East Bay MINI Service Advisor Scott Hunter explains:
"Owners of affected vehicles will eventually get the letter by mail.
This is NOT a recall or technical campaign.
A technical campaign means the manufacturer has identified a problem with a component and will label all affected VIN's, so if the vehicle should come into the dealer and the VIN is scanned it automatically directs the dealer to replace the affected component.
This is a warranty extension, which means that if a vehicle is brought into a dealer with a verified concern from the customer that the component will be replaced free of charge. The component must be diagnosed as failed or failing. If a vehicle is NOT currently exhibiting any symptoms, or a certified technician cannot prove a currently failed or failing component-no action will be taken.
If a customer has previously paid to have the EHPS power steering pump replaced, they can contact MINI USA for reimbursement.
Do not contact your local dealer if you have previously paid for this repair. The dealer will do nothing but direct you to contact MINI USA. The information they need is in the customer letter that I have attached to this e-mail.
Once again, this is NOT a recall!! If a customer goes into their local dealer requesting to have their EHPS power steering pump replaced because they received a letter from MINI USA, the pump will NOT be replaced unless there is currently a problem with it. If there is no problem at the time of diagnosis/inspection, no action will be taken!"
UPDATE (May 28, 2013): Scott has just learned and conveyed the following additional information to us:
MINI USA is [now] directing people that have previously paid for either the power steering pump and or the power steering fan, to seek reimbursement from the dealer. They can seek reimbursement from any dealer, however I would recommend, that they try to go back to the dealer where the work was performed as they should have the records on file (unless it was done more then 4-5 years ago as the records could be purged out of the dealer's system already) I think either way people should be prepared to show an itemized receipt, with parts and labor broken down separately. The work could have been performed at either the dealer or an independent, as long as they have the itemized receipt.