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Mazda recalls 188,000 Mazda3 vehicles for windshield wiper failures

A defective control module is to blame.

Adding rain repellent to the windshield might save you from needing to use the wipers in light rain, but it's not a panacea.
Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Trying to drive in the rain without windshield wipers can go wrong in a hurry, which is why Mazda has to recall over 100,000 vehicles for wipers that might stop working.

Mazda has issued a recall for 187,798 examples of the 2016-2018 Mazda3. It's unclear how many are hatchbacks and how many are sedans, but the affected vehicles are split across six different VIN sequences. Concerned owners can head to NHTSA's website to check and see if their VIN is affected prior to receiving an official recall notice.

The problem stems from the hardware that controls the front windshield wipers. A bad relay might cut power to the wiper motor, rendering the wipers useless against rain or other bad weather. The relay goes bad when heat generated during regular use create metal deposits that eventually stick the relay's contacts together. Mazda chalks it up to "Improper design."

Thankfully, Mazda is not aware of any injuries or accidents that have come as a result of this defect.

The remedy is pretty straightforward. Mazda's technicians will take the recalled vehicles and swap out the front body control module for a new, improved version of the part. In case you're curious, the new module has a differently sized condenser and a new relay, which should eliminate the problem. Mazda expects to begin mailing recall notifications to owners on or before June 3.