The driver's chair's angle could suddenly change if a certain part breaks while the vehicle in the road.
Mazda will recall 173,859 vehicles in the United States because the seats could suddenly move. The campaign will affect the 2011 Mazda2, 2010-2011 Mazda3, and 2010-2011 Mazdaspeed3.
According to the automaker, the seat lifter link can crack and push nuts can separate from the chair’s frame. Continual use during either condition could cause the part to break, and the seat angle would suddenly incline. “The driver may not be able to maintain an appropriate driving position,” according to Mazda’s report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The company reports that an abnormal noise or rattling from the bottom of the seat is sometimes an early warning of this problem.
Mazda dealers will inspect the seat lifter links. On vehicles without damage, technicians will install a reinforcement bracket and will increase the number of push nuts to two per seat lifter link. On models with cracked components, mechanics replace the entire seat adjuster unit with a modified part. The automaker will begin the recall March 31, 2017.
The affected models are the previous-generation of Mazda3. For the latest iteration of the compact vehicle, the company doesn't have a hot hatch as a replacement for the Mazdaspeed3. Instead, the company has invested in designing stylish models and adding crossovers to the lineup.
Mazda's next big undertaking is improving the efficiency of its internal combustion engines. A new combustion process for its Skyactiv 2 powerplants can reportedly increase fuel economy by as much as 30 percent. An updated Mazda3 in 2018 should be among the first of the automaker's products to get the new mills. The firm is also looking at creating an electric vehicle for some markets by 2019, and it might have an optional small-displacement rotary engine as a range extender.