Mazda Motor Corp. plans to recall over 18,000 older models -- including 18,000 Mazda6 sedans and 50 RX-8 sports cars from 2003-2004 – in the United States due to an airbag inflator that could rupture and seriously injure occupants.
The airbag was supplied by Takata Corp. Mazda said in a filing Friday with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it would call back the vehicles due to the faulty airbag inflator, which NHTSA said could rupture, "with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring" occupants.
Mazda dealers, starting August, were instructed to replace the passenger-side airbag inflator at no extra charge. The widened Mazda recall – part of a global recall of nearly 160,000 vehicles for similar issues announced on June 23 -- is the latest among the call backs initiated by major carmakers around the world that involved Takata.
The Japanese company supplies the airbag inflators to at least nine global carmakers. On other matter, NHTSA disclosed it had launched a probe into vehicles built by Hyundai Motor Co. and Chrysler Group.
Almost 400,000 MY2006-2008 Hyundai Sonata sedans are being investigated after NHTSA received complaints that its seat belt buckle assembly had failed, which could cause airbags to fail in a crash.
Around 123,000 MY2011-2012 Dodge Chargers are also being probed over complaints about engines stalling and alternator failure.