Faulty Takata airbag inflators keep taking their toll on automakers. Mazda is the latest to be affected in the US by announcing a recall covering 18,050 Mazda6 and RX-8 models to replace the front, passenger-side airbags. Specifically, the campaign covers 18,000 Mazda6 units from the 2003 and 2004 model years built between May 29, 2002, and March 4, 2004, and 50 RX-8 vehicles from the 2004 model year made between June 25, 2003, and June 30, 2003.
As with the rest of the vehicles with these faulty inflators, it’s possible for the part to rupture when deploying the airbag and potentially spray shrapnel at the occupant. Mazda’s defect notice goes into a bit more detail than most about the problem saying: “some propellant wafers have been produced with an inadequate compaction force, or may have been exposed to uncontrolled moisture conditions (those wafers could have absorbed moisture beyond the allowable limits).”
This isn’t Mazda’s first difficulty with Takata-supplied airbags this year. The company was among the seven automakers that recalled vehicles in hot-weather states over the inflators. It also had to recently fix 42,000 Mazda6 vehicles in China over the issue.
Repairs of the Mazda6 and RX-8 are scheduled to start in August, and obviously there’s no charge to owners. Scroll down to read the recall announcement, or read the complete defect notice as a PDF, here.
Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Oh, the heady days of 1993, back when the Clinton Presidency was just getting underway, and it seemed like every hot new rock band was coming out of Seattle. Sports cars in the US had finally shaken off the shackles that slowed them during the ’70s and ’80s, and you could buy any number of legitimately quick vehicles again. MotorWeek recently went digging into its archives to find this six-model test from 1993 showing off some of the best semi-affordable performance coupes that money could buy at the time, and it’s priceless.
Featuring the 1994 model year Toyota Supra in twin-turbo guise and MY 1993 versions of the Porsche 968, Nissan 300ZX TT, Mazda RX-7, Dodge Stealth R/T Turbo and Chevrolet Corvette LT-1, MotorWeek definitely covered all of the bases. One thing that might surprise younger readers is these cars’ performance. The video only provides 0-60 acceleration times, but several of these vehicles would still be considered pretty potent today – over 20 years since going on sale. The Supra is especially impressive, hitting 60 miles per hour in just 5 seconds. Even today, that’s nothing to sneeze at.
Given their performance potential and still-attractive looks, it’s amazing that some of these coupes are old enough to drink now. The progress of interior design and safety equipment in the intervening years is pretty shocking, though. In most of these models, having two airbags is touted as a big deal. Scroll down to watch a Throwback Thursday blast from the past about some of the ’90s best sports cars.
MotorWeek proves ’90s were awesome with Supra, Stealth, RX-7, Corvette, 968, 300ZX comparo originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception.
Japan’s automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet. Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD, and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC.
From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives.
German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler-made Routan. Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Hurac
Automotive anniversaries are often big news. Last year, the Chevrolet Corvette turned 60 and the Porsche 911 hit 50. This year, the spritely Mazda MX-5 Miata turns 25. The iconic Ford Mustang just turned the big Five-Oh, too.
But what about lesser anniversaries? Think about it: there are plenty of cars with birthdays that slide under the radar every year. And some automotive endeavors don’t even last long enough to warrant a proper milestone celebration.
To that end, we’re taking a look back to 2004 – just 10 years ago – to see what vehicles would be celebrating a decade of life, assuming they were still alive today. Do note, for this list, we’ve only included vehicles that launched for the 2004 model year, not calendar year.
Have a look below to see both iconic and easily forgettable cars that would be celebrating 10 fruitful years in 2014… if they were still alive.
A decade later, here are 4 cars we miss and 5 we’re happy are gone [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Jul 2014 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Small cars may be big business, but the world’s automakers don’t seem to be in any particular rush to keep them fresh. The new Smart Fortwo unveiled yesterday replaces a model that’s already been around for seven years, one based on a structure dating back to the late ’90s. The new Opel Corsa revealed just last week replaces a model that had been around for eight years. And the Mazda2 has been on the market in its current form for seven years now, but not for much longer, because Mazda has finally revealed its successor.
Set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show this October, the new Mazda2 follows the stylistic lead of this year’s Hazumi concept remarkably close, from the sharply creased front end right down to the wheel design – bringing the supermini hatchback in line with the KODO design language that characterizes its bigger siblings: the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5.
Although details released thus far are rather limited, and power will vary from one market to another, engine options center around a 1.5-liter four in both gasoline and diesel versions, joining the manual and automatic transmissions and the chassis itself under Mazda’s Skyactiv technology umbrella. We wouldn’t expect the diesel version to make it across the Pacific (or across the border from the plant that will build it alongside a new Toyota hatch in Mexico), but rumors have surfaced of a potential rotary hybrid. The new 2 will also include the company’s MZD connectivity suite and i-Activsense safety technology.
Also sold as the Demio in certain regions (like the Japanese Domestic Market), the new Mazda2 represents a vital product for Mazda, which has sold over 2.4 million of them since the model line’s introduction 1996. Production has already begun at Mazda’s plant in Hofu near Hiroshima, Japan. Scope out the videos and press release below for a closer look.
UPDATE: We’ve updated this story with the US market press release, below, which confirms that the Mazda2 will be a 2016 model when it goes on sale here. A handful of new images have been added to the gallery above, as well.
2016 Mazda2 revealed ahead of Paris debut [w/videos] [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Jul 2014 08:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Every few months, it seems a rumor crops up about plans from Mazda to revive the rotary engine. Last November, its CEO said the only way another one could happen is if the project was profitable, and then a month later the automaker showed off the Mazda2 RE Range Extender with a 330cc Wankel engine mounted in the rear. Now, Australian auto site Motoring reports that the PHEV may actually make production in the next-gen Mazda2 sometime after it’s initial launch.
Martin Benders, managing director of Mazda in Australia, spoke to Motoring about the company’s future with hybrids and basically reiterated what the CEO said last year. The Japanese automaker only plans to offer electrified powertrains in places where they can sell in sufficient numbers to be profitable, like Japan.
Mazda has been playing with the rotary range-extender idea for years. In the RE prototype, the engine was exclusively used to charge the lithium-ion batteries when they were running low, and a 100-horsepower electric motor provided all of the propulsion. It gave the little hatch an estimated range of about 250 miles. The company reportedly took inspiration from its Skyactiv engines to make the Wankel have lower friction and a lighter weight.
The next-generation Mazda2 is rumored to debut during the Paris Motor Show wearing Mazda’s Kodo design language. While the hybrid supposedly won’t be part of the initial launch lineup, the internal combustion powertrain lineup will consist of gas and diesel versions of Mazda’s 1.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder. However, the new diesel version is not likely to be available in the US.
Will the Mazda2 be offered as a PHEV with a rotary engine range extender? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.