Mazda has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it is recalling Mazda3 and Mazda5 vehicles made between April 2007 and November 2008 – model years 2007 through 2009 – to rectify a power steering problem.
The problem is a sudden loss of power assistance that can affect the driver's ability to steer the car and which may happen at any time. Mazda says there is "no unreasonable safety risk" and reports no consequent crashes or injuries. It also claims the rate of occurrence has been low.
Unfortunately, the required parts are in short supply at the moment. Mazda will start notifying owners by mail starting September 15 and expects to have everything resolved by February 2011. This issue affects 215,000 cars in the United States, plus another 100,000 in Canada and Mexico. Worldwide, the total comes to around 500,000.
Owners can contact Mazda's customer service center on 1-800-222-5500. They may also contact the NHTSA on its vehicle safety hotline: 1-888-327-4236. Or click on safercar.gov. The NHTSA action number is PE10021.