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Mazda is recalling 270K older cars to replace Takata airbags

The latest recalls affect the Mazda6 and MPV.

Mazdaspeed6

The sporty, turbocharged Mazdaspeed6 is subject to the new recall.

Mazda

Yet another recall action related to defective Takata airbags has been announced. Mazda said it is recalling 270,000 vehicles from the 2003 to 2008 model years because the front-passenger airbag could rupture if deployed, potentially injuring or killing a vehicle occupant.

If the problem sounds familiar, it's because millions of airbags made by Japanese company Takata were found to be potentially defective, leading to major recalls from many automakers. When the airbags are subject to too much humidity or "humidity cycling," the propellant inside them can degrade. That can make the airbags explode with too much force, which can send pieces of metal shrapnel toward car occupants.

Mazda's newest recall affects the 2003 to 2008 Mazda6, the 2006 to 2007 Mazdaspeed6 and the 2004 MPV nationwide -- a total of 269,618 vehicles. In addition, the 2005 to 2006 MPV is being recalled if it was sold or registered in certain areas that Mazda has identified as likely to have the climate conditions that degrade the airbag propellants: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the US Virgin Islands.

This recall action follows up on an earlier Mazda recall of these vehicles. Initially, parts shortages meant that Mazda could only replace defective airbags with newer airbags of the same design. Now, however, the automaker has a supply of updated airbags and is gradually rolling out recalls of the new designs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that so far about 37 million vehicles have been recalled in the US for problems with Takata airbags. Including future scheduled recalls, 65 to 70 million vehicles will have been recalled by the end of 2019.