Mazda expands a recall of faulty passenger air bags that inflate with too much force and eject metal fragments into the vehicle. This is after federal regulators ordered the recall of all vehicles with Takata air bags.
The new recall affects around 374,519 vehicles linked to potentially defective front passenger-side air bags made by Takata Corporation. The Japanese automobile maker said the latest recall was prompted after Takata Corp. said that additional air bag inflators could be prone to ruptures.
"In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants potentially resulting in serious injury or death," says the letter of acknowledgement (PDF) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Takata Air Bag Recall
Takata Corp. faces more than $70 million in fines for supplying defective air bags to at least 12 car companies covering 19 million vehicles. This is one of the largest recalls in the history of the U.S. automotive industry.
Upon investigation, the root cause was identified as the air bag inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers. During a crash, the inflator housing ruptures and metal shards could spew throughout the passenger cabin.
A supposedly life-saving device was linked to nine deaths and more than 100 injuries in the United States. Automakers and independent investigators established causes of why these air bags became defective. Some causes identified were poor quality control in manufacture, design of the car itself, and several years of exposure in high heat and humidity.
List Of Affected Mazda Vehicles
According to NHTSA, the latest recall of Mazda vehicles covers model year 2003-2008 of Mazda 6, model year 2006-2007 of MazdaSpeed 6 and the 2004 RX-8.
Mazda 6 2003-2008 vehicles were manufactured from May 29, 2002 to May 5, 2008. While Mazdaspeed 6 vehicles were manufactured from July 1, 2005 to June 29, 2007. The limited edition of model year 2004 RX-8 was manufactured from June 25 to 30, 2003.
The inflators of the front passenger air bags are vulnerable to rupture during a crash. In the event of a vehicle crash, the inflator could be ruptured with metal fragments spewing the vehicle passengers. This may lead to serious injury and even death.
Mazda will notify owners, while dealers will handle the free replacement of front passenger air bags with new ones.
If owners have the mentioned models, they may call Mazda's customer service at 1-800-222-5500 or the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.