Corrode And Explode? Mazda's TPMS is Actually Dangerous

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#wheels #corrosion #technology
Corroded Mazda valve stem

A tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) became a mandatory bit of technology for each vehicle sold in the USA after September 1st, 2007. It’s an electronic system designed to monitor the air pressure inside your car’s tires.

Properly inflated tired wear more evenly, increase MPGs, and reduce the risk of a blow-out.

But like any technology, TPMS can be both helpful and mind-numbingly frustrating. And in the case of how Mazda implemented their TPMS, it can also be dangerous.

Direct vs. Indirect TPMS

TPMS can be broken down into two major categories – direct and indirect.

Indirect TPMS (iTPMS) doesn’t use physical sensors and instead relies on data from the rotation of the wheels and other signals from the ABS and ESC systems. Direct TPMS (dTPMS) uses pressure sensors on each wheel and, depending on its implementation, can provide the owner with the exact pressure and temperature of each tire.

Of course, in order to do that, dTPMS systems need sensors, converters, micro-controllers, transmitters, and anything else you can think of that will likely break.

Valve Stem Corrosion

First-generation dTPMS sensors are integrated into the valve stem which can present a number of problems:

  1. If the cap corrodes to the stem, any effort to remove it forcibly can damage the sensor
  2. The cost to replace dTPMS valve stems is expensive but failure to do so can result in catastrophic tire failure
  3. Use of tire sealants to repair a flat can void the manufacturer’s TPMS warranty

"the TPMS sensor just blew out while in the highway with my 2 year old son. This is the second TPMS that failed the same way. The first one i just replaced with a rubber valve and has been living with the Check Air dashboard light."

A common complaint about 2008-2010 Mazda vehicles is that the valve stem and nut corrodes.

Law Firms Gathering Information

The possibility of a class-action lawsuit for certain Mazda owners is currently being investigated by Kantrowitz Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.

They are currently looking for 2008-2010 Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6, CX-7, or CX-9 owners to [contact them regarding valve stem issues].

Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported

This problem has popped up in the following Mazda generations.

Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA