Following a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, Mazda has issued a recall for the 2007-2014 CX-9.
The agency had received more than a dozen complaints of lower ball-joint failure. In some cases, owners claimed the problem allowed the control arm to separate and send the vehicle out of control.
Mazda’s internal investigation traced the failures to water intrusion past the rubber boot that protects the ball joint. The company in 2013 changed the shape of the boot and added a protective plate, however the issue was not handled as a formal recall at the time.
The Japanese automaker initially viewed the failures as a maintenance issue, observing that ball joints should exhibit a concerning noise for several years between initial corrosion and complete failure.
Under pressure from the NHTSA investigation, Mazda in June finally agreed that “the failure might occur without customer’s noticing unusual noise because some VOQs [complaints] showed that a ball joint fell out suddenly.
The campaign affects approximately 193,500 units sold in the US market. Repair priority will be given to the 2007-2009 model years and vehicles sold in ‘salt-belt’ states.