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I copied and pasted directly from a post at http://www.miataforum.com I'm sure they're snooping around here a lot. Tell em what you want! Thanks Mazda for listening, and letting us rant, praise, and bash the car. Hopefully all our input will result in a car truly tuned for its drivers!
Cincinnati, Ohio - For several months, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has been monitoring various internet sites to find out what consumers are saying online about the new four-door Mazda RX-8 sports car, scheduled to be sold in 2003 as a 2004 model. The RX-8 features a 250-horsepower rotary engine, six-speed transmission, freestyle four-door configuration, and a sedan-sized back seat.
"We were interested to see the kinds of comments coming from Internet buzz," says Kevin Everhart, spokesman for MNAO in Irvine, California. "We have some informal events with consumers, and I think the more informal the events are, the more free consumers feel to talk," Everhart explains. "But on the Internet, they say things to each other that are much more candid than what you would find in a face-to-face interview with a manufacturer. The inhibitions are shed a little when it's in an Internet environment."
Company representatives monitored consumers' Mazda RX-8 comments on Web sites such as rotarynews.com and several competitors' sites, and engaged a private survey company, PlanetFeedback, to collect consumer feedback from public discussion boards on the internet as well as standard sources such as phone surveys, mail, e-mail and fax.
Mazda says it plans to use the data on a variety of fronts - to monitor public relations, to track trends and the spread of information and to prepare for more refined marketing/focus-group outreach.
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1) The plastic AST on 3rd gens was a really dumb idea.
2) MAP sensing a car that is not resistant to detonation is dumb. You're just trying to save money/face by not having to pay royalties for a hotwire / Karmann Vortex system.
The majority of all rotaries end up with performance modifications at some stage of their lives. AFM systems can cope with that.
3) Lack of serious testing will catch you out. I could list all the oversights over the years but it's better put like this. When testing for the 99+ rx-7 was happening mazda r&d engineers blew an engine and subsequently found out that airflow on the 93+ rx-7's actually reverses through the intercooler under heavy load. They found this after making the cars for 6 years! Even then they had to blow up a prototype motor.
Since their motorsport division knew about this for years (ever noticed the redesigned IC ducting and intake feeders on factory competition cars?) you would have to say that there is a serious problem with their ability to translate learned mistakes into production fixes.
Yeah I know nobody of any importance reads this but I've always wanted to bitch about this
On my current major home, www.i-club.com, Subaru of America checks that board often. It's good and bad.
Good: They have sent the board admins along with select moderators to various Subaru events, one being the WRX unveiling in Detriot, another, the ride and drive of the WRX a month before it was for sale (down in Arizona). They have now sponsored our board and certain dealerships are now doing things for us, for example Exeter Subaru, in Exeter NH, is having a cookout for the New England group. Good times.
Bad: If they see something that's denied warranty, and enough information is given about who the person is and where they are, SOA will deny the warranty if the reasons for the part(s) failing are suspect.
Anyway, I would just like to say that I hope MOA gets involved like Subaru has... If the manufacturer can handle the public well, then it just speaks volumes for them, and word of mouth is a good thing in sales.
Originally posted by Grimace Forgive my ignorance, but what's a "plastic AST" out of curiousity?
It's the air separator tank on 3rd gen rx-7's. It is supposed to automatically bleed air from the system. What it does is provide a major weak point. It sits directly in the hot air path behind the rad. The crazy part is that it's a 2 piece construction that is bonded together. They generally last only a few years from brand new depending on driving conditions.
They used the same "technology" (lol!) on the vacuum chamber (which stores vacuum for actuator control). Luckily this is in a cooler spot (jammed down next to the PS pump) but it is guaranteed trouble. You cant remove them, they fall apart when you try. It's also used to make the earlier pressure chambers but I dont know about the failure rate of them.