Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Ministry calls for Mazda to respond to safety probe

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications on Monday urged Mazda Motor Taiwan to respond to an automobile safety investigation involving two of its vehicle models after a series of complaints were filed against the company over its diesel engine.

The Japanese automaker on Tuesday last week announced that it would begin recalling Mazda CX-5 and Mazda 6 Skyactive vehicles on May 6 after 36 owners complained of coolant leaks from auxiliary radiators.

However, the coolant leaks were not the only problem affecting the two models, as owners have also complained about the diesel engine’s oil pump chain breaking and exhaust gas pressure sensors going out of order, the ministry said.

The Vehicle Safety Certification Center on March 12 convened a meeting to discuss the problems affecting the two models, in which it ruled that Mazda must submit an investigation report on the causes of the broken oil pump chain and malfunctioning exhaust gas pressure sensors to the center within one month.

However, the company did not submit the report until Friday last week, following multiple requests from the center, the ministry said, adding that it found the report to be incomplete.

Broken oil pump chains are a safety concern, but the company concluded after analyzing only a few cases that the failures were caused by an improper change of motor oil, the ministry said.

The company failed to provide a detailed report that should have included examinations of oil pump chains, motor oil and other possible component failures, it added.

Although the exhaust gas pressure sensors of the two models have relatively high malfunction rates, Mazda did not recall the vehicles, saying that the problem does not trigger an alarm for possible air pollution, the ministry said.

However, it did not specify how a malfunctioning exhaust gas pressure sensor would affect the vehicle’s overall operations, it said, adding that the center has asked the company to submit a report on the matter by Friday.

“We want to remind Mazda that it must not avoid, interfere or reject investigations launched by the ministry, as doing so would contravene the Consumer Protection Act (消費者保護法),” the ministry said.

“We would carry out all legal measures if it is found doing so,” the ministry said, adding that the company could face a fine of NT$30,000 to NT$300,000 for contravening the act.

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