Washington, D.C. – July 10, 2018 – Mazda North American Operations has recalled almost 270,000 vehicles potentially equipped with defective Takata air bag assemblies, according to documentation given to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign involves multiple models, including:
- 2003-2008 Mazda Mazda6 sedans produced between May 29, 2002, and May 5, 2008.
- 2006-2007 Mazda Mazdaspeed6 performance sedans produced between June 1, 2005, and June 29, 2007.
- 2004-2006 Mazda MPV station wagons produced between Aug. 20, 2003, and April 28, 2008.
The Japanese automaker suspects just 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the recall contain the defective components.
Affected vehicles contain air bag assemblies featuring Takata air bag inflators with ammonium nitrate-based propellant that is susceptible to degradation when exposed to high heat or humidity. In the event that propellant breakdown does occur, the inflator may explode upon air bag deployment, sending metal shards flying throughout the vehicle cabin. This defect therefore poses great danger to occupants.
The Takata air bag assemblies involved in this action are part of a larger recall campaign stretching back more than five years and involving 37 million vehicles across a dozen or so brands, according to the NHTSA. The agency has linked 23 deaths and more than 300 injuries to these components.
Timeline of Events
The NHTSA and Takata met May 4, 2016, to discuss the possibility of recalling vehicles with non-desiccated phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate front air bag inflators. These models had not been included previous recall campaigns. The two parties ultimately decided to recall these vehicles. Almost two weeks later, the air bag vendor submitted an official defect information report to the NHTSA.
On May 17, 2018, Takata informed Mazda of the forthcoming action. Members of the Mazda Quality Audit Committee convened a day after this communication and chose to conduct a recall campaign that included a number of models equipped with PSAN inflators. Dealers managed to install temporary replacements in all of these vehicles.
On June 15, 2018, permanent replacement air bag inflators became available, prompting the automaker to issue another recall.
The car company informed dealers of the recall July 3, 2018, according to a notification email submitted to the NHTSA.
Mazda has directed dealers to replace the air bag inflators in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. The vehicle manufacturer intended to reach out to owners via first-class mail by July 6, 2018.
Those in need of additional assistance can speak with Mazda customer service personnel by calling (800) 222-5500 and selecting option four. Callers should use the internal recall reference code 2618F. Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.