Mazda Motor Taiwan yesterday 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.
It is the company’s second recall of the two models, following a recall for the same problem in early November last year.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications said that it has notified Mazda that it should follow the Regulations for Motor Vehicle Safety Investigation, Recall/Correction, Supervision and Management (汽車安全性調查召回改正及監督管理辦法) when recalling the vehicles.
“The Vehicle Safety Certification Center has ascertained that Mazda’s engine was not designed to prevent the situation, nor does it demonstrate a safety level that meets professional standards and reasonable expectations,” ministry senior executive officer Lee Chao-hsien (李昭賢) said.
“As such, the ministry on Monday last week officially notified Mazda that it should recall the two models again, to which the company replied on Tuesday last week that it is to begin recalling the vehicles on May 6,” Lee said.
The company also promised to respond to other requests by the owners, including providing them with lifetime warranties, allowing them to return the vehicles to dealers and asking dealers to buy back the vehicles.
Mazda said on its Web site that it is recalling some diesel-powered vehicles that were found to leak coolant from auxiliary radiators during continuous low-speed, uphill operation in high gears.
That situation triggers an engine protection program to temporarily inhibit engines from generating power, which reduces the vehicle’s operational speed to enhance safety, it said.
Mazda administered a pressure increase test on coolant passages when it tried to address the problem in last year’s recall, but the method has proved ineffective, as it failed to detect that higher engine temperatures degraded the seal of the cylinder head gasket, which has been identified as the source of the coolant leaks, Lee said.
“We want them to assure [consumers] and guarantee that they are using the most effective method to address this problem in this recall,” he said.
If the same issue occurs after the second recall, the government could order Mazda to immediately improve within a certain time frame, recall or destroy affected vehicles under Article 36 of the Consumer Protection Act (消費者保護法), Lee said.
The article also authorizes the government to order the company to cease the design, production, manufacturing, processing, importation and distribution of the vehicles, or take other necessary action, he said.
The company could also face a fine of NT$60,000 to NT$1.5 million (US$1,943 to US$48,585) for contravening Article 36, he added.
To ensure the effectiveness of any repairs performed under the recall, Mazda said that it would also test vehicles under increased pressure load and carbon dioxide levels.
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