The government has opened an investigation into potential power steering problems in Mini Coopers built by German automaker BMW AG.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday on its website that it had received 54 complaints about the loss of power steering in Mini Coopers from the 2004-2005 model years.
When the power steering stops working, it becomes more difficult for the driver to steer or control the vehicle.
The preliminary investigation covers about 80,000 Mini Coopers.
BMW did not immediately comment on the investigation.
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