ATF Leak Drives Mazda Recalls


Possible automatic transmission fluid leaks led Mazda to recall nearly 90,000 cars in China and Japan starting April 16.

Mazda and joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. recalled 54,641 Mazda 3 sedans that use 1.6-liter engines and automatic transmissions, Chinas General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine stated. That included 10,346 imported vehicles produced from February 2008 to March 2009, and 44,295 cars built in China from November 2006 to October 2009.

In Japan, the carmaker recalled 35,181 automatic transmission Mazda 3 cars built between January 2006 and March 2009.

A flaw in placement of a hose prompted the recalls. The transmission fluid cooler hose and a radiator shroud panel assembly sit too close together and may rub against each other, according to the Chinese agencys statement. The resulting friction, especially during vibration experienced when driving over bumpy roads, could damage the hose and lead to transmission fluid leaks. Continued driving in that condition may cause a failure warning lamp on the dashboard to light up, the recall notice observed, and the vehicle may cease to operate normally.

Technicians at authorized dealers will inspect the transmission fluid hose and replace it if it is damaged, Mazda noted. They will also add a protective cover to prevent future damage from the hose rubbing against the radiator panel assembly. The recall repairs will be free.

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