Friday, December 4, 2009

New Wall Charger (sticker included)

A couple day's ago I had the electrical contractor that installed my wall charger come back and install a new wall charger. The first one worked fine, there were no functional issues at all. The problem was it didn't have a sticker on it that said it was tested as a complete unit and my local electrical inspector failed it when he did the inspection. This has turned out to be the single biggest problem MINI has had to deal with in the whole program. In fact, there are rumors that Richard Steinberg of BMW wakes up at night in cold sweats screaming "It has the sticker, it has the sticker" but this has not yet been confirmed.
There are somewhere between 450 and 500 Mini-E's on the road now and only a handful have had inspectors fail them over this issue. Basically, the problem comes from the fact that the wall charger and the cable that is attached to it were both tested and approved by Underwriters Labs, but they were tested separately and not a complete unit and some of the New Jersey inspectors would not accept it. None of the 100 or so chargers in New York failed and I think only 1 or 2 out of the 250 in California failed. The crazy thing is, the new charger is EXACTLY the same as the one they took away other than a shiny sticker on the cable. In fact, the "bad" charger that was taken away will go back to the factory where they will put the sticker on the cable and ship it out to be used again, but now it's safe because of the sticker. That's one powerful sticker, let me tell you. I'm now scheduled for re-inspection next week, lets hope the sticker does it's magic and we can finally put this charger issue to rest.

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