Mazda Motor Corp. has stopped production globally of its new 2006 5 minivan and has recalled 2,700 units in North America for exhaust system-related fires, according to Automotive News.

The newspaper said Mazda's North American dealers have been ordered to stop selling the minivan until the cause of the fires has been found and a solution is in place.

Three fires due to heat buildup in the system have been reported, the report said. The six-seater went on sale in June in the United States [and has also been launched in Europe and some Asia-Pacific markets].

Automotive News said US customers were told to return their vehicles immediately and will be given replacement transport at no cost. Mazda reportedly has told customers they will be without their 5s for at least 30 days.

A Mazda spokesman told Automotive News the production halt affects all 5 vehicles globally but Japan and Europe have not issued recalls or stop-sale orders, as those countries' versions have different engine specifications and engine management control units.

The spokesman said that the cause of the fires has not been determined, the report added.

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