HIROSHIMA, Japan—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. "Those beyond repair will be immediately scrapped. It is possible that those vehicles which are repairable would 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."
"In the interests of transparency and customer peace of mind, we will post a listing of all vehicle identification numbers (VINs) 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," stated 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 by her owners 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 (the same date in local time). 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. Operations in Canada are managed
by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda
Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
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