Mazda, Volkswagen recall 99,000 cars

Red car parked beneath city bridge.

Sue Hewitt

Posted October 18, 2019

Top-selling Mazda, Volkswagen and Skoda models recalled due to mechanical faults.

A spate of recent vehicle recalls is not a cause for alarm, but rather a sign that car manufacturers are taking quality control seriously, according to RACV’s motoring expert. 

Days after the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission issued an urgent warning regarding the recall of 20,000 cars with potentially dangerous Takata airbags, Mazda and Volkswagen have recalled a combined 99,000 vehicles. 

But RACV’s manager of vehicle engineering, Michael Case, says it’s a coincidence that such a large number of cars have been recalled in a short space of time and motorists should not be alarmed. 

“It shows the federal government’s recall procedure is working and manufacturers are doing the right thing and not taking any risks,” he says. “The whole system is working in the best interests of consumers and RACV is supportive of all of this.”

On 15 October, Volkswagen Group Australia recalled more than 63,000 VW and Skoda models made between 2009 and 2015, due to a potentially faulty pressure accumulator housing part, which could affect the gearbox and cause an interruption of power. An affected car would slow to a “limp home mode” and once the engine is turned off in this mode, it could not be restarted, except by a Volkswagen technician.

Just a few days earlier, Mazda recalled approximately 36,000 diesel models made between 2012 and 2018 due to a potentially faulty shutter valve which could lead to a gradual drop in engine power. 

These latest two recalls take the total number of vehicle recalls to 233 so far this year, compared with 199 for the same period last year and 190 in 2017.

 A Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development spokesperson confirmed that the number of recalls is rising every year. “This is the result of a range of issues including more cars on the road, increasing complexity of motor vehicles, improved quality-control processes within manufacturers and changing customer expectations.” 

Cars affected by the Volkswagen Group recall are the Golf, Polo, Jetta, Beetle, Passat and Caddy, while Skoda vehicles include the Fabia, Rapid, Octavia, Yeti and Superb. 

Silver car parked on the side of a city street.

Several models of Volkswagen cars have been recently recalled.

Volkswagen spokesman Jason Bradshaw says although the company believed 23,000 VWs and Skodas could be affected by the faulty part, it had recalled a further 40,000 just to be sure. 

“While we know that some 23,000 vehicles may have this incorrectly manufactured component, we cannot be certain of identifying these by Vehicle Identification Number alone,” Jason says. 

He says although the manufacturer could have replaced the faulty part as part of a service campaign, it had decided that a recall “better served the interests of clarity and communications with customers”. 

A Mazda spokesman says some of its vehicles may have a fault that causes carbon deposits on an intake shutter valve and the premature wearing of some engine components. As a result affected cars might experience a gradual drop in engine power and stopping distance, as well as multiple cluster warning lights and potential stalling of the engine or smoke coming from the engine. 

He says Mazda customers will be contacted directly to arrange an inspection, but that owners should contact their local Mazda dealer if any problems emerged. 

The chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia, Adrian Feeney, says recalls are a “powerful protection for consumers, where owners are notified and problems are rectified”. 
He says recalls involving serious safety issues, such as the Takata airbags, are rare.

“Typically, the manufacturer has found a problem in the quality-control process and advises the government and the problem is fixed at no cost.”


For more detailed information on vehicle recalls visit Product Safety Australia.