DETROIT Feb 14 U.S. safety regulators have
opened a probe into reduced brake effectiveness for an estimated
62,319 Mazda Motor Corp CX-9 large crossover vehicles
from model years 2010 and 2011.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said
in documents filed online it has opened a preliminary evaluation
into the vehicles after receiving seven consumer complaints of
unexpected loss of power-assisted braking.
A preliminary evaluation is the first step in a process that
could lead to a recall if regulators determine a manufacturer
needs to address a safety problem.
A Mazda spokesman said the Japanese automaker was
cooperating with NHTSA officials in the investigation.
Consumers said there were incidents of the brake pedal
suddenly feeling hard, requiring increased effort to stop the
vehicle, according to the NHTSA documents.
The NHTSA previously investigated brake master cylinder
leaks in the 2008-model CX-9 but closed that probe in April 2012
because of a low probability the condition could affect brake
performance, according to the NHTSA documents.
In the latest probe, however, the complaints said possible
loss of power assist to the brake, reduced brake effectiveness,
and several consumers reported hearing a hissing noise during
brake application, according to the NHTSA documents.