Mazda offers Miata refund
LOS ANGELES - Discovering that its 2001 Miata has less zoom-zoom than advertised, Mazda North American Operations is offering a make-good to buyers of the roadster.
Mazda is offering 2001 Miata owners a $500 cash refund and free factory-scheduled maintenance during the car's three-year warranty. If a customer feels the offer is insufficient, Mazda will buy back the car and refund the entire purchase price of the vehicle, including taxes.
Mazda stated that the 2001 Miata engine generated 155 hp, a rating that came from a vehicle with 49-state emissions equipment. However, when Mazda decided to make the Miata a 50-state car, it was not given another validation. The more restrictive emissions equipment choked the car down to 142 hp, said Mazda spokesman Fred Aikins. The engine on the 2000 Miata generated 140 hp.
The refund offer is good in the United States and Canada.
Ford mulls N.J. surcharge
DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. is considering a surcharge on new vehicles sold in New Jersey to offset higher anticipated warranty costs, a Ford spokesman said Friday, March 16.
Some dealers were told they could expect to pay $150 more per vehicle.
The reason for the potential surcharge is New Jersey's tough law on warranty claims. The law requires factories to reimburse dealers for parts used in warranty work at the retail price customers pay for parts used in nonwarranty work, rather than the wholesale price Ford charges dealers for parts.
The law was amended because dealers complained they made less profit on warranty work than on regular repairs.
Dodge recalls racing Vipers
DETROIT - The Chrysler group is recalling 615 Dodge Vipers equipped with defective five-point racing seat belt harnesses.
The recall covers ACR and GT-2 edition Vipers with factory-installed five-point harnesses that may not meet voluntary load specifications set forth by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. The FIA, which oversees racing safety, discovered the shortfall during recertification testing on the harness.
The five-point harness is installed for racing use only, and Viper owners should not race the affected vehicles until replacement harnesses are installed, officials said.
The recall does not affect the three-point seat belt system that is standard on all Vipers. The standard seat belt system should be used for all on-road driving.
The harnesses are made by LRF Racing SNC di F Radaelli & Co. and were supplied to Chrysler by Breed Technologies Inc. of Lakeland, Fla. The harnesses also were sold on the aftermarket.