Articles Tagged with Mazda

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UPDATE

On July 15, 2016, the Firm filed an amended class action complaint concerning the alleged defect in 2010-15 Mazda 3 clutch assemblies.  The case currently is proceeding in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division.  We will update this blog post as the case proceeds.

Zoom-Zoom. If you’re a Mazda owner, you’ve probably seen the commercials. They’re everywhere. They’re filled with lively music and images of drivers coasting along highways in their sporty, fun and fast Mazda cars. Chances are they were on your mind when you purchased your Mazda3. And they definitely were when you guided the vehicle onto the road for your first joy ride.

Then your Mazda3’s clutch starts to experience problems like slipping, requiring a little more effort every time you shifted gears. Finally, your Mazda3’s clutch stops working all together. You head in to the nearest dealership, warranty in hand because your Mazda3 is covered by a three-year/36,000 mile warranty, and confident that your Mazda dealer will replace the clutch. After all – your warranty is still in effect. Then reality sets in. Mazda will not cover clutch replacement. The Mazda dealer tells you that your clutch failed and needs to be replaced BECAUSE OF YOU. You “Zoomed-Zoomed” too much, driver error. “But wait,” you say, “I know how to drive a manual car and have never had problems with any other clutch.” Sorry, you’re told, it’s wear and tear, and it’ll be $1200 to replace the clutch so you can get back to zoom-zooming. The bad news? You probably had to pay it. The good news? You’re not alone.

Second generation (2009-2013) Mazda3 owners need to know that premature clutch failure is a common problem well-known to Mazda, and Mazda should be forced to honor its warranty and replace the clutch at no cost to you. Ever since the second generation Mazda3 debuted during the 2009 model year, owners have complained of premature clutch failure, in some cases in as few as 12,000 miles. And the problem only worsened after the release of the 2010 Mazda3. Continue reading

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In the two months since Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP filed a class action on behalf of consumers who own or lease vehicles with the defective and dangerous exploding Takata airbags, several new and troubling developments have emerged.

The Takata Cover-Up

In early November 2014, two former employees of Takata Corp. subsidiary TK Holdings, Inc. publicly announced in a New York Times exposé that TK Holdings, Inc. tested the defective airbags in 2004 after a Takata airbag exploded and shot shrapnel at a driver in Alabama.  According to those former employees, out of concern that the airbags may be defective, Takata, through subsidiary TK Holdings Inc., (collectively, “Takata”) tested 50 airbags over a period of three months at its Auburn Hills, Michigan facility.  During those tests, conducted on airbags retrieved from junk yards, the airbags’ steel inflater canisters cracked in two of the airbags.  According to the employees, one of whom was a senior lab technician at TK Holdings, Inc. at the time, this cracking could lead to rupture.

Per the statements of the former employees, lab technicians conducting the tests were troubled by the results and immediately began investigating a fix in anticipation of a recall of vehicles containing the defective airbags, and presumably, for airbags manufactured in the future.  However, when the testing results were reported to the decision-makers at the Takata subsidiary, the executives discounted the testing results, ordered the testing laboratory employees to delete all results of the testing from their computers and other files, and instructed them to throw away all of the tested airbags in the trash.  Takata, nor its subsidiaries, took any further action at that time.  The former employees tied this investigation and reported defect to the current recall. Continue reading

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The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has urged consumers to take immediate action to replace defective airbags in millions of BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Suburu, and Toyota vehicles.  The model years of the affected vehicles range from 2000 to 2011 depending on manufacturer and model.  You can check to see if your vehicle is subject to the recall by entering your vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (“VIN”) on the NHTSA Web site.

The vehicles subject to the recall all contain airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation (“Takata”).  These airbags, which are meant to serve an important safety function, protecting you and your family in the event of an accident, can actually cause shrapnel-firing explosions when activated, potentially causing even greater injury than the accident alone, and possibly death.  This creates an extremely dangerous condition, as even in a minor accident, airbags can be deployed.  At least four deaths have been attributed to this defect.

The defect seems to manifest more frequently in hot, humid climates, so the NHTSA is urging consumers with affected vehicles in those regions to head to their dealers immediately.  Experts in the industry have speculated that the defect is attributable to ammonium nitrate, a chemical used to cause the airbags to deploy in milliseconds.  Takata is the only airbag manufacturer that uses this chemical.  Bloomberg reports that the use of this chemical could result in lighter, smaller airbags.  Unfortunately, this chemical is sensitive to moisture, and its addition leads to unstable ammonium nitrate, that when ignited on airbag deployment can cause the airbag and shrapnel to explode violently, causing injury or death to those in the vehicle.

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