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Mazda MPV



  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    I'll put 'er up on the ramps and see what I can see.
  • It has been sad to hear all the issues we are having. I was so proud to get my 04 only to be let down. I just contacted Mazda thru email and asked them to read the boards here and hopefully it will give them some insight on some of the issues. I expressed the concerns and if they contact me then I will let you know if they are going to help. It would be nice if they would post in all of the forums what they feel, but if I can bridge the gap then so be it. It would be nice if we could show support to them like Toyota and Honda owners show support. Lets see what they bring to the table and hope for the best.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    It's very frustrating when you do as much research as I did (as I know many of you did as well), and make a purchase based on all the info you've gathered, thinking you've purchased one the very best minivans out there, only to end up with a garage full of problems. From all the data I was able to find on the MPV, we all should be doing nothing more than routine maintenance, filling it with gas, and driving it with no worries. I don't understand why we're all having some much trouble with a van that was rated so highly in terms of reliability.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Reliability ratings, such as those from CR, are based on the combined experience of many owners. A good rating means that, on average, owners have had a good experience re reliability. But then there are the "outliers", meaning owners who have had really good experiences, maybe no problems at all, and also some who have had bad experiences--meaning lots of problems. Unfortunately, it appears you fall into the latter group. It doesn't mean you didn't make a smart decision, based on all your research; it just means that you were unlucky.
  • There is an " old saying"...I'd rather be lucky, than good.
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    Well, on top of all the other tidbits on the MPV, I received my recall notice about melting foglight sockets. Seems that the fogs get too hot and melt the socket and they CAN fall back into the bumper and melt it....sweet! It sounds like the fogs are added at port side in the USA and not installed at the factory. That's a little diff. than US vehicles...not sure why they don't install them at the factory...? I had gotten a little pamphlet with my vehicle explaining the installation process too. Looks like something that I would get in a KC off road set of lights for installation.

    Guess I'll be visiting my friendly dealer again...maybe, I'll ask if they got the super fix to my tripping tranny problem!

    I don't think the fog light problem is new; I had heard of this months ago when I first got my MPV. It just hit home on top of all the other stuff when I got the notice in the mail.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I'm finally in the marke for a new minivan and the MPV is on my short list. I test drove the MPV last Wednesday. It drove nicely and handled well. OUr only concern is the space. We have 2 kids and do travel quite frequenly which explains how we put close to 20k miles no our vehicles each year. The van is fine for 4 people but if we do travel with another person, then the space becomes an issue. Have others had to deal with 5 passengers in the car and the space issue? Other then the hard shifting problem, has there been any other issues that I shoudl be concernend about?

    BTW, the improvemnts to the 2004 are very nice.
  • The MPV can handle 5 people easily and I am very happy with the interior and build quality. On the road, the interior is amazingly quiet.

    But please do not underestimate the hassle and aggravation the transmission will cause you. A test drive is not sufficient to winnow out good vans from bad--I test drove my 2004 before buying and it took three days for the problem to show up.

    My advice: Do not buy a 2004 before the tranny problems are sorted out.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    If you read through the vehicle-specific discussions on these boards, you'll find at least one angry owner of each and every vehicle. In each discussion, we get members who drop in (usually only once!) and post that people shouldn't buy Vehicle Brand X because they're lemons. So, either there are zero good vehicles made, or there are individual lemons in even the best of vehicles.

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  • That very PC of you Kirstie...
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    Not PC at all, just the truth. If you read all of these boards and take every negative comment to heart, you'd lost faith that you could ever find a reliable vehicle. Like reading CR, you have to take the sum of all of the posts rather than dwell on any one point of view, positive OR negative.

    It's also based on personal experience. I had a VW Jetta model year that was supposed to be disastrous, and I never spent a penny on it. Good luck. I also had an Altima that was alleged to be reliable, but spent most of its time in the shop. Bad luck.

    I'm not saying that the problems experienced aren't genuine - they are. And it's truly frustrating to be "that one," especially when everyone else who owns the same model doesn't report reliability problems.

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  • The transmission problems on my 2004 are not unique to my vehicle. The same exact problem in now being reported by multiple owners of the 2004. This is more of a systematic issue.

    Secondly, Mazda is not particularly easy to deal with over this issue...their first response to me was that "....I would have to change my driving habits..." Of course they know nothing of my driving habits. You have to be really persistant with them (at least in my case) to get them to even acknowkledge the issue.

