109,000 Mazda Tributes recalled for rust-related steering issue

Mazda Motor Corp. is recalling 109,000 Tribute compact SUVs in the United States to address potential rusting frame parts in cold-weather states where road salt is heavily used in the winter.

The recall affects 2001-04 Tributes corrosion on a part of the vehicle's frame could result in the loss of steering control, Mazda said in a statement.

A Mazda spokesman said today that there have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue.

A reinforcement brace will be installed on the bottom of the SUV and customers will be notified of the recall beginning in May, the spokesman said.

The SUVs were originally sold in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to melt snow and ice on roads.

The same issue caused the recall of almost 386,000 Ford Escape SUVs earlier in the month. The Tribute and Escape share mechanical underpinnings and are both built at Ford's Kansas City, Mo., assembly plant.