Last post on Dec 14, 2011 at 1:46 PM
You are in the Mazda MPV
What is this discussion about?
Mazda MPV, Van
#7026 of 8223 Working the numbers
Dec 02, 2003 (10:04 am)
Mazda's media site has some of their sales figures here: http://media.ford.com/mazda/news/section_news.cfm?section=80
Sales were very good this year compared to last year, for the record, until July, then they fell off. This parallels what I've seen for some other manufacturers, by the way. Profitability is up so far for the year, for what it's worth (I think you have better odds buying from a successful maker than from one that's struggling, personally.)
I did a quick check, and it appears that they have sold about 60000 MPV's between 01/2002 and 09/2003 nationwide. I'm assuming that all of these have the 5-speed (the numbers are not broken out by model year, so there's a little "fudge" here, but probably not much - some of these units were probably 2001 model year with the 4-speed).
If we take 60000 units sold as "in the ballpark", the number of complaints here and on other boards pales by comparison. 600 reported failures would be 1 percent. I doubt this board has seen even 30 individual cases.
Even accounting for sampling error (the "silent majority" mentioned above), this is almost certainly a rare issue. There is almost certainly NOT a "silent majority" of people with problem trannies - far from it.
As a rule of thumb, mail surveys have a response rate of somewhere near 10% (using a good list, and assuming a whole bunch of stuff that I don't want to get into here...). Even if we assume that for every reported problem here, 9 others exist that have not been reported, and we go with 30 individual cases as above, Mazda is facing a reported failure rate of maybe 0.5%. That would be 1 in 200. Not good, but not unprecedented either as I understand it.
I suspect that this estimate is perhaps a bit high. Even so, that would still make just 300 failures nationwide over 2 years, assuming a reporting rate of just 10%. This also explains why individual dealerships haven't been seeing many of these cases. I don't know how many dealerships Mazda has, but it's more than 300 by quite a bit.
If Edmund's reach is better than 10%, then Mazda's fortunes improve considerably. If the reporting rate is 30% (1 in ~3 failures gets reported here, which *might* be plausible, hard to tell...), then the overall failure rate drops to 0.17%, or 1 in 600, or 100 failures nationwide in 2 years.
Of course, the converse is also true, if Edmund's reach is much worse than 10%, then Mazda has a real problem on it's hands and better get on it. I suspect that truth lies somewhere between 10% and 30% for our purposes here. The vast majority of Mazda's target users have access to the web, if not at home than at work, and most will have heard of Edmund's by now, since they're starting to appear in mass advertising references ("rated so and so by edmund's.com...").
To put this in perspective, Honda acted on their tranny issue (offered extended warranties to all owners) when the reported failure rate climbed well above 1%, as I understand it.
You have to remember that people who have a problem are FAR FAR FAR more likely to report it than people who don't. The overwhelming "silent majority" (99.5% or so) consists of satisfied customers.
I'm not sure if this helps, but there you have it.
Dec 02, 2003 (10:21 am)
I just reported in the problems forum that my dealer has 5 instances of the hard upshift problem from a database with "about 300 MPVs". That's a failure rate of worse than 1.7% given that he couldn't separate the 2002+ from the 2001- models.
Dec 02, 2003 (10:23 am)
Yes, but it's only one dealer. There are probably many dealers with NO cases.
You have to look at the big picture. You cannot extrapolate from just one data point.
#7029 of 8223 On a lighter note...
Dec 02, 2003 (10:42 am)
...we just mounted snow tires on our '03 LX. After much searching and budget adjusting, we went with Kumho KW-11's on 15" steelies. I was hoping to put this off a year, but the OEM Dunlop SP 4000's are about worthless in snow, as we found out during a recent snow storm here. Buying the rims added to the price of admission during a tight time for us...
Since we get very little snow and have quite mild winters in Denver proper, the Kumho's seemed the way to go. They're reportedly laid out for milder conditions and better wear than most snows, but outperform all-seasons when it gets slick. Drive west 30 minutes from our house and you're in another world alltogether.
Picked them up from Tirerack for $470 including shipping. Popped them on last night. They're quiet and handle well in the dry. We'll see how they do in the slick shortly...
