Mazda Recall 4206F - not being honored - advice?

mazda
rx-8

#1

I have a 2004 RX-8 and from the time of purchase (I was a second owner) i’ve had to replace the spark plugs countless times. I didn’t think much of it but when my car finally starting acting up (it would die out when idling low) and then finally gave out I went online to do a little research. Apparently my car, per the vin, is included in Recall 4206F which addresses the problems I was having. I brought it in to the only dealership on Guam and asked if they could check into it as I wasn’t sure if my car had been seen for this issue. They said that it hadn’t been received and that they would run the tests. At the end of this the service rep. said that everything looked good and they were sending their findings to corporate and were in fact claiming the spark plugs, catalytic converter(which was clogged due to excessive oil ejections), and the engine (which per the recall guidelines would have to be replaced if it didn’t pass a oil vacuum test). When the service rep heard back he said that their area rep. says they will not be touching the car because they’re chalking it up as a lack of maintenance on my part.

Is there any advice anyone can give me as to what I can do next?


#2

Sell the car as soon as possible for whatever you can get for it.


#3

Any other advice? That isn’t really an option as it currently isn’t running and is still at the dealership. Of course I don’t intend to drop the issue and believe that Mazda should honor their recall and their technician’s findings.

Why do you say that though?


#4

Yes, you should definitely just roll over and give up. Absolutely.

Kidding of course. The good advice would be to write a letter (maybe FedEx it, but in any case get a signature for it) to “Mazda Corporate” which in my mind means the president of the company in the U.S. If you or a family member is military, stress that.

The area rep is trying to save money. His bottom line is not your problem.


#5

Just so others do not have to go look and it may even help you get better answers perhaps you explain the recall. How do you feel Mazda’s chances are in proving that you did not maintain the car correctly? what part of maintenance do they say you missed or are they saying you continued to operate the car when it had a problem that should have prohibited operation?


#6

The recall states "Due to PCM software calibration issues, the following conditions may result: i) The oil-injection metering system may be inaccurate causing poor engine sealing of the combustion chambers resulting in drivability or emissions problems. ii) Too much fuel may be injected at the time of engine start causing carbon to be deposited on spark plugs or plugs may be flooded, causing a difficult start condition. In addition, the catalytic converter may be degraded on some vehicles."
As far as proving I didn’t maintain my car, i don’t know what they could say. I’ve replaced faulty spark plugs 4 or so times that i can remember, obviously because of carbon buildup and I know that when i turned it in i had them fix whatever the mechanics said the car needed. Mazda didn’t say specifically what they meant by maintenance but i’m thinking they may have called the dealership asking how many times my car was brought in which would show nothing as my car was in CA and not being brought into the dealership for maintenance.


#7

Recalls State What The Dealer Will Do As A Remedy. Do You Have That Information ?

Although it certainly appears that you have reason to be subject to the recall, not all recalls address each vehicle the same way. Sometimes recalls can have “steps” of corrective action to take and still others only require checking for a certain problem or condition.

Examples:
Our van had a lifetime recall of the “clockspring” that can cause the driver’s airbag and cruise control to fail. I didn’t have the recall done because I didn’t have a problem. Several years later the airbag ligh illuminated and the recall was performed satisfactorily.

My wife’s car had a seatbelt recall. There were actually two steps dealers were to take. The first was to inspect the belt for proper installation. With her car that was all that was necessary. Failing the visual inspection would cause a vehicle to have the belt disconnected and reinstalled following a certain procedure.

Perhaps there is an inspection in which the Mazda dealer is looking for something specific before escalating to another step in the recall. Maybe they checked for the cause of the recall - a miscalibrated PCM, for instance, and it checked out alright. They could be adhering to the recall as written. Sometimes recalls have to be adjusted or expanded in scope.

We don’t yet have enough information to draw any conclusions.

CSA


#8

Here’s Some Information.

