Mazda is recalling around 500,000 cars worldwide due to a problem with the windshield wiper system.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the problem can be caused by a ground terminal that was prone to bending during installation. With the ground terminal was bent, electrical resistance can build up and prevent the wipers from working.

In the United States the recall includes more than 103,000 Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3 cars built between 2008 and 2009.

The NHTSA logs complaints from owners who experience safety related issues with their vehicles. 12 Mazda3 owners reported issues with the windshield wipers. Many of the complaints say that owners were forced to pull over to the side of the road because visibility was too poor to drive safely.

One owner reported, "My windshield wipers on my 2008 Mazda3 stopped working on the highway during heavy rain. Not only was this dangerous but also scary?"

Another owner had a similar experience. "During a snow storm after traveling some distance, the wipers decided not to work. They just stopped. They wouldn't stay running, so I had to leave the car in a parking lot..."

The fault can occur sporadically, so vehicles that haven't had any problems yet may still be affected in the future.

Mazda will send out letters notifying Mazda3 owners of the issue soon, but if you suspect your car might qualify for repairs, contact your local Mazda dealer and schedule an appointment.

Mazda dealers will be installing a new ground harness on the wiper's electrical system free of charge.

author photo

J. Mark Sternberg is an automotive journalist, car enthusiast and writer with a degree from the University of Arizona. Mark is a devoted Formula 1 fan and also enjoys boating, flying and attending the occasional track day.

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