Laguna Hills, CA – June 14, 2019 – Mazda North American Operations is recalling certain 2019 Mazda3 units because some of the onboard notification systems – specifically air bag activation and seat belt use – may provide incorrect information while motorists are driving their vehicles. An investigation determined that the indicator lights may not illuminate when they’re supposed to, which could increase the risk of injury by ill informing drivers of the passenger safety situation.
Mazda has alerted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to this issue and plans on officially informing affected drivers starting no later than July 13 by first-class mail. Drivers are urged to take their vehicles to their local Mazda dealer so the proper corrections can be installed as necessary. The repair will be free, as is typically the case for safety recalls.
Approximately 17,000 Mazda3 vehicles – model year 2019 – are due for recall because of a programming error that affects the indicator lights on the automobile’s dashboard, according to paperwork filed with NHTSA. Under normal circumstances, when an airbag is deactivated, the symbol representing this feature illuminates. The seatbelt status also lights up if someone in the automobile is not buckled in. However, some of the affected Mazda3s may erroneously turn off, suggesting that a passenger has his or her seatbelt on when the opposite is true. Similarly, the airbag deactivation signal may not shine when it ought to.
Accurate information is crucial to driver safety so the false impression of seat belt adherence or air bag deployment could increase the risk of injury. According to NHTSA, close to 90% of Americans say they wear their seat belts regularly. In 2017, an estimated 14,955 people avoided a potentially fatal accident thanks to buckling up. During this same year, over 2,500 would likely be alive today had they worn their seat belts in a deadly crash.
Timeline of Events
Valentine’s Day proved to be the starting date for when Mazda was alerted to the air bag illumination glitch. Worried that this flaw was more than an isolated incident, the automaker performed follow-up to determine the genesis of the flaw, which Mazda was able to determine on March 1. By March 23, the appropriate fix was applied to all Mazda3 models built thereafter. It nonetheless concluded that 2019 models built between Sept. 25, 2018 and March 23 could be affected, prompting the recall order of 17,016 Mazda3 vehicles. However, in a statement released June 8, Mazda says the recall order affects 16,982 Mazda3s.
While Mazda dealers have already been alerted to the situation, the company expects to inform Mazda3 owners by July 13, according to NHTSA documents. Drivers are advised to take their automobile to an authorized Mazda dealer so the indicator assembly system can be repaired or replaced. The fix is free, as are most safety recalls.
For additional details, you can enter your VIN at MotorSafety.org to see if your car is included in the recall, which the company says is exclusive to 2019 Mazda3s.