Mazda is recalling 26,000 Tribute SUVs made between December 2000 and February 2007 because, according to the Federal Government’s recall website, “the engine [could] be stuck at full power when the accelerator pedal is fully or almost-fully depressed.
“A throttle that is stuck fully or almost fully open may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop or slow the vehicle. This risk exists regardless of whether or not cruise control is being used.” Only models powered by the 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine are affected. There may be inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the cruise control cable, the safety bulletin says.
Mazda spokesman Steve Maciver told News Limited: “The reason we took longer [than Ford to notify customers of the recall] was to make sure we had the repair procedures in place … and ensure we had enough parts to supply. “We have sold more than triple the number of cars than Ford in that period.”
Ford Australia last week announced a recall of 8798 Escape SUVs built between November 2001 and February 2006. Ford and Mazda, longtime joint venture partners, built the same cars on the same production line in Japan, although the last 2000 Mazda Tributes caught up in the recall in Australia came from a factory in Taiwan. Both Mazda and Ford say there are no reports of cruise control or accelerators jamming on in Australia.
In North America, where the recall originated, Ford is recalling 484,000 Escape models while Mazda is recalling 217,000 Tribute SUVs. Both companies say the free repair work takes less than one hour but customers may need to leave their cars for longer to cope with the log-jam.
Meanwhile Jeep is recalling more than 900,000 Cherokee 4WDs, including up to 11,000 in Australia sold between 2002 and 2004, because the airbag could go off unintentionally. Safety authorities report there have been more than 200 instances of Jeep airbags going off without warning.
The latest recalls pale compared to Toyota’s famous 2010 recall of 9 million cars in North America – the biggest in the automotive industry – because of concerns of stuck accelerator pedals and/or jammed floormats. In May that year, Ford Australia recalled 5000 sets of floormats for its Territory SUV for a similar issue.'
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling