Kiwi seniors accidentally lock themselves in Mazda3 for 13 hours, nearly die

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 17th, 2014

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2014 Mazda3

It’s an over-played trope that senior citizens are bad with technology. Its regular use as a comedic device, though, overshadows a more dire circumstance that comes when elderly citizens are paired with gizmos and gadgets they don’t fully understand.

A couple from New Zealand spent the night in their new, smart-key-equipped Mazda3 after thinking they’d locked themselves in, in what The Otago Daily Times called “a series of ‘Murphy’s Law’ events.” The two thought the car wouldn’t function without the key fob, which had accidentally been left outside of the car, along with the owner’s manual. That, along with the combination of stress, darkness and a lack of overall information about the car nearly killed Mollieanne and Brian Smith.

After thinking they’d become trapped, the Smiths, 65 and 68, respectively, tried honking the horn to alert neighbors – it was Guy Fawkes Night, so the sound was drowned out by fireworks – and even took the Mazda’s jack to a window in their attempt to escape.

When they were discovered and freed 13 hours later, Mrs. Smith was unconscious and Mr. Smith was having trouble breathing, with emergency crews telling the couple another half hour in the car would have killed them. Mr. Smith later told The Otago Daily Times he was “very methodical,” but couldn’t figure out how to unlock the car.

“Once I found out how simple it was to unlock it I kicked myself that I did not find the way out,” the 68-year-old told The Times. “I had this mind-set that I did not have the transponder [so I could not get out].”

Mazda New Zealand pointed out that is not the case.

“It’s not a design flaw with the car,” Mazda New Zealand General Manager Glenn Harris told The Times. “What we have said to the [dealership] network is, with new technologies, don’t forget to show customers how to use them in their entirety [and] how to override them. There is always a manual process to override them.”

Kiwi seniors accidentally lock themselves in Mazda3 for 13 hours, nearly die originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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10 automakers shack up in Detroit hotel to talk Takata airbags

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 14th, 2014

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JAPAN-US-AUTO-RECALL-TAKATA-REGULATE-AUTOMOBILE

Since Takata has decided not to take the lead concerning potential issues with its airbag inflators, the automakers have. Perhaps that’s unsurprising, since it’s the automakers, not Takata, that will take a beating on the dealership floor if consumers decide its models are a health hazards. The Detroit News reports that Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru met in a hotel conference room near the Detroit Metropolitan Airport last week to sort out a way to understand the technical issues involved.

So far, faulty airbag inflators have been ruled the cause of five deaths and 50 injuries around the world, but neither Takata nor investigators understands exactly why the inflators are malfunctioning. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently asked Takata to issue a national recall, Takata declined, citing a minuscule failure rate and the fact that it’s still investigating the issue. Toyota and Honda then made an industry-wide appeal for “a coordinated, comprehensive testing program” that would pinpoint the problem inflators and get them replaced, and that’s what the Detroit meeting was about.

Numerous issues, however, will make this a long row to hoe: simply getting the parts to replace the nearly 20 million inflators in cars recalled around the world so far – even working with other supplierswill take a years, but more importantly, no one knows if the replacement inflators currently being installed will suffer the same issue. Answers will hopefully come quickly with Takata, the ten automakers and NHTSA all independently investigating the problem.

10 automakers shack up in Detroit hotel to talk Takata airbags originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 14 Dec 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This is what a 1,200-hp twin-turbo 4-rotor looks like in a Miata

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 12th, 2014

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The engine bay of drifter

We’ve seen the diminutive Mazda MX-5 Miata swallow plenty of big engines, but New Zealand drifting ace “Mad Mike” Whiddett is roaring into where-no-man-has-gone-before territory. Wanting to replace his 515-horsepower “MADBUL” RX-7 and its twin-turbocharged, three-rotor 20B engine, his new ride is an NC-series Miata with four rotors and twin Garrett turbochargers courtesy of Pulse Performance Race Engineering. It is called “RADBUL,” and expected power at standard boost is 1,200 hp, but the builders at Pulse Performance think it will get up to 1,500 hp at full boost. And yes, that exhaust exits through the hood.

Four-rotor engines are actually popular – builds are detailed on forums like this one from 2007 and this one from 2008, this UK company or this Canadian company will sell you one complete – but they’re usually being prepped for an RX-7. Mad Mike’s choice of a Miata for this enterprise makes this about as extreme as you can get, short of throwing it into a Mazda R360. You can watch Mad Mike tell the story of the build in the video, and check out the first and second installments about the build on the Red Bull site.

Continue reading This is what a 1,200-hp twin-turbo 4-rotor looks like in a Miata

This is what a 1,200-hp twin-turbo 4-rotor looks like in a Miata originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Dec 2014 14:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda expands scope of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recall to 330k

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 12th, 2014

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2008 Mazda 6. (11/06/07)

Earlier this week a Reuters report indicated that Mazda was considering a nationwide expansion of its recall for vehicles equipped with Takata airbag inflators. The company has now confirmed said expansion, with the vehicle count jumping from 86,770 to 330,000 affected in the US.

As before, the affected vehicles are Mazda6 and RX-8 cars from the 2004 to 2008 model years.

Mazda reports that Takata has tested a “large number of inflators removed from Mazda vehicles” and not found any to be “non-compliant” as of yet. With that said, the company also reports in its statement that one 2005 Mazda6, located in Florida, has been identified as having had an “abnormal” deployment of the driver’s side airbag.