    Why should new car buyers have to play roulette?
  • tomj5tomj5 Posts: 209
    It's all a gamble. Buying a good car is like finding a good marriage partner...
    You get all the information(lift the hood) you can, take a test drive, sort it out, roll the dice and take the plunge...
    It's called LIFE..... Ye, gotta love it....

    Merry Christmas One and all (Opps, not PC) (snicker)
  • I, too, am considering an MPV but have the same dilema. It will be difficult for me to transport a family of 5 WITH gear (think holiday trips). I wish they would have 3-passenger seating for the second row rather than the 3rd row. Or at least make the 3rd row 60/40 split. I don't know why mini-van makers only put 2 seats in the widest part of the van, then try to cram 3 in the narrowest part. Doesn't make sense to me.

    Other than that, the MPV is high on my hot list.
  • So, I guess that if you know of the problems going into the purchase of a MPV or what ever, you shouldn't complain about your situation.

    These problems are very expensive to repair, not like a squeak or a rattle. What value does this board or CR have if in the end it comes down to rolling the dice?

    Pick your vehicle with the problems you can live with.
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    The value of CR is to help determine the risk associated with your roll of the dice. They're far from perfect, but it's the only resource of its kind.

    The value of this board is to share information regarding how to best handle issues when they come up.

    Note that I specifically didn't include boards like this one for determining reliability/ purchase risk.

    You cannot take a survey of complaints on any internet board as an indicator of reliability. Period. This board is not a representative sample of owners or vehicles. As much as we'd all like to take away a sense of peace of mind stemming from other owner's personal experiences, rigorous, verifiable, and statistically valid information about reliability is NOT HERE.

    What IS here is a sense of an individual dealer's and Mazda's responsiveness, "tips and tricks" gathered through experience, and information specific to a brand/model/problem that may not be published willingly elsewhere. Information that can be vital to gaining satisfaction from your dealer/maker.

    You're playing the odds no matter what you buy. Note that Honda has also had "lots" of tranny issues, and Toyota has had "lots" of engine sludge issues (reported on Edmunds, but more importantly, substantiated elsewhere and ultimately confirmed by changes in policy by those makers, even if they continue to deny the respective issue officially), so it's not just Mazda or any other make we care to single out.

    I know this is stating the obvious, but sometimes it's helpful to remind ourselves of the facts...

  • CR is not a representive sample of owners or vehicles either. Only those who subscribe and those who bother to answer the survey is what CR bases its answers on.

    If people complain about MPV's transmission problem and Mazda says that they are working on a fix is enough for any reasonable buyer to stay away from them until fixed.

    Wise man say, to choose the lesser of the two evils, you are still choosing evil!
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    CR follows accepted market research methodologies for making their sample representative.

    In the real-world, no sample you take will be truly representative against all conceivable criteria. You take the best sample available using random methodologies, and weight the results appropriately against a known reference.

    I spent 5 years as a market reseacher in a leading research institute in Germany, so I'm familiar with the nitty gritty details.

    CR's work is generally sound from a methodological perspective, although their interpretation of individual results is open to debate (as are everybody's).

  • Thy will have the data next year.
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    You're right, of course, you can only look at the data from the previous model year, and that's always the case.

    However, since the van is basically unchanged from the 2002 model, you can get *some* sense of your risk from looking at prior model years (and that's as good as you're going to do).

    Unfortunately, the last time I looked, they didn't have enough data on the '02's or '03's (not enough respondents in the survey that owned MPV's), so CR didn't publish the results for those model years (correctly, I might add, per accepted statistical methods).

    So the MPV's reputation for good reliability, excellent in fact, is based on the 2000-01 model as far as CR is concerned, so far as I know.

    Those model years had the 2.5l engine and the 4-speed transmission, so you can't really compare them for engine or drivetrain (but you can for pretty much everything else).

    As mentioned by others, all you can do is get the best information available, make your decision and roll the dice. I understand that's precious little consolation if you're driving a van with problems.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is try not to get down on yourself. You did what you could. Mazda will sort this out as soon as they can.

    In a sense, Tomj5's theory that it's contamination is "good news". If he's right, for the cost of a power flush (small hundreds) you should be able to fix this permanently.

    Maybe you can push Mazda/your dealer for covering this as an experiment ?

