Mazda and rust. For years, Mazda vehicles were beset by corrosion problems, to the point where the company’s products became synonymous with the phenomenon. While the automaker has taken steps and largely rectified the issue, there are a lot of owners of older Mazdas still driving their vehicle around, and complaints continue to be heard.
In at least 16 cases in the past year, those complaints have reached the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ears with respect to 2009-2010 Mazda6 models.
The complaints detail problems that go beyond mere surface rust. The corrosion in question affects the under-chassis of the vehicles, and the risk it can pose to safety is serious enough that the NHTSA has opened an investigation into the matter.
In all, the NHTSA has received 20 complaints regarding 2009 and 2010 models of the Mazda6. The corrosion that attacks the under-carriage has, in a dozen cases, led to serious road handling and control problems. Concretely, corrosion in the rear right section of the under-carriage can cause suspension components to detach from the subframe of the vehicle. As well, some bolts of the right steering rack can give way directly as a consequence of rust.
Fortunately, several of the 16 cases compiled during the past year were identified during inspections carried out on the affected vehicles, before any on-road problems manifested themselves.
Investigators will try to determine the rate at which the problem could arise in the Mazda6 models in question, and evaluate the safety risks it entails.
Certainly this is not the kind of news that Mazda needs as it tries to rebuild its reputation when it comes to corrosion issues.
If you currently own a 2009 or 2010 Mazda6, a visit to your dealership or an inspection centre is a very wise move.