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Mazda spiders return, 42k Mazda6 sedans recalled for webby fuel tanks

Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST

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.
According to the automaker, there have been nine confirmed sightings of spiders in vent lines since the original recall. It seems that covers were applied at the factory to keep the arachnids from entering, but it hasn't quite exterminated the problem. A reflash of the ECU is required that "[changes] the logic behind how the car purges the charcoal canister during normal operation," says Jeremy Barnes, Director, Public Relations & Brand Experience at Mazda North American Operations.
So far, Mazda has not recorded any fires, accidents or injuries due to this tangled mess of webs. Recall notices will be mailed out to owners later this month. Scroll down below for the statement from Mazda, along with the official recall notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Mazda recalling 88k vehicles for ECU glitch

Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:14:00 EST

Need a break from news about the General Motors ignition switch recall? This Mazda recall should serve as a nice change of pace. It involves 88,000 cars across the globe, and focuses on the brand's three most recent (and important) models - the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5.
The issue rests with Mazda's new i-ELOOP regenerative braking system. Apparently there's a problem with the ECU program that monitors whether a capacitor in the regen system is working. Acceleration is affected, and in severe cases, the engine could stall. There have been no mention of accidents or injuries due to the issue, and the glitch itself can be cured by an ECU reflash.
As i-ELOOP is a fairly new system for Mazda, particularly in the US, the total number of affected models is rather low, with just 6,500 US cars affected. Europe is hit hardest, with 38,000 models while Mazda's home market of Japan adds 27,600 cars and crossovers. Affected models were built between October 2012 and January 2014.

Will Mazda show the next Miata's chassis in NY?

Fri, 21 Mar 2014 15:43:00 EST

Mazda is being very sneaky about what it is bringing to the New York Auto Show, and it might have something to do with the next-generation MX-5 Miata. Australian website Motoring.com.au spoke to a company insider who told it that at least the chassis for the roadster would debut in Manhattan. The rumor goes that the show will act as the kickoff for the PR campaign for the new model.
We contacted Mazda USA PR Director Jeremy Barnes to find out more, and he would neither confirm nor deny the rumor. "Just because you read it on the Internet doesn't mean you should repeat it," he said to Autoblog. That's not exactly an outright, No.
Supporting evidence that the new drop top might be appearing in the Big Apple includes Mazda's plan to celebrate the model's 25th anniversary at the show. It's bringing 15 cars from the first three generations to display. "It will be absolutely worth attending the New York Auto Show if you're a Miata fan," Barnes said. That at least hints that there might be something he's not telling us. Otherwise it's a lot of sizzle without much steak.

Mazda to celebrate 25 years of MX-5 with 15 Miatas in New York

Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:00:00 EST

Having first debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been on the market now for an impressive 25 years. So to celebrate that quarter-century anniversary, Mazda is bringing no less than 15 examples of the legendary roadster from throughout its history to the New York Auto Show this year.
Mazda isn't saying just which versions of the MX-5 it's bringing to the Javitz center this year, but with three generations to choose from and over 900,000 units built and sold, there are plenty of examples - including production versions, special editions and concept cars.
What would really put the cherry on this birthday cake, however, would be if Mazda were to surprise us in Manhattan with the debut of the highly anticipated fourth-generation Miata that we're expecting to debut sometime this year.

Mazda3 sales off to rocky start despite massive critical acclaim

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:30:00 EST

Like just about every other auto publication we've seen, we loved the way the Mazda3 drove when we reviewed it a few months ago, but those glowing reviews apparently aren't helping its sales. The new compact may be falling victim to a sales war between the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, with the newcomer getting squeezed out by those with more established names and bigger marketing budgets.
According to Automotive News, Mazda3 sales have fallen every month since last August, and its sales are down 27 percent in the first two months of 2014. It certainly isn't helping that the entire compact segment is down five percent this year as well.
The biggest problem for the new model seems to be its price compared to rivals. Mazda is not offering the incentives that are on the hood of competitors. With the previous generation, the company offered more than $2,700 on the hood to move them out, but the current model only carries about $1,233 in markdowns, according to AN.

