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Mazda - Does it have a good future in US?

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    there is a big market for raised trucks, no question. Like I said, the PreRunner has been the best-selling Tacoma many of the years they have been making it. But that is the kind of "sport" where you can go fooling around in the dirt and not worry about dragging your guts on the ground. It is not the kind of sport where you can challenge Mustangs at stoplights. :-)

    I am talking about an urban truck for urban users. They could advertise it as the truck that can run with a Miata on the track. But I'm NOT saying they should stop making the "dual sport". They could do both. And they could probably just quit a lot of the more pedestrian versions of the B-series - no-one is buying them.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Well its looking better. I've seen posts about people wanting Mazda to put an Acura RL competitor. What? Mazda doing a pick-up truck? No. They need a bigger 6 and a bigger MPV which they will be getting both in a couple years. I can't wait to see the new 6 in a couple years. I will be in the market for a new car at that time. My experience with the 1998 626 that I had on a lease was ok. No problems with the car that were major in 28,300 miles. Had a recall, water leaked onto the passenger seat floor(I suspect from the air conditioning unit, )and the brakes were starting to go. Brakes starting to go after 3 years is acceptable I think. I did not have any problems with the tranny, or engine however. Maybe I'll take a look at Mazda again. My concern with Mazda is quality however. Consumer Reports did not give the 03 6 a good reliability rating. The RX-8 had a bad first year as well. The 98-02 626 had a sterling reliability record by Consumer Reports anyway.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    As you may know the reliability of Consumer Reports ratings is a subject for ongoing debate and discussion. I used to believe everything they said, but I now have serious questions about their methods and biases, which have been mentioned many times by others as well.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Well I do know the 6's reliability was hurt by the fuel recall in 03 and issues with the brakes. The brake issue seems like an industry wide problem for first year cars. The 2002 Lexus EsS300/330 and 2003 Honda Accord all had issues with the brakes. The staining on the 6's exterior which goes under paint/rust/trim category in CR hurt as well. I am hoping Mazda took care of their first year bugs with the 6.
  • I am hoping Mazda took care of their first year bugs with the 6.

    They did.

    The staining is all but gone on '04 and newer cars, and there have been less complaints about the brakes. The only problem I have with brakes is the brake dust that seems to accumulate pretty fast on the alloy wheels, but that's an annoyance at most.

    As far as I'm concerned, the reliabilty "surveys" that CR runs are to be taken with a grain of salt. Overall, I think CR does a good job, but there are other publications and surveys that do the same thing, and they should ALL be taken as a small measure of how good or reliable a car really is, and NOT the final word. Unfortunately, the first-year model myth still holds true for a lot, but not all, automakers, and you'll still find one or two duds in any make or model car, be it an Accord or 6.

    As for my personal tastes, I take much more reassurance as to how the car drives, handles, and thrills much more than any quality survey could. I bought the 6 because it puts a smile on my face every morning on the way to work, every evening on the way home, and every time I run errands or drive across the state. Oh, and I've had it for a year and a month, put 17K miles on it, and I haven't had a problem yet...

    Is it typical, or did I just get lucky? Ask me if I care... :shades:
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    the reliabilty "surveys" that CR runs are to be taken with a grain of salt. Overall, I think CR does a good job, but there are other publications and surveys that do the same thing, and they should ALL be taken as a small measure of how good or reliable a car really is, and NOT the final word.
    Any survey/review is open to criticism, however, Consumer Reports' surveys tend to be better than most. Most publications use advertising which can influence the objectivity of a report; CR does not accept advertisement. Many reviews are done by an "expert" auto journalist who gives a personal view of the car based on his/her experience; CR uses a team which includes engineers, technicians and others. For reliability studies, CR surveys thousands of readers for their opinions of satisfaction and problem areas; in other words it's not CR that says the vehicle is problematic or not, it is us - the audience in the real world. In my experience, CR helps consumers like us by highlighting a range of good and poor choices in the marketplace and educating us in how to deal with some bizarre and opaque business practices such as "holdback".

    Unfortunately, the first-year model myth still holds true for a lot, but not all, automakers, and you'll still find one or two duds in any make or model ...
    Actually, it's not only the first year but the first couple of years of many models that is problematic, check out the latest issue of CR for some interesting examples.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,948
    The CR results also need to be put into context. THey compare cars to each other, so the ratings are relative. So, if most cars have 1% of the model with brake problems, but car X has 2%, they can get a big black circle as being much worse than average.

    Even if they use an absolute scale, it might nly be 10% as the worst catagory, which means that 90% of people never report having a particular problem.

    As noted, CR is good for pointing out areas where a particular model might not be strong, but is ar from meaning that you will (or won't) have problems with your car.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Zoom Happy!

