16/01/2012 15:46 GMT | Updated 17/03/2012 05:12 GMT

Mini Recalls 235,000 Cars Worldwide Over Electrical Fault Fears

BMW is recalling 235,000 Mini Coopers worldwide, including 30,000 in Britain, after makers detected an electrical fault that could lead cars to catch fire.

Safety checks by the German car maker revealed a problem with two models - the Mini Cooper S and the Mini John Cooper Works, which can cause the water pump to fail, potentially causing the car to overheat.

Manufacturers are investigating one case in Britain where a fire is being linked to the water pump, a spokesman for Mini said on Monday evening.

Owners will be issued with a recall notice in the next few weeks.

A spokesman insisted the vehicles remain safe to drive and there is a "very low incidence" of the fault, despite the risk of fire.

"In more extreme cases, it could create a heat build-up in the wiring and some smouldering," he said, adding that there was a potential risk of fire.

"We are not aware of any accidents or injuries connected with this," he said.

"The important thing is that when people receive the letter, they simply go to their dealer and get a new water pump fitted if there is a problem."

The Mini, more than 50 years old, has been one of the most successful and loved cars of all time.

Launched in 1959, it was dubbed the "classless car" with its drivers ranging from factory workers to film stars.

The make, which was born at a plant in Oxford, was relaunched by car giant BMW in 2001.

A review on motoring programme Top Gear's website described the Mini John Cooper Works as the "ultimate Mini with pretty close to ultimate performance".

Promoted as the "big bad bruiser" of the Mini fleet, it has a top speed of 148 mph and basic prices are around £22,390.

The Mini Cooper S, which has a top speed of 142 mph, came up trumps in 2006 when it was voted "the most fun car we've driven this year," by Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and his team.

The model has a basic price of around £18,000.