Dec 02, 2003 (10:52 am)
I've had no problems with my 03 MPV ES. It's only got 850 miles on the odometer, but I've experienced no hard-shift problems at all.
#7031 of 8223 Re: Does anybody have a good 2004 MPV
Dec 02, 2003 (11:49 am)
So far I've seen posts ony from 2003 MPV owners, not one with a good 2004.
I head they modified the TCM in 2004 in order to fix the 2003 problems.
Dec 02, 2003 (12:05 pm)
I realise that I'm only talking about one dealer. But that's the only hard information I have. If other folks with the problem could contact their dealers and get the equivalent information then the accuracy of the numbers would improve.
By the way, I don't think you can say that "There are probably many dealers with NO cases". Possibly, yes. Probably, no.
Dec 02, 2003 (12:34 pm)
The problem with numbers is that you can have them come out the way you want by the way you look at them. Until you can get some hard information as to how many people are actually having this problem, then it is only a guesstimate!
Hard shifting be it caused by the CPU or transmission troubles can't be healthy for the insides of the transmission. How long can these transmissions hold up under these conditions? It also maybe shorting the useful life of the transmission.
No matter how you slice it, this isn't good for the transmission and other parts of the van.
Maybe this isn't important to Mazda as long as people keep buying MPV's!
#7034 of 8223 Interpreting the numbers & guesstimates
Dec 02, 2003 (1:17 pm)
The analysis I've provided is based on hard numbers. We now know that there are 60,000 MPV's on the road in this country with the 5AT from Jatco, give or take a few hundred. That's a lot of MPV's.
We also know that there are 10's, not hundreds, of reported cases here at Edmund's and other boards.
Those are the known facts. From experience with comparable reporting methods, we can estimate the reporting rate at Edmund's within reasonable bounds. It's not 100%, and it's probably not 1% either. This is where the uncertainty lies.
By "doing the math", we can get a sense of what the numbers mean if the reporting rate lies in the range that we believe is likely, given our experience with other tools. (I DID spend 5 years conducting large scale international surveys, guys.)
So what we have is not a random "guesstimate" that someone pulled out of their hat, like you pick a Lotto number. It's an estimate with upper and lower bounds, based on the facts available today.
There is a large difference between those 2 concepts.
Anyone reading these boards lately might come to the conclusion that 90% of MPV owners are having transmission issues. The far more likely probability is that this ratio is reversed.
Unfortunately, the same analysis can be interpreted many ways. If you tell someone that 99.5% of MPV's have great transmissions, that sounds good. If you tell someone that the failure rate is 1 in 200, that sounds bad. In fact, both figures are based on precisely the same information and the same assumptions, and have identical levels of uncertainty.
That's where the saying "There's lies, da*n lies, and statistics..." comes from.
Steve, based on my analysis, and the sense that Mazda has something like 600 dealerships (I'm not certain of that number, but I'm pretty sure it's in the ballpark), I can safely say that there are "probably many dealerships with NO cases". We have sufficient if not compelling reason to believe that this is a relatively rare problem.
If you conducted a nationwide survey of dealerships, you could get to a better (i.e. more reliable) estimate of the number of cases out there. You could get the same level of certainty by conducting a nationwide survey of owners. Short of that, you can't.
#7035 of 8223 What Mazda should be doing instead
Dec 02, 2003 (1:18 pm)
What's needed here is for Mazda to step up and get aggressive with customer communication. Everyone that reports this issue should be contacted by a senior customer service rep with the clout to make things happen.
And they should be following up with everybody to be certain that things are happening. If they believe they have identified the problem, then they should be communicating that knowledge proactively.
People don't develop software unless they know what problem they're trying to solve. I would like to know if "we're working on it" means they're still analyzing the problem (they don't know what's wrong), or if they're actively developing a fix (they know what's wrong, but haven't worked out how to fix it). There's a huge difference in those 2 answers - potentially months, the testing cycle alone will take weeks if done properly.
Either way, they need to let people know that 1) their problems are of real concern, 2) a real solution is in the works, and 3) when that solution is expected.
They should also offer everyone affected a free extended warranty on the transmission like Honda did.
If they did those things, wouldn't everyone feel an heck of lot better ?