July 1, 2021 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 21V494000
Plastic fragments can hit occupants during air bag deployment, increasing the risk of injury.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 21V494
Manufacturer Mazda North American Operations
Components AIR BAGS
Potential Number of Units Affected 260,915
Mazda North American Operations (Mazda) is recalling certain 2004-2007 Mazda3 vehicles. During air bag deployment, the plastic emblem on the steering wheel air bag module cover may shatter, and project plastic fragments into the vehicle.
Dealers will replace the air bag module cover, free of charge. Owner letters were mailed between August 28, 2021 and October 28, 2021. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500 Option 4. Mazda’s number for this recall is 4921G.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov.
Chronology of Defect
December, 2015 through February, 2016: The part supplier and Mazda started to investigate the root cause. Hydrolysis was confirmed to occur on the broken logo which was made of polyurethane. The hydrolysis was hypothesized to accelerate deterioration of the logo and reduce its strength.
February, 2016: As a result of high heat and humidity durability test, the molar weight of the logo was found to be reduced, which indicated the hydrolysis was duplicated in the polyurethane sample.
March, 2016: It was found that the supplier made a change to the material of the logo, from polyurethane to polyester in June, 2006. This material change was intended to improve the logo appearance. As a result of later investigation, the hydrolysis was confirmed to not occur on logo made of polyester. This material change was also found to incidentally be a corrective measure for subsequently produced vehicles.
April, 2016: Mazda found that the logos for other vehicle models were not made of polyurethane, which may be subject to hydrolysis. Accordingly, there is no possibility for this defect to occur on other vehicle models.
January, 2017: Mazda determined at this time that the projected fragments could only cause superficial damage or injury and the safety risk was low because the plastic fragments are very light in mass. Up to this time, considering the occurrence rate of collisions necessitating air bag deployments in the field, Mazda had estimated the occurrence rate of this defect in the field would be low.
February, 2017: Mazda judged that the degree of injury caused by this concern was equivalent to the type of injury that can occur during a normal air bag deployment in a crash. Accordingly, Mazda decided to monitor any field occurrences.
February, 2019: Mazda and the parts supplier investigated the second to fourth returned parts. Based on the investigation result the root cause was similar to that of the first reported field incident which occurred in September, 2015. Mazda judged that the occurrence rate was low.
May, 2019: Mazda attempted to collect parts to examine the material condition of the logo, but no parts could be recovered for analysis. Mazda decided to continue monitoring any occurrences in the field in an attempt to gather further information.
July, 2019: Mazda received sixth field report of “The occupant injured eye by projectile fragments of the logo when the air bag was activated” from outside the US market. Mazda subsequently received a seventh field report of “The occupant injured face by projectile fragments of the logo when the air bag was activated” from outside the US market. At this time U.S. lawsuits alleging injury possibly caused by this defect were received.
September, 2019; As Mazda received the fifth through tenth field concerns and law suits, Mazda decided to continue monitoring occurrences in the field because sufficient information and part analysis was still unavailable.
June, 2021: Mazda has received no field reports since the tenth field incident globally. However, considering the nature of the defect’s root cause, Mazda was concerned about a possible increase in injury cases caused by this defect in the future. Accordingly, Mazda has decided to judge whether to take proactive field actions.
June 25, 2021: Eight field incidents have been reported as a result of this defect outside the US, and two US lawsuits were received alleging injury. Mazda held a Quality Audit Committee meeting to review all available information to date. Out of an abundance of caution, Mazda has determined to conduct a proactive field action on certain MY2004 through MY2007 Mazda3 vehicles in the US and US Territories.
August 27, 2021: Mazda met with NHTSA-RMD on August 3 2021 to explain a change in the recall schedule due to an unexpected change in parts availability. As advised by the agency, Mazda is submitting this amended report to revise the recall schedule to include a phased parts available launch in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
4 Affected Products
18 Associated Documents
Defect Notice 573 ReportRCLRPT-21V494-1893
Manufacturer Notices(to Dealers,etc) – 7/6/2021RCMN-21V494-2663
Miscellaneous Document – updated chronology
Owner Notification Letter(Part 577)RCONL-21V494-0344
Remedy Instructions and TSBRCRIT-21V494-6626
Recall 573 Report – AMENDMENT 1RCLRPT-21V494-2858
Miscellaneous Document – PARTS AND WARRANTY INFORMATION Recall Campaign 4921GRMISC-21V494-3003
Manufacturer Notices(to Dealers,etc) – MAZDA DEALER EMAILRCMN-21V494-8822
Manufacturer Notices(to Dealers,etc) – MAZDA DEALER EMAIL – 10/28/2021
Recall Quarterly Report #2, 2021-4RCLQRT-21V494-0125
Issued Interim Owner Notification Letter(Part 577) – US and Puerto Rico 8/25/2021RIONL-21V494-4861
Issued Owner Notification Letter(Part 577) – Guam and Saipan ONLY 8/28/2021
ISSUED Owner Notification Letter(Part 577)RCONL-21V494-7402
ISSUED Owner Notification Letter(Part 577)RCONL-21V494-6619
ISSUED Renotification NoticeRCRN-21V494-4524
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