Mazda is recalling approximately 204,000 CX-9 crossover utility vehicles in order to deal with a front suspension problem that could result in loss of vehicle control and a potential crash.
The recall affects 2007 through 2014 model year CX-9s, and is attributed to driving on heavily-salted roadways in winter or high elevation conditions. The salty compound could seep into the front ball joint fitting and corrode the metal, leading to looseness in the joint that could manifest itself as a rattle coming from the front wheel-well(s). If not attended to in a timely manner, the corrosion could spread and result in the ball-joint and lower control arm separating and loss of steering.
Mazda is not aware of any such catastrophic failures or even any incidents or injuries related to the issue. Of the affected vehicles, 193,484 are registered in the U.S. and 10,600 in Canada, but only cover 2007 through 2013 model year vehicles.
Owners of potentially affected vehicles will be asked by mail in September to attend a local dealership in order to have both front lower control arms and spacers replaced. Owners can also contact Mazda customer service at (800) 222-5500.
Vehicles in the snow-belt areas will be given priority, due to parts availability, and Mazda is reportedly also giving priority to older vehicles (which theoretically could show more extensive corrosion damage than later model year CX-9s).