Mazda recalls U.S. cars with faulty Takata air bags

Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:29am EDT
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(Reuters) - Japan's Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: Quote)(MZDAY.PK: Quote) will broaden a recall of cars sold in the United States because an air-bag inflator, supplied by Japan's Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote), could rupture and seriously injure occupants.

The issue of ruptured inflators - which can hurl metal shrapnel at vehicle occupants - has bedeviled Takata and triggered the recall of millions of vehicles last year. The company supplied the parts to at least nine global automakers.

The recalls were expanded this year as issues cropped up in newer models equipped with Takata air bags and inflators.

In a filing Friday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mazda said it would recall about 18,000 older models, including 18,000 Mazda6 sedans and 50 RX-8 sports cars from 2003-2004.

NHTSA said the inflator could rupture, "with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring" occupants.

Mazda dealers will replace for free the passenger-side air bag inflator, beginning in August.

The U.S. recall is part of a global recall of nearly 160,000 vehicles for similar issues announced by Mazda on June 23.

Indeed, over the past five years, about 12 million vehicles equipped with Takata air bags have been recalled around the world for similar issues.

Last week, German automaker BMW said it would recall another 1.6 million cars with Takata air bags because of the risk of injury from inflators that could rupture.   Continued...

Logos of Mazda Motor Corp are seen at a dealership in Tokyo March 1, 2012.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai