New BT50 Fault

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 18:28
ThreadID: 97854 Views:8020 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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Warning to new BT50 owners.

I bought one of the first BT50s (Freestyle) in Newcastle in November 2011.

Up until now (done 20.000km) the car has performed to all my expectations. I carry a slide-on camper on the back which weighs about 900kg when loaded up for a trip and other than the expected spring sag the car handles the load well.

A warning that I have just had an electronic failure with the module which controls the traction control. When the fault occured the ABS was automatically activated applying the brakes. I drove the car for a short distance but the traction control remained active and I lost the hill start assist and cruise control although the brakes did release.

This could be a potential major accident if it occurs at highway speeds.

I took the car to the dealership where they have diagnosed the problem as the module.

Now the bad news. Mazda cannot supply a replacement part until the end of this month at the earliest. I have suggested they airfreight a part from Thailand and I even offered to pay the airfreight but they advised me there was not one available.

I suggested they pull one from their production line but this has also fallen on deaf ears.

I believe this same part is fitted to the new Rangers as well. It may or may not be a latent fault but be prepared for a long wait if you own either vehicle and have the same problem.

Beware if you are considering buying a new BT50 or Ranger as I don't believe Mazda are supporting the BT50 with parts.

I wont even tell the whole story about the accessories I ordered for the vehicle which could not be supplied although Mazdas "BIG" release advertising they were available. I finished up going aftermarket for these parts (after waiting 8 months) and I believe I got a better product for less money.

Let the buyer beware.
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 19:03

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 19:03
Nomad, This is a terrible story and I certainly feel for you. I can't believe a warranty issue with such significance cannot be fixed immediately. This is certainly something to consider before buying a Ranger or a BT50, parts availability. You are lucky the incident did not cause an accident, I can't believe Mazda would not pull the part from a stock vehicle for you.

I would not buy a Ranger or BT50 until they have been out in the field and done over 100,000 KM's as I believe stories like this may become more common. This would apply to the Amarok and the Dmax, I don't believe parts will be readily available like they are for a Toyota or Nissan for example.
AnswerID: 494319

Follow Up By: Axle - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 19:46

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 19:46
Mate i just waited three weeks for a engine component for a toyota petrol v8,

their all suffering from the same disease ,!!!, So it seems.



Cheers Axle
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 19:58

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 19:58
What was it axle.? Can you drive the rig in the meantime.?
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Reply By: Robtbob NSW - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 20:06

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 20:06
Sorry to hear your news HN.
I've spoken to people on the road that are pleased with their BT50.
I have a Pathfinder where the radio GPS computer failed at 10 months old and it took Nissan almost a year to get one that works.
Why can't the MTA only let cars be sold in Oz if they guarantee they can supply a part in a reasonable time frame.
AnswerID: 494325

Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 10:54

Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 10:54
Thats a good point Robtbob.
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Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 20:56

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 20:56
Happy Nomad

The trouble is, Mazda has got your money and they don't really care what happens after that. Mazda Australia gets the vehicle into Australia for less than half what you pay for it so they are well in front. Money's in the bank but not your bank.
Any warranty action or preparedness to provide the ability to service that warranty is of a distant secondary concern and is balanced against the likelyhood of bad PR versus the most common roll over and take it, which is what most customers do.

When buying a new vehicle you sign a contract with the dealer, it is high time the customer had their own legal contract for provision of warranty/service and maintenance issues and severe dealer and Brand penalties for non compliance.

The lack of immediate parts availability is very important and should be an item worth mentioning via an officially lodged complaint to the regulatory authorities and systems like the ACCC.

The national recall system for motor vehicles should also know of the danger presented by this failure as it is a road safety issue.

Ross M
AnswerID: 494327

Follow Up By: Happy nomad - Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 07:57

Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 07:57
If I don,t get a positive response from Mazda by Friday, I am going to national media.

Mazda may not care but I don't want a potential accident on my concience
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Reply By: Member - Geoff M (VIC) - Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 08:08

Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 08:08
Hi Nomad,

Sorry to hear about your problems with your new BT50. I unfortunately have also had problems with a freestyle BT50 and only recently sold it and purchased a Landcruiser 79 series utility.

Initially Mazda and the dealer were good with the various faults I had, but following the last few problems they pretty much washed their hands of me. I too hard an issue that could have been life-threatening when the axle and wheel dislodged from the diff - I contacted the dealer (no response) and Mazda Australia who rang me back, discussed the issue/s and then basically said thanks for telling us but you're on your own! This was the straw that broke the camels back for me - no trust in the vehicle or Mazda.

Now I believe that the BT50/Ranger are basically reasonable vehicles, especially the new model, but are not suitable for travelling our outback roads with a load. I don't wish to labour the point, and hopefully all those people with BT50s/Rangers don't experience the problems I experienced, but I believe people need to be warned about using these vehicles in adverse conditions.

Hope you eventually get a resolution to your problem.

Cheers, Geoff
AnswerID: 494343

Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 11:10

Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 11:10
Hi Geoff, You make sense with your comments and it's great to get feedback on some of these newer 4wd utilities. At the end of the day it sounds like you gave them every chance to keep you as a customer but they failed. It sounds like they are playing the percentages game and are not prepared to do the extra yards for service. The problem also lies with the way these vehicles are reviewed by the 4WD magazines and experts, they only test drive the vehicles and report back on that. What about keeping the vehicles and reporting on reliability overtime? That's what I'd like to see otherwise people like yourself are finding out the hard way, it costs time and money to change vehicles.

Whilst I acknowledge that all makes can have problems my experience with many many makes keeps me coming back to Toyota and thats why they dominate the Australian outback landscape. At the moment some of their designs are old and have less bells and whistles, less power, lower towing rates, and the newer kids are doing deals to get sales whereas Toyota tend to be pig headed about price. You went elsewhere and then cameback, that speaks volumes about what you want from a vehicle at the end of the day.
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff M (VIC) - Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 12:07

Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 12:07
Hi TerraFirma,

I believe I gave the BT50 and Mazda every chance, but in the end it was not the vehicle for me. I previously owned a Hilux for 15 years, but baulked at the high price of the new Hilux and was swayed by the many extras, good reviews, and price difference to choosing a BT50. With hindsight, that obviously was a mistake.

Thanks for your comments, and hopefully I can get many years of trouble-free travelling with the 'cruiser. At the end of the day, I believe there are only a few vehicles capable of surviving long-term in the bush with the 'cruiser being one of them. Despite the various advertisements and magazine reviews, the BT50/Ranger is not.

Cheers, Geoff
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 12:15

Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 12:15
Geoff, Your cruiser is a nice looking rig, love the setup. I have those Hella HID lights, one pencil and one spread beam, nice product. Had to rewire them with better grade wire because when they were installed the wire was a bit on the small side and ended up with an intermittment fault, thank god for the Autoelec who had seen this before. Kitted out like yours reckon these cruisers are a beautiful thing.
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