WASHINGTON — Mazda North American Operations is recalling 444,907 vehicles, including the 2003-'08 Mazda 6 sedan, in an expanded recall of vehicles with potentially defective Takata airbags, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
"The affected vehicles are equipped with a dual-stage driver frontal airbag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion and other factors, including manufacturing variability that, over time, could cause the inflator to rupture," said NHTSA in its recall summary.
"In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver's frontal airbag, the inflator could rupture, with metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants, resulting in serious injury or death."
The recall supersedes and replaces a June 19, 2014 Mazda recall of 328,243 vehicles, including the 2004-'08 Mazda 6, 2006-'07 Mazdaspeed 6 and 2004-'08 Mazda RX-8.
It adds another 116,664 vehicles to Mazda's Takata airbag recall.
Vehicles that have had their driver's frontal airbag replaced as part of the previous recall need to have their airbag replaced under this recall as well.
NHTSA said on Thursday that the Vehicle Identification Numbers or VINs included in the new recall are not yet available on NHTSA's VIN Lookup Tool or the manufacturer's Web site.
Federal safety regulators will continue to provide updates as the information becomes available.
"If your vehicle is affected by this recall, follow up with the manufacturer to get interim guidance," NHTSA said.
The affected Mazda 6 sedans were built from May 29, 2002 to May 5, 2008. The affected RX-8s were built from April 10, 2003 to February 18, 2008. The affected Mazdaspeed 6 vehicles were built from August 4, 2005 to June 29, 2007.
A Mazda spokesman did not respond immediately to a query from Edmunds asking if there are any injuries, crashes or fatalities linked to the recall.
Edmunds says: Owners should expect to receive an official recall notice sometime in the next 60 days. But it's best to stay in touch with your Mazda dealer for the most current information.