Following a recall confirmed for some overseas markets last week, Mazda Australia has today announced a free 'Special Service Program' for previous-generation Mazda3 cars equipped with the company's Electro Hydraulic Power Assist System (EHPAS).
In a statement issued today, Mazda Australia said that the Mazda3's hydraulic power-steering and electrically-motorised oil pump (which lubricates the gear/pinion bearing with power-steering fluid) could potentially suffer from residual particles inside the hydraulic pipes, leading to a loss of steering assistance.
Previous-generation Mazda3s, produced between 2 April 2007 and 30 November 2008 could be affected, Mazda says.
Heading off concerns for potential danger, Mazda says the system's 'fail-safe mode' will kick in if a problem is detected.
"The steering system's fail safe mode will ensure that the mechanical components of the steering system remain completely functioning, allowing the vehicle to be driven safely in the absence of power assist. This will make parking and manoeuvring in small spaces less comfortable but it will not affect driving safety," the statement reads.
Owners of potentially-affected vehicles will be contacted by Mazda Australia from November 2010 onwards and will be requested to contact their Mazda Dealer to make an appointment to undertake any necessary rework and parts replacement.
Previous-generation Mazda3 owners experiencing power-steering problems should contact a Mazda dealer for inspection, where the issue will be rectified under the normal warranty repair process.
Affected vehicles will require cleaning of the steering gear box by flushing all fluid lines with power-steering fluid, followed by replacement of the power -steering oil and then the installation of a new power-steering pipe assembly.