Almost A Decade After Learning Of Possible Danger, Mazda Issues Recall For Fuel Leak – Forbes

TOKYO – Lewis Booth, President and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation introduced the RX-8 at a press conference April 9, 2003 in Tokyo, Japan. in Japan. Photo by Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images

By Christopher Jensen

Mazda is recalling about 103,000 of its RX-8 sports cars in the United States due to either fuel leaks or the possible loss of steering, the automaker has informed federal regulators.

The problem with the fuel leak covers 69,000 2004 – 08 models, according to a report from Mazda posted on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Those models were assembled between April 10, 2003 and February 18, 2008.

The steering loss affects some 34,000 2004 models, according to a second report posted on the NHTSA website. They were assembled between April 10, 2003 and May 6, 2004.

The recall for the fuel leak comes almost a decade after Mazda got its first report, the automaker told federal regulators.

In the intervening years, the automaker said it researched the problem and decided “there was an infrequent failure occurrence rate.” However, late in 2016 Mazda decided there was more serious leakage problem than it thought. That led to the decision last month for a recall.

Under federal safety regulations once a manufacturer is aware of a safety problem it has five business days to inform the safety agency or face civil fines.

The problem is that a pipe for a fuel pump could crack due to heat from the engine and exhaust, allowing gasoline to leak. The report did not mention any fires and a spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to an email.

Mazda said the steering could be lost due to a failure of the ball-joint socket on the front, lower control arm. “If an abnormally large load is applied to the suspension during driving, the ball joint may separate from the socket,” the automaker said.

There was no information posted detailing when Mazda learned of the steering problem.

There was no mention of accidents and a Mazda spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to an email.

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