The Basics: Mazda is recalling 190,102 Mazda CX-7 crossovers built between February 14, 2006, to May 9, 2012 – model years 2007 through 2012.
The Problem: Water can sneak in between the suspension ball joint fittings. If snow and road salt are common in your neck of the woods, the joints can corrode and separate from the lower control arms. That's bad if you enjoy steering your CX-7. According to Mazda, owners of affected models may notice a rattle from the front suspension due to the loose ball joint in the lower control arm fitting. Mazda describes separation of the ball joint and control arm as a "worst case" scenario "after extended operation in such condition."
The Fix: Owners should report to their local Mazda service center, where techs will replace the both front lower control arms. Any work done is free of charge.
If you own one: Mazda will perform some automotive triage with this recall, focusing on CX-7s that have had the longest exposure to salt and are most likely to suffer control arm separation first. Owners of 2007s and 2008s come first, followed by 2009 through 2011 models. Mazda will also focus on vehicles registered in states where snow and road salt are most common – Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.
If you live in a more temperate region or own a 2012 CX-7, Mazda will perform recall work as "parts are available." Owners can contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500 for additional info. Recall notices should hit the mail around October 10th.