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 tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is, as you might have guessed, designed to monitor the air pressure in the tires, and alert the driver if pressure drops. But a problem found in the Mazda6 could keep the system from doing its job.
Car and Driver is keeping new blood pumping into its annual 10Best cars list with three new entries making it on for 2015 and a perennial favorite falling off. Among the biggest shocks this year is that the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series are no longer named, despite years of some portion of that lineup earning a mention. In another surprise, the Tesla Model S (specifically in S 60 trim to fit under the $80,000 cost cap) makes it to the 2015 roster and is the only electrically motivated member of the
Faulty Takata airbag inflators keep taking their toll on automakers. Mazda is the latest to be affected in the US by announcing a recall covering 18,050 Mazda6 and RX-8 models to replace the front, passenger-side airbags. Specifically, the campaign covers 18,000 Mazda6 units from the 2003 and 2004 model years built between May 29, 2002, and March 4, 2004, and 50 RX-8 vehicles from the 2004 model year made between June 25, 2003, and June 30, 2003.
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.
The Chinese auto market is one of the most interesting in the world to look at. Its automakers appear to still be figuring things out and remain open to experimentation. For example, at this moment, you can buy new copies of all three generations of the Mazda6 from showrooms there.
Spider webs can obstruct the evaporative canister vent lines
Three years after Mazda recalled 52,000 Mazda6 sedans over spider webs obstructing the evaporative canister vent lines of 2009 and 2010 Mazda6 models, another recall has been issued for 42,000 more of the models built between 2010 and 2012 and equipped with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
It seems that Yellow Sac spiders really, really love Mazda. Three years after Mazda recalled 52,000 Mazda6 sedans over spider webs obstructing the evaporative canister vent lines of 2009 and 2010 Mazda6 models, another recall has been issued for 42,000 more of the models built between 2010 and 2012 and equipped with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
Mazda's US sales are down a little bit but the company's fuel economy is almost assuredly up. That's because its fuel-saving Skyactiv drivetrain technology is essentially taking over US vehicles sales. To the tune of about five out of every six vehicles sold, at least.
Ring one up for Mazda. The Japanese brand's midsize offering, the Mazda6, has been named Popular Mechanics' Car of the Year. The 6 received a comprehensive reworking for the 2014 model year that saw it adopt sleek, sexy sheet metal; a clean, logical interior; and powertrain technologies that allow it to net some of the best fuel economy available in a gas-powered, non-hybrid sedan.
While the cars to look forward to at this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas are starting to stack up pretty high – Ford alone is bringing 57 vehicles – we hadn't gotten word about what Mazda was up to before now. A shadowy digital figure has reached out to the Autoblog staff, providing us with four tantalizing images of SEMA showcar renderings, though without any substantive information to go with them.
Mazda is voluntarily recalling 161,400 Mazda6 cars due to door latch mounting screws that may loosen, which could cause a door to open while the vehicle is in motion, thereby increasing the risk of accident or injury. The recall covers 2009 through 2013 Mazda6 models manufactured between February 4, 2008 and August 24, 2012.
Diesel enthusiasts waiting on the new Skyactiv-D-powered Mazda6 will have to wait a bit longer. The shapely fuel-efficient four-door has just had its North American launch pushed back to April, due to delays in emissions testing. Mazda had originally planned to launch the Mazda6 diesel before the end of this year, making the four- to five-month delay a rather serious one.
While it may not be touting the old "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" axiom we all know and love, Mazda recognizes that racing can only improve its cars. And so it's no surprise that the Japanese automaker is testing and refining its Skyactiv-D diesel engine by sending it out on various race tracks around the country – notably being the first diesel ever to compete at Daytona and the first to notch a Grand Am win at Road Atlanta.
Earlier this year at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, when speculating as to the next game-changing EV technology, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, "If I were to make a prediction, I'd think there's a good chance that it is not batteries, but super-capacitors." If that was a giveaway to what Tesla has coming down the road, then it looks like Mazda may have beat them to the punch. Or, at least taken a step in that direction.