Mazda recalling 190,000 CX-7s due to rusty ball joints

The Basics: Mazda is recalling 190,102 Mazda CX-7 crossovers built between February 14, 2006, to May 9, 2012 – model years 2007 through 2012.

The Problem: Water can sneak in between the suspension ball joint fittings. If snow and road salt are common in your neck of the woods, the joints can corrode and separate from the lower control arms. That’s bad if you enjoy steering your CX-7.

Injuries/Deaths: It’s unknown if the rusting issue has led to any crashes, injuries, or deaths. Autoblog has a call into Mazda for additional details and will update this post with any new information.

The Fix: Owners should report to their local Mazda service center, where techs will replace the both front lower control arms. Any work done is free of charge.

If you own one: Mazda will perform some automotive triage with this recall, focusing on CX-7s that have had the longest exposure to salt and are most likely to suffer control arm separation first. Owners of 2007s and 2008s come first, followed by 2009 through 2011 models. Mazda will also focus on vehicles registered in states where snow and road salt are most common – Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.

If you live in a more temperate region or own a 2012 CX-7, Mazda will perform recall work as “parts are available.” Owners can contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500 for additional info. Recall notices should hit the mail around October 10th.

Related Video:

1472269037 578d3697134aa12fe77fb4a0 853x480 A v1 Mazda recalling 190,000 CX 7s due to rusty ball joints

nuTonomy beats Uber to launch first self-driving taxi

In the cutthroat world of technology, if you’re not first, you’re last. With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see tech companies and automakers clawing to be first in line to release self-driving cars. Uber recently partnered with Volvo in a $300-million project that should result in a self-driving fleet as early as next month. But amazingly, a 3-year-old company called nuTonomy has beat Uber to the punch by launching the world’s first self-driving taxi in Singapore.

Cambridge, MA,-based nuTonomy has been privately testing self-driving vehicles in Singapore since April and is now allowing select residents in the city’s one-north business district to be driven around in its self-driving taxis for free. Customers will be able to summon one of nuTonomy’s self-driving taxis through the company’s app and will be picked up in a Renault Zoe or Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car modified for autonomous driving.

While the taxi will drive itself, an engineer from nuTonomy will ride in the vehicle to ensure that the car is operating properly and will take over if needed. There’s no word on how many self-driving taxis nuTonomy put on the road, but the trials take the company one step closer to launching its fully autonomous fleet by 2018.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jake Watts managed to get a ride in one of nuTonomy’s self-driving taxis and, while it went well, he claims human cabdrivers may not go extinct any time soon. According to Watts, the self-driving Mitsubishi lacked Tesla’s polish and was overly cautious. The car did a fine job of avoiding jaywalkers, parked cars, and pedestrians on the short drive, but hesitated often, which could gives riders motion sickness, Watts said.

nuTonomy CEO Karl Iagnemma will be speaking at Autoblog’s UPSHIFT 2016 conference on transportation technology on October 6 in Detroit.

Related Video:

57b76723c7480e2a132e571b 853x480 U v1 nuTonomy beats Uber to launch first self driving taxi

Mazda RX-9 could be a 400-hp, 2,900-pound coupe due in 2019

Mazda poured fuel on the white-hot rumors of an RX-8 successor with the RX-Vision earlier this year. The long, low rotary-powered coupe was lovely, but as we reported, it wasn’t going to happen. But now, there’s another chapter in the RX rumormill, and like overnight parts, it’s from Japan.

Japanese site Holiday Auto claims that Mazda will debut the so-called RX-9 at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. But before that happens, the Zoom-Zoom company will preview the production model with a concept at next year’s Tokyo Motor Show. 2017 is important, marking 50 years since Felix Wankel had the screwy idea for his eponymous engine and 40 years after the company’s first rotary powered car, the Cosmo, hit the market.

Exciting as Holiday Auto‘s report is, the stats on this long-rumored car are better – via Google Translate, the Japanese site claims the RX-9 will use a 1.6-liter, two-rotor Wankel with a single turbocharger. It’s good for around 400 horsepower. Holiday Auto isn’t exaggerating when it claims the car could have “bike-like acceleration.” As with other Mazda products, a low curb weight is key, which is why engineers are targeting a meager 1,300 kilograms (2,866 pounds) for the production model – that weight should be pretty evenly split, too, thanks to a rear transaxle. So yes, the RX-9 will be stupid fast and extremely agile. But it will come at a cost.

And by cost, we mean that the RX-9 will start just south of eight million yen. That’s $79,641 at today’s rates, or enough to purchase about 2.5 RX-8 R3s, the hardcore handling trim of Mazda’s last-gen rotary car. And if Mazda follows Nissan’s GT-R pricing model, we’ll see a six-figure RX-9 by 2025.

When it comes to Mazda rotary rumors, grains of salt are a must. That’s doubly true when we’re talking about a possible concept that won’t debut for over a year. But with the RX-Vision, Mazda showed that it hasn’t abandoned rotary power, and with 2017 marking a big anniversary for the technology, it seems unlikely that the company will let the date pass without some acknowledgement. A concept car seems like a solid bet.

Related Video:

1472117656 578d3697134aa12fe77fb4a0 853x480 A v1 Mazda RX 9 could be a 400 hp, 2,900 pound coupe due in 2019