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BMW’s Mini Brand Recalls 86K Cars Over Power Steering Issue

DETROIT -- Under pressure from U.S. safety regulators, BMW's Mini brand is recalling more than 86,000 cars because the power steering could fail.

The recall covers the Mini Cooper and Cooper S models from 2002 to 2005. BMW says in documents filed with regulators that the power steering can fail because of manufacturing or other issues. If that happens, manual steering remains but it would take greater effort to steer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the cars in 2010 after getting 339 complaints including five minor crashes and three fires involving melted wires.

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BMW at first extended steering warranties, but last month the agency sought a recall. BMW agreed but said the problem wasn't an unreasonable safety risk.

Dealers will replace power steering parts if needed starting in December.