Mazda has recalled its older-generation Mazda 6 (GG, GY), RX-8 (FE) and BT-50 (UN) model lines sold between 2002 and 2011 as part of the ongoing Takata airbag campaign.
According to the Japanese manufacturer, Takata has identified that the chemical ammonium nitrate - used as a propellant in the airbag inflator - may degrade over time if subjected to certain environmental conditions.
If the condition occurs, the airbag's metal inflator could rupture when deployed, propelling metal fragments and shrapnel into the cabin. This poses a significant risk of injury, even death.
For this particular notice, Mazda has identified that some affected vehicles are fitted with 'Alpha' airbags, otherwise known as inflators that were not produced according to design standards and are therefore at higher risk of misdeployment and harming occupants.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommends that vehicles affected by an Alpha airbag recall should not be driven, other than to drive straight to the dealer to have replacement parts installed.
Meanwhile, other vehicles affected by this notice are fitted with 'Beta' airbags - inflators that were manufactured according to design standards, though the degrading of their propellant over time means they still pose a safety risk.
Affected vehicles were sold from 22 August 2012 through 28 June 2011. The rundown of which models have alpha and/or beta airbags are as follows:
Mazda 6 (GG1031) sedan/hatch - alpha and beta
Mazda 6 (GY1031) wagon - alpha and beta
Mazda 6 (GG1032) sedan/hatch - beta only
Mazda 6 (GY1032) wagon - beta only
Mazda6 (GG10R2) Hatch - beta only
Mazda6 (GY10R2) Wagon - beta only
RX-8 (FE1031) - alpha and beta
BT-50 (UNY0*3/UNY0*4) ute/cab chassis - beta only
Owners of the affected vehicles are advised to contact their local dealer, Mazda Australia on 1800 034 411, or check their VIN on the company's website - www.mazda.com.au/recalls/
If your vehicle has an 'alpha' airbag, immediately arrange for a replacement. All repairs will be carried out free of charge.
This latest recall follows another Mazda Takata notice at the beginning of August, and comes less than two months after an Australian motorist was killed by a faulty Takata airbag in New South Wales - the first known case in the country.
UPDATE, 28/02/2018: The number of Australian vehicles affected – across all manufacturers – is now around 4 million.