Mazda recalls vehicles with defective air bags


Washington, D.C. – Jan. 22, 2017 – Mazda North American Operations has recalled dozens of vehicles potentially equipped with defective, Takata-brand air bag inflators, according to documents submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2006 Mazda B Series pickup trucks produced between Oct. 5, 2005 and Oct. 11, 2005. The automaker suspects only 1 percent of the models referenced in the recall actually contain the defective safety components.

The Takata air bag inflators involved in this action are at the center of one of the largest automotive recalls to date. Numerous brands have recalled more than 49 million vehicles worldwide believed to contain the problematic devices, which have claimed the lives of approximately 21 drivers and injured at least 184 others, Car and Driver reported.

The Defect

Affected models feature Takata front air bag inflators that are prone to rupture upon deployment. This poses a serious safety risk to occupants, as the instantaneous degradation of the device sends shards of metal flying throughout the cabin. In light of this possibility, Mazda has advised owners to discontinue use of their vehicles until repairs can be made.

Timeline of Events

On May 18, 2015, Takata informed the NHTSA and its production partners that certain air bag inflator models were defective and prone to rupture, according to the NHTSA. Ford Motor Company, which had long partnered with Mazda to create B Series pickup trucks, reviewed the supplier’s submission to the NHTSA and determined that an immediate safety recall was necessary. Mazda engineers agreed with the assessment and initiated a joint recall action with Ford involving nearly 20,000 2004-2006 B Series pickup trucks. Between September 2015 and October 2017, the Japanese automaker replaced the air bag inflators found in recalled vehicles with temporary like-for-like components.

In December 2017, Mazda informed the NHTSA that permanent replacement parts were available and launched two separate follow-up actions.

On Jan. 2, Ford received a report detailing a fatal accident involving a 2006 Ford Ranger pickup truck – the vehicle off of which the B Series model is based – equipped with Takata air bag inflators. The American automotive company reviewed production records with officials from Takata and found that Mazda had installed the same problematic inflators in some of its B Series trucks. Ford gave Mazda a list of the models that were potentially affected Jan. 9. Two days later, the Mazda Quality Audit Committee met and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The automaker notified dealers Jan. 16.

The Solution

Mazda has directed dealers to replace the front air bag inflators in the recalled vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The company intends to notify owners via first-class mail Jan. 19. Those in need of additional assistance can contact Mazda customer service at (800) 222-5500. Callers should use the internal recall identification code 2218A. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Mazda B-Series Trucks Recalled for Airbag Problem [Video]

Hello and welcome back to another recall update.

Mazda recently recalled nearly 20,000 of its B-Series trucks from the 2004 to 2006 model years.

All affected vehicles are made with Takata driver side frontal air bags, which could rupture in a crash due to propellant degradation.

Based on the air bag supplier’s investigations, this risk only arises after several years of exposure to extreme conditions.

In affected vehicles, it’s possible that an inflator rupture would launch metal fragments through the air bag at high speeds in the event of a crash, greatly increasing the risk of driver injury.

Owners of the affected B-Series trucks will be informed of the recall in mid-January, and can return the vehicles to a Mazda dealership for free replacement.

Thanks for watching, and be sure to check back again for more recall updates.

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Mazda announces recalls for CX-5 over trailer hitches


Washington, D.C. – Dec. 13, 2017 – Mazda North America recently issued a recall for nearly 1,100 CX-5 sport utility vehicles from the 2017 model year, citing an issue with genuine Mazda trailer hitch harness accessories.

Specifically, as a result of inappropriate routing of that harness, there may not be enough space between the harness itself and the main exhaust silencer. Consequently, if the exhaust silencer and trailer harness come into contact with each other during operation of the vehicle, it could lead to damage to the harness that causes its internal wires to short-circuit.

All CX-5s in the recall were produced between Oct. 27, 2016, and Oct. 31, 2017, and 100 percent of the vehicles in the recall are expected to be affected by it.

The Defect

If the wires in the trailer harness short-circuit, it can lead to failure of the trailer’s turn signals, tail lights and brake lights, which can increase the risk of accident – and injury – because trailing traffic may not be able to determine that the CX-5 intends to turn or is slowing down. However, the lights themselves are not affected directly by the defect.

