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Mazda Protege5, Wagon
#6052 of 7874 Responses to my letters to Mazda USA...
Mar 11, 2003 (6:37 pm)
This is regarding an earlier post (two pages back) about a couple emails I sent to Mazda, USA regarding the transmission whine problem that my '02 P5 has (along with many of you).
Here are all of the emails:
We received your prior e-mail, and responded to you on February 25th. Please understand that recalls are determined by the government, not by
individual car manufacturers. In addition, all TSB's (Technical Service Bulletins) are provided to all Mazda dealership. TSB's are not a recall; they contain instructions how to correct a concern, should a vehicle happen to experience it. The response to your prior e-mail is below:
Date: 2/25/2003 7:15:44 AM
Subject: Re: 2002 Protege5 Transmission problem
Thank you for contacting Mazda North American Operations. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you. In regards to your e-mail, please understand that you have been
correctly advised by your Mazda dealership. The noise you are experiencing with your Protegé5 is a normal operating characteristic, not a defect. As such, no repairs, or parts replacements, will be performed.
Rest assured that customer feedback is vital to Mazda. I will definitely document your comments for the corporate record, which is continuously reviewed in an effort to provide only the highest quality products to our customers.
Again, thank you for contacting Mazda. It has been my pleasure to assist you. If for any reason this response has not completely
satisfied you, please feel free to reply to this message. You may also contact our Customer Assistance Center toll-free at 1-800-222-5500.
Please take a moment of your time to give us your opinion about our e-mail service. Click the link below to complete a brief, online survey.
Specialist, Customer Assistance E-Business
Original Message Follows:
Dear Mazda, USA:
I sent this email two weeks ago but have not received anything other than an automated confirmation of receipt. I would very much like to know that this issue is either being addressed, or has at least been taken to heart by Mazda, USA. Please don't leave a proud Mazda owner in the dark. So far, I have the utmost respect for Mazda, USA and would not like for that opinion to change. I would like to add to my forwarded email, that the purpose of these messages is to request that Mazda come up with a mechanical solution to this problem in the way of a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB), or a recall. I would like the part in my transmission to be replaced under warranty so that the described problem no longer occurs and does not return. Thank you for your time. To Whom It May Concern:
My Wife and I are nearly content owners of a 2002 Mazda Protege5. We purchased the car with the sport AT transmission, and are one of the many owners out there who have the dreaded transmission whine problem detailed in the "0002993 Dealer Repair Information" text: "Some customers may hear a high frequency whine that occurs at approximately 45 and 75 mph, this noise usually can only be heard with the radio and blower motor off and when the customer feathers the throttle within a very narrow RPM and MPH range. This whine is considered normal and no repairs should be attempted. This whine is not the result of any abnormal wear occurring within the transmission but is a result of a resonance that is generated at varying levels between the primary and secondary gears and does not affect the use, safety or value of the vehicle." I find this situation unacceptable. While the whine does not necessarily result in damage, it is NOT a "feature" that I purchased when the car was new, nor did I expect the car to perform this way. In my humble opinion, saying that the problem is not damaging and therefore should be lived with is a flagrant example of avoidance. I am considering purchasing a new Mazda6s for myself but this situation is making me reconsider... I expect a problem of this sort to be addressed regardless of whether damage may ensue as a result. This is not acceptable performance, and it is a result of poor workmanship. That is precisely what new car warranties legally cover. Regards,
I'm left with a sour taste in my mouth after this email. I'm quite surprised and disappointed in the response. I realized that it was unlikely that mazda would do anything about the problem immediately, but I was not expecting to be shot down and effectively have my points ignored completely. The only semi-positive response was when the statement was made that the message will be "passed on" to headquarters, which may or may not account to a nothing.
#6053 of 7874 I've found Mazda listens to feedback
Mar 11, 2003 (6:50 pm)
Se how they changed the option packages in the US? It's b/c people (some here at Edmnds) complained.
#6054 of 7874 Indeed, but...
Mar 12, 2003 (12:33 am)
But that was a marketing strategy change. This is a potential loss center...
#6055 of 7874 P5 has tops headlamps according to CR.
Mar 12, 2003 (4:23 am)
Out of the vehicles they tested (standard halogen and HID-equipped), the P5 had the best (lit the targets up to 600ft away w/o causing glare to onlooking drivers). Kudos to Mazda's lamp designers.
I thought I could see better at night when driving my wife's P5 than in my Protege (99), even w/o the fog lamps.
Mar 12, 2003 (6:09 am)
I agree in that the option packages on the 6 should have been better thought out in the US.
Also, in Canada, the PRO and P5 have different packages, and while attempting to built a US PRO ES, I ended-up having to buy more options than I liked. In Canada they have a GT package - moonroof, A/C, spoiler, to add to the already standard 16" alloys, ABS, etc...
Seems we're getting more car for the $ than you guys are. But then again, Canadian sales come from the PRO, not from the 6 - small cars sell more here than in the US; they are the dominant sector.
Mar 12, 2003 (7:03 am)
that is the way a big corporate works, don't be completely surprise. The person who answers your email (probably some sort of marketing/costumer-relation champion) cannot make any decision about fixing the design flaw. All he/she can do is passing the information around.
Frankly, I can't tell if they are totally unfair with you because I don't know how bad is the noise in your car transmission. Is that really annoying? And does it just appear only recently?
#6058 of 7874 P5 and rattling....
Mar 12, 2003 (8:51 am)
Well my car is currently in getting not only the "Death Rattle" repaired but also a low temperature "grind" I got from first to second (MT). So far they are going on 3 days with my car. In addition to the fact that I can't drive my baby I'm enduring a stripped Escort 4 door with 27k miles that someone smoked in. Although it is fun to not care about a car. No I'm not doing anything deliberately mean with the car. However I am learning the art of brake torquing.
Mar 12, 2003 (12:27 pm)
Yeah I know corporations are usually expected to behave that way, but I felt that Mazda might be the exception to the rule based on prior experience. That's why I was disappointed.
The other reason I am disappointed is because the whine really is not a described "feature" of the car. It was not present during test-drive, and I was never told to expect it. I wouldn't call it a "normal operating automotive sound" by any means. It crept up around 1000 miles- occurring only at 80 MPH and above, and just got louder. It reached maximum volume around 1500 miles and now occurs at all rev ranges, and hasn't gone away since. Again, I would NOT call this a normal sound, and I am a car nerd. I work on cars, and I understand what basic conept is driving this sound (bad soecification in the machining process on two drive gears- that's what my service manager told me). If the cause is in fact what he described, I don't see how the problem couldn't be considered a TSB issue. Bottom line is, Mazda sees this a potential center for large losses (why spend $500 in labor replacing a $50 part?), and they are using semantics to avoid the issue. I'm not happy with that.
Mar 12, 2003 (1:39 pm)
It seems bad to me.
But I don't get it: if the service manager told you that "the bad specification in the machining process" is the cause, that means that he did admit that your car has a manufacturing flaw and it should be repaired then under warranty. Right?
#6061 of 7874 Exactly my thoughts...
Mar 12, 2003 (5:44 pm)
His (close to) exact words were: "There are two gears that mesh together, and the angle one of them was cut at was slightly incorrect. This results in an audible whine, but won't cause any damage over time. Therefore you dont need ot fix anything."
The argument I have with mazda (and I may be wrong), is that I don't think warranties just cover sources of potential damage... don't they cover "defects in workmanship" which may or may not result in damage? It was my understanding that damage is not necessary in the definition of "defect."
But that's just me... thoughts?