All The Mazda News You Can Handle (Maybe More)

Mazda has been in the news, like everyone else, for dangerous Takata airbag recalls, plus an increasing number of recalls.

Parking Brake in Mazda3 and Mazda 6 Might Bind When Trying to Drive, Disengage When Trying to Park

Have you ever tried to drive your car with the parking brake still applied? It doesn’t take long to realize something is wrong. That’s something 228,000 Mazda3 and Mazda6 owners might soon experience thanks to corrosion. From CarComplaints.com:

The 2014-2015 Mazda6 and 2014-2016 Mazda3 cars have brake calipers where water can enter and cause the parking brake actuator shafts to corrode and bind. This can cause the parking brakes to not engage or completely disengage.

So the brakes can stick AND disengage randomly?

So not only does the brake bind up when you’re trying to drive, it could also disengage after parking on a hill.

Mazda engineers found a design flaw in the protective boot of the rear caliper. Bad seals allow water to enter and start corroding the braking system. No wonder it needs to be recalled, which is expected to begin in August 2017.

RX-8 Recalled for Steering and Fire Risk Problems

The RX-8 has been recalled twice.

First up, the fuel pump pipes in certain 2004-2008 model years can crack due to heat from the engine and the exhaust. Considering the engine and exhaust will always be hot, this isn’t good news. Especially if you’re not a fan of gas leaking onto hot surfaces (hint: you shouldn’t be).

About 70,000 cars will need to be recalled with most having already been previously recalled for the same issue. Last time Mazda focused on busted seals rather than the pipes themselves.

A Smaller, but Still Dangerous Recall

Mazda is also recalling over 34,000 of its 2004 RX-8s with ball joint sockets in the front suspension that can crack, resulting in a sudden loss of control.

According to the automaker, a faulty caulking process is to blame and the issue is most likely to occur under heavier loads. And you thought loading all those mulch bags in your car wouldn’t be a problem.

Both recalls are expected to begin on July 30, 2017.

Mazda Among 4 Automakers That Will Settle Takata Airbag Lawsuits

Mazda is among a group of four automakers that have reached an agreement to resolve multi-district litigation related to Takata airbags. The group also includes BMW, Subaru, and Toyota.

One of the goals of the agreement is to boost the recall completion rates for Takata airbag inflators, which need to be replaced by 2019. Only 22% of 70 million inflators have been replaced so far, with some automakers closer to a 2% completion rate.

The agreements will cost the automakers about $553 million, with $76 million from Mazda. An administrator will be appointed to:

  1. Oversee the program to increase the recall repair rate
  2. Determine who is eligible for out-of-pocket repair claims
  3. Determine the reimbursable costs and how much eligible owners will receive

Additionally, a rental car program will be setup:

The agreements also create a rental car loaner program, separate from any existing programs. Under the settlement terms, the four automakers will make rental or loaner cars available to customers upon request. The rental car program will begin 30 days after preliminary approval of the agreements for any customer who hasn’t received replacement parts within 30 days.

The details still need to be finalized in court.

Live Traffic? Lawsuit Says the Popular Feature Suddenly Died

Mazda’s 2016 “Grand Touring” package is a ~$1500 technology upgrade that was advertised as having auto dimming mirrors, rain sensing wipers, and an integrated navigation system with “live traffic” alerts to help drivers find alternative routes around congested roads.

And it worked great … until one day when owners woke up to find the service grayed out in their infotainment system.

Mazda’s agreement with a traffic service provider had expired, and rather than resubscribing or finding an alternative, the automaker turned the feature off through software updates.

That didn’t sit well with owners like Edward Lewand, who purchased a 2016 Mazda with the “Grand Touring” premium because of features like “live traffic.” He has since sued Mazda for paying for a feature that no longer exists and lowering the value of his car.

Mazda3 Clutch Lawsuit Moves Forward, With Exceptions

Mazda’s motion to dismiss a Mazda3 clutch lawsuit was denied, which means the case will move forward in court. Mazda did score some victories, however, when the judge agreed:

  1. The plaintiffs will need to amend their complaints to show a common defect
  2. Any claims concerning violation of certain consumer protection and warranty laws will be dropped.
  3. Plaintiffs outside of California, where the lawsuit was filed, will have to remove their claims.

