Vehicles Affected: Approximately 445,000 model-year 2003-08 Mazda6 sedans manufactured between May 29, 2002, and May 5, 2008; 2004-08 RX-8 sports cars manufactured between April 10, 2003, and Feb. 18, 2008; and 2006-07 Mazdaspeed6 sports cars manufactured between Aug. 4, 2005, and June 29, 2007
The Problem: The vehicles are equipped with a dual-stage driver frontal airbag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion and other factors, including manufacturing variability that over time could cause the inflator to rupture. In a crash necessitating deployment of the driver-side frontal airbag, the inflator could rupture, causing metal fragments to strike the driver or other occupants and resulting in serious injury or death. The recall is part of the massive ongoing Takata airbag issue. Mazda initially announced this recall on June 8.
The Fix: Dealers will replace the driver-side frontal airbag for free. The automaker noted that the remedy for this recall is not yet available. In the meantime, dealers will install a new production airbag inflator under a previous recall of the affected vehicles; this interim remedy inflator will be of the same specification as the original inflator to reduce the amount of time the inflator has been exposed to humidity, but it does not eliminate the long-term potential for rupture and is strictly a stop-gap measure until the newly designed inflators can be produced. Mazda advises these owners to have their vehicles serviced as soon as possible, then serviced again when the new inflators are available under this later recall.
What Owners Should Do: The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule. Owners can call Mazda at 800-222-5500, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more information.
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