Timeline of Events

In late September 2017, a Mazda employee noticed that the tail lights on an affected trailer were not working properly during an installation inspection, prompting an investigation the next day. That inspection found that the trailer hitch wire had been melted, and the fuse blow in the harness circuit. Another vehicle was also discovered to have the same problem, which led to a field report being issued, and a companywide investigation started in early October.

Then, on Nov. 15, Mazda’s Quality Audit Committee decided to issue a recall for all affected CX-5s.

The Solution

Dealers received the recall notifications on Nov. 30, and owners will be notified by Jan. 20, 2018. Those owners will be able to take their cars to local Mazda dealers for repairs, conducted free of charge. In the event that a trailer harness has been damaged, it will be replaced, and in either event, will be rerouted away from the exhaust silencer.

So far, Mazda has been able to identify 826 vehicle ID numbers with associated trailer hitch harness kits, but those accessories are not always traceable within the company’s systems, so dealers are being asked to contact purchasers directly.

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Mazda recalls sedans with seat frames


Washington D.C. – Sept. 26, 2017 – Mazda North American Operations has recalled more than 57,000 vehicles believed to be equipped with defective seat frames, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2015-2016 Mazda6 sedans produced between Nov. 3, 2014 and Dec. 9, 2015. Mazda is uncertain how many of the vehicles actually include the defective features.

The Defect

Affected models are likely to contain front passenger seat frames with high levels of weld spatter. When passengers are present, this excess metal could make contact with the classification wire harnesses installed beneath the seat frames and abrade them over time, leading to short circuiting and the eventual loss of power steering assist and air bags. In the event that power steering assist is lost, multiple warning lights illuminate. Drivers will still be able to maneuver their vehicles to evade other drivers. However, when weld splatter abrades wire harnesses and air bag functionality is inhibited, these safety features will not work should an accident unfold.

That said, Mazda has not received reports connecting the defect to any injuries or accidents.

Timeline of Events

On Dec. 1, 2015, Mazda received a field report from the U.S. market outlining an instance in which all of the dashboard lights illuminated in a Mazda6 sedan. Engineering personnel investigated the report and found that the occupant sensor wiring harness in the car was abraded due to extensive weld spatter on the front passenger seat frame. Approximately eight days later, the Japanese automaker rolled out amended assembly processes that involved installing protective pads beneath the seat frames in Mazda6 models. On February 5, 2016, quality assurance personnel reviewed all information related to the defect and resulting production fix, and determined that a voluntary recall was unnecessary as there was a low frequency of occurrence and drivers could still safely maintain control of their vehicles in the event of complete wire harness abrasion. Mazda continued to monitor the field for more reports.

By Nov. 29, 2016, 13 more field reports materialized, forcing the automaker to reassess its earlier decision. However, by March 3, 2017, few other occurrences cropped up. On July 25, Mazda shared information on the defect and the assembly amendment with the NHTSA during a technical presentation. The agency requested more detailed data, which the automaker submitted to NHTSA officials Aug. 10 during a follow-up meeting. The NHTSA offered additional guidance on the matter Aug. 21. Mazda convened a Quality Audit Committee meeting Aug. 24 and decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall based on this discussion.

The car manufacturer notified dealers Sept. 22.

The Solution

Mazda directed dealers to attach protective pads to front passenger seat frames installed in affected vehicles free of charge, according to a recall acknowledgment document. Service crews are also supposed to inspect wire harnesses and apply insulating tape if they show signs of abrasion. The car company plans to notify owners via first-class mail Sept. 29. Those in need of more immediate assistance can reach out to Mazda customer service at (800) 222-5500. Callers should use the internal recall identification code 1517H. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA through its Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Mazda recalls additional vehicles with Takata air bags


Washington D.C. – Aug. 21, 2017 – Mazda North American Operations has recalled almost 80,000 vehicles equipped with Takata air bag assemblies, according to documentation filed with the National Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2007-2012 Mazda CX-7 and CX-9 sport utility vehicles, as well as 2009-2012 Mazda 6 sport sedans. The automaker is unsure what percentage of the total models referenced in the recall contain the flawed safety features. This campaign replaces an earlier action taken in January and follows two others initiated in May and June. Together, these recalls involve hundreds of thousands of Mazda vehicles.

