260k Mazda3s Recalled For Shattering Steering Wheel Logos

The Mazda emblem on the steering wheel has reportedly caused injuries when the airbag is deployed. 

Mazda has recently announced a recall for its first-gen Mazda3 in North America over a rather interesting fault, and it has to do with a material defect for its logo in the centre of the steering wheel that could shatter when the driver’s airbag is deployed. Sending fragments of the emblem throughout the vehicle and hence resulting in injury to the occupants.

A total of 260,915 Mazda3s sold in North America between 2004 and 2007 will be involved with this recall, and that includes both the sedan and hatchback body styles of this Japanese compact car. Models built after June 2006 however are not affected by this recall, due to having steering wheel badges made from polyester instead of polyurethane. 

Now according to statement issued by Mazda in regards to this recall, the cause of this defect arose from the original polyurethane logo had hydrolysed and became brittle over the years. This therefore increased the chance of it shattering should the driver’s airbag deploy in the event of an accident, that has actually lead to a few injuries being reported in the real world. 

In fact, the defect report filed by Mazda to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that there have actually been a total of 10 prior field incidents related to this fault reported worldwide. The most serious of which projectile fragments injuring the left eye of the driver. 

As for the fix for this fault meanwhile, Mazda will simply be replacing the steering wheel emblem on the affected vehicles with a new airbag module cover made of a different material. This fix will be also performed by Mazda dealerships at no cost to the vehicle owner too, which is pretty much the standard procedure for any manufacturer recall. 

Recall notifications will be sent out to the affected North American Mazda3 owners by August, with customers also able to check if their vehicle is affected through the manufacturer’s recall webpage linked here. 

It is yet unknown as to whether this fault is only specific to the early North American Mazda3s. Though seeing as a handful of the reported incidents occurred outside of the US, recalls should soon be announced for other markets too. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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