Entries in Mazda (3)


US Automakers Skid in Initial Quality Survey

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. automakers, led by Ford Motor Co., plunged in this year's closely watched J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study of new cars while Toyota's Lexus brand topped the list.

Lexus' top-selling LS sedan had the fewest problems reported by new car purchasers in the past year. Honda, Acura, Mercedes-Benz, and Mazda were next in having the fewest initial problems.

Ford, which has seen a resurgence in sales in the past several years, had a dismal performance, falling to No. 23 from fifth place last year, mainly based on problems with the in-dash, touch-screen monitors found on many of its Ford and Lincoln models. Still, Ford didn't score as low in quality as bottom-rated Dodge, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki

Automakers are increasingly loading their cars with technology that boosts mileage and offers new features -- and consumers are finding them frustratingly difficult to use.

"Clearly, consumers are interested in having new technology in their vehicles, but automakers must ensure that the technology is ready for prime time," David Sargent, vice president of global vehicle research at J.D. Power, said in a statement. "Successful companies will be those that can take this incredibly complex technology and make it reliable, seamless and easy for owners to operate while they are driving. There is an understandable desire to bring these technologies to market quickly, but automakers must be careful to walk before they run."

Toyota moved up to No. 7 from No. 22 after problems the previous year with gas pedals being stuck under loose floor mats that promoted a recall.

Consumers reported more dissatisfaction with newly launched or significantly overhauled vehicles, causing ratings overall to drop 10 percent this year, J.D. Power reported.

"Exciting models with the latest features are crucial for winning over today's demanding consumers," Sargent said. "However, automakers must not lose their focus on the importance of these models also achieving exceptional quality levels.

"Expected reliability continues to be the single most important reason why new vehicle buyers choose one model over another, and no manufacturer can afford to give consumers any doubts regarding the quality of their latest products."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mazda Issues Recall for 65,000 Cars Due to Spider Infestation

Photo Courtesy - Mazda Motor of America(IRVINE, Calif.) -- Mazda announced Thursday it was recalling 65,000 cars in North and Central America due to the possibility that a vent line could become blocked by spiderwebs.

It is not clear to why the yellow sac spider likes to build its nests in the Mazda6, according to Mazda spokesman Jeremy Barnes.

Blockage can lead to cracks in the gas tank and even risks of fire.

Mazda's decision to recall comes after 20 cases of spider infestation were reported in cars with 4-cylinder engines, none with the V6 engine.

Mazda dealers plan to inspect and repair damaged fuel systems if necessary.  A spring will be installed to prevent the spiders from getting into the vent line.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Supreme Court: Mazda Can Be Sued for Lap-Only Safety Belts 

Photo Courtesy - Mazda Motor of America Inc.(WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a lawsuit against Mazda Motor of America charging that the car manufacturer should have installed lap and shoulder belts in the rear aisle seats of some of its minivans can go forward in California courts.

The case was brought by the family of Thanh Williamson, who in 2002 was sitting in her 1993 Mazda minivan in the second-row seat, her lap belt firmly attached, when the van collided with a Jeep. She was thrown into a jackknife position and died from internal bleeding.

Her family wants to sue Mazda, believing that the lap-only seat belt was insufficient and that the company was negligent for not installing a lap and shoulder belt in that rear seat. Williamson’s husband and daughter were also riding in the van, but were sitting in seats equipped with both shoulder and lap belts. They both survived the accident.

Mazda argued that federal regulations at the time allowed the company the choice of which belt to install and therefore the car manufacturer was immune from such state lawsuits.

But a unanimous 8-0 court ruled Wednesday that federal regulations did not prohibit the state lawsuit from going forward.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio ´╗┐

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