Faulty Wiring Causes Recall of Mazda MPV, RX-8
By Harry Stoffer
Mazda will rewire airbags on more than 29,000 RX-8s and on nearly 16,000 MPVs so they will deploy fully in a crash.
WASHINGTON — Mazda is recalling about 45,000 2004-model MPV minivans and RX-8 sports cars because faulty wiring may cause the passenger-side airbag to deploy improperly in a crash.
The problem surfaced when a 2004 RX-8 performed poorly in a government crash test, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records.
A wiring error causes the second stage of the dual-stage airbag to deploy first. As a result, a smaller inflation of the airbag occurs at the early part of impact when a larger inflation is required, says an industry engineer familiar with the technology.
Mazda North American Operations told NHTSA that its dealers will rewire airbags on more than 29,000 RX-8s and on nearly 16,000 MPVs.
In a recall involving about 12,000 RX-8s with manual transmissions, Mazda says it will install a new insulator on the gearbox’s dynamic damper.
The original insulator is prone to cracking, creating an annoying sound, the company told regulators. If a driver continues to operate the car, the insulator may fall off and pose a hazard to other vehicles, Mazda says.