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Sep 11, 2006
IRVINE, Calif., September 11, 2006 - Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announced that the Mazda vehicles aboard the car-carrying vessel, Cougar Ace, which ran into trouble on July 23, 2006, off the Alaskan coast, resulting in her listing some 60-plus degrees, will not be sold as new vehicles.
"While we do not, at this time, know the full extent of the damage to vehicles on board , none of the Mazdas will be sold as new", said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of MNAO. "It is possible that those vehicles which are undamaged or repairable will be made available for sale as used cars through Mazda's dealer network in the U.S. and Canada. We will only be in a position to decide on any used car sales once the vessel has been unloaded and each unit comprehensively inspected. Those beyond repair will be immediately scrapped."
"In the interest of transparency and customer peace of mind, we will post the vehicle identification numbers (VINs) of vehicles destined for sale on our consumer Websites, www.MazdaUSA.com and www.mazda.ca, so that there is no confusion as to which vehicles were on the ship," added O'Sullivan.
Slightly more than half of the cars are MAZDA3s and about one-fourth are Mazda CX-7s. The vehicles were headed to the ports of Vancouver ( Canada), Tacoma and Hueneme (U.S.).
The Cougar Ace sailed from Japan to North America with just over 4,700 Canadian- and U.S-bound Mazdas aboard. She became stricken when an issue during a routine ballast-water change caused her to list. Thanks to heroic efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard, all 23 crew members were transferred from the ship within hours.
After the ship was stabilized, she was towed to sheltered waters in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, where she was returned to an even keel. She is currently under tow to the Port of Portland, Ore., where she is expected to arrive on September 12. Upon arrival, her cargo will be further evaluated and unloaded.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.