Mazda announced the recall of more than 200,000 Mazda MAZDA3 and Mazda MAZDA5 that were produced for the 2007 through 2009 model years. According to a report on Automotive News, the recall was issued following 33 complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of power steering failures that have been attributed to three crashes. Although no complaints have been filed against the Mazda MAZDA5 minivan, it is also being recalled since it shares many of its components with the 3 obviously including the power steering system.
The recall is a result of metal pipes in the steering system that form internal rust and cause the system to shut down due to rust accumulating on power steering sensors. The contaminated sensors shut down the power steering system to prevent extensive damage. Mazda has traced the cause of the rust to a coating and cleaning procedure that were performed during the manufacturing process. The repair replaces the power steering pump as well as the lines connecting the pump to the rack. For more information on the recall, call Mazda's Customer Assistance Center at (800)-222-5500.
Even though the problem knocks out the power steering, Mazda says the vehicle is still drivable although it will require more effort from the driver to steer the vehicle. When the power steering system is shut down, a warning light will illuminate in the instrument cluster and the car will be much harder to steer, but the driver will not lose the ability to steer altogether. If the steering cuts out, Mazda suggests turning off the car once the vehicle has been brought to a stop, and says that the power steering could start to work again after a short cool-down period. For those not comfortable driving without power steering, contact Mazda Roadside Assistance (800)-866-1998.
Mazda has released aÂ VIDEO on what to do if your MAZDA3 or MAZDA5 loses power steering including how to maneuver the car around obstacles without the power assistance. Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by Mazda and/or the NHTSA, or they can take their vehicles to any Mazda dealership to have the repairs performed. Check out the Autotropolis Dealership Locator tool for a Mazda dealership in your area.
In what may be a sign of the times when it comes to recalls, the Automotive News report says that Mazda had initiated the recall while the NHTSA has had a service bulletin out for this issue for more than a year. Following the debacle with Toyota's recent recall problems, it is likely that some automakers could be issuing recalls earlier to avoid such negative press.