In late May, Takata Corporation finally agreed to replace potentially deadly airbags found in vehicles across the U.S. Under certain conditions, the ammonium nitrate propellant Takata used in those devices can become very unstable, exploding upon deployment. To date, the airbags have caused at least six deaths and dozens of injuries.
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In the wake of Takata's announcement, automakers have been busy revising their recall lists. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued two updates to Mazda's recalls. Together, they affect more than 470,000 vehicles nationwide.
Recall #1 affects the following models:
- 2003-2008 Mazda6 vehicles built between May 29, 2002 and May 5, 2008
- 2004-2008 RX-8 vehicles built between April 10, 2003 and February 18, 2008
- 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6 vehicles built between August 4, 2005 and June 29, 2007
Those vehicles had been recalled before, but the previous recall was limited to cars registered or sold in Florida, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico. Though Mazda had announced its own plans to fix vehicles from coast-to-coast, NHTSA's announcement makes it official. The recall now affects 444,907 vehicles registered in the U.S.
And on that note: if you own a Mazda that was registered or sold in Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico and already had it fixed under the prior recall, you need to pay another visit to the dealership. Unfortunately, the replacement devices supplied by Takata may be just as faulty as the originals, so your car has to be repaired a second time.
Also, this expanded recall is only meant to replace driver-side airbags. Though Mazda has said that it will replace passenger-side airbags as well, those devices are technically part of another recall, which hasn't been updated by NHTSA.
Mazda hasn't yet indicated when it will mail recall notices to owners, giving them the green light to take their vehicles in for repairs. In the meantime, if you have questions about this recall -- and you have every right to -- you're encouraged to contact Mazda customer service at 800-222-5500 and ask about recall #7914J. You can also call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #15V345000.
Recall #2 affects 2004-2006 Mazda B-series light trucks built between April 17, 2003 and May 2, 2006. As with the above recall, those vehicles had been previously called in for repairs, but only in specific states and territories -- namely, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and Texas. The updated recall affects B-series trucks nationwide, a total of 27,149 vehicles.
And just to make things slightly more confusing, this recall involves passenger-side airbags. Thankfully, it appears that previously repaired B-series vehicles are fine and won't need a second fix. Mazda plans to mail recall notices to owners by the end of July.
For questions about this recall, you're asked to contact Mazda at 800-222-5500 and ask about recall #8315F. NHTSA may be able to answer your questions, too: call 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #15V346000.