Yeah. Not good.
Although it was discontinued in 2012, Mazda has just discovered a new and potentially serious problem with the CX-7 crossover. According to Reuters, a total of 190,000 CX-7s have been recalled from model years 2007 to 2012, essentially its entire production life span. The exact problem? Water may enter the front suspension ball joint fittings, claims the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. How can that be a serious problem?
"If the water is contaminated with salt, such as from driving on snowy roads that have been treated, the ball joint may corrode and separate from the lower control arm, resulting in a loss of steering control." For its part, Mazda plans to fix CX-7s in cold-weather US states first. Makes sense. Fortunately, there have been no reports of any injuries or crashes related to this issue, but that doesn't mean they won't happen, especially with winter approaching. Mazda also hasn't said whether any CX-7s outside of the US are affected by this defect. What's interesting is that this isn't the first time Mazda has had to deal with this issue.
Just last year the Japanese automaker recalled about 193,000 examples of the larger CX-9 from model years 2007 to 2014 for a similar issue. As always, Mazda will directly contact affected owners, and this is one recall they should take seriously.