    :shades:
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    No chance to be confused as to the day of the week because of the holiday THIS week :blush:

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  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "Actually, it's not only the first year but the first couple of years of many models that is problematic, check out the latest issue of CR for some interesting examples."

    Yeah I saw a stat on that. For example a 2000 a Toyota RAV 4(last year of that particular bodystyle) had 13 problems per 100 cars I think. 2001 Toyota RAV 4(first year model) had 39 problems per 100 cars. The 2002 RAV4 had 18 problems per 100 cars and the 2003 Toyota RAV4 had 13 problems per 100 cars. I also saw a stat on the Mazda Tribute Ford Escape Twins. It took them about 2 years to work the bugs out of Trib/Escape Twins. The 02(second year model)Trib/Escape still gets an average mark by CR in reliability though.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Since the 6 is getting bigger for 07 model year or 08 model year will Mazda have a coupe version of the 6 for 07 or the 08 model year. Toyota, Honda, Pontiac and Dodge have coupe versions of the Camry, Accord, G6, and Stratus. So is there any plans for a coupe version of the 6 in the near future? I mean Mazda has a nice young buyer for the 6 now. I my opinion they should retain the current 6 buyer demographic by offering a coupe in 07 or 08(whenever the next 6 is supposed to come out.)
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    No MZ6 coupe planned at this point.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    We're so used to thinking of Honda and Toyota as bullet-proof that it takes us for a loop when we see an increase in problems not only in the first model year but beyond. It sounds like it takes them sometimes 2 or 3 years to get back to their low-problem rate. The good news is that Honda and Toyota go after defects quickly and you're covered under warranty as they fix them. Mazda has a handle on the Mazda3 problems so that it rates as a reliable car that is recommended by CR; hopefully, the 2006 Mazda6 line has improved its defect rate so that it gets CR's stamp of approval.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "Mazda has a handle on the Mazda3 problems so that it rates as a reliable car that is recommended by CR; hopefully, the 2006 Mazda6 line has improved its defect rate so that it gets CR's stamp of approval."

    Well don't forget the last time the Mazda 3 was rated in reliablity by CR the 3 was only on the market for 5 months. The average car for 2004 models in CR's last full survey of cars had about 3,000 miles on them. In conlusion, we didn;t get enough data if the 3 will prove to be a reliable vehicle or not. Also, there were A/c problems with the 04 Mazda's. I'm sure Mazda for 05 3's fixed that problem. The Miata which has an above average reliability record by CR and is listed in CR's good bets for used cars is built in the same plant in Japan I think that the 3 is built in I think. The Protege was also built in the same plant as the Miata. In conclusion, I think the 3 will prove to be rock soild reliable.

    I also hope the plant in Flat Rock, Michigan that builds the Mazda 6 has the its issues worked out with build quality.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    I also hope the plant in Flat Rock, Michigan that builds the Mazda 6 has the its issues worked out with build quality.

    Agreed. This leads to a question that I think many of us have asked ourselves: How important is the country of production to the quality of the vehicle? The Mazda3 which is built in Hiroshima, Japan seems superior to the Mazda6 which is built in the US. Recent studies by J.D Power (link title) and others link title) show that GM has increased its quality levels substantially and become top producer in the US, although Toyota continues to be the premiere car producer in the world. Hopefully one of the other automotive giants, Ford, has woken up and heard the call. Ford needs to follow GM and start drastically improving its build quality. Or putting it differently, is the real source of problems for the Mazda6 its affiliation with Ford?

    p.s. several of the top GM plants are located in ... Canada
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Well, the Flat Rock is good I think but I think with Flat Rock it it takes them longer to work out bugs in models than it takes Mazda's plant in Horoshima. I had a 98 626 that was built in Flat Rock. My only compaint was a water link on the passenger floor. I think a hose busted or something. However it was a real problem and it was very simple to fix. I also felt the brakes start to go but after 3 years and they weren't even ABS I think its acceptable. No problems with engine or tranny.Keep in mind the 98-02 626 was not too much of of a changeover from the 93-97 626.

    As far as build quality US vs Japan built well Toyota builds most of their Camry;s in their Kentucky Plant. Toyota also builds the RAV4, Sienna, and Avalon I think in Kentucky.

    I think with the 6 the fuel recall and the staining killed its reliability rating. I mean the fuel system on the 03 6 was rated average. The "average model" for 03 rated a bullseye for excellent reliability with the fuel system. Other problem area's that the 6 finshed below the averge 03 model was Paint/rust/Trim with the staining, brakes, and cooling. CR puts extra weight on the trouble sports like Cooling, Transmission, and Engine. To compare the average 03 model go to page 82(CR' April 2005 issue) and then look on Page 89 to compare the average 03 model with the Mazda 6's reliability record. The 04 Mazda 6 which like every other 04 model's reliability record had only 3,000 miles on it at the time of CR's last survey. CR listed the 04 6 as a used car to avoid because it was below average in reliability at the time of the survey. The 04 6 finished behind in reliability with the average 04 model because it had more problems with the problem spot "Electrical" and "Body Hardware" problem spot than the average 04 model did.

