A software error may cause the CX-90 PHEV to shut down unexpectedly, leaving drivers stranded.
It’s unusual to see a vehicle with two simultaneous recalls, but that’s the situation the CX-90 currently faces as affected vehicles may have multiple software issues.
The first, and arguably more serious, recall impacts 4,252 examples of the CX-90 PHEV. There’s an issue with the plug-in hybrid model’s software logic, in which the powertrain control module (PCM) will shut the car down completely if the system inverter climbs above a specified temperature. While such a shutdown prevents the system from overheating, it also shuts down the gasoline engine, rendering the car immobile with no prior warning. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Mazda wrote the software to only trigger system warning lights once the failsafe mode has already activated.
The automaker first investigated the issue back in November 2022, when it received a report about a Belgian market PHEV (the CX-60) shutting down. When that happened, “the vehicle stopped with no throttle response.” Mazda continued to investigate the issue between February and October 2023, when it determined the root cause to be improper failsafe mode software.
As of early October, the automaker said it’s not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the problem. Still, being stranded is inconvenient, at the very least, so dealers will reprogram the both the PCM and engine control module with new software. The free update will more effectively warn drivers of a malfunction, turn off the electric inverter and switch the car over to a gas engine-only mode to allow drivers to move their CX-90 PHEV to safety. The company says it has not received any reports of problems from cars in the U.S. as of October 6, but is updating 2024 model year CX-90 PHEVs anyway.
Mazda says it already notified dealers of the problem on October 31, and will mail notices out to affected owners on or before December 22. Vehicles built after June 20 should not have this issue, as they shipped from the factory with the updated software. Mazda’s number for this recall is 6323J, while the NHTSA marked this recall campaign as 23V-719.
This issue does not affect the mild-hybrid inline-6 model.
A camera issue also impacts the Mazda3, as well as the CX-90
The other recall impacts a total of 11,903 vehicles, including certain 2024 model year CX-90s (including the inline-6 models) and Mazda3s. According to the manufacturer, a software issue may prevent rearview, front or side camera images, or any images at all, from appearing on the infotainment display. That puts the cars out of compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards which mandate operable rear cameras on all new vehicles, as well as increases the risk of an accident or injury, as it reduces the driver’s visibility.
Mazda says this problem can crop up because of bad processing logic within the view monitor control module. Again, dealers will update the software free-of-charge. Owners can expect to see notifications about this recall campaign around December 22. If you own a CX-90 PHEV, then you may get letters about both recalls at the same time.
Mazda’s number for this recall is 6223J, while the NHTSA’s campaign number is 23V-718.
In either case, you can find out more about whether your car is affected by checking Mazda’s recall website or calling their customer service line at (800)-222-5500 (option 6). The NHTSA’s hotline is also an option at (888) 327-4236 (TTY (800)-424-9153), as is their website.