2010 Suzuki KizashiEnlarge Photo
Dashboard - 2010 Suzuki Kizashi 4-door Sedan Man FWD SLSEnlarge Photo
UPDATE: Suzuki's official statement about the recall is pasted below.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a recall of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi. According to a post on the NHTSA's website, the recall centers on a fault in the sedan's dashboard, which can lead to additional injury in the event of a collision.
Specifically, the NHTSA states that the door of the center-lower box on the dashboard can pop open during a crash, which could increase the risk of injury to occupants. True, it doesn't seem as dangerous a flaw as faulty brakes or steering, but all it would take is one tragic incident to change a life and tarnish Suzuki's reputation for good.* In these Toyota Recallathon days, automakers are more prone to be safe than sorry.
The recall affects some 5,107 Kizashi sedans manufactured between October 13, 2009 and May 31, 2010. According to Suzuki's published sales stats, the automaker has only sold around 2,000 Kizashis in the U.S. since the model launched last December, which would imply that the recall affects (a) nearly every Kizashi in America, and (b) about 3,000 units that have been sold in the Kizashi's other markets of Japan and Australia. As of now, there's no official press release from American Suzuki Motor Corporation, but we'll try to update this post when one is issued.
The recall begins in earnest around July 9, when dealers will begin replacing the defective panel free of charge. In the meantime, if you own a Kizashi and have questions, call Suzuki at 714 996 7040 or the NHTSA at 888 327 4236.
* We're told that the Japanese word "kizashi" translates as "omen", so let's hope there aren't worse things to come.
UPDATE: Suzuki's (seriously efficient) communications team has issued the following statement:
July 1, 2010
STATEMENT: American Suzuki Motor Corporation has notified the National Highway Safety Administration about an issue with the Kizashi's center lower box door and is promptly implementing a recall to address the concern. The issue is that the center lower box door can come open in the event of a severe collision. As our customers' safety is our top priority, we are working quickly to resolve the issue.
Replacement boxes are on their way to dealers, and both customer vehicles and those in dealer inventory will be refitted as quickly as the replacement boxes arrive and customers make their vehicles available. The replacement boxes have the same appearance as the original boxes, but are fitted with an improved latch. As noted, our customers' safety is our top priority, and we apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause.