Mazda just announced that it has decided to scrap all 4,703 vehicles that were aboard the Cougar Ace cargo vessel when it nearly capsized off the Aleutian Islands in Alaska back in late July. The shipping vessel sat listing to one side for over a month before it was towed to and repaired at a port in Oregon. During that time, the vehicles on board, comprised of the Mazda3 small car and CX-7 crossover, were tied down at severe angles. Mazda had previously told us it would inspect all the vehicles and sell most as used with full disclosure, considering that many showed little or no signs of damage. Regardless, Mazda reconsidered and the announcement that the entire shipment would be scrapped came today from Jim O'Sullivan, Mazda North America's President and CEO.

The decision not to sell any of the vehicles that were aboard the Cougar Ace must have been difficult to make, considering that we estimate the hull of the ship contained over $103 million worth of vehicles (60 percent of the vehicles on board were the more expensive CX-7, so we assumed a conservate per unit average MSRP of $22,000). Not that we're criticizing Mazda for scrapping the entire shipment, but the destruction of 4,703 vehicles, at least some if not most of which are salveagable, seems like a waste. We're sure there are plenty of non-profit organizations and charities that would be grateful to take these vehicles off of Mazda's hands.

You can read Mazda's full press release concerning the matter after the jump.

For those who haven't been following the story of the Cougar Ace, check out the post trail below.


PRESS RELEASE:

All Mazda Vehicles From Car-Carrying Vessel
Cougar Ace to be Scrapped

IRVINE, Calif.--Mazda Motor Corporation today announced that all of the U.S.- and Canada-bound Mazda vehicles from the car-carrying vessel, Cougar Ace, which nearly capsized off the Aleutian Islands in late July, would be scrapped.

"After thorough testing by engineers from our American and Japanese R&D centers, we decided the most appropriate course of action – with our customers foremost in mind – was not to sell any of the 4,703 Mazdas aboard the ship," said Jim O'Sullivan, President and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, based in Irvine, Calif.
The Cougar Ace sat listing at more than 60-degrees for nearly a month after an incident at sea, before it could be towed to the Port of Portland, Ore., for repairs and to have its cargo off-loaded.

O'Sullivan added that although some of the Mazdas aboard the Cougar Ace showed little or no visible damage from being tied-down at severe angles for an extended period, the company reconsidered its initial decision to sell any of the vehicles as used.

"We always put the customer first," O'Sullivan continued. "This drove our decision to scrap every one of the Mazdas involved in this incident. None will be sold as used cars."

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.