Laguna Hills, CA – June 12, 2019 – Mazda says its recalling over 49,300 Mazda6 sedans due to the potential of a steering failure caused by corrosion developed over time due to the damaging effects of road salt, frequently spread on highways and streets to improve traction during the winter months. The model years for the affected vehicles are 2011 through 2013 and involve sedans sold or registered in 22 states as well as the District of Columbia. The concern is that excessive jostling of the impacted automobiles may adversely affect power-steering function and front crossbar, thus increasing the risk of an accident.
2011-2013 Mazda6 owners are urged to bring their vehicles to their nearest Mazda dealership so a repair can be arranged free of charge. The fix will likely involve the restoration or replacement of a drain hose and front cross member.
According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mazda is recalling certain Mazda6 sedans from the aforementioned model years due to concerns that the front cross member of the vehicle, which is found on the underside and involved in a car’s transmission functionality, may be vulnerable to depredation caused by road salt. The flaw may also adversely impact the sedan’s power steering, thus increasing the risk of a crash and/or injury to occupants. NHTSA investigators believe that the front cross member may not be applied with the proper amount of seal coating designed to protect the underbelly from the corrosive effects of road salt.
Since the source of the safety issue is known – road salt – NHTSA is confining the recall to so-called “salt belt” states,” which include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia West Virginia and Wisconsin. 2011-2013 Mazda6’s sold or registered in the District of Columbia are also included in the recall order. The automobiles in question were likely manufactured between Feb. 4, 2008 and Aug. 24, 2012.
Timeline of Events
The latest recall is actually an expansion of one that involved 2009-2010 Mazda6 autos. But on Sept. 14, 2018, the company decided to include sedans with model years 2011 through 2013 after dozens of complaints from drivers describing the same problems that led to the original recall. By Jan. 11, 2019, Transport Canada had reached out to Mazda as well, citing corrosion affecting the steering components of Mazda6 sedans. An audit committee meeting, held April 22, determined that the best course of action was to recall all Mazda6 registered or sold in the salt belt states between early February 2008 and late August 2012.
Mazda says that no later than June 24, the company – in consultation with NHTSA – will reach out to owners of the affected vehicles by first-class mail to inform them of the potential safety issue and recommend they take their sedans back to the dealership to be properly examined. If it’s determined that their vehicle is vulnerable to corrosion – or if the adverse effects of such damage are already apparent – mechanics will swap out the appropriate parts: most likely the front cross member. This repair will be complimentary, as is often standard with recall actions.
For more information on the recall order, visit MotorSafety.org and enter your VIN in the appropriate field.