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Mazda, BMW, Citroen, Peugeot, FCA models face recalls

Hit for 6: Some examples of the old-generation Mazda6 have been identified to have ‘alpha’ Takata airbags installed, which pose a much greater risk of propelling shrapnel into the cabin upon deployment.

Takata risk prompt Mazda, BMW recalls PSA, FCA models called in for other faults

14 Sep 2017

MAZDA Australia has identified a number of its RX-8 sportscars and Mazda6 mid-sizers sold between 2002 and 2011 have high-risk ‘alpha’ Takata airbags installed which have an increased chance of misdeployment and are more dangerous to drivers.

In faulty Takata units, the chemical ammonium nitrate could degrade over time and cause airbags to expel metal fragments and shrapnel in the vehicle cabin upon deployment.

Alpha airbags have now been identified as not being originally produced to design standards and have a higher chance of misdeployment when compared to the beta airbags, which were made to design standards.

While both pose a safety risk as the propellant degrades over time, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recommended that “a vehicle affected by an alpha airbag recall not be driven, other than to drive directly to the dealer for the replacement airbag to be installed”.

In total, 5117 Mazda vehicles have been discovered to have alpha airbags fitted, with 3693 examples already repaired.

Owners are urged to head to the ACCC or Mazda Australia website where they can see if their car is fitted with an alpha airbag by checking the vehicle identification number (VIN) registry. All repair work will be carried out free of charge.

BMW has also issued a Takata-related recall of its X5 and X6 SUV pair, sold between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012, to amend the passenger front airbag after a call back to fix the driver’s side airbag was released in July.

French car-makers Peugeot and Citroen have respectively called back their 4008 and C4 Air Cross models for the same windscreen wiper motor problem.

In both cases, the windscreen wiper motor venting device may have been improperly manufactured, resulting in the potential for water to enter the wiper motor and cause the wipers to cease functioning.

2241 Peugeots sold between June 1, 2012 and January 30, 2014 have been identified with the potential fault, while 252 Citroens sold between June 1, 2012 and November 29, 2013 have been recognised.

In both cases, the respective manufacturer will contact owners by mail where they can head to their nearest dealer for repair work free of charge.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia has also issued two separate recalls one for its Dodge Journey and Fiat Freemont, and the other for the Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

In total, 9897 2011-2015 Journey and Freemont SUVs – which both share the same underpinnings – are caught up in the recall, which has been issued due to a steering wheel wire harness that could lodge between some plastic and the edge of the horn plate.

If this were to occur, the horn plate could rub through the wire insulation and create an electric short circuit which could prematurely deploy the airbag.

9563 examples of the model year 2011-2014 Chrysler 300 large sedan and 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV have also been identified to have the potential to suddenly cut all electrical power in the vehicle.

The possible fault stems from the alternator of affected vehicles which, according to FCA’s recall notice, “may experience diode thermal fatigue due to cyclical loads induced by the electro-hydraulic power steering”.

FCA Australia will contact all known affected vehicle owners where they can bring their cars into authorised dealerships for a free inspection and, if need be, repair work.

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