Mazda recently announced that it is recalling more than 60,000 of its 2015 and 2016 Mazda 6 sedans due to a wiring problem that can impede power-assisted steering and deactivate front passenger airbags. According to the safety recall report, the occupant classification sensor wire harness located below the front passenger seat may come into contact with welding debris on the seat frame and cause an electrical shortage. This may cause multiple warning lights to go off and, in some cases, may lead to a loss of power steering and deactivation of the front passenger airbags. Although the loss of power steering can increase the risk of a crash, no accidents related to this condition have been reported. The recall is expected to begin at the end of this month. Dealers will examine affected vehicles and install insulating tape or a protective pad in order to shield the wires.
The recall comes approximately 21 months after Mazda first learned of the problem in December 2015. Under federal regulations, once an automaker is aware of a safety problem, it must inform federal officials of its plan for a recall within five business days. Mazda began installing protective pads on new models to shield the wires within eight days of learning of the problem. However, rather than pursue a recall, Mazda decided to monitor the problem, concluding that the safety risk was low because customers could still control their vehicle and warning lights would alert the driver that the airbags would not deploy in a crash. However, the company issued what it described as a voluntary recall just two months after Mazda officials met with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in July.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a vehicle defect, the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner can assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884 for your free consultation.