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1992-1993 MX-3 And 1990-1993 323
Automatic Shoulder Belts
Recall Campaign #72803


October 1st, 1998

Re:

1992-1993 MX-3 And 1990-1993 323 Automatic Shoulder Belts
Recall Campaign #72803

Dear Mazda Owner:

This notice is sent to you in accordance with the requirements of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

Mazda Motor Coporation has decided that a defect, which relates to motor vehicle safety, exists in certain 1990-1993 323 and 1992-1993 MX-3 models.

Mazda has determined that, under certain conditions, the cable that retracts the automatic shoulder belt buckle may bind due to excessive wear of the automatic shoulder belt rail. If binding of the cable occurs, the passive restraint system is rendered inoperative.

Arrangements have been made for you to have your automatic shoulder belt inspected and replaced if necessary. Please schedule an appointment with your Mazda dealer to have this recall performed free of charge. The work may take as long as 3 hours to complete. however, it may take longer depending upon the service department's work schedule.

In addition to performing this recall campaign, Mazda is extending the warranty coverage on the driver and passenger automatic shoulder belt rail and motor for the life of the vehicle. Mazda is also extending the warranty coverage on the front door latch switch, which may affect the operation of the automatic shoulder belt, to 12 years from the manufacturers warrenty start date.

If you have already paid for the repair or replacment of your shoulder belt or front door latch switch, due to improper operation of the automatic seat retractor, Mazda will reimburse you for reasonable expenses based on Mazda's repair standards. Please complete the enclosed "Reimbursement Application Form", (Front, Back) mail it in the pre-addressed envelope and allow 6-8 weeks for processing.

If you are the lessor of the vehicle and have received this letter, please provide a copy to the lessee.

Should you have any questions regarding this recall campaign, please contact our Customer Assistance toll-free number, (800) 222-5500.

If your dealer or distributor does not remedy this defect without charge and/or within a reasonable amount of time, you may wish to notify the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, DC 20590, or call their toll-free Auto Safety Hotline. (888) 327-4236. (Residents of Washington, DC may call 366-0123)

Our goal at Mazda is to build and maintain only the highest quality products.

Please accept our apology for any inconvenience this recall campaign may cause to you.

Subject VIN Range As Follows:

Year: Model: VIN Number Range:
1992-1993 MX-3 JM1EC43%*N0100039 to
JM1EC43%*P0238507
1990-1993 323 JM1BG232*L0100122 to
JM1BG232*P0651901
JM1BG234*P0550052 to
M1BG234*P0651919
% an be 1 OR 2
* an be any letter or number



** For Information Leading Up To The Automatic Seatbelt Recall Read Below. **



February 6, 1998

Re:
MX-3 Seatbelt Recall
Unofficial

This is a message that was sent to the MX-3 and Mazda mailing lists on 02/06/98.

Subject: MX-3 Recall
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 1998 12:14:21 -0500
From: Joe Farrell
To: MX-3 Mailing List
CC: Mazda Mailing List

My driver side automatic seat belt has frozen up twice. One time I bought a used part and replaced it ($150 US) and the second time I talked w/ Mazda Great Lakes and they replaced it for the cost of warranty labor (approx. $55.00 US).

[Factory cost to replace auto seat belt = ~$600.00 US at Fischer Mazda in Troy, MI]

Recently my passenger side seat belt has frozen up in middle track. I called Mazda Great Lakes again. The first gentleman I spoke w/ said "No, we cannot replace it when the vehicle has that many miles (140k)." hen asked what the miles on a car had to do with a safety device, he had no answer other than "No. No replacement this time." I politely asked to speak with his superior, and got her phone number.

After a few phone calls back and forth, she just told me that there will be a recall on the seat belts in the MX-3. Does this mean that they are going to finally replace those hazard-creating-automatic belts with some manual, over-the-shoulder strap-ins? God I hope so. She did say that the new belt(s) will be warranted for 12 years.

I guess you might call this one of those special "bitch" recalls. Bitch enough, get a recall. She & Mazda probably did not know that there are tight knit groups of MX-3 owners on the net who can spread info faster than they can. :-) And if this is her way of smoothing out a problem between my complaint and fixing the problem, then she's got a lot more to deal with now than I'm sure she imagined.

Mazda Great Lakes: 800-222-5500

1st person spoken with: Don
Manager: Barb Abrams

-Joe
93 MX-3



February 13,1998


Seems this page is very popular lately.

After bringing my MX-3 into Fischer Mazda in Troy, Michigan, I was phoned shortly after leaving the dealer and told that there was no recall on the MX-3 seatbelts.

However, after again calling Barb at Mazda Great Lakes to find out why there was no recall, she reminded me of a specific person I was supposed to speak with at Fischer Mazda. Barb said she would make a phone call to Fischer and straighten the situation out regarding the seat belt recall, because in fact the seat belt recall had not yet been announced.

Yes, there truly will be a recall on the MX-3 seat belts although as of today it has not been publicized yet. You will probably receive notification by mail.

A 'Thank You' goes to Barb who researched my problem and found a solution.

-Joe



April 15, 1998


Update!

My seat belt WAS replaced about a month ago by Fischer Mazda, as promised.

-Joe



August 14, 1998


Re:

Update Concerning Seatbelt Recall
Unofficial

This is a message that was sent to the Mazda MX-3 Mailing Lists on 08/14/98.

Subject: MX-3 Seatbelt Recall
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 08:31:36 -0700
From: Wonginator
To: MX-3 Mailing List

Hi to all,

I just found the time to make an appointment to call my Mazda dealer to get my passive-restraint seatbelts fixed. I ran into a slight problem, getting a few different stories from different people.

I made the appointment a few days ago with one of the guys in the service department, who checked my vehicle ID number to check if there were any active recalls.

When I brought it in this morning to get it fixed, the service manager refused to do the work unless the seatbelt was actually nonfunctional. This really pissed me off, but he said that Mazda gave him explicit instructions to fix the seatbelt only if it isn't working. He said Mazda called it a "discretionary recall".

I thought this sounded stupid, since recalls are made to fix problems BEFORE they happen instead of AFTER they happen. There wasn't anybody I could speak to above him except Mazda itself.

Since he said he was only following orders and he was the main service manager, I decided to call Mazda directly with the (800) number provided by the wonderful folks on this list.

Here it is again, in case some of you new list members don't have it: (800)222-5500

I talked to a gentleman named Rob, and his explanation made the most sense. The recall that was made in March 1998 on the seatbelts was done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), not by Mazda. That's why nobody has received a notice yet to bring their car in.

Since the NHTSA made the recall, Mazda has been working on fixing the problem and using different parts. If the same parts are used, the same problem will occur with the seatbelts. None of the dealers have the new parts yet. Rob said that we should expect to receive a recall notice from Mazda directly by the end of August or beginning of September.

To make sure you get the notice, just check with the (800) number and make sure they have your latest mailing address. Hope this informative post helps those who were wondering about the seatbelt recall on our MX-3s and other Mazdas.

Leland Wong


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