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 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 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.