Toyota’s highly publicized recalls in 2009 have changed how the automotive industry looks at customer complains. Every automakers is taking a closer look at these complains and recalls seem to pile up on a monthly basis.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. auto-safety regulator, is investigating BMW’s Z4 and the Mazda3 for possible defects with power-steering systems. The models under scrutiny are the 2007-2009 Mazda3 and 2003-2005 BMW Z4, previous generation roadster.
Reports indicate that three Mazda crashes and one BMW accident occurred due to a steering issue. Overall, 104 complaints have been recorded on the BMW Z4 and Mazda3.
The model year 2007-2009 Mazda3s have had three reported crashes out of 33 complaints and model year 2003-2005 BMW Z4s have had one crash and 107 complaints, NHTSA said.
“We will provide all the information they request and we cooperate with them always at these levels,” said Tom Kowaleski, BMWNA spokesman, for BusinessWeek.
The investigation covers an estimated 48,764 BMWs and 293,787 Mazdas, NHTSA said. The BMW “steering wheel sticks, binds or locks up, and requires increased steering effort resulting in difficulty controlling the vehicle,” the agency said.
The BMW malfunction, which occurs at speeds of 45 miles (72 kilometers) per hour or greater and temperatures of 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) or higher, may cause drivers to over-steer when turning, NHTSA said.
This potential recall follows the one reported last week by BMW’s Motorrad division which released safety notices for over 15,000 motorcycles.[Source: BusinessWeek ]