Mazda goes on engineer hiring binge as recovery picks up speed

Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:02:00 EST

Japan's larger automakers - companies like Toyota, Honda and Nissan - have tremendous engineering talent at their disposal. That's largely because, selling as many cars as they do, they've got more revenues to tap into. Logic might dictate, then, that smaller automakers like Mazda, which no longer has the deep pockets afforded to it by its former partnership with Ford, might have less of a budget and workforce for engineering. But Mazda has been raking in record profits, and it plans on cashing those revenues in by hiring a substantial new pool of engineers.
According to Automotive News, Mazda is preparing to hire as many as 185 new engineers over the next two years - almost four times as many as the 50 engineers it previously targeted. Many of those engineers will be put to work developing the second-generation, Skyactiv 2 technologies that are on the drawing board while the first round of Skyactiv features are still being rolled out.
The boost in recruitment is enabled by a positive fiscal year that ended last March, marking the first profits Mazda had logged in four years. Sources anticipate that the fiscal year culminating at the end of this month will mark the company's most profitable yet, netting over a billion dollars to eclipse the fiscal year that ended in 2008 when it recorded $872.5 million in profits.

World Car of the Year finalists announced

Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:59:00 EST

To say the 2014 Geneva Motor Show was packed full of news is an understatement as big as the show's home at the Palexpo convention center. Despite everything that we were able to cover during this year's show, there's still more coming out of Switzerland, including the announcement of the finalists for the 2014 World Car of the Year Awards.
We reported on the original list of finalists over three weeks ago, and now, that initial list has been pared down to three finalists for each of the five awards. The finalists were announced at a press conference by frequent Autoblog contributor and co-chair of the awards, Matt Davis (above).
The finalists for the overall title of 2014 World Car of the Year are the Audi A3, the BMW 4 Series and the Mazda3. The World Luxury Car of the Year will be either the Bentley Flying Spur, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, while the Performance Car of the Year will be awarded to the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the Ferrari 458 Speciale or the Porsche 911 GT3 (which, um, yeah...).

Mazda Hazumi Concept previews next Mazda2 in Geneva [w/videos]

Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:40:00 EST

The official photos of Mazda's Hazumi concept leaked out yesterday, but we have finally gotten to see it in real life at the Geneva Motor Show. Our view is that its Kodo lines looks as good on the diminutive car's sheet metal as they did in photos.
The Hazumi was designed to appear to be bursting with energy, and it seems to deliver. While Mazda refuses to actually say that this is the concept for the next Mazda2, it makes it clear that the little hatchback is "foreshadowing Mazda's next-generation subcompact car." We can all read between the lines.
Hazumi also introduces the new Skyactiv-D 1.5-liter diesel engine but details about it are scant at the moment. The specs for the engine are still unannounced, but the company promises that it is both very efficient and has lots of torque for its size. Mazda is also promising that its Mazda Connect infotainment system will be available in the car too. Scroll down for the brief press release a brace of videos that celebrate the tiny concept's arrival.

Mazda Hazumi concept gets punchy, comes out of its corner early

Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:58:00 EST

The official images Mazda Hazumi concept, which previews the next-generation Mazda2, have leaked out from Chinese website Auto.sohu.com ahead of its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
The subcompact, four-door hatchback shows off Mazda's Kodo design language in its smallest size yet. Hazumi means "bound" or "spring up" in Japanese, and it is meant to look like it is packed with energy. It is a very attractive little concept and hopefully points to a more stylish face for the next-generation Mazda2.
Mazda has not unveiled the full details about the concept yet, but in a previous release, it said for the car is using a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine. While Mazda has not officially said that the Hazumi shows the next Mazda2, it did say in its earlier release that it "points the way to the future" for the brand's small cars. Reading between the lines isn't too difficult, then.

Fiat reconsidering Mazda-based Alfa Romeo roadster? [w/poll]

Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST

Alfa giveth and Alfa taketh away. With apologies to Job (he has gone through a lot, after all), that's how things are looking at the Italian automaker - whether it's the promise of new products or its impending return to the North American market. But it's especially true when it comes to new roadsters.
While Alfa Romeo is expected to unveil the 4C Spider at the Geneva Motor Show this week, reports are now suggesting that its other roadster project is being called into question. That project is a joint venture between Fiat and Mazda, which was set to produce a version of its next MX-5 Miata as an Alfa Romeo, and was even changing the design to accommodate Alfa's requirements.
Now it appears, however, that the whole project in doubt. The problem seems to stem from Sergio Marchionne's pronouncements that, as long as he's in charge, there won't be an Alfa Romeo built outside of Italy.