Steering Wheel - 2007 Mazda MAZDA3 5dr HB Manual MAZDASPEED3 GTEnlarge Photo
The whole Toyota drive-by-wire safety issue has brought a new era of taking complaints seriously, and now two sporty cars are being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing power steering.
The 2003-05 BMW Z4 and the 2007-09 Mazda3 have racked up a combined 140 complaints over their power steering.
The Z4 has the most complaints, with 107 over its power steering and has one accident that is being blamed on it. The complaints are based around a steering wheel either sticking, binding or locking up at speeds over 45 mph. The safety risk is that this could cause a driver to overcorrect the car. BMW is looking into these complaints and are working with the NHTSA.
The Mazda3 has fewer complaints at 33, but has three accidents ascribed to the power steering failing. Unlike the BMW, the Mazda will just lose power steering requiring more effort to steer which could also cause the driver to overcorrect.
Both cars could be recalled, with 48,764 BMWs and 293,787 Mazdas being affected.