Mazda To Replace Takata Airbag Inflators in 330,000 U.S. Vehicles

WASHINGTONMazda said it will institute a nationwide recall of 330,000 2004-'08 Mazda 6 sedans and RX-8 coupes equipped with driver-side Takata airbag inflators.

Mazda is calling the action a "safety improvement campaign." This expands an earlier Mazda recall for Takata airbag inflators in 86,773 vehicles that was limited to regions with high humidity, including Gulf Coast states, Hawaii, Saipan, Guam, American Samoa and U.S. Virgin Islands.

"This action will support us to gather additional parts for examination and to promote customer satisfaction and safety," Mazda said in a statement.

Mazda said it "has not made a safety defect determination at this time."

"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. "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."

Mazda will also participate in an independent, industry-wide joint testing program for Takata airbag inflators that was announced earlier.

The defective Takata airbag inflators can explode, shooting metal pieces at vehicle occupants.

A date has not been specified for the expanded Mazda recall, but the automaker said it is working closely with Takata to speed parts for replacement airbags to Mazda dealers.

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

Owners can contact Mazda at 1-800-222-5500.

Edmunds says: Affected Mazda owners should stay in close touch with their dealer and respond quickly to any recall notification from Mazda. The company said it is making direct-to-customer phone calls in the meantime.

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