Adjusting your seat position while driving can be dangerous, but it can be even more hazardous if you don’t know your seat is going to move. That’s why Mazda has recalled nearly 174,000 vehicles with seats that can unexpectedly change position.
The Associated Press reports that the carmaker has recalled 174,000 model year 2010 to 2011 Mazda 3 and Mazdaspeed 3 and model year 2011 Mazda 2 vehicles over seat adjustment issues.
The carmaker says that the seat height adjustment links can break or detach from the seat frame unexpectedly. If this occurs, the seat angle can change, increasing the risk of a crash.
While the recall has not been posted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, several owners of the vehicles have filed complaints on the agency’s safercar.gov database.
The owner of a 2010 Mazda 3 reported in April 2012 that the driver’s side seat broke at the welded attachment point to the adjuster rail.
Another owner tells NHTSA that the driver’s side plastic height adjuster broke, causing the seat to move any time the car completed a turn.
In May 2012, another owner of a 2010 Mazda 3 reported that the driver’s seat would shift backward or forward depending on whether the vehicle was accelerating or braking.
The owner of 2011 Mazda 3 tells NHTSA in a complaint that the driver’s seat doesn’t stay on the sliding track.
“If I move the seat forward to accommodate a rear passenger, it’s like the seat will not sit squarely in the track, and it will either sink or elevate at one corner and slide forwards or backwards,” the complaint states. “It’s dangerous, if I were to hit my brakes, the seat would move forward inadvertently causing me to slam on my brakes.”
The AP reports that Mazda will begin notifying owners of the affected vehicles next month. Dealers will inspect the seat links and either install a reinforcement bracket or replace the whole seat adjustment unit.