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Mazda recalls 5 million vehicles

Faulty ignition switches in seven models could result in fires

Published: October 25, 2015, 1:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 1:34 PM

Mazda MX-3 - Mazda MX-3

Another automaker is recalling vehicles to deal with ignition problems. This time, it’s Mazda recalling some five million vehicles from two decades ago to deal with ignitions that could overheat and start fires.

1998 Mazda Protege5

The recall affects MPV minivans from model years 1989 through 1998, compact 323 hatchbacks and Protege sedans (1990-1996), MX-3 sport compacts (1992-1993), midsize 626 sedans (1993-1998) and MX-6 coupes (1993-1997), and large 929 sedans (1993-1995).

The problem lies with a faulty switch whose innards may have been coated to heavily with grease. If it overheats, the grease could carbonize and lose its insulation properties, resulting in electricity flowing freely and allowing the contact points to overheat, potentially resulting in a fire.

Mazda is aware of several occurrences in other parts of the world that could be attributed to the flaw, but notes the condition exists when the vehicle is not running, so there is no danger to the vehicle’s safety systems and less likelihood of injuries resulting from the problem. The company is not aware of any injuries arising from affected vehicles.

The total number of vehicles affected is about 4.9 million, with about 30% of them in North America. Notices will go out to owners in late November, asking owners to return their vehicles to dealerships for replacement of the switches.