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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