The NHTSA has debuted an investigation that may lead to a recall campaign, with the probe including 48,764 BMWs and 293,787 Mazda vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had received 140 complaints for the BMW Z4 roadster and the Mazda3 compact, with both vehicles appearing to have a loss of power assistance for the steering. The complaints cover the 2007-2009 model year Mazda3s and the 2003-2005 BMW Z4s. The agency stated that there are no fatalities reported in the complaints.
A total of 107 complaints, with one crash report, have been submitted for the BMW Z4, stating that the steering wheel suddenly locks up, requiring the driver to use a great amount of force in order to operate the steering. The issue occurs at speeds that exceed 45 mph (72 km/h) and temperatures greater than 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius).
In the case of the Mazda3, we are talking about 33 complains, with three reported crashes potentially related to the problem. These state a similar issue as the BMW Z4-related ones.
BMW said that it is ready to offer any information requested by the NHTSA and that it is willing to cooperate with the agency, while a Mazda spokesman stated that the company is already working together with the NHTSA for the investigation.
The news comes after last week Toyota announced that 270,000 Lexus and Toyota vehicles have faulty valve springs that can lead to the engine stalling while the vehicle is in motion. The U.S. recall for the vehicles will debut this week.