If you own a Suzuki, read this.
It's been more than six years since Suzuki stopped selling automobiles in the United States. But its withdrawal from the market here didn't spell the end of its obligations. It still has to support those vehicles it's sold here over the years, and that includes repairing them when a recall is required.
Case in point: this latest notice issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for over 30,000 Suzukis in the United States, all of which will need to be have their front passenger seat bottom cushions replaced to ensure the airbags keep working.
As happens from time to time with many automakers' vehicles, the Occupant Classification System (OCS) may fail to detect if it's a child or an adult riding shotgun. Since that could result in the airbag deploying in a crash, potentially injuring the child onboard, Suzuki's had to issue a recall an array of 2010-13 Kizashi sedans and 2006-13 Grand Vitara sport-utes.
Now by our count, Suzuki sold a little over 100,000 of those (about 20k Kizashis and 80k Grand Vitaras) in the calendar years affected – which are, we should note, different from model years.
Yet it's only recalling 31,302 of them. That's because only those fitted with leather seats are being recalled, the shrinking of the leather over time having been identified as the cause of the interference with the OCS. So apparently less than a third of customers went for the leather option.
Either way, dealers (or what's left of them) will have to replace those problematic seat cushions to keep the airbags functioning properly. So if you have a Kizashi or Grand Vitara in your driveway, you'll want to keep an eye on your mailbox.