The Defect

The models named in this recall are likely to contain Takata air bag assemblies with inflators prone to rupture on impact. If exploded, these fixtures send sharp metal projectiles flying throughout the cabin, putting passengers in grave danger. Mazda has received multiple reports of injuries related to this defect, according to internal records. Other car manufacturers using these air bags have even had owners killed because of these defective assemblies. In fact, more than one dozen drivers worldwide have perished due to injuries caused by Takata-made air bag fixtures, The New York Times reported.

Timeline of Events

Back in January 2017, Mazda initiated an official safety recall to address the Takata air bag assemblies installed in various models. Between the January and June, the car manufacturer replaced the safety features in affected vehicles with like-for-like parts to provide temporary relief while engineers worked on long-term solutions. In late July, Mazda finished designing and testing these permanent replacement parts. Weeks later, the automaker authorized an additional recall to supersede the action taken in January and equip affected vehicles with viable air bag parts in need of no further mechanical adjustments, according to internal documentation filed with the NHTSA.

Mazda notified dealers Aug. 11.

The Solution

The car company has directed dealers to replace the air bag assemblies in affected vehicles with safe alternatives, free of charge. These new parts are made to withstand hot and humid conditions, and therefore do not develop the structural issues that cause Takata assemblies to rupture upon deployment. Mazda intends to notify owners via first-class mail Aug. 25. Those in need of more immediate assistance can contact Mazda customer service at (800) 222-5500 or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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Mazda recall: Older vehicles may have fuel pump issue [Video]

Poor welding in some Mazda vehicles has led to a recall. In one of two recent recalls, the manufacturer plans to address problems with a fuel pump. In some vehicles, heat and bad production can fracture one of the key pipes for the existing fuel system.

Although this is a recent recall, with the first U.S. field report happening this year, the issue goes back some time. The production dates for the R-X-eight vehicles themselves fell between 2003 and 2008, and the preliminary investigation began in 2007. A total of sixty-nine thousand, four hundred and forty-seven vehicles are reportedly involved.

Dealers can fix the issue by installing a new fuel pump filter kit, and Mazda has offered the improved version since 2008.

Stay tuned for more recall updates.

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Mazda recalls sedans with defective braking systems


Washington, D.C. – June 22, 2017 – Mazda North American Operations has recalled more than 227,000 sedans with potentially corrosion-prone braking systems, according to documentation failed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2014-2016 Mazda3 sedans manufactured between Jan. 6, 2014 and Sept. 2, 2016, as well as 2014-2015 Mazda6 sedans made between Oct. 25, 2012 and Dec. 1, 2014. The Japanese automaker does not know at this time what percentage of the vehicles named in the recall contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles might feature rear brake calipers that are improperly protected and sealed, and therefore are vulnerable to water damage. Moisture may be able to enter the calipers and degrade the brake actuator shaft. This phenomenon, paired with continuous use, can increase the diameter of the shaft and inhibit its operability. In some instances, the shaft could become lodged within the brake caliper assembly and reduce parking brake stopping power. This poses a serious hazard to drivers, as the brake could suddenly disengage and cause an accidental collision.

Timeline of Events

In April 2015, Mazda received a field service report from the Canadian market detailing an instance of brake drag, according to the NHTSA. Engineers inspected the vehicle involved, a Mazda6 sedan, and discovered that the actuator shaft in the rear brake caliper had seized. The automaker assumed that high pressure spraying around the caliper was the cause and instituted a field monitoring initiative to look for similar occurrences.

In August, Mazda received seven field reports from the U.S. referencing that same problem. The carmaker initiated an investigation. Three months later, the company identified the root cause: improperly protected and corrosion-coated brake calipers. In December, Mazda engineers reviewed the original specifications for the brake caliper protective boot and tested its corrosion mitigation capabilities. Within the two months, the carmaker had introduced new protective boots at the point of assembly. However, this production change did not apply to Mazda6 sedans produced after January 2014, as Mazda had switched from mechanical braking systems to electric alternatives with more effective corrosion protections. The carmaker issued a similar decision on Mazda3 models, which featured an improved actuator shaft design.

