Owners of the 5,764 models built after August 1996 are being contacted by letter and asked to take their cars to dealers, who will repair the fault free. A further 12,000 of the cars sold on the Continent, mostly to the German market, are also being recalled.
A statement from Rover said: "Investigations have shown that there is a possibility for the engine coolant radiator support clip to come into contact with the front brake feed pipe and in extreme circumstances this could lead to a loss of brake fluid. In this situation the brake fluid level warning lamp would illuminate but the effectiveness of the footbrake could be impaired, though all Mini cars do feature a dual circuit braking system."
A Rover spokesman said the fault was reported to the company by dealers who noticed there was a problem on a handful of cars. Routine tests by Rover also revealed the risk. He said the fault stemmed from a redesign of the Mini that involved moving the radiator from the side of the car to the front. There have been no reports of the brakes actually failing or anyone having had an accident as a result. "It is a purely precautionary measure. A warning light would still come on and the brakes would feel different, but there is still a secondary braking system."
The fault has now been fixed at production. The spokesman said the design of the new Mini, which is due to come out in 2001, was completely different.Reuse content