Previous generations of the Mazda 3, while popular, soon became known as much for corrosion as for zoom-zoom potential. Tears of iron oxide poured from rear wheel arches, taillights and center-mounted brake lamps, adding a somewhat tragic element to the models’ insanely happy visage.
Despite efforts to relegate rust issues to the past, Mazda just can’t seem to shake this automotive cancer. Less than a year ago, the automaker was forced to recall a slew of newer models â€” 2.2 million vehicles in totalÂ â€” after insufficient corrosion protection on hatch lift supports put owners in danger of a sudden head-whacking.
Of course, that was just a couple of months after Mazda recalled six models years of its CX-7 crossover over fears of suspension separation caused by, that’s right, rust.
This time around, it isn’t unprotected body panels or corrosion-prone suspension components causing Mazda grief. Still, rust remains the culprit behind the recently announced recall of more than 307,000 Mazda 3 and 6 vehicles, some 227,814 of which can be found in the United States. In this case, it’s rust that could cause your Mazda to stubbornly stay put, or perhaps take an unexpected, driverless journey.
The latest recall covers Mazda 6 vehicles from the 2014 and 2015 model years, as well as 2014 to 2016 Mazda 3s. At the core of the issue is the conventional parking brake found in lower-end models. In short, it might hold too much, or maybe not at all.
“On the mechanical (cable) type parking brake, the parking brake actuator shaft may rust resulting in increased sliding resistance of the actuator shaft or a stuck actuator shaft,” the automaker wrote to its dealers.
“This is due to an inappropriate sealing performance of the rear brake caliper protective boot, particularly in cold temperatures, which could allow water to enter the brake caliper and cause the parking brake actuator shaft to rust. If the vehicleâ€™s rear parking brake has this concern, the parking brake holding force may be insufficient to hold the vehicle if parked on a slope or hill resulting in unexpected movement.”
After learning of a problematic Mazda 6 in the Canadian market in April of 2015, reports of rollaway incidents arrived from Germany and the UK. As of February, Mazda had logged 13 U.S. incidents. The automaker claims affected customers should be notified by August 21st.