Over the summer of 2016, Mazda received multiple collision reports from the German and U.K. markets for Mazda3 and Mazda6 models with corroded brake actuator shafts, including some that had rolled off of the assembly line after January 2014. In August, the company received an additional nine reports from dealers in the U.S. market and decided to take action. Throughout late 2016, the carmaker conducted an additional root cause investigation and worked on designs for new brake caliper protective boots.

Mazda produced a boot replacement kit for the Mazda6 in January 2017. In February, the company introduced new manufacturing methods to address defective Mazda3 sedans. Three months later, it produced a boot replacement kit for this model. In May, the carmaker initiated a voluntary recall for both vehicles.

The Solution

Mazda will request dealers to survey the rear brake assemblies on vehicles named in the campaign and replace brake actuator shafts that show signs of corrosion, free of charge, according to the NHTSA. The carmaker plans to notify dealers Aug. 7, 2017 and contact vehicle owners Aug. 21, 2017.

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Mazda recalls sports cars with defective ball joints


Washington, D.C. – June 1, 2017 – Mazda North American Operations has recalled more than 35,000 sports cars with defective ball joints. The campaign affects RX-8 sports cars manufactured between April 10, 2003 and May 7, 2004, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The Japanese automaker is unsure what percentage of the vehicles named in the recall contain the damaged part.

The Defect
Affected models are equipped with ball joints that have been improperly caulked and can therefore damage the joint socket. This structural instability puts immense pressure on the suspension and can even cause the joint to separate from the socket in affected vehicles that are bearing abnormally large loads. Such an event drastically decreases driveability – a symptom of loss of steering control – and compromises occupant safety.

Timeline of Events
In December 2005, Mazda received a field report from a dealer in the U.S. market mentioning the problem, according to a defect timeline filed with the NHTSA. While the automaker was unable to recover the failed part, it ultimately launched an official investigation to further explore the problem cited in the report. Quality assurance personnel closed the inquiry four months later without identifying the root cause. Mazda continued to monitor field reports to look for additional occurrences. In September 2007, the car maker received a report from the Japanese market in which the driver described losing steering power while racing. QA personnel started an official investigation.

Engineers conducted tests between October and November of that year and determined that heavy loads were to blame in this instance of steering loss, after which Mazda resumed field monitoring. The company received two more reports from Japanese drivers between July and September of 2008, both of which detailed sudden steering failure during racing events. Engineers tested these vehicles and determined that the ball joints in both had fractured while the autos were supporting abnormally large loads. Mazda continued to monitor incoming field reports.

The automaker received another field report during the summer of 2009. While the vehicle addressed in the complaint was not used for racing purposes, it did feature a performance suspension. Engineers determined that this fixture had nothing to do with the steering failure but noted it just the same. From October to December 2009, Mazda received two additional field reports pertaining to vehicles used in competition.

Over the next two years, the number of field reports multiplied, most of which applied to RX-8s involved in racing events. Even so, the automaker did implement design changes in late 2012 to reduce the likelihood of steering loss. It also continued to investigate the problem and collect related field reports, eight of which materialized between 2013 and 2014.

In the spring of 2015, another driver in the Japanese market reported that his race-ready RX-8 had suddenly lost its steering power, forcing Mazda to resume more focused investigative efforts. Then, in June, an owner with no experience on the track filed a field report mentioning the problem. QA personnel for the car maker further analyzed ball joint separation in this non-racing model and restarted monitoring efforts to pinpoint other instances in which overloaded RX-8s used exclusively for commuting suffered steering control loss due to ball joint separation. From July to December 2015, Mazda conducted further tests.

In January 2016, engineers for the car company began considering the possibility that the defect was not the result of race-related stress but a symptom of faulty assembly processes. Two months later, QA personnel conducted detailed examinations of existing production workflows. Between April and August 2016, Mazda continued this work and started developing field screening procedures for RX-8s already on the road. Over the course of September and October, these plans were finalized. By April 2017, engineers at the car company were fairly certain the problem was related to defective parts.

On May 29, 2017, Mazda officials decided to launch a voluntary recall campaign.

The Solution
The automotive organization will order dealers to replace the lower control arms in affected RX-8s with new assemblies containing properly caulked ball joint sockets, free of charge. Mazda plans to notify owners July 15, 2017 and owners July 30, 2017. Individuals in need of more immediate assistance are encouraged to contact Mazda customer service or the NHTSA.

