Potential corrosion of the front impact airbag sensor has prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall up to 29,353 2008-2009 Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution models. NHTSA is concerned that long-term exposure to a mixture of melted snow and salt thrown up by other vehicles on the road may cause the wintery mixture to adhere to the front impact sensor and lead to corrosion over time. In the event of an accident or collision, a damaged sensor may short-circuit and delay airbag deployment possibly causing driver or passenger injury. The recall is currently limited to states where heavy road salt is used in the winter (i.e., Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin, etc...).
Mitsubishi dealers have been instructed to replace the airbag sensors with a redesigned model with improved corrosion resistance. Of course, the service will be performed at no charge. While the safety recall isn't scheduled to begin until November 27, 2009, owners may contact Mitsubishi Customer Relations at 888-648-7820, contact NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, or visit NHTSA on the Internet at www.safercar.gov. Full press release after the jump.
[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration]
Vehicle Make / Model: 2008-2009
Model Year(s): MITSUBISHI / LANCER
MITSUBISHI / LANCER EVOLUTION
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V435000
MITSUBISHI IS RECALLING MODEL YEAR 2008-2009 LANCER AND LANCER EVOLUTION VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KENTUCKY, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN AREAS WHERE HEAVY ROAD SALT IS USED IN THE WINTER, A LONG TERM EXPOSURE TO A MIXTURE OF MELTED SNOW WITH SALT THROWN UP BY THE OTHER VEHICLES ON THE ROAD MAY CAUSE A WATER-SALT MIXTURE TO ADHERE TO THE FRONT IMPACT SENSORS.
THIS COATING OVER TIME MAY CAUSE CORROSION OR THE SENSOR. IN THE EVENT OF A VEHICLES CRASH OF THE TYPE THAT WOULD DEPLOY THE AIRBAGS THIS TYPE OF SHORT-CIRCUIT MAY CAUSE A DELAY IN THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE AIRBAGS WHICH COULD RESULT IN DRIVER OR PASSENGER INJURY.
DEALERS WILL INSTALL NEW FRONT AIRBAG SENSORS THAT HAVE IMPROVED CORROSION RESISTANCE. THIS SERVICE WILL BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR BEFORE NOVEMBER 27, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MITSUBISHI CUSTOMER RELATIONS DEPARTMENT AT 888-648-7820.
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 .