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