Mazda is recalling RX-8 vehicles from the 2004 to 2008 model-years to address a problem with their fuel pumps. In some cases, that problem could pose a fire risk.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the issue with the RX-8 is rooted in the fuel pump's sealing rings, which were supplied by Kautex Japan. NHTSA says that the rings can deteriorate over time when exposed to high temperatures--like, say, the heat of an engine or exhaust pipe.
If that happens, the pumps can leak fuel, and that, in turn, creates a fire hazard.
Ordinarily, the sealing rings would be protected from such temperature extremes, but in the RX-8's case, the fuel tank isn't amply insulated. Mazda has confirmed at least seven instances in which the RX-8's sealing rings have failed.
Today's recall includes 2004-2008 RX-8 vehicles built between April 10, 2003 and February 18, 2008. NHTSA says that 69,447 vehicles in the U.S. are affected by the recall.
Unfortunately, the parts needed to fix those vehicles aren't available just yet. Mazda will mail interim recall notices to owners, alerting them to the problem. Then, when repair parts become available, Mazda will send a second recall notice, asking owners to take their vehicles to dealerships for service. Dealers will replace the RX-8's fuel pump sealing ring set and add a thermal insulation pad to the fuel tank.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to call Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500 and ask about recall #0516J. You can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V793000.