Faulty Takata airbag inflators keep taking their toll on automakers. Mazda is the latest to be affected in the US by announcing a recall covering 18,050 Mazda6 and RX-8 models to replace the front, passenger-side airbags. Specifically, the campaign covers 18,000 Mazda6 units from the 2003 and 2004 model years built between May 29, 2002, and March 4, 2004, and 50 RX-8 vehicles from the 2004 model year made between June 25, 2003, and June 30, 2003.

As with the rest of the vehicles with these faulty inflators, it's possible for the part to rupture when deploying the airbag and potentially spray shrapnel at the occupant. Mazda's defect notice goes into a bit more detail than most about the problem saying: "some propellant wafers have been produced with an inadequate compaction force, or may have been exposed to uncontrolled moisture conditions (those wafers could have absorbed moisture beyond the allowable limits)."

This isn't Mazda's first difficulty with Takata-supplied airbags this year. The company was among the seven automakers that recalled vehicles in hot-weather states over the inflators. It also had to recently fix 42,000 Mazda6 vehicles in China over the issue.

Repairs of the Mazda6 and RX-8 are scheduled to start in August, and obviously there's no charge to owners. Scroll down to read the recall announcement, or read the complete defect notice as a PDF, here.
Show full PR text
RECALL Subject : Passenger Side Air bag Inflator may Rupture

Report Receipt Date: JUN 23, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V362000
Component(s):
Potential Number of Units Affected: 18,050
All Products Associated with this Recall
Vehicle Make Model Model Year(s)
MAZDA MAZDA6 2003-2004
MAZDARX-8 2004

Details
Manufacturer: Mazda North American Operations
SUMMARY:
Mazda North America Operations (Mazda) is recalling certain model year 2003-2004 Mazda6 vehicles and 2004 RX-8 vehicles to address a safety defect in the passenger side frontal air bag which may produce excessive internal pressure causing the inflator to rupture upon deployment of the air bag.

CONSEQUENCE:
In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring the passenger seat occupant or other occupants.

REMEDY:
Owners of all vehicles on which a defective air bag may have been installed as original equipment will be notified. Dealers will replace the defective air bag inflator, free of charge. The safety recall is scheduled to begin in August 2014. Owners may contact Mazda Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-222-5500. Mazda's recall campaign number is 7714F. Note: This is an expansion of NHTSA Recall No. 13V-130.

NOTES:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      Arizonarelax
      • 5 Months Ago
      Takata is an example of how one component can wipe out several manufacturers. A car virus if you will. I am curious, do most manufacturers have their own quality checks - testers before install?
      Chris O.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Of course there is some QC at the assembly end, but much of the testing is done at the vendor side. Usually every shipment of parts is accompanied by the material and testing certifications. Parts have gotten sophisticated enough, and price pressures are significant enough, that vendor-side component testing is pretty much the norn these days. The vendor is charged back on warranty costs, and has liability on issues related to their parts. In Takata's case, AFAIK, testing would not have turned up anything at the point of manufacture, because the failure takes time to manifest.
      EZen
      • 5 Months Ago
      As a Mazda fan, I was just wondering when the last Mazda recall was. Only 18K Mazda 6's made between a very specific range and only 50 RX-8's is pretty damn good in comparison to what we've seen recalled from other Japanese automakers and the US lately.
        Chris O.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @EZen
        I'm a fan too, but to keep it in perspective, Mazda is not even in the top-3 car manufacturers in their home country.
      Biff Tannen
      • 5 Months Ago
      WOW, 50 RX-8's are recalled. FIFTY.