Like a Major League Baseball season and the Twitter feeds of narcissists, the Takata airbag fiasco seems never-ending. In paperwork filed with the NHTSA last week, Mazda announced two recalls for cars with passenger front airbag inflators that had already been replaced under a previous recall. The new recalls affect more than 100,000 vehicles.
The inflators supplied by Takata, the Japanese airbag company that has gone bankrupt following the largest recall in automotive history, can explode and send shrapnel into the driver and other occupants, causing serious injury or death. In the U.S., 16 people have died from the defect, and at least 250 people have been injured, according to the NHTSA. Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can trigger the defect, which has led to the recall of up to 70 million airbags in more than 41 million vehicles across nearly all major automakers.
Before being taken down by the recall, Takata tried to fix the initial wave of vehicles with faulty airbags with more faulty airbags of the same design. This time, they will get inflators with an alternate design.
The Mazda vehicles affected by the two separate recalls include nearly 70,000 2007-2012 CX-7 and CX-9 crossover SUVs, as well as 2009-2012 Mazda6 sedans. The other recall covers more than 47,000 older vehicles, including the 2003-2008 Mazda6, 2004-2005 MPV, 2004 RX-8, and 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6.
Mazda will notify the affected owners. Owners can also contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500, option 4 or call the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236, or visit www.safercar.gov to learn if their car is part of either recall. Beginning Dec. 18, owners can visit Mazda dealers for a replacement passenger airbag inflator free of charge.