When zoom-zoom goes bad
This is a place holder for a longer investigative article I am writing, and I am hoping that if yours failed too that you will leave some comments.
My experience was a total failure of a Mazda MPV 2002 automatic transmission (JATCO) with less than 100,000 miles and Mazda denying that there was any kind of known issue with them. The quoted price for a replacement from Mazda Canada was $5,500 installed which is outrageous. I opted for a used junkyard transmission but the first one the dealership installed slipped between gear changes to they had to find a second junkyard transmission and I had to rent a car for two weeks. I suspect a lot of Mazdas are just sent to the junkyard when the transmission fails.
Mazda Canada states “Regarding your transmission inquiry, there are no known manufacturing defects that will result in the failure of your transmission.” . However, in the literature link below, there is a update handbook available that refers to “many engineering changes” that need to be applied in the rebuild process. Mazda needs to recall these transmissions and apply these updates, or at the very least, offer them to customers with failed transmissions. Of course “should” doesn’t improve short term profit and recalls look bad on the financial statements, so I am not holding my breath. The only real cost to Mazda are the thousands of people like myself that will no longer be loyal customers. If I had done a Google search and found nothing out there, I would have written it off as bad luck and not bothered with this page — but there are thousands of complaints out there and the issues of lemon laws, class action law suits and recalls have been mentioned numerous times.
I also had a look at the JATCO site and saw that you could ask them questions provided that you agree “We send email replies only for the purpose of responding to specific questions from customers. We strictly forbid transfer, secondary use or disclosure to any third party, of all or part of the contents of such replies without our permission.” Outrageous – now customer service comes with prearranged gag order.
Automatic Transmission Service Group
“The JATCO 5 speed automatic transmission is known as the JF506E in the Jaguar X Type and Land Rover’s Freelander. In the Mazda 6 and MPV it is known as the JA5A-EL and with VW’s Golf, GTI and Jetta it is the 09A. Overseas it is known as the 5F1J or the Durashift -5-Tronic transmission used in the Mondeo vehicle starting in 2002.5 model year. This manual contains the procedures necessary to diagnose, overhaul and/or repair the Mazda JF506E transaxle, and is intended for automotive technicians that are familiar with the operation of automatic transmissions.
Note: There have been many engineering changes in this transaxle since its introduction in 1999. ATSG also has available an “Update Handbook” which includes the many changes and is required along with this manual for a proper overhaul or repair.”
… more soon
Example Repair Costs
- Feb 2011 – CDN$2300 for a local junkyard replacement, installed with 5 year warranty on part only. Dealer claims it is a nightmare and they are on their second used transmission 10 days later.
- Feb 2011 – CDN$5500 for a Mazda Canada replacement, installed
Links that have discussions of Mazda failures and some quotes:
There are a lot of horror stories over at MPVclub.com too.
“I purchased a 2002 Mazda MPV mini van brand new. I had taken it in a couple of times for a problem of when i pressed the gas it would stall and then jerk and make a clunk sound. the dealer could never replicate the issue, and the problem continued. now i justed turned 70,000 miles and the transmission failed and needs to be replaced at a cost of 2500-3000. As i look online i see hundreds of complaints on this same issue. there needs to be a recall on the transmissions. K of MT PROSPECT, IL Oct. 22, 2010 ”
APA (Automobile Protection Association) – 2004 Mazda MPV complaints
– there should be a lot more by now –
“Forty-one complaints concerning the 2000-2002 Mazda MPV have been filed by the public since November 2002. The owners who contacted the APA complained mostly about vibration and transmission problems. From November 2002 to March 2003, complaints were filed at the Toronto office using the short one-page form; twelve such forms were filled out by consumers. From May 2003 until today, complaints have been filed using the two-page form available on the web site and were sent to both the Toronto and Montreal offices. Twenty-nine such complaints were sent to the APA. All of the consumers who sent the APA completed forms identified themselves and left us their telephone numbers and, in most cases, their e-mail addresses.”
Edmunds.com Mazda MPV Transmission Problems (this thread has 170+ messages)
“My 2002 MPV with 68,000 miles started having problems with the transmission slipping into neutral. I took it to the local dealer who and service manager indicated there was an “internal failure” in the transmission and repair cost would be $3,500. They would order a rebuilt transmission from Mazda and install it. A transmission failure at this low mileage is not acceptable. My first and last Mazda! I’d strongly advise any MPV owners out there to get rid of their vans before it is too late.”
“I called Mazda today. They were useless. They said because I was out of warranty based on mileage and time of ownership ( 45 months and 68,000 miles) they could not do anything. It is annoying that the tranny would go at such low mileage and equally annoying that the repair is so expensive. Anyone reading this that owns a MPV, dump it now!”
“On Sept. 7th, 2010 at 97174 miles the transmission gave out. I lost the 4th, 5th, and reverse gears. I was able to get around at 25 mph in gears 1-3. Up until now shift shock had always been present. I didn’t get the recommended reflash because according to what I’ve read on various MPV blogs and forums most people that had it done still had shift shock. I concluded it wasn’t worth it. I had never changed the transmission oil because it isn’t recommended by Mazda. Why? I’ve pondered that for a long time. This repair in out of my league. I got quotes from $1200.00 to $3500.00 for rebuild or remanufactured (there is a difference). I contemplated a used transmission from the junk yard. Then the dreaded thought of sending my beloved MPV to the scrap heap. This year MPV qualified under the Cash For Clunker program. I should have done it then. I decided on a $2000.00 local rebuild buy a reputable well established transmission shop that was well acquainted with this type transmission and its flaws. I learned it is a JATCO (Japanese automatic transmission company) JF506E transmission. Used in certain Jaguar, VW, Mazda, Ford, Landrover models and other manufacturers. Excessive valve body wear and cracked and/or broken reverse piston seem to be the major and very common problems. Jaguar actually had a recall on the transmission. According to the transmission shop, all the new rebuild kits come with upgraded parts. all part flaws have been addressed. My MPV is on the road again. ”
Where to file complaints
Comsumer Protection sites
.. convenient links coming soon
Please leave a comment if you want to be notified of any future recall or action. I won’t publish your e-mail address so you won’t be getting any spam. If you leave failure details (mileage, age, year of the vehicle and repair cost or salvaged perhaps and some comments) will add them to a table.