    As far as Ford impacting the 6's probably during its first year of bodystyle mostly and maybe a little bit in its 2nd year of bosystyle. The 6 was a totally different car than the car it was replacing(the 626.). I mean the 6 probably all had different parts than the 626 did in terms of assembling it. Also the 98-02 626 had mostly an above average reliability record except for one year with the 99 model it had an average reliability rating. Even the 97 626 had an average reliability rating in CR's last issue. The 626 and 6's reliability ratings are on the same chart on Pag 89(april 2005 CR issue.) Yes the 94-97 626(4 cyl auto only)had its tranny problems and it was a Ford Tranny. The 93 626 which is the same bodystyle as the 94-97 did not have a Ford Tranny.

    To go more into Fords build quality well CR rates ford okay. The last generation Ford F-150 had as good as a reliability as some Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura Products. Ford seems to have work the bugs out of the Focus. For 03 and 04 model years the Focus ranks above average in reliability by CR. The Mustang from 97-04 has an average to above average reliability record. Most people think Ford sucks but perception is not always reality. Its just when you Ford parts in certain parts of a Mazda car it messes Mazda's cars up and I don't know why that is. If you put Mazda parts in a Ford it actually ups Ford's reliability. I don't know why that is either. I should also note Ford struggles with first year build quality. The 2003 Expedition, 02 Navigator, 00 Lincoln LS, and 00 Ford Focus do not have good first year reliability records. The 01 Focus also had a below average reliability record. The Navigator has had reliability ever since the 02 redesign. Its too early to tell if the Expedition will suffer the same fate as its cousin the Navigator reliability wise.

    In summary I think by year 3 of a bodystyle the Mazda Plant in Japan and Flat Rock are even keel with reliability. I think year 1 and year 2 of a bodstyle Mazda's plant in Japan is faster at working out bugs in a car. I would never buy a year 1 car(not anymore) but I would probably buy a second year built in Japan Mazda and a 3rd year built Mazda car out of the Flat Rock Plant. I think Mazda's plant in Japan is like Toyota's plants are meaning they are very quick to reducing problem rates in cars.

    BTW, I have an 02 Acura CL(second year of that particular bodystyle)and it was built in Ohio. Its been great so far so mechanical problems. I've just had problems with the tires. A relative of mine has an 03 Ford Escape its been fine.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    So what were the "Electrical" and "Body Hardware" problems on the 04 Mazda6 that resulted in CR's below average rating?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    what were the "Electrical" and "Body Hardware" problems on the 04 Mazda6

    Here are two categories and the areas tested for problems.
    Electrical = Starter, alternator, battery, horn, guages, lights, wiring, wiper motor
    Body Hardware = Manual mirrors; sunroof; window, door and seat mechanisms; locks; safety belts; loose interior trim; glass defects.

    In the case of the 2004 Mazda6 (see CR April 2005) the problem score was in the range of 2% to 5% which is close to perfect; perfect = less than 2% of the respondents reporting problems.

    According to Consumer Reports, a car is graded against the CR average vehicle for a specific year. If the car in question receives problem reports from users that exceed the average number of problems it gets rated below average; if the category is critical or if there are several categories in which it failed, the car is rated unreliable. The problems are reported by hundreds of thousands of subscribers to CR. CR is not only important to its readers but also to the auto industry which recognizes it (along with JD Power initial quality and satisfaction surveys and others) as one of the critical assessments of their products. A few years of problems with vehicles gives the automaker a "reputation"; GM and hopefully others have learned that lesson.
  • One mazda 5 unknown was how would it crash test. Bad scores could affect the cars appeal and value. Mazda has generally done well so I took the risk and purchased. A few days ago I stumbled upon a report in autointell-news.com that said the European New Car Assessment programme (NCAP) ran some crash tests and gave the vehicle 5-stars the maximum rating. Particularly interesting was the achievement of 18/18 points in side impact. I'm not sure how this will translate to performance in US tests but hope it's predictive.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    So, specifically, what were the "Electrical" and "Body Hardware" problems (as reported by owners) on the 04 Mazda6 that resulted in CR's below average rating?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    So, specifically, what were the "Electrical" and "Body Hardware" problems (as reported by owners) on the 04 Mazda6 that resulted in CR's below average rating?

