Mazda Recalls Older SUVs, VW Stops Sales Due to Leak

Two major automakers made announcements about potential problems with their vehicles.

Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tribute SUVs in cold-weather states to fix rusting frame parts.

The recall covers SUVs from the 2001 through 2004 model years. Mazda says in documents filed with U.S. safety regulators that the frame can rust and a wheel control arm can separate from it. That could result in a loss of steering control.

The SUVs were originally sold or registered in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear snow and ice from roads.

Dealers will install a reinforcement brace to fix the problem.  Mazda says it will notify owners by letter when parts are available.

The same problem caused a recall of nearly 386,000 older Ford Escapes earlier this month. The Escape and Tribute are nearly identical vehicles.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has informed its dealers in the United States to stop the sale of their most popular models until it fixes a leak in the transmission.

The order covers about 25,000 Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Beetle Convertible equipped with 1.8-liter engines and automatic transmission, spokesman Scott Vazin said Wednesday.

Those models were built after February 1, 2014.

A seal between a passage of transmission fluid to a cooler can break and cause leaks -- a possible fire hazard.

Vazin said that fires or accidents due to the problem have not been reported.

VW plans to replace the defective part. Owners who already purchased one of the vehicles should contact their dealers.

Vazin hopes that the replacement part is available in two weeks or less and that the repair should take 30 minutes.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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