Mazda has announced a recall of nearly 174,000 vehicles from the 2010 and 2011 model years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the driver's seats in some of those vehicles may suffer from problems that interfere with a motorist's ability to remain in good driving position.
NHTSA documents indicate that the issue affects the lifter link, which allows drivers to adjust their seat height: "On the driver seat, due to insufficient strength of the seat height adjustment lifter link, or, due to inadequate attachment method of the lifter link push nuts, the lifter link may become cracked or the push nuts may become separated."
If that happens, the driver's seat may not stay in position, making it harder for a motorist to see the road and surrounding vehicles. NHTSA says that drivers may first notice an "abnormal noise and rattling" under the seat.
The recall affects the following models:
- 2011 Mazda Mazda2
- 2010-2011 Mazda Mazda3
- 2010-2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3
All told, NHTSA says that 173,859 vehicles registered in the U.S. will need to be inspected and repaired.
Mazda will begin mailing recall notices to owners of those vehicles no later than March 31, 2017. After receiving those notices, owners will be able to take their vehicles to Mazda dealers, who will inspect the seat lifter links and either install a reinforcement bracket or replace the seat adjuster unit entirely. The recall will be carried out at no charge to owners.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500 and ask about recall #0917B. You can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #17V082000.