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Mazda recalls 70,000 cars in the US for fire risk

Fuel leaks are never good.

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A fuel leak won't just inconvenience you by slowly draining your tank -- it has the potential to start a devastating fire. That's the reason behind Mazda's latest recall.

Mazda issued a recall covering 69,447 examples of its RX-8 sports car. The affected RX-8s have model years between 2004 and 2008. The vehicles were manufactured between 10 April 2003 and 18 February 2008. The RX-8 is a three-door sports car that uses a rotary engine, a nontraditional type of internal combustion engine.

The issue here relates to the fuel system. Sealing rings for the fuel pump may deteriorate over time, due to heat exposure from the engine and exhaust pipe. When those rings fall apart, a fuel leak could spring up. And, as we've heard so many times before, fuel leaks can turn into pretty gnarly fires with only a small spark.

Mazda's fix is relatively simple, although parts aren't yet available. When they are, dealers will replace the fuel pump's sealing rings and install some additional heat shielding to the fuel tank, which will ideally prevent deterioration from happening again.