Some Mazda owners in Ohio may soon be receiving a recall notice in the mail. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced in April that some vehicles manufactured by the Japanese company are being recalled due to a potentially dangerous steering problem. The models involved are the CX-3, CX-5 and CX-9 SUVs and the Mazda 2 hatchback sedan.
The recall was ordered when an investigation revealed that loose mounting nuts could cause the steering knuckles on the models involved to detach. Steering knuckles contain the wheel spindle or hub and are attached to the main suspension components. When a steering knuckle detaches, steering control is compromised and may be lost completely. This would greatly increase the likelihood of a serious accident, especially if the detachment occurred at high speeds. The recall was ordered by the NHTSA to protect the occupants of the vehicles concerned as well as other road users.
According to the NHTSA, Mazda dealers will address the problem by performing a visual inspection of the steering knuckles and suspension components of the vehicles involved and checking the tightness of the mounting bolts that connect the steering knuckle to the strut assembly. Loose bolts will be replaced or tightened at no charge. The agency says that the recalls are expected to commence on May 20, and it encourages concerned Mazda owners to contact either Mazda, their local Mazda dealer or the agency itself for more information.
Manufacturers sometimes object to product recalls due to the damage that the associated negative publicity can do to valuable brand names. Attorneys familiar with defective product lawsuits will likely understand this, and they could seek punitive as well as compensatory damages when the defendants in these cases may have been able to prevent the harm suffered by their clients but failed to do so.