The Takata airbag scandal is still not over.
If you thought only newer Mazdas were affected by the Takata airbag recall then think again. The Japanese automaker has just announced a recall with the NHTSA for 270,000 older models for – you guessed it – defective Takata airbags. The recalled vehicles are from the 2003-2008 model years and the aim is to replace the front-passenger airbag which, as in the case for all recalled vehicles with Takata airbags, could rupture if deployed. That rupture could send metal fragments into the passenger's face, leading to serious injury or even death.
What's causing the problem here? If the airbags are subjected to too much humidity the propellant inside can degrade. As a result, the airbags could deploy with too much force, thus resulting with metal shrapnel flung towards occupants. For this specific Mazda recall, the following vehicles are affected: 2003 to 2008 Mazda6, 2006 to 2007 MazdaSpeed6, and the 2004 MPV. Mazda also issued a more specified recall for the 2005 to 2006 MPV if it was sold and/or registered in the following states Mazda believes have climate conditions that are more likely to degrade that propellant:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the US Virgin Islands. Mazda previously issued a recall for these vehicles, but due to a parts shortage the defective airbags were replaced with newer units of the same design. Now that Mazda has a fresh stock of fully updated airbags it's rightly opted for a second round of replacement.