The NHTSA has opened an investigation into the Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV after two reports of airbags deploying unexpectedly while the vehicles were moving.
According to documents posted to the government organization's website Monday, CX-9 owners complained that both the left and right side-curtain airbags inflated. In one of the incidents, four people were injured when the airbags deployed.
The probe into the vehicle covers the 2010-2013 model years. The CX-9 was introduced for the 2007 model year and redesigned for 2016. The models under investigation come from the middle of production. The CX-9 was a distant cousin to the Ford Edge, but it's not clear if that crossover SUV is affected by the investigation.
Investigators will seek out other instances of the unintentional airbag deployment that may not have been reported to the government. If there is a pattern, the NHTSA will look at safety consequences and could press Mazda to recall the affected vehicles. Recalls are only issues when the problem or defect can cause harm to drivers while operating the vehicle, or while it's stationary.
The last major recall involving the CX-9 was an update to the Takata airbag recall that covered dashboard-mounted airbags designed to deploy in a frontal collision. That recall covered 2007-2011 CX-9 models.