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Aussie fire sparks Mazda6 recall

Call them back: Mazda has recalled all Mazda6's sold here since launch last December after one caught fire.

Electrical gremlin drags new-gen Mazda6s back to workshops

26 Mar 2013

MAZDA will recall more than 15,000 new-generation '6' sedan and wagon sold worldwide since its launch last December after one caught fire in Australia.

Mazda Australia spokesman Steve Maciver confirmed a version of the mid-size car had caught fire at an Australian dealership before it had been handed over to a customer, while a second had caught alight overseas, sparking the recall.

No Australian customers had reported fires, he said.

According to Mazda, the problem relates to a technical issue affecting its ground-breaking i-Eloop brake energy regeneration system.

The recall of 1531 cars in Australia and more than 15,000 worldwide comes the same day as the company confirmed it had suspended deliveries of all sold Mazda6 models following detection of the fault.

The issue affects the DC/DC converter under the front passenger seat, which converts energy normally lost during braking into electricity that is stored in a capacitor. The stored electricity is then used as short bursts of power for the vehicle's electrics, including the radio, air-conditioning and lights.

Mazda Australia has acknowledged that the technical issue with the circuit could lead to overheating and, in a worst-case scenario, lead to a fire.

It is believed there are no identified issues with either the brake energy regeneration itself, or in the capacitor that temporarily stores the energy.

As we have reported, the Mazda6 was the first model to get the i-Eloop system, which unlike other similar brake energy recapture systems uses a capacitor to reduce fuel use by up to 10 per cent.

Most systems of this type use batteries, but capacitors are able to charge and discharge more rapidly and suffer fewer issues with deterioration.

Mazda Australia says it is contacting customers now to replace the faulty DC/DC converter, and they would be offered alternative transport while their cars are off the road. Sold vehicles that have been held at the dealers will also get the fix.

Owners are also able to contact Mazda Customer Support on 1800 034 411.

Since going on sale in December, the Mazda6 has been easily the second most popular car in its segment, behind the fleet-favoured Toyota Camry but ahead of the Honda Accord Euro, Ford Mondeo and Hyundai i40.

In January, it even took top spot in the mid-size segment with 750 sales.

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