    Hope this helps,

  • Should we all complain this hard shift of 2nd to 3rd gear tranny problem to NHTSA? I don't know whether this a safety issue strong enough to lead to recall.

    I guess Mazda will get more problems if more Ford parts are used in Mazda cars.
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    Might light a fire under them, so to speak...

    I'd let NHTSA decide if it's a safety issue.

    At a minimum, Mazda could and should be doing more by way of customer communication. Bad things can happen to any make or model. What makes the difference is how you respond to legitimate issues - or not.

    Nothing makes people angrier than perceiving that they have a legimate and serious complaint, and the manufacturer just doesn't care. From what I've gathered (our van is fine, knock on wood), I think Mazda and its dealer network are guilty of not responding well.

    As to Ford parts, the tranny is a Jatco. The only Ford component is the engine block. I think even the ECM is Mazda's.

  • Yes, you should report these problems to them. I believe it was in last weeks paper that NHTSA refused to issue a recall on the Ford Focus stalling issue. They said that they didn't think that it presented a safety issue. I guess all of the Focus owners are stalling while in the owners driveways.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    If you like the MPV otherwise but need to occasionally haul gear with 5 people on board, one option is to get a van-top carrier.
  • I completely agree with brianV. Although, as a prospective MPV buyer, the fact that Mazda can not come up with a solution to fix the tranny problem really bothers me. When the problem being carried over to 04 vans, that really means Mazda really doesn't have a clue how to deal with it. I don't mind to take a chance, if I can only send the car to dealer to get the problem fixed. But the things are, first, it is not easy to reproduce the problem for dealer to acknowledge the issue. And, second, even if they do realize the problem, they have no idea how to fix it. Then what can you do? brianV, I really like everything you said. They make a lot of sense to me. But, I am really having second thoughts on buying a MPV.
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    IMO, some relevant (and perhaps unanswerable) questions relating to this transmission issue and its affect on prospective purchasers:

    How many MPV's have been sold in the model years affected?

    Of that number, approximately how many people have posted here indicating a problem?

    What is the likelihood that a substantial number of additional people have experienced the problem but have not found this forum to express their concerns?

    And, bottom line, what do we suspect to be the approximate percentage of vehicles in affected model years that have experienced the "hard shift" issue (i.e., how "unlucky" are those that actually have it)?

    It strikes me that some discussion of whether this forum presents a -relevant- sample size is significant to anyone considering a purchase of an '04 without more definitive info from Mazda. Is there a significant silent majority out there who have this van and have experienced no tranny problems or should we expect that the problem exists in a high enough percentage of vehicles (say, over 3-5% of those sold) that there's a reasonable likelihood of experiencing it?
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    '02 ES, no tranny issues. a few minor sulfur smells during months 2-4 of ownership, none since.

    there are other sites out there, I know of one such club that I participate in as well.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,905
    Another question we could ask is, of the number of owners of '02-'04 MPVs who have posted here, how many are having the hard shift problem? I think that would give us a better idea of the scope of the problem than comparing the total number of owners to the few who have posted here regarding the problem.

    I have to say that I was very close to buying an MPV, but the tranny issue made me re-evaluate that decision. So I've ordered a Prius, to get in line (fully refundable deposit) and will decide in the spring which way to go. Maybe by then the hard shift problem will be licked.
  • In regards of lumbar's comment, a lot of questions were asked to imply the tranny problem occured in very low percentage of total MPV sold. But nobody really know whether it is just a minor issue. One thing I do know though that I was in a couple dealers in Chicago area. Each dealer has only a few (3~4) 04 MPVs, and none had been sold from either places. As Mazda and local dealers have not spent any effort to promote the 04 and very limited number of MPVs are in dealer's hands, I doubt very much how many of the 04 have been sold so far. Yet, there are people posting tranny problem from 04 already. I don't think it is just some minor issue.
  • tccmn1tccmn1 Posts: 278
    Did not anyone else have this recall or any comments on this issue? I know it's minor compared to the JATCO problems, but it's just another funky thing that can melt your front bumper if you're not careful....
    I personally have been requested to do the CR surveys in the past for various things. It's so generic at best for the questions they offer and the applications. By the time your done answering all the questions, your head is spinning and I think the wrong impressions come through. Yes, I like the MPV. No, I hate the tranny and nuisance things that keep coming up.
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