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.
The scope of the problem with the faulty airbag inflators from Takata continues to broaden and is now reaching China, as well. Mazda is recalling 42,732 Mazda6 units there, produced by its local joint venture partner China FAW Car Company, to replace the front passenger airbags. It comes as part of Mazda’s recall of nearly 160,000 vehicles worldwide, including about 34,600 in the US, according to Reuters.
This is the same problem that caused seven automakers in the US to recall an estimated 2.1 million vehicles in late June. The airbag inflators can potentially explode instead of deploying the airbag, which hampers the bag’s inflation. In some cases occupants are also hit by the metal shrapnel, which can cause further injuries. In the US, Mazda is repairing the 2003-2007 Mazda6 (pictured above), 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6, 2004 MPV and 2004-2008 RX-8 originally sold in or currently registered in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii.
This is hardly the first instance of this issue. Since 2001, there have been 20 recalls tied to the exploding airbags supplied by Takata. The problem is possibly linked to the propellant in the inflators, but there’s no conclusive evidence of that yet. Most of the automakers in the US limited the most recent recalls only to a few humid states because moisture potentially exacerbated the problem.
Autoblog has reached out to Mazda for more information about its global recall. We’ll update this story, if we hear back.
Takata airbag recall spreads to China with 42k Mazda sedans originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
The recall of faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata has exploded today to grow to seven automakers. In most cases, only models in certain high-humidity regions were affected because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found in its investigation that moisture played a roll in determining whether there would be a problem. However, some companies opted for national campaigns. The exact number of affected models for these campaigns isn’t yet known at this time.
BMW is recalling an undisclosed number of 325i, 325Xi, 330i and 330Xi models from the 2001 through 2005 model years and the 2001-2006 model year versions of the 325Ci and 330Ci for the driver side and passenger side inflators. Only vehicles currently registered in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands are covered under this recall.
Neither Chrysler’s filing with NHTSA nor its press release list the specific models affected, but a company spokesperson told Autoblog that at this time it only covers the driver and passenger side inflators for the 2006 Dodge Charger in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands
In most cases, only models in certain high-humidity regions were affected because the NHTSA found that moisture played a roll in determining if there would be a problem.
Ford is recalling an estimated 58,669 cars that include the 2005-2006 model years of the Ford GT for the driver and passenger inflators, the 2007-2007 model years of the Mustang for the driver side and 2004 Ranger for the passenger side. It covers vehicles originally sold or currently registered in, wait for it… Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands.
Honda is issuing three separate recalls regarding the problem. First, the company is recalling the 2002-2003 model years Civic, CR-V and Odyssey and the 2003 model year of the Accord, Element, Pilot and Acura MDX to replace the passenger’s side inflator. This covers all models nationwide.
Second, Honda is repairing the passenger’s side airbag inflator in the 2003-2005 Accord, Civic, CR-V, Element, Pilot, the 2003-2004 model year versions of the Odyssey, the 2003-2005 model year Acura MDX and 2005 Acura RL. However, only for vehicles located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Owners will be notified in July.
Finally, Honda is separately replacing some models’ driver’s side inflators. They include the: 2001-2007 Accord with four-cylinder engines, the 2001-2002 Accord with a V6 engine, 2001-2005 Civic,
2002-2006 CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2007 Pilot, 2006 Ridgeline, 2003-2006 Acura MDX, 2002-2003 Acura TL and 2002-2003 Acura CL. Again, this recall only covers vehicles registered in the states mentioned above.
“Honda has chosen to expand the affected area for these market actions because of similar environmental conditions.”
According to its statement to Autoblog, “Honda has chosen to expand the affected area for these market actions because of similar environmental conditions in those areas.” Balmy, in other words.
Mazda is recalling roughly 34,600 vehicles for their driver and passenger side inflators. The models include the: 2003-2007 Mazda6, 2006-2007 Mazdaspeed6, 2004 MPV and 2004-2008 RX-8. Vehicles originally sold in or currently registered in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii are covered under the recall.
At this time, Nissan’s recall plans are not yet clear. In the statement from the company to Autoblog, it said that some 2001-2003 model year Nissan and Infiniti vehicles would be added to the recall. There is a separate field action for Puerto Rico, Florida, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands for models made between January 1 and July 31,2004. A company spokesperson told Autoblog to expect more exact data later in the week.
Finally, Toyota is issuing an additional recall to replace the passenger side inflator on several models located in or originally purchased in Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands. It covers the 2003-2005 model year versions of the Lexus SC430, Pontiac Vibe, Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Sequoia and Tundra. This comes in addition to the recall from a few weeks ago where the company announced repairs for about 844,277 cars from the 2002-2004 model years for the same problem with the passenger side inflator.
Scroll down to read each company’s NHTSA filing, and it’s official statement, if it has one. And congratulations if you live in the US Virgin Islands, this is the most non-Tim Duncan related news you’ve seen in quite some time.
Airbag recall widens to include BMW, Chrysler, Ford and Toyota originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
UPDATE: Honda, Mazda and Nissan have all issued statements about the airbag issue, which you can now find below. Interestingly, only Honda is actually using the word “recall” in its statement, with Nissan calling it a “field action” (like Chrysler), and Mazda referring to it as a “special service program.” Honda has also added various Accord, Pilot and Ridgeline models to the list, as well as Acura MDX, TL and CL. Mazda, meanwhile, has added certain Mazdaspeed6 and MPV vehicles to its list. We expect a full list of Nissan vehicles later today.
Three million more vehicles can be added to the worldwide tally to be repaired for the faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata. Honda, Nissan, and Mazda have all issued recalls to replace the bad part, including about 1.2 million of them in North America. NHTSA has been investigating all three companies, plus Chrysler and Toyota, for potentially affected vehicles.
Honda is recalling roughly 1.02 million Civic, CR-V, Odyssey and Element models In North America, built between April 2000 and October 2002. Mazda needs to repair 14,794 units of the RX-8 and Mazda6, and Nissan has 228,000 vehicles in North America to be fixed.
Chrysler is also starting what it calls a “regional field action” to replace the inflators in the 2006 Dodge Charger, according to a company spokesperson. The company says that it has not yet found the problem in any of its vehicles, but it’s being done “out of an abundance of caution.” The final number of Chargers affected will be announced later this week.
The faulty component was originally discovered in April 2013 when the four Japanese automakers recalled 3.4 million vehicles worldwide, and the situation reignited on June 11, 2014, when Toyota announced 844,277 vehicles in the United States needed to be fixed for the same problem. According to Automotive News, Honda reported that there have been two deaths and 41 ruptures in the US linked to the bad parts, and in NHTSA’s preliminary evaluation, it reported six other incidents of the issue occurring.
To prompt the recall, the inflators contain a potentially defective propellant that can cause them to explode when the airbag is meant to deploy. Not only does this affect the bag’s inflation, there is also the possibility of shrapnel from the part hitting occupants. According to Automotive News, the problems may stem from the propellant being exposed to moisture during storage.
Autoblog has reached to all three automakers and Takata for more detailed information on the affected models. We will update this story as we hear back from each of them. Scroll down to read the entire statement from Chrylser.
Honda, Nissan and Mazda recalling 3 million vehicles for airbag inflators [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.