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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 05-98
Monday, December 29 1997 Contact: Tim Hurd


Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

NHTSA PUBLISHES LIST
OF NOVEMBER RECALLS

Mazda (North America), Inc.

Models:

Mazda MX3 Years: 1992-1993
Mazda 323 Years: 1990-1994

Number Involved: 134,000
Dates of Manufacture: August 1991 - September 1993
NHTSA Recall No.: 97V211 Mazda Campaign No. 72803
Vehicle Description: Passenger vehicles equipped with front seat automatic shoulder belts.
Description of Defect: The rail of the automatic shoulder belt can wear such that the cable which retracts the buckle assembly can become jammed in the rail, rendering the shoulder belt inoperative.
Consequence of Defect: A seat occupant may not be properly restrained in the event of a vehicle crash.
Corrective Action: Dealers will replace the shoulder belt assembly with a modified one (with an additional dust lip) in vehicles which have experienced a problem. In vehicles in which the automatic shoulder belt functions properly, the rails will be inspected and replaced with modified rails if the wear exceeds the inspection criteria.
Owner Notification: Owner notification is expected to begin in early 1998.
Note: Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mazda at 1-800-222-5500.

NHTSA said it is publicizing the recalls to alert consumers about safety problems and encourages them to take action. Under federal law, safety problems must be remedied without cost to consumers. Currently, 70 percent of the owners of vehicles with safety problems have the recall work performed.

NHTSA said manufacturers are required to mail a recall notice to all purchasers, owners and dealers when a safety defect or noncompliance with federal safety standards is found. The agency urges owners to wait until they receive notification from the manufacturer before contacting their dealers to schedule the repair work. Not all vehicles of a particular make and model may be subject to the recall.