2010 Mazda3 - Click above for a hi-res gallery

The hotly-awaited Mazda3 is only now filtering into U.S. dealerships after hitting other markets, but there's already a snag – more than 25,000 units are being recalled.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the safety concern stems from a small tolerance issue: the clearance between the underside of the engine and the starter motor housing is apparently too narrow, which could result in a short circuit, leaving the car at risk of stalling and perhaps being unable to kick over again. As a result, NHTSA has issued a recall for the 25,400 new Mazda3s in the United States to have a simple clip installed and, if necessary, to have the problematic engine harness repaired.

Full details are available in the press release after the jump.

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[Source: NHTSA - Office of Defects Investigation]


PRESS RELEASE:

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):

MAZDA / MAZDA3 2010
Manufacturer: MAZDA MOTOR CORP Mfr's Report Date: APR 15, 2009

NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V126000
N/A

NHTSA Action Number: N/A

Component: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Potential Number of Units Affected: 25400

Summary:
MAZDA IS RECALLING 25,400 MY 2010 MAZDA3 VEHICLES. A CLEARANCE BETWEEN THE ENGINE HARNESS AND THE HOUSING OF STARTER MOTOR MAY BE INSUFFICIENT. DUE TO THIS, THE COVERING OF THE HARNESS MAY BE DAMAGED THROUGH VIBRATION DURING OPERATION POSSIBLY CAUSING A SHORT-CIRCUIT BETWEEN CERTAIN HARNESS WIRES AND THE STARTER HOUSING. A SHORT-CIRCUIT CAN RESULT IN ENGINE CONTROL MALFUNCTION AND/OR POOR SHIFT QUALITY.

Consequence:
THE MAIN FUSE MAY BLOW OUT CAUSING THE ENGINE TO STALL AND INABILITY OF RESTART, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.

Remedy:
DEALERS WILL HAVE THE ENGINE HARNESS INSPECT AND ADD A PROTECTOR CLIP ON THE AFFECTED SECTION OF THE HARNESS. IF NECESSARY, THE HARNESS WILL BE REPAIRED. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON MAY 6, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MAZDA AT 1-800-222-5500.

Notes:
MAZDA RECALL NO. 5409D. OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV .