Mazda is recalling more than 307,000 cars — nearly 80,000 of them in Canada — because the parking brake may not fully release or could fail to hold the cars, increasing the risk of a crash.
The recall covers certain Mazda 6 cars from the 2014 and 2015 model years and the Mazda 3 from 2014 through 2016.
The company says water can get into the brake caliper, causing a shaft to corrode and bind. If that happens, the parking brake can get stuck in the on position or fail to fully engage. That can let the cars roll unexpectedly if parked on a slope.
A total of 79,633 vehicles are affected in Canada, including 72,835 Mazda 3 models and 6,798 Mazda 6 vehicles. Mazda Canada says it notified Transport Canada on June 22 that it is conducting a voluntary recall campaign in Canada. Affected Canada customers will be notified of the recall within the next 60 days, a company spokeswoman said.
The problem affects only cars with a hand-operated parking brake lever system, according to documents posted Friday by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The company got its first report of the problem in April of 2015 in Canada but decided to monitor it because it hadn't received other reports. By February of 2017 Mazda had 13 reports in the United States of the problem happening on both models. It traced the cause to a sealing boot that wasn't keeping water out. A collision was reported in Germany when a Mazda 6 rolled off unexpectedly, damaging the rear end. Another crash with bumper damage was reported in the United Kingdom. Mazda says it has no reports of injuries.
A company spokeswoman in the U.S. says more than 307,000 cars were recalled in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam and Saipan. She did not have information about whether the recall extends to other countries.
Dealers will check the rear brakes. If shafts are corroded, they'll replace the calipers. If not, they'll replace a boot that keeps water out.
Owners in the United States will be notified starting August 21.
Greg Layson of Automotive News Canada contributed to this report.