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:
- If the cap corrodes to the stem, any effort to remove it forcibly can damage the sensor
- The cost to replace dTPMS valve stems is expensive but failure to do so can result in catastrophic tire failure
- 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.
- Certain 2008-2010 Mazda vehicles with TPMS
- Metal allow tire valve stems and nuts are subject to corrosion
- When the valve stem or nut fails, air can release without warning as quickly as a blow-out. This can lead to life-threatening situations where the vehicle suddenly loses control.
- Repairs cost hundreds of dollars, and even more if tires are damaged as part of a valve-stem failure.
- In later model years, Mazda replaced the valve stem and nuts with new parts less likely to corrode.
Regardless, Mazda has refused to recall these vehicles despite numerous complaints.
- 2008-2010 Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6, CX-7, CX-9.
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].