Mazda is recalling about 58,000 of its 2015-16 Mazda6 models because a short circuit could cause the air bags to be deactivated and power-assisted steering to be lost, according to a report the automaker filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As reported by Forbes, Mazda said the problem is “weld spatter” on the front passenger seat, which can rub against a wiring harness and cause the short circuit. That would mean that the air bags may not deploy in a crash and that there could be an unexpected loss of power steering.
The action comes about 21 months after Mazda first learned of a problem. It got that report on Dec. 1, 2015. But rather than pursue a recall, the automaker said it decided to monitor the problem, concluding that “the safety risk was low … because customers can still control the vehicle.” In addition, warning lights would tell the driver that the airbags would not deploy in a crash. In July, however, the NHTSA met with Mazda officials “to discuss the failure mechanism and the circumstances of the failure modes.”
Two months later, the automaker decided on what it described as a “voluntary” recall. However, under federal regulations, once an automaker is aware of a safety problem, it must, within five business days, inform federal officials of its plan for a recall.
The vehicles were assembled between Nov. 3, 2014, and Dec. 9, 2015. Mazda said no other model uses the seat frame found in the Mazda6.
Any issues with safety mechanisms, such as airbags, could result in catastrophic injuries. Also, a potential failure in the steering system of a motor vehicle could result in a violent collision, leading to serious injuries or even death.
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If you have lost a loved one to a vehicle defect, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation as well. In such cases, it would be in the best interest of injured victims or families who have lost loved ones to contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who will help them hold the negligent automaker accountable and secure maximum compensation for their losses. Contact our skilled auto defect legal team at (800) 497-0234 or contact us online.