounds 2000 repair bill after her insurer refused to pay out. She said: "The mechanic said it was an electrical fault caused by the power steering pump overheating and catching fire.

But Mini would not admit there was a problem and I had to pay the bill."

Mini are sticking to their guns and said they could investigate Stefani's case and take Laura's further only with an engineer's report.

As Laura's insurer does not have one and Stefani has traded the car in there is little chance of that.

Mini said: "We are concerned about the upset. Incidents like this can be due to a number of reasons including mechanical or electrical with a variety of causes of ignition.

We'll continue tomonitor it closely."

Not good enough. If VOSA are investigating Mini need to act now.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 16, 2008
Words:265
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