The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation into reduced brake effectiveness for around 62,319 Mazda Motor Corp. CX-9 large crossover vehicles covering model years 2010 and 2011. According to documents filed online, NHTSA launched the probe after receiving seven consumer complaints of unexpected loss of power-assisted braking.
A preliminary evaluation is the initial step in a process that could result to a recall if NHTSA determines a carmaker needs to address a safety issue. A Mazda spokesman said the carmaker was cooperating with NHTSA officials in the probes. NHTSA documents say that consumer reported incidents of the brake pedal suddenly feeling hard, thus needing increased effort to stop the vehicle.
The NHTSA had started a probe into leaks in the brake master cylinder in the 2008 CX-9 but closed it in April 2012 due to a low probability the condition could affect brake performance. In the probe into 2010-2011 CX-9s, complaints included possible loss of power assist to the brake and reduced brake effectiveness. Several consumers also reported hearing a hissing noise during brake application.