    Are you asking for specifics like 45 reported= alternator; 22 reported =starter, etc.? If every car's problems were detailed in such a manner the April issue (the annual auto issue) would be a book. :surprise: On the other hand, I agree with you that putting this type of information on the CR website, would be useful. Would you like to suggest that to them or would you prefer that I do that? More of this detailed information could be very helpful for current owners and prospective buyers :)
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Yes, that's what I was asking. The reason is that there's a big difference between small problems, like having a light bulb fail due to improper contact in the socket, and a big problem like when the entire electrical system bugs out.

    Therein lies another flaw in CR's methods. The other is that the reports are based only on those who decide to respond, and then on what the responders decide to report. For example, if a Lexus owner has a faulty fuel gauge and the dealer fixes it promptly with no fuss, and the owner gets to drive a nice new Lexus loaner while their car is being repaired, is this owner going to be more likely or less likely to report this as a "problem" when surveyed by CR? Then there's the question of how the customer's expectations affect what they choose report, or not to report, but that's a topic for a whole other discussion.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Automotive News is reporting that due to exhaust-caused fires, they are halting production of the Mazda5, and dealers have been enjoined from any more sales until they get to the root of the problem. Sounds rather un-Mazdalike! Doesn't bode well for first-year sales of the 5 though. :-(

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,913
    Mazda halts production, sale of 2006 crossover vehicle

    Washington (AP) -- Mazda Motor Corp. said Monday it had halted the sale and production of the 2006 Mazda5 crossover because a potential heat buildup in the exhaust system could lead to a fire.

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050927/BUSINESS/509270370/1003

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  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    if a Lexus owner has a faulty fuel gauge and the dealer fixes it promptly with no fuss, and the owner gets to drive a nice new Lexus loaner while their car is being repaired, is this owner going to be more likely or less likely to report this as a "problem" when surveyed by CR? Then there's the question of how the customer's expectations affect what they choose report

    I hear you : these are human beings, with all their foibles, reporting. Because the survey results are anonymous, perhaps the face-saving exercises are reduced. On the whole, wouldn't you agree that it is better to have the actual owners reporting than relying solely on manufacturers claims or some media person whose firm is being paid by the manufacturers?
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    and the owner gets to drive a nice new Lexus loaner while their car is being repaired

    If Mazda dealers had an avg gross profit in the range of Lexus (almost$5000 per copy) We would have a fleet of Lexi for customers to drive. We would also have somebody to cut hair, do nails, give messages, serve Crystal and cocktail weenies.....Mazda would be on top of the CR charts. ;)
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Do you think I could get a vanilla latte with my cocktail weenies?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I think Mazda's plant in Japan is like Toyota's plants are meaning they are very quick to reducing problem rates in cars.

    Crossed the big 10,000 mark yesterday. No problems to report in my 2005 Mazda3 hatch!

    Meade
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    It sounds very Mazda-like. I mean the 6 had staining problems and the 3 had A/C problems in its first year. The RX-8 had alot of problems in its first year. Mazda has always had problems with the rotary even though the Rx-8 is built in Japan. I wonder how long production will be halted and how long the period of time will the "stop sales" is on the 5 at Mazda dealers. Now you know why you shouldn't buy cars in the first year of design. Dodge did a similar when the 04 Durango first came out. They had to stop-sales on Durango's for awhile because of a problem.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "Therein lies another flaw in CR's methods. The other is that the reports are based only on those who decide to respond, and then on what the responders decide to report. For example, if a Lexus owner has a faulty fuel gauge and the dealer fixes it promptly with no fuss, and the owner gets to drive a nice new Lexus loaner while their car is being repaired, is this owner going to be more likely or less likely to report this as a "problem" when surveyed by CR? Then there's the question of how the customer's expectations affect what they choose report, or not to report, but that's a topic for a whole other discussion."

    No, thats not the way it works. Mazda's reliability records from 1998-2003 were right up there with Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. The Protege, 626, Millenia, and Miata were all above average for the most part during the late 90's/early 00's. As a matter those 4 cars are all listed in CR's " used car best bets lists".The MPV mini-van which is built in Japan was rated above average for 00 and 01 model years. The MPV then sipped to average reliability with the 02 model year. For 03 and 04 CR downgraded the MPV reliability to "much worse than average" because of Transmission issue's.I guess mazda slipped in a new tranny for the MPV in 03 and didn't have the bugs worked out of it. Somebody also said on these boards that there was a software problem with the MPV's tranny. If thats true thats ridiculous though. I mean if the Tranny doesn't break than they just shouldn't downgrade its reliability. That cost a manufacturer some sales if they do that. With Mazda's releases such as the 6 and RX-8 reliability slipped because of first year issues. CR's new issue comes out in what a month and a half so will get a full year report on the 6 and 3 for the 04 model year in regards to reliability.
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