Mazda has issued a recall for nearly 200,000 Mazda CX-9 crossovers from the 2007 to 2014 model years. According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of those vehicles could suffer from a suspension flaw, which could increase the likelihood of a crash.
The CX-9's problem is rooted in the front suspension ball joints, which may be susceptible to corrosion. Over time, that corrosion could cause the car's front lower control arms to separate from the joints, which would prevent drivers from being able to steer their vehicles properly. Depending on when and where that happens, it could dramatically increase the risk of an accident.
The recall is limited to 2007-2014 Mazda CX-9 vehicles manufactured between October 24, 2006 and December 28, 2013. Mazda says that 193,484 owners in the U.S. are affected.
Due to a shortage of parts, Mazda is rolling out this recall in three distinct phases.
1. Because the corrosion problem is worsened by de-icing salts used on roads during winter months, phase one of the recall will focus on older vehicles -- specifically, those from model years 2007, 2008, and 2009 -- that are registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
2. The second phase of the recall will focus on 2010-2014 CX-9 vehicles in the same northern states.
3. The third and final phase will cover 2007-2014 vehicles in all remaining states.
Mazda plans to mail interim notices to owners in early September 2015, explaining the recall process. When replacement parts become available, owners will receive a second notice, telling them when they can take their vehicles to a Mazda dealer for repairs. Those repairs will involve replacement of both the left and right lower control arms. The fix will be carried out at no charge to owners.
If you own one of these vehicles and have questions, you're encouraged to contact Mazda customer service at 800-222-5500 and ask about recall #8515G. If you prefer, you can also call NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign 15V451000.