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Mazda double-recalls RX-8 sports car for fuel, suspension woes

Not every car is included in both recalls, but there is some overlap.

Mazda

Just because a car hasn't been on sale for years, doesn't mean it's immune to a brand-new manufacturer safety recall.

Mazda issued two recalls for the 2004-2008 RX-8 sports coupe. The first recall affects 35,332 vehicles with build dates between April 10, 2003 and May 7, 2004. The second recall affects 69,447 cars with build dates between April 10, 2003, and February 18, 2008. The cars were all manufactured at the same plant in Hiroshima, and there is some overlap between the two, looking at the defect reports from both recalls.

If your ball joint fails, you won't be doing much of that whole "moving" thing.

Mazda

The first, smaller recall has to do with the suspension. There may be "inappropriate caulking" on the front lower control arm's ball joint, which may cause the socket to crack. If that happens, and a heavy load is applied to the suspension, the ball joint may separate, which can render the vehicle unusable until fixed. If it happens at speed, a driver might not be able to steer correctly, or at all.

Mazda's got a fix for the issue, thankfully. The dealership will replace both front lower control arms with a modified design that shouldn't cause the ball-joint issue. Owners should be notified in late July via first-class mail.

The second, larger recall deals with the fuel pump. Heat from the engine and exhaust may cause the main fuel pump's pipe to deteriorate. If it weakens enough, it might crack, which would lead to a fuel leak. Of course, fuel leaks are dangerous because any contact with an ignition source may cause a fire.

The fix for this recall is about as straightforward as the other one. Mazda will replace the primary fuel pump filter kit with an improved model that shouldn't deteriorate like the old one. Owners, again, will be notified starting in late July.