Mazda Recalls Already Recalled Vehicles Over Defective Takata Airbag Inflators

Takata may have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017, but the world-encompassing recalls over defective airbags are far from over. Mazda is the latest automaker to announce an expansion to existing safety recalls, and plenty of older models such as the RX-8 need to have their inflators replaced as soon as possible.
Mazda RX-8 11 photos
Photo: Mazda
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In no particular order, the model years and nameplates affected are the 2009 to 2012 Mazda6, 2007 to 2012 CX-7, CX-9, 2003 to 2008 Mazda 6, 2006 to 2007 Mazdaspeed6, 2004 to 2005 MPV, and 2004 RX-8.

Approximately 117,000 vehicles in the U.S. alone are involved in the expansion, including vehicles recalled from 2013 to 2017 that received potentially defective replacements from Takata because other manufacturers weren’t available. It’s a bit of a mess-up, but hey, that’s why Takata is no longer with us today.

The problem with the inflators in affected vehicles lies with the ammonium nitrate that creates a small explosion. Instead of a controlled inflation of the airbag, the chemical is most likely deteriorated from high heat and humidity, thus burning too fast when ignited. That translates to more explosive force than necessary, blowing the metal canister of the inflator and hurling shrapnel at the driver and front passenger alike.

Mazda dealerships in North America are instructed to replace Takata’s airbags with new parts that don’t use ammonium nitrate, and notification letters will be mailed to known customers of the brand by December 18th. Last time we’ve had an update on the death toll of the Takata-related blunder, Honda reported the 24th victim in June 2018 following a crash in the Phoenix suburb of Buckeye, Arizona. The car in question was a 2002 Civic crashed at an intersection, and the death occurred three days later in the hospital.

Takata’s fiasco has also hurt more than 200 people, causing the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history. More than 56 million inflators in 41.6 million vehicles are under recall in the United States alone, and by 2020, the estimated population of recalled airbags will soar to around 70 million, as per the NHTSA.

On a related note, BMW of Australia kicked things into overdrive by starting to buy back cars equipped with the deadly inflators. In this part of the world, there are examples of Takata-related crashes that have yet to be formally linked to the recall. A 2005-model BMW was the culprit, and the male owner received a recall notice months after the inflator canister lacerated his face with metal fragments after the airbag was deployed.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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