Mazda Motor said it would have to recall 374,000 cars in the United States linked to potentially defective Takata airbag inflators.
The Japanese automaker said the latest recall was prompted after Takata said testing showed the inflators in the front passenger air bags are susceptible to rupture, with metal fragments flying throughout the cabin. The expanded recall includes certain model year 2003-2008 Mazda6 vehicles manufactured May 29, 2002, to May 5, 2008, 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6 vehicles manufactured July 1, 2005, to June 29, 2007, and a limited production of model year 2004 RX-8 vehicles manufactured June 25, 2003, to June 30, 2003. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last month the eighth US fatality caused by Takata’s faulty airbag inflators and the ninth worldwide. There are also more than 100 injuries linked with the problem. The scandal affects 12 vehicle manufacturers, more than 23 million inflators and approximately 19 million vehicles, according to federal data.
NHTSA also said in December that Honda, Subaru and Mazda would add more vehicles to the massive recall campaigns based on additional ballistic testing conducted over recent months. Honda said it was adding 127,000 2003-2004 Honda CR-V. The expanded callbacks also include the 2005-2008 Subaru Legacy and Outback. The agency imposed a 200 million dollars fine through two orders in November, being the largest civil penalty in NHTSA’s history for Takata’s violations of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Furthermore, it was for the first time NHTSA used its authority to accelerate recall repairs for the millions of affected vehicles. Of that 200 million dollars fine, only 70 million dollars are payable in cash, while an extra 130 million dollars will become due if Takata fails to meet its commitments.