Mazda is recalling 215,000 2007-2009 Mazda3 and Mazda5 vehicles made from 2 April 2007 through 30 November 2008. These vehicles may have a safety defect where a sudden loss of power steering assist could occur while driving.
If power steering is lost without warning, the driver’s ability to maneuver is restricted, increasing the risk of an accident.
The recall on the Japanese-made vehicles raises questions about the policies of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which fined Toyota a record $16.4 million for its failure to tell safety regulators about a safety defect in a timely matter.
In the Mazda case, the defect goes back to March of 2008 with a customer complaint in the Japanese market, which prompted a Mazda investigation in July of 2008. By the summer of 2009, Mazda concluded that rust was forming on the inside of a high-pressure power steering line, and it issued a technical service bulletin to dealers – but only in Japan.