The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation (read: not a recall) into the braking effectiveness of 2008 Mazda CX-9 crossovers. The reason? NHTSA received data from Mazda indicating a "high number" of warranty claims and reports related to the vehicle's braking system.

The NHTSA probe will examine reports that leaking brake fluid could degrade braking effectiveness of approximately 37,000 Mazda CX-9s. NHTSA says no injuries or accidents have been reported in connection with the CX-9's braking system, but the Agency has released this statement: "When brake fluid leaks into the vacuum booster the driver can experience reduced brake effectiveness which can result in extended stopping distance."

This preliminary investigation by NHTSA is the first step in a process that could lead to a recall if regulators determine the safety-related issue needs to be addressed by the automaker.

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