Mazda Recalling More than 300,000 Cars to Correct Steering Defect

Mazda Motor is recalling more than 300,000 cars in North America to correct a problem with the vehicles' power steering that could lead to a crash.

The Japanese automaker said power-steering units installed in the cars could suddenly fail, making it difficult for drivers to steer and possibly resulting in a crash. Mazda said it hasn't received any reports of crashes or injuries related to the defect.

Vehicles involved include 2007 through 2009 Mazda3 and Mazda5 models. The recall includes 215,000 cars sold in the U.S., and 100,000 sold in the Mexico and Canada. The vehicles were manufactured from April 2007 through November 2008, according to a posting on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website.

The U.S. agency opened an investigation in June, after receiving 33 complaints alleging steering problems, including three crashes.

The problem is one Mazda has had to previously address. The company began fixing vehicles in Japan for the same problem last year and has investigated the issue for two years, the Associated Press reported.

Mazda said it was first informed of similar steering problems in Japan in March 2008 and began its own probe four months later after receiving additional complaints, the news agency reported.