Mazda Recalls 330,000 Vehicles in US for Driver-Side Takata Air Bags

Dec 15, 2014 05:30 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

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Mazda is recalling 330,000 vehicles in the U.S. for potentially faulty driver-side Takata air bags, an expansion of an earlier campaign for 86,773 cars in humid areas.

Ten carmakers have recalled close to eight million vehicles worldwide for inflators that can cause air bags to explode in the event of a crash, an issue that has been connected with at least five deaths in vehicles equipped with Takata air bags.

Mazda cast the recall expansion, which affects 2004-'08 Mazda6 sedans and RX-8 coupes, as a mostly precautionary measure.

"So far, Takata has tested a large number of inflators removed from Mazda vehicles and none have been found to be non-compliant at this time," Mazda said in a statement quoted by Edmunds.com. "One vehicle--a 2005 Mazda 6 located in Florida--has been identified as having experienced an abnormal driver's-side airbag deployment. Mazda has worked closely with NHTSA on this situation."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been urging automakers to expand their Takata-related recalls, which have been limited to regional campaigns. The earlier Mazda recall, for instance, was limited to areas with high humidity that included Gulf Coast states, Hawaii, Saipan, Guam, American Samoa and U.S. Virgin Islands.

The problematic air bags seem to be more likely to explode when exposed to humidity. Takata reportedly did not store materials properly when constructing the air bags, allowing components to be exposed to moisture.

Federal regulators have ordered Takata to expand its recall nationwide, but the Japanese supplier has stayed resistant, saying that carmakers are responsible repairing the faulty vehicles.

Mazda hasn't set a specific timeline for its latest recall wave but says more information will be available soon.

"This situation is fluid and updates will be provided regularly," the automaker said.

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