On October 16, Mazda issued a recall in Japan with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism over a defect in the ignition switch used in models like the Familia.
The recall applies to 923,762 cars built from January 10, 1989, to December 1, 2005. It applies to 21 models; Mazda Demio, Familia, Eunos 100, Lantis, MPV, Bongo Blendy, Cronos, MS6, MX6, Clef, MS8, Capella, Sentia, MS9, Presso, AZ3, Review, as well as Ford Festiva Mini-Wagon, Laser, Freda, Telstar and Telstar II.
Due to an excessive amount of grease used inside the ignition switch where it makes contact, the grease can carbonize between the moving contact and fixed contact through arc discharge when operated. This can lead to a decrease in insulation ability. Continued use can cause conductivity between the contact points, which could generate heat, smoke and, in a worst case scenario, fire.
Ignition switch for all affected models are being replaced as a preventative measure. Since replacement parts are not yet available, Mazda is contacting all affected customers and alerting them to the dangers. Once replacement parts are ready, it will contact the customers again.
There have been 38 reports of the defect and 13 cases of fire. The defect was discovered through the market and the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
(Translated by Greg Scott)