Mazda Recall: Half a Million Affected by Power Steering Problems

Another day, another automobile recall. Has there ever been a worse year for car safety issues?

Mazda is recalling 500,000 cars worldwide, about 215,000 in the United States, for problems with the power steering. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall includes all 2007-2009 Mazda 3 and Mazda 5 vehicles. The problem is that there is a risk of sudden loss of power steering assist, which can occur at any time while driving the vehicle. Without the ability to steer the vehicle as expected, the risk of a crash.

I looked on the Mazda corporate website and the Mazda USA website, and I couldn’t find any reference to this recall. However, according to the NHTSA website:

Due to short supply of parts, the first phase of mailing of owner notification letters will begin on or before September 15, 2010 and the second phase mailing will begin in September 2010 and be completed in February 2011.

Unacceptable! Are some Mazda drivers supposed to drive around with an increased risk of crashing for the next six months? Even one day of driving with the potential for power steering failure is unacceptable. According to an article in today’s New York Times:

The recall comes about a year after Mazda started fixing vehicles in Japan for the same problem. But Mazda told the American safety agency that since the “occurrence rate was low” in the United States it issued only a technical service bulletin to dealers telling them how to fix the problem.

Let me get this straight–vehicles in Japan have been getting fixed while U.S. drivers are continuing to drive at risk? I don’t care how low the occurrence rate is, a single crash that results in an injury or death is one occurrence too many.

The phone number for Mazda Customer Assistance is 1-800-222-5500. If you own one of the recalled cars, call and demand that they pay for a rental car until your car is fixed. You can also call the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 if you get no satisfactory answer from Mazda.

And if you were injured in a car wreck that involved a 2007, 2008, or 2009 Mazda 3 or Mazda 5, feel free to call HensonFuerst for information about your legal options. Our phone number is 1-800-4LAW-MED. Or visit us online at https://www.hensonfuerst.com. If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.

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