Mazda Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Fuel Pump Problems, Engine Stall Risks

Similar problems with Denso fuel pumps have led to the recall of millions of vehicles in recent years.

Following a recent recall of more than 120,000 Mazda vehicles that contain a defective fuel pump, which may cause the vehicles to suddenly stall, a proposed class action lawsuit claims Mazda and the parts supplier Denso concealed known safety risks from consumers to avoid costly repairs.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Zachery Haines and Townsend Vance on November 11, in the U.S. District Court Central District of California, seeking class action status to pursue damages on behalf of vehicle owners, claiming that information about the Mazda fuel pump problems were known for more than a year, yet consumers were not informed and a safety recall was not immediately issued.

On November 12, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a Mazda recall impacting approximately 121,038 vehicles, due to the potential for the impeller inside of the low-pressure fuel pump to prematurely deform and crack.

According to the recall notice, officials warned customers that if the pumps become deformed or cracked the vehicles could fail to start or suddenly stall while in motion, increasing the risk of an auto accident. However, the complaint filed against Mazda outlines additional hazards presented by the failing fuel pumps, warning that a faulty fuel pump may also present crash risks to drivers due to inconsistent or delayed acceleration.

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Although Mazda North America Operations issued the safety recall, Haines and Vance claim Mazda knew of the safety defects from the Denso-supplied fuel pumps for more than a year, and attempted to avoid issuing a recall to avoid costly repairs, leaving customers responsible for costly repair bills. The automaker issued a recall for vehicles equipped with the same fuel pump in China, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Mexico more than a year ago.

Plaintiff’s indicate Mazda not only failed to issue a timely recall of a known defect to avoid costly repairs, but also failed to identify the scope of the vehicles impacted by the defect and failed inform its customers of an issue with the fuel pumps that could cause crash hazards. Vance and Haines claim the same defective fuel pumps provided by Denso have been used in models as far back as 2013, citing fuel pump defects complaints to the NHTSA.

Denso Corporation is also the supplier of nearly 6 million faulty low-pressure fuel pumps installed on vehicles made by Acura, Ford, Honda, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, and Toyota.

A Toyota and Lexis fuel pump recall announced on January 15, impacted about 696,000 vehicles equipped with similar Denso fuel pumps, which were prone to cracking and causing the engines to stall without any advanced notice. However, following an internal investigation, Toyota ultimately issued two fuel pump recall expansions this year, bringing the total number of affected vehicles to more than 1.5 million.

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