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Auto blogWed, 30 Jul 2014
Thu, 12 Jun 2014
Competitors in the small-car segment didn't do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned "poor" grades.
Only one small car out of 12 tested earned a good grade in the latest round of crash-test results compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Mini Cooper Countryman received a "good" ranking on the organization's small-front overlap test.
It appears that Toyota's renotification to owners of recalled vehicles from last year is just the tip of the iceberg for what could potentially be a much larger industry-wide recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening a preliminary evaluation investigation into roughly 1.1 million vehicles from Chrysler, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota and parts supplier Takata regarding faulty airbag inflators in several models.
NHTSA has received six reports - three directly, two from Takata and one from Toyota - of vehicles with ruptured airbag inflators from 2002-2006, which resulted in three injuries. So far, all six incidents have occurred in high humidity areas like Florida and Puerto Rico. According to Toyota's latest recall announcement, the inflators may have an improper propellant that could cause it to rupture in a crash and the bag to deploy abnormally.
This new investigation follows a previous recall from April 2013 of about 3.4 million vehicles worldwide for the airbag inflators from Takata. As Autoblog reported, Toyota jumpstarted the new situation when it found that the original list of serial numbers for the faulty part was incomplete and discovered more cars in need of replacement. Honda and Nissan told us that they were investigating whether further models would need called in again as well. Mazda told Autoblog: "Regarding the current Takata situation, we're working closely with NHTSA and investigating the situation, but nothing else to report at this time." Chrysler Group responded to us with the statement: "Chrysler Group engineers are conducting the appropriate analysis. The Company will cooperate fully with the National Highway Traffic Administration."
Following the reveal of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, more and more details (and rumors - oh, the rumors) are coming out regarding exactly what's in store when the car finally goes on sale. Our own Chris Paukert had plenty to say about the exterior and interior, and we've now seen the first photo of the engine. But a new report from Automobile sheds even more light on the 2016 Miata - specifically, that the power folding hardtop model won't be available, at least initially.
Automobile reports that the 2016 MX-5 will only be offered with a cloth top, and an insider confirmed that the mechanism is light and accessible enough that it can be raised and lowered with one hand from inside the car. Mazda officials would not comment on the availability of a hardtop in the coming years.
That said, a hardtop Miata isn't out of the question. There will likely be some sort of fixed roof available - even as a one-piece, lift-off accessory - if only for club racing. Also, remember that the current NC Miata's hardtop is the only one on the market that doesn't take up any additional trunk space, so it's an attractive proposition for buyers. Currently, the power hardtop is only offered on the Club and Grand Touring MX-5 Miata trims.