Mazda North America is recalling nearly 70,000 of its RX-8 sports cars because they are prone to possible fuel leaks that carry the potential to spark fires, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The recalled vehicles, which include RX-8s from the 2004 through 2008 models, have fuel pump rings that might deteriorate from engine and exhaust pipe heat, meaning there is a risk of fuel leakage that in the presence of an ignition source can start a fiery blaze, the recall notice said. Mazda was first made aware of the defect in September 2013 and subsequently started an investigation, the company said in an October recall report to the NHTSA.
At the time, the automaker had concluded bad maintenance was the cause of the fuel pump failure, and closed the investigation. Mazda began a second investigation a year later, after receiving a second field report about cracking pumps. After closely monitoring seal deterioration in the field, Mazda said, it decided to recall the RX-8 vehicles last month. Mazda will apparently notify owners of the problem, and dealers are instructed to replace the sealing ring and add a thermal insulation pad to the fuel tank for no charge. Remedy parts are not yet available, but the automaker will send out a second notice once the parts come in. No timeline has been specified. The vehicles were manufactured in Mazda’s Hiroshima plant in Japan.
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