Mazda recalls Tribute
MAZDA has issued a recall on 26,000 of its Tribute SUVs for a dangerous cruise control defect that could jam the engine on to full power.
The notice has been given for 3.0-litre V6 Tributes sold here between December 2000 and February 2007 with factory-fitted cruise control.
The Tribute, which was discontinued in Australia in 2008 and replaced by the Mazda CX-7, is a rebadged version of the Ford Escape that was recalled earlier this month for the same defect on close to 9000 vehicles here and 485,000 in the US.
The vehicles may have inadequate clearance between the engine cover and cruise control cable, allowing the throttle to get stuck, regardless of whether or not the cruise control is being used.
There have been no incidents reported yet of the problem causing throttles to jam in Australian Tributes, Mazda spokesman Steven Maciver says.
‘‘The alert was raised in the United States, and we don’t have exactly the same set-up for the Tribute here, but it’s similar so we made the decision to recall,’’ Mr Maciver said. ‘‘The fix is fairly straightforward and takes about an hour.’’
Tribute drivers are ad- vised to avoid near or fullthrottle pedal pressure to reduce the risk of the dangerous problem occurring.
If you experience a stuck throttle, you should firmly and steadily apply the brakes without pumping the brake pedal, shift to neutral, steer the vehicle to a safe location and switch the engine off after the vehicle has completely stopped.
Owners are advised to contact their closest Mazda dealership to arrange an inspection and repair. The Tribute problem follows the recall on another Mazda, the BT-50, which has a shared platform with the Ford Ranger.
The two utes are twins under the skin and in parts of the cabin, including the faulty rear seatback latch that saw a mid-October recall on 4258 Ford PX Rangers and has now been cited on the dual-cab BT-50.
‘‘There are about 3500 Mazda BT-50s across Aust- ralia that are affected by the recall,’’ Mazda Australia spokesman Tony Mee says.
The defect is on BT-50s sold between late May 2011 and mid-February 2012, with the VIN numbers from MM0UP0YF100100501 to MM0UP0YF100108651.
The recall notice says the rear seatback latch fitted to affected vehicles may not engage correctly, resulting in the rear seatback latch not being secured to the body striker and causing the rear seatback to fall forward. The defect poses a safety hazard to passengers, and owners are warned not to use a rearward-facing child seat in the vehicle until the defect is fixed.
However Mee says there have been no reports of incidents or injuries related to the defect. ‘‘Not one report,’’ he says, adding that the fix is a relatively swift one.
The dealer will replace the link between the rear seatback release strap and the rear seatback locking mechanism with a revised component.
The Ford recall was the second on the Ranger within months, with an August notice issued on 16,287 Rangers built in Thailand from September 2006 to June 2011 for a defect that risked fracturing of the towbar welding.
A problem with its cruise control system has led to a major recall of Mazda’s Tribute SUV