The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into complaints of power steering failures on the 2007-9 Mazda3 and the 2003-5 BMW Z4. Consumer complaints about the two models have triggered an investigation into the problem and because of criticism from federal regulators towards the NHTSA they are taking this matter quite seriously. The investigation stems from the crash of one BMW and three Mazda’s. So far the reports are indicating that the vehicles have lost their power steering assist. When this happens the effort to turn the automobile is amplified dramatically which can in turn cause major control loss.
A TSB was issued for the Mazda’s electro-hydraulic assist system back in 2009 in regards to pump contamination which could cause the unit to drastically slow down thus making control more difficult. The BMW’s issue seem to be related to heat and high speeds. The faster one is traveling, the faster the power steering pump must turn. Right now there has been only one BMW accident attributed to this problem.