LOS ANGELES -- Mazda North American Operations will give $500 cash to customers affected by the recall of the Mazda5 compact minivan. Mazda also will give Mazda5 owners a new warranty start date of Dec. 1., regardless of when the vehicle was previously purchased.
"They can do what they want with the cash," said Jim O'Sullivan, CEO of Mazda North American Operations. "Use it for Christmas shopping, or make a car payment. This is our way of saying, 'Sorry for the inconvenience.'"
Mazda already has given free loaner cars to Mazda5 owners, who had their vehicles recalled when reports arose over the vehicle catching fire. In late September, Mazda said the repairs of vehicles would take about a month. However, some owners are complaining that their cars won't be available until mid-November or later. About 2,700 vehicles have been recalled in North America.
Mazda has traced the cause of the fire to drivers who drove in manual-shift mode, and left the vehicle in lower gear when driving at freeway speeds. When the transmission did not upshift, heat buildup in the exhaust system started the fire. Mazda is installing a heat shield and recalibrating the transmission electronic control unit.
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