If you are driving, it is never advisable to change your seat position as you are operating the vehicle. But what if your seat has a mind of its own? Mazda is recalling nearly 174,000 vehicles because the seats in these cars can unexpectedly change position without any action on your part. The automaker has recalled model year 2010 to 2011 Mazda 2 and Mazdaspeed 3 and model year 2011 Mazda 2 vehicles over seat adjustment issues.
Defective Adjustment Links
The automaker says that the seat height adjustment links can break or detach from the seat frame suddenly. If this happens, the seat’s angle can change catching the driver off-guard and increasing the risk of a crash. Several Mazda owners have complained on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) safercar.gov database. One owner reported in April 2012 that the driver’s side seat in his car broke at the welded attachment point to the adjuster rail.
Another owner said the driver’s side plastic height adjuster broke causing the seat to move any time the car turned. Yet another driver said his seat would shift forward or backward depending on whether he was braking or accelerating. Mazda will begin to notify owners next month. Dealers will inspect the seat links and install a reinforcement bracket or replace the entire seat adjustment unit, as necessary, at no cost to consumers.
Auto Product Liability Issues
There is no question that these are dangerous seat defects. When driver’s seats shift out of position as the vehicle in motion, it puts everyone in the vehicle in grave danger. The driver could lose control of the vehicle and cause a crash, which could also injure a pedestrian or bicyclist on the roadway or the driver or passengers in other vehicles. This is a dangerous defect that has the potential to cause serious injuries or even fatalities.
Automakers are required to report defects and any incidents or injuries related to vehicle defects right away to NHTSA. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a dangerous or defective automobile, you may be able to file an auto product liability lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who will ensure that they receive maximum compensation for their losses and hold the negligent automakers responsible.