For what it’s worth, though the company’s statement references the Takata inflator issue as a proper recall, it is calling its own program of notification a “Safety Improvement Campaign” for the moment. Find the full, if brief, Mazda press release in the form below.

Continue reading Mazda expands scope of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recall to 330k

Mazda expands scope of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recall to 330k originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 12 Dec 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Develops Bio-based Engineering Plastic Featuring High-Quality Finish without Paint and Suitable for Exterior Vehicle Parts

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 10th, 2014

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Mazda considers expanding Takata recall nationwide

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 9th, 2014

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Mazda RX-8

Vehicle recalls have come in force recently. Honda expanded its front driver’s side Takata airbag inflator recall nationwide to cover an estimated 5.4-million vehicles, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration added 19 notices to its database covering safety campaigns dating back to October. It looks like there could be one more to add to the list soon because Mazda is considering a possible nationwide expansion of its own inflator repairs.

A company spokesperson tells Reuters that there is no decision yet when to actually make this nationwide expansion of the driver’s side inflator recall official, and the company isn’t sure how many vehicles may be affected.

Mazda just expanded the scope of its Takata inflator recalls to additional regions earlier in December. The move took its total number of units in need of repair from around 65,000 under the earlier NHTSA estimate to 86,773, according to the company. So far, the automaker’s US campaign has included the 2003-2007 Mazda6, 2006-2007 MazdaSpeed6, 2004-2008 Mazda RX-8, 2004-2005 MPV and 2004 B-Series pickup.

Mazda considers expanding Takata recall nationwide originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Miata livery design contest in Forza Horizon 2

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 8th, 2014

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A 1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata done up in a special livery in the Forza Horizon 2 video game.

If you’re into video games, creativity, the Mazda MX-5 Miata and South by Southwest, then there’s a contest in Forza Horizon 2 you’ll want to know about. Called the Livery Design Contest, your job is to head to Xbox Live sometime before midnight on January 4, 2015 and design a paint job for the 1994 Miata in the game. A panel of judges will evaluate designs for originality, aesthetic design and technical proficiency, and settle on up to five semifinalists who will regroup in the next round, which is public voting.

Come January 26, the public can begin voting on its favorite design until February 12, to narrow the semifinal pool down to two. Those two will be flown to South by Southwest in Austin, TX – which happens from March 13-22 – and one of them will be crowned the winner. Said winner will lumber away from the event with $3,500 worth of prizes, including a 55-inch curved-screen television, and their livery will be free to all of the minions playing Forza Horizon 2.

There’s also a Mazda hub on Xbox Live for everyone to take an in-depth look at the 2016 Miata, if you just like to watch, in which case you may also want to see the related videos joining the press release below.

Continue reading Mazda Miata livery design contest in Forza Horizon 2

Mazda Miata livery design contest in Forza Horizon 2 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 07 Dec 2014 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Consumer Reports declares most and least loved cars [w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 3rd, 2014

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Consumer Reports Most and Least Loved Car Video

Consumer Reports is crunching the numbers from its annual owner-satisfaction survey, and part of that process is finding out how attached drivers are to their cars. CR simply asks readers of models up to three years old if they would buy the same vehicle again in light of their entire ownership experience, and tallies the results. After looking at the responses for about 350,000 vehicles, it turns out that people really love a certain California-built, electrically powered luxury sedan.

That’s right, this year’s the overall winner was the Tesla Model S with a whopping 98 percent of owners saying they would purchase another one (the Model S also won this award last year, with 99 percent satisfaction). The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray came in a close second with 95 percent of drivers hoping to park another one in their garage.

A few models weren’t quite so favored, though. The Nissan Versa Sedan was the least loved model among its owners; a mere 42 percent said that they would purchase another. The aging Jeep Compass didn’t do much better, with just 43 percent of drivers willing to buy the softroader again.

On average, about 70 percent of owners say they would buy their car again, and only four cars ranked below 50 percent in CR’s findings. Check out the video above to see some of the winners and losers in a few of CR’s categories. If you’re a subscriber, you can check out the full list on its website.

Continue reading Consumer Reports declares most and least loved cars [w/video]

Consumer Reports declares most and least loved cars [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Dec 2014 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda6 diesel engine delayed over low performance, still coming

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 1st, 2014

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Mazda6

Oh Mazda… we had many hopes for the promised diesel four-cylinder in the Mazda6, but those have remained largely unfulfilled, as the oil-burning powerplant has failed to appear on dealer lots following its 2012 LA Auto Show announcement.

Despite engineering issues that forced the company to announce that the program was delayed back in September 2013, Mazda remains adamant that the 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D is still coming to our shores.

We’re still very much committed to diesel,” Mazda’s North American CEO, Jim O’Sullivan, told Automotive News. “We are still working on getting the performance aspects up to where we want them, and we do have a plan – an engineering road map – to get it done.”

According to AN, Mazda’s initial plan with the 2.2-liter diesel was to build an engine so clean it could get by without an aftertreatment system, which generally accounts for the price premium of diesel engines versus their gas counterparts. The new system has come with performance issues, though, necessitating the delays.

“If [we were] a commodity brand and didn’t care about that, it would be on the market right now,” O’Sullivan told AN. “But I know the people were expecting something from us, expecting certain drive characteristics and performance, and I didn’t want to disappoint them.”

While O’Sullivan’s defense of the diesel Mazda is admirable, the exec stops short of giving us an indication of when the new engine will finally arrive.

Mazda6 diesel engine delayed over low performance, still coming originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 01 Dec 2014 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Production and Sales Results for October 2014 (Flash Report)

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 27th, 2014

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