Parking brake problem prompts Mazda to recall nearly 228,000 cars

FILE - This Feb. 14, 2013, file photo, shows the Mazda logo on a sign at the 2013 Pittsburgh Auto Show, in Pittsburgh. Mazda says it is recalling 4.9 million older vehicles worldwide, including 1.36 million in the U.S., because ignition switches could overheat and catch fire. The U.S. recall covers the 1990-1996 323 and Protégé, the 1993-1998 626, the 1993-1995 929, the 1993-1997 MX-6, the 1989 to 1998 MPV and the 1992-1993 MX-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Mazda is recalling nearly 228,000 cars in the U.S. 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.

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 U.S. 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. It wasn’t clear from the documents if there were any injuries.

Messages were left outside of normal business hours Friday for Mazda spokesmen to find out whether cars outside the U.S. are being recalled.

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 will be notified starting August 21.

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