Hopefully this case will bring good news for Mazda3 owners and lay the groundwork for future lawsuits.

Mazda Orders Recall of Diesel Engines That Leak and Stall

It hasn’t been a good year for diesel. There’s the whole VW mess, a BlueTEC Mercedes-Benz lawsuit in California, and a GM Duramax lawsuit in Michigan. And now Mazda is issuing a recall for diesel engines outside the USA that stall, leak fuel, and catch on fire. Well, at least it’s not emissions-related? Here are a few of the issues:

Mazda says the fastening force of the injector mounting nut is faulty and can cause too much pressure on the injector gasket. If this condition occurs, the fuel blows through the cylinder head causing the engine oil to become carbonized and clog the oil strainer.

And then there’s:

The sealing performance of the fuel return hose can deteriorate and lead to cracks inside the hose, causing fuel to leak from the hose.

Oh yeah, then there’s:

The diesel engines can also stall because pressure in the cylinders and the closing force of the intake valves can decrease, catching soot between the intake valves and the valve seats. If this occurs, the engine will have poor compression and unstable rotation, causing the engine to stall.

As of right now, the recall doesn’t affect US diesels but that could change. You can get the full rundown on CarComplaints.com.

Seat Adjuster Problems Might Have You Lounging Down the Road

Mazda says a strength defect in the seat adjuster lifter links of 174,000 vehicles could suddenly put drivers in an awkward position.

Owners have reported hearing a rattle beneath their seats right before finding themselves lounging back or leaning so close to the steering wheel that even their Grandmother would be embarrassed.

They see me rollin' (From http://bit.ly/2ujefn3)

Mazda will recall the 2011 Mazda2, 2010-2011 Mazda3, and 2010-2011 MazdaSpeed3 to fix the problem. The lifter links will be inspected and, depending on their condition, replaced or reinforcement with brackets. The recall expected to begin March 31, 2017.

Mazda Adds 94,000 More Vehicles to Takata Recall List

Takata. Recall. Two words that I’m as tired of typing as you are sick of hearing.

But here we are with another recall of 94,000 Mazda vehicles that have ticking time-bombs for airbags. Some vehicles are being recalled for the second time.

By now I’m guessing you’ve heard about the dangers of Takata airbags, but here’s a quick recap:

  1. Over time Takata airbag inflators are susceptible to moisture.
  2. When that moisture mixes with the airbag’s propellant, the inflators become unstable and can explode sending shrapnel throughout the cabin.
  3. The problem is responsible for 11 deaths in the USA alone.

Mazda has now recalled more than 733,000 vehicles for this problem. Find out if yours is on the most recent list and make sure to scroll through all the different recall “zones.”

RX-8 Cracked Fuel Pump Rings

Cracked fuel pump rings in the RX-8 are allowing gas to leak out. No-one likes a gas leak, whether it’s in your car or at the Thanksgiving table. Seriously, no-one give Uncle Carl a second serving of Brussel sprouts.

Mazda says the problem is caused by insufficient heat resistance on top of the fuel tank that can cause the fuel pump rings to deteriorate from the heat of the engine and exhaust pipe. Without repairs, the fuel pump seals can crack and leak gasoline onto hot surfaces, leading to the very real potential of a car fire.

Mazda does not have enough fuel pump ring sets to perform the recall yet. Owners should watch for two notices – one alerting them of the recall, and another when parts are ready.

Recall for MAZDA6 Fog Light Buyers

Here’s a very specific recall. If you bought a 2017 Mazda6 and you bought the optional fog lights kit then you need to bring your car in for service. That’s because your turn signals might not turn off when you turn the steering wheel.

How are those things connected? You’ve got me.

Me either, Chris

The automaker says the 2017 Mazda Mazda6 cars were built August 12, 2016, to September 28, 2016, and again, all the cars are equipped with fog lights.

The recall is expected to begin this month, November 2016.

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