Mazda Motor Corporation has announced a vehicle defect recall for about 190,000 of its CX-7 SUVs because of an issue that could cause a loss of steering control. According to a Reuters news report, water may enter in the front suspension ball joint fittings in the affected vehicles. If the water is contaminated with salt such as from driving on snowy roads that have been treated, the ball joints may corrode and separate from the lower control arm resulting in a loss of steering control.
Mazda has told federal regulators that it will prioritize the recall in cold-weather states. In July 2015, the automaker recalled close to the same number of its larger CX-9 SUVs from model years 2007 to 2014 for a similar issue. So far, the automaker says it hasn’t received reports of injuries or crashes in the CX-7 SUVs relating to the steering problems. It is not clear if any vehicles outside of the U.S. market will be recalled.
The Dangers of Loss of Steering
The steering system is one of the most important components when it comes to the safe performance of the vehicle. Steering system components may include the power steering pump, hydraulic lines and other parts. If any of these parts are defective or malfunction, the consequences could be tragic and catastrophic. When drivers lost control of the steering, they could crash into other vehicles, passengers or stationary objects. Even experienced drivers struggle to regain control of a vehicle when loss of steering has occurred.
If Your Vehicle Has Been Recalled
How do you know if your vehicle has been recalled for a defect? The easiest way to find out would be to go to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website at safercar.gov. Enter your vehicle identification number or VIN to find out if your vehicle has been recalled. You will also likely get a recall notice from the automaker in the mail with instructions about action to take in the future. This may include taking your vehicle to the dealer for repairs. Under federal law, dealers are required to make these repairs at no cost to consumers.
If your vehicle has been recalled, especially for a safety issue, do take it seriously. Take your vehicle to the dealer for a thorough inspection and for necessary repairs. If you are in the market for a used vehicle, be sure to check out the vehicle’s history, including any pending recalls. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a defective auto, contact an experienced California auto defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.