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Mazda Recalls Sedans With Broken Seats

Washington, D.C. –  Feb. 15, 2017 –  Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that it will recall almost 174,000 vehicles due to faulty driver seats. The recall affects 2011 Mazda 2 subcompacts, along with Mazda 3 and Mazdaspeed 3 compacts produced in 2010 and 2011, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Defect

Faulty seat height adjustment links lie at the heart of the problem. These fixtures are abnormally weak in the affected models and can loosen, or in some cases detach completely, causing the driver seat to recline dramatically. This increases the likelihood of an accident.

Timeline of Events

Several Mazda owners have filed NHTSA complaints mentioning the issue. The earliest dates back to April 2012, when one Mazda 3 owner in Decatur, Alabama discovered that the adjustment rail on the front driver seat had snapped. Another Mazda 3 owner in Port Jefferson Station, New York filed a complaint earlier this month, telling the NHTSA that the adjustment link gave way suddenly during operation. The driver urged the agency to address the issue with Mazda.

“The manufacturer should have a recall on this problem immediately before someone gets killed,” the complaint read.

The NHTSA submitted the official recall Feb. 8 and contacted Mazda five days later.

The Resolution

Mazda dealers have been instructed to evaluate affected vehicles, specifically the driver seat adjustment link. If this fixture is cracked, on-site personnel will replace it entirely with a modified part. Should the adjustment link show no damage, it will be reinforced with an additional bracket. Mazda has also advised dealers to install two extra push nuts per link in these cases. These repairs will be performed free of charge.

The carmaker is expected to notify all dealers by March 15, while owners should receive confirmation by March 31.

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The Problem With Mazda Lift Gates

Washington, D.C. – October 26, 2016 – The lift gate of Mazda vehicles are beginning to drop unexpectedly, according to a memo released by the National Highway Traffic Administration. The result is usually not pretty for anyone involved. The individual working with the car is likely to be injured when the lift gate of a vehicle drops unexpectedly toward him or her. In a variety of vehicles, Mazda found that the struts of the lift gate may corrode over time, which is likely responsible for the gate dropping. The company is recalling Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3s made between 2010 and 2013, Mazda5s from October 26, 2010 to June 22, 2015, CX-3 vehicles from June 1, 2015, to December 26, 2015, and CX-5s from December 15, 2011, to December  26, 2015.

The Defect

Although professionals are still working to find out the exact causes of such a problem in the lift gates, researchers believe that insufficient corrosion protective coating was applied in the first place. There are plenty of things that can cause corrosion to those parts. If materials like that are exposed to water that contains road salt, the compound can cause corrosion. If that is the case, the mechanisms holding the lift gates up will not be able to do their job properly. That is when issues like unexpected drops occur.

Timeline Of Mazda’s Response

Unlike other recall processes, Mazda has taken a relatively straightforward approach to this issue. Some manufacturers might let this kind of issue drag on for years, but in less than that long, Mazda is taking steps to fixing the problem. Here is a rough timeline for the actions by Mazda:

  • January 2016: Mazda was notified that there was an investigation on the corrosion of parts that prevent lift gates from falling unexpectedly.
  • March 2016: Mazda received information saying that salt water may be responsible for penetrating the gap between the outer tube and the end cap. Combined with temperature changes, corrosion can occur.
  • April – August, 2016: An internal investigation was launched by leaders at Mazda. Although no broken parts were found, the outer tubes of some returned parts were confirmed to be corroded. Mazda then conducted an anti-corrosion evaluation. The results were that the anti-corrosion performances by certain vehicles were not up to par.
  • August 30, 2016: There still isn’t enough evidence from global markets to cause Mazda manufacturers to panic. But Mazda professionals acknowledge that lift gates may fall or break off vehicles in the future if steps aren’t taken to prevent it. In an effort to get out ahead of any future problems, Mazda issued a recall.

The Solution

Mazda is doing their best to help people who have encountered this problem. In fact, Mazda dealers replace lift gates and their components free of charge. Mazda is planning on sending interim letters to car owners starting on November 1, 2016 and plan on sending secondary letters as parts become available. That’s the bad news – parts are currently unavailable. If you have any questions in the meantime, reach out to the Mazda customer service center at 1-800-222-5500.

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