Mazda has been aware of an issue relating to the RX-8's fuel pump pipe for a decade.
Ever since the reveal of the RX-Concept, enthusiasts have been dreaming of a new rotary-powered sports car from Mazda as a successor to the RX-8. Mazda denies plans to put it into production, but filed patents suggest the contrary. The Mazda RX-8 isn’t renowned for its reliability, however. Case in point: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall for over 100,000 RX-8s in the US relating to two separate issues, which represents the majority of RX-8s in America.
The first recall concerns an issue with the fuel pump pipe affecting 69,447 cars made from 2003 to 2008. The recall states that the fuel pump pipe “may deteriorate by the heat from the engine and exhaust pipe,” and could lead to a fire. A smaller scale recall is also being issued for another 35,332 cars built between 2003 and 2004 for an issue that’s even more alarming. Apparently, “inappropriate caulking of the ball joint” could cause the ball joint socket of the lower suspension control arm to crack. If “an abnormally large load” goes through the suspension, the ball joint “may separate from the socket,” leading to a complete loss of steering which is hardly ideal.
Mazda has been aware of the fuel pump pipe issue since 2007. An investigation was launched at the time, but in 2009 it was concluded that there was an “infrequent failure occurrence rate.” However, another recall in 2016 showed that the pipe leak was more serious than Mazda thought, leading to this latest recall. Owners of affected RX-8s will be contacted by Mazda by the end of July to arrange for the new fuel pump filter kit to be fitted or to have the lower control arms replaced.