The NHTSA is looking into the severity of the issue.
Yet another automaker is coming under fire for faulty airbags. This time, the problem relates to airbags in the Mazda CX-9 crossover. According to The Detroit Free Press, the NHTSA has opened an investigation into the Mazda CX-9 after receiving reports about a problem with the crossover's side curtain airbags. Two owners have reported incidents where both side curtain airbags deployed inadvertently and simultaneously while driving, despite not being involved in a crash. In one case, the sudden deployment of the airbags caused injuries to four occupants.
So far, the investigation only involves the first-generation CX-9 produced between 2010 and 2013, but it isn't clear how many models are affected. During this period, Mazda reportedly sold more than 112,000 examples of the crossover. The NHTSA will continue to investigate the issue to find out how often the problem happens and assess the potential safety risks. If deemed necessary, the agency could require Mazda to issue a recall for every vehicle potentially affected by the defect.
If a recall is issued, this won't be great publicity for Mazda since the CX-9 has an otherwise stellar safety reputation. The three-row crossover has previously earned the prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, while recently added standard safety features include Smart City Brake Support across all models, which automatically hits the brakes in emergency situations below 19 mph, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
The mid-sized crossover is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four that sends 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Pricing for the 2019 Mazda CX-9 starts at $34,085 for the entry-level Sport trim.