Posts Tagged ‘automakers’

10 automakers shack up in Detroit hotel to talk Takata airbags

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 14th, 2014

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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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Takata airbag recall spreads to China with 42k Mazda sedans

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 7th, 2014

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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.


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Mazda hard at work on Skyactiv 2 engine technology

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 9th, 2014

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As Mazda continues the current rollout of its still-new Skyactiv technology, the automaker is already looking at improving its family of engines for even better fuel economy and emissions reductions. Automotive News reports that with stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations planned for 2020 and 2025 in Europe, Mazda will likely release engines with next-generation Skyactiv 2 technology by the end of this decade, and Skyactiv 3 units just five years later.

The latter is expected to focus on improved engine cooling and lessening energy losses, but the big news in AN’s report is that the next-gen Skyactiv 2 engines will use Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition, or HCCI. This type of ignition is very similar to how a diesel engine operates (with high compression and using the compression stroke for fuel combustion rather than spark plugs), a method said to provide a cleaner and more efficient fuel burn – to the tune of a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy compared to current Skyactiv engines. Other automakers, including Hyundai, have already announced they are developing HCCI powerplants with similar technology and characteristics, so Mazda likely won’t be a lone wolf here.

Equipped with HCCI technology, Mazda figures to be able to compete with larger automakers in terms of fuel economy and emissions without resorting to hybrid powertrains, continuously variable transmissions or automatics relying on more forward gears (eight or more) for optimal efficiency. Some of the challenges of HCCI, according to AN, include the need for better engine cooling, risk of misfire at high and low rpm and uneven engine performance based on fuel properties.

Mazda hard at work on Skyactiv 2 engine technology originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 08 Jan 2014 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


First Mazda6 teaser is out

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 10th, 2012

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2013 Mazda6 teaser video #1 - headlight and grille

Don’t blink, or you might just miss the first teaser for the next-generation Mazda6. Mazda has released a 21-second spot designed to give the world a glimpse of the company’s new sedan. From the look of things, the Mazda6 will borrow heavily from the Takeri Concept Car we saw debut at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. While details remain scarce about the upcoming model, rumor has it the four-door may bow with nothing but four-cylinder engines under the hood. Automakers like Chevrolet, Hyundai and Kia have already embraced that move for their family sedans, resulting in lighter, more efficient platforms.

Whether or not Mazda does eschew a traditional V6 engine engine for a four-pot, odds are buyers will find a Skyactiv mill behind the headlights. That means direct injection will make a showing on the car for the first time in the model’s history. Currently, the most powerful Skyactiv four-cylinder in the Mazda stable tops out at 155 horsepower, which would be low for an entry-level model in this segment. We expect a more powerful tune of the 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine in the Mazda3 to be the base powerplant, but we imagine the technology will need to be mated with either a larger-displacement block or forced induction if Mazda intends to stay competitive with other automakers’ higher-power engine options. Check out the teaser video below.

Continue reading First Mazda6 teaser is out

First Mazda6 teaser is out originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Jul 2012 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


After another bad year, Mazda hunting for partners, could license Skyactiv

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 14th, 2012

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Mazda emblem

Mazda builds and exports more vehicles from Japan by percentage of total volume than any other automaker, which means it has been hit harder than most by the strength of the Japanese yen. Compounding matters further, between 2008 and 2010, Ford reduced its stake in Mazda from a controlling 33-percent share to less than four percent, meaning the automaker doesn’t have any extra-deep pockets to help bridge the financial gap until profits improve and a North American factory located in Mexico is completed.

The results of this perfect financial storm have been predictable: Mazda posted a net loss in 2011 of about $1.29 billion, marking the fourth consecutive year of red ink and the largest loss since 2001. That’s all very bad news for any automaker, but especially so for one as small and independent as Mazda. As such, it’s no surprise that Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi has said that his company is “actively” seeking partners and that “every option” is being considered.

Naturally, considering “every option” includes the potential of licensing its lightweight and efficient Skyactiv fuel-saving technology to other automakers. In any case, after already losing the rotary (for now, at least) the thought of an automotive world without the MX-5 makes us shudder. Here’s hoping Mazda regains its financial footing before anything drastic happens.

After another bad year, Mazda hunting for partners, could license Skyactiv originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Mazda placing QR codes on rental cars to spur sales

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 23rd, 2011

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2012 Mazda6 parked in front of house

Mazda is hoping to entice rental car customers into a new Mazda6. The company is supplying the sedans to around 1,000 Enterprise Rent-A-Car locations, and each vehicle will come with a Quick Response code stuck to the dash. Renters can scan the code for more information on the Mazda6, including specifications, links to local dealers and more, says Automotive News. You won’t find these particular four-doors in the standard airport fleet, however. Enterprise has reserved the Mazda6 models for the company’s insurance replacement offices, which means drivers will receive the vehicle when their own car is in the shop for repair due to an accident.

The result is effectively an extended test drive for owners suffering a low point in their relationship with their own vehicle. Sounds like smart, ultra low-cost advertising to us. Enterprise calls the program OnRamp, and is hoping to lure other automakers to supply nicer rental fodder in the future. Mazda hasn’t said exactly how many Mazda6 models will be part of the program, but did say that the company would be building the vehicles over the next few months to cover the rental agencies.

Mazda placing QR codes on rental cars to spur sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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