Fire risk prompts Mazda RX-8 recall

Fuel pump sealing rings are prone to deterioration and failure over time.

Mazda has initiated a recall program for around 69,000 RX-8 coupes from the 2004-2008 model years.

Sealing rings used for the top of the fuel tank have demonstrated insufficient heat resistance, causing thermal degradation due to heat exposure from the exhaust system.

"Therefore, continuous use may lead to eventual cracking of the fuel pump rings and subsequent fuel leakage," recall documents note. "The deteriorated seals may leak fuel, which, in the presence of an ignition source, can increase the risk of a fire."

Mazda received the first failure report more than three years ago, however it was initially dismissed as a consequence of improper maintenance and the investigation was closed. After receiving a second field report late in 2014, a subsequent inquiry found additional cracked rings and eventually identified the root cause.

Notably, Mazda took an entire year to issue the recall after confirming the cause of failures in the field.

Service technicians will inspect the sealing rings and add a thermal insulation pad to the fuel tank to prevent degradation.

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