Click colored links:

Emission Recall 4206F Customer Letter
http://www.coremazda.com/tsb/rx8/owner-letter-recall-4206F.pdf

Mazda Special Program - Technical Service Bulletin (Written for Mazda Technicians)
http://www.finishlineperformance.com/pdf/rx8/bulletin/01-013-08-1925.pdf

Mazda Technical Service Bulletin - Engine Lack Of Power (Written for Mazda Technicians)
http://www.finishlineperformance.com/pdf/rx8/bulletin/01-014-08-1924g.pdf

Late Addition - Interesting - Pay Attention To The Chronology:
http://rotarynews.com/node/view/826

CSA


#9

Good luck with that. This is standard Mazda corporate policy. Unless 100% of the service was done at the dealer they will offhand claim that maintenance was the issue. Case in point, my 2004 mazda 6 had all work done at or earlier than recommended intervals, first 30k of services done at dealer. When the engine blew without warning (at 81k) towed to dealer who claimed the regional manager would look at the car and review my service records. I know for a fact he neither looked at the car or thoroughly vetted my records, yet refused any responsibility, claiming inadequate maintenance. MANY owners have had engine failures under warranty (mine was out) and still had the same response and had Mazda refuse to honor the warranty.
As much as I really like my car, there is no way I would even consider another Mazda or recommend to anyone.


#10

(I was a second owner)

I’m neither supporting Mazda’s decision, nor defending your complaint. Many of us on this site tell used car buyers to have a vehicle thoroughly inspected prior to purchase.
Did you have that inspection ?
By whom ?
What were the conclusions / advice of that inspection ?
Did you buy from a dealer or individual ?
Warranty given ?
How many miles on it when you purchased it ?
How long have you owned it and how many miles did you put on it ?

Often people purchase used cars with pre-existing problems that are caused by poor maintenance / abuse / neglect by a former owner.
I have a 2004 RX-8 and [from the time of purchase] (I was a second owner) i’ve had to replace the spark plugs countless times.

" . . . from the time of purchase . . ." is what you said. This leads me to believe that you bought a car with existing problems that may have been caught during a pre-purchase inspection, a costly oversight and something that happens every day.

Again, with the information presented it’s impossible to tell who is resposible for the car’s problems. Is it Mazda, the previous owner, or you ? Find out very specifically from Mazda why they denied the repairs.

CSA


#11

I hear you. I guess I figure that the carbon buildup was the reason I was constantly changing my spark plugs. As for your earlier posts, i too found the letter and guidelines that the techs had to follow in diagnosing the car, after they had ran through it they told me that everything they found suggested that they had to replace the spark plugs, catalytic, and even the engine ~ which to me translates into ‘it failed all our tests and this is the appropriate action we must take per our thorough testing,’ which by the way took over a month.

I’m still waiting to hear back from the service rep to see what ‘specifically’ their area specialist (who is based out of Japan - good luck getting money or legit service right now OUT of there) is saying.


#12

It’s a 2004. You are the second owner. You are wasting your time.

I have owned an RX-7, Great little car, smooth and fast…But they have a serious weakness…The need to inject motor oil (via a little metering pump) into the chambers to lubricate and seal the rotor seals…In the RX-8, did they finally provide for a reservoir to supply clean-burning 2-stroke oil to the oil injection pump? I made that modification myself and increased the flow-rate which resulted in trouble-free performance…Crankcase oil consumption dropped to zero and the touchy spark plugs lasted MUCH longer…

The emissions controls on the RX-8 have become so complex (do they still make this car?) these engines are just not practical…Expecting free repairs from Mazda is just not going to happen…Walk Away…


#13

In the RX-8, did they finally provide for a reservoir to supply clean-burning 2-stroke oil to the oil injection pump?

Nope. no separate oil supply for the oil injection oil.
In fact, they removed the center oil injectors in the rotor housings for the first several years of the RX-8 (2004 through 2008), but then wised up, and added them back for the rest of the production run (2009 through 2011).

The emissions controls on the RX-8 have become so complex (do they still make this car?) these engines are just not practical.

Its not really that complex.
Air injection. Cat Converter. Leading and trailing spark plugs. Combustion chamber design naturally provides EGR.

If they had updated the fuel injection system to give the engine Direct Injection, that would have provided much better fuel economy numbers, and been considerably cleaner. Unfortunately, with the RX-8 ending this year, and the RX-9 project basically up in the air, it might be a while before anyone sees that direct injected rotary engine anytime soon.

One thing though, some people believe that premixing the 2 stroke oil in the gas tank is better than supplying the 2 stroke oil to the Oil Metering Pump. But the two combined is the best bet for RX-8 engine longevity.

BC.