Mitsubishi has issued a recall for more than 25,000 Mirage vehicles from the 2014 and 2015 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that corrosion on some of those vehicles could prevent the frontal airbags from deploying during collisions.
Like many corrosion-related issues, this one is related to road salts used for de-icing in northern states. However, the Mirage's problem isn't the result of water that has splashed onto the exterior of vehicles; instead, it's caused by melting snow brought into the cars by drivers. NHTSA explains:
If a driver enters the vehicle with his/her shoes covered with snow containing road salt, the carpet may become soaked over time when that snow melts. If the carpet becomes soaked in the area of the drivers footrest, water containing road salt may contaminate a wiring connector terminal located in a junction box behind a kick panel to the left of the drivers foot rest. If this occurs, the connector terminal may corrode over time and cause illumination of several warning lamps including the SRS warning lamp. If the SRS warning lamp is illuminated and the vehicle is subsequently involved in a collision requiring frontal air bag deployment, the timing of the frontal airbag deployment may be delayed
The flaw can inhibit deployment of frontal airbags on both the driver's side and passenger's side.
The recall is limited to 2014 and 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage vehicles built between August 7, 2013 and September 2, 2015. It's further restricted to cars that were originally sold in, or ever registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and District of Columbia.
The recall affects 25,185 vehicles registered in the U.S.
Mitsubishi hasn't yet indicated when it will notify owners of the recall. When it does, however, owners will be instructed to take their vehicles to a Mitsubishi dealer, who will install a waterproof sheet over the wiring connector terminal to prevent future corrosion. Dealers will also inspect the connectors and replace any that show signs of corrosion.
If you believe that you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact Mitsubishi customer service at 888-648-7820 and ask about recall SR-16-001. You can also call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #15V815000.