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Has anyone else had problems with the leather material on the 2014 Mazda6? I got mine last October, and have noticed multiple little cracks in the steering wheel's leather. I can't figure out if it's my wedding ring, or if the leather is twisting so as to make those marks.

They look like:

)))))))))))))))))

Just a bunch of little half moons, and in a multiple locations. Today I noticed one on top of my steering wheel too. I can't believe my ring would be doing all of that damage as I haven't felt it snag on it.

Any ideas? :confused:
 

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You're not alone. There are numerous complaints about this happening to peoples steering wheels, as well as other slight defects.

My brother-in-law did the same thing to my wheel with his ring, and he has no idea. He's a car fanatic even more so than myself and it would have killed him to know h e scratched my wheel, so I haven't said anything. But the same exact pattern is there that you mentioned. :irate:
 

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Thanks for the quick response Byakuya. Has Mazda said anything about it, or are there any steps to fix it?

I would hate to put on a steering wheel cover, and would gladly take a plastic steering wheel if it would keep it from happening! lol
 

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Thanks for the quick response Byakuya. Has Mazda said anything about it, or are there any steps to fix it?

I would hate to put on a steering wheel cover, and would gladly take a plastic steering wheel if it would keep it from happening! lol
There's a good discussion going on in here: http://forum.mazda6club.com/models-trim/312489-steering-wheel-mod.html

But for the most part there's not much you can do beyond replacing the wheel or covering it up with some god-awful rubber thing.

If I were more capable with leather and machining, I would attempt to remove the upper and lower centers of the wheel's leather and replace it with some sort of plastic or other material.

Along those lines, if you're willing to shell out the money for it, these guys look like they do a hell of a job: Dash Kits, Wood Steering Wheels | Wooddash.com

Edit: I stand corrected, they have sizings for our wheel now: http://www.wooddash.com/steerwhl.html

That's not a bad price so long as they do good work. But you'd still have to send them your wheel as far as I know.
 

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A little late on this post from the original thread but as of today I am scheduled for my 4th replacement steering wheel for my 2014 mazda 6 with 16,000 miles (basically a weekend car that isn't driven during the week). I have tinted windows and a windshield sun protector to help but yet no idea what causes these cracks. I had cracks like this in my 1977 280z 13 years ago as that's expected from OLDER models of any kind. Not a 1 year old vehicle. They claim it must be the lotion I use...? A..hem...I'm a man who doesn't use lotion, no rings and I don't even hold the steering wheel when driving where the cracks are. I will unfortunately put a cover on after this replacement to help with resale. Otherwise love my 6!
 

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Hi Gents,
I just joined this forum.
I have a very similar issue with my steering wheel on my 2016 Mazda 6. After a year, it was quite damaged and Mazda Australia replaced it. Only 3 days later, I noticed the same defect was starting on the brand new steering wheel ! this time, Mazda Australia refused to change it, saying it's me damaging it. When I told them I could stop by at their office, I am working nearby, with a spare steering wheel so they can sho me how it can be done with my nails ( very short), or the ring that I don't have, I was told that no, they couldn't do it as it was not in the procedure. I complained few times, and each time, they said they "believe" it's my fault, therefore, they won't replace it. I don't want a "believe", I would like facts...I told them to show me how it can be done, and if they succeed, I will flatly appologize, but they refused every time. Obviously, based on this thread, this is a known problem and I am convinced it's not coming from my way if holding the steering wheel, moreover, it's at 5.30, where my hand is not often there.
Redman, you said you had it changed 4 times, did Mazda told you what the problem was?
Any idea who is the steering wheel manufacturer? it seems the same defect was also noticed on Honda and Hyundai or Kia cars, so they might come from the same steering wheel suplier. Any suggestions welcome.

My 8 months steering wheel ( replaced in February)
IMG_0136.JPG
IMG_0136.JPG
IMG_0137.JPG
IMG20190905085330.jpg
IMG20190905085359mod.jpg


Thanks,

Michel
 

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Hi Gents,
I just joined this forum.
I have a very similar issue with my steering wheel on my 2016 Mazda 6. After a year, it was quite damaged and Mazda Australia replaced it. Only 3 days later, I noticed the same defect was starting on the brand new steering wheel ! this time, Mazda Australia refused to change it, saying it's me damaging it. When I told them I could stop by at their office, I am working nearby, with a spare steering wheel so they can sho me how it can be done with my nails ( very short), or the ring that I don't have, I was told that no, they couldn't do it as it was not in the procedure. I complained few times, and each time, they said they "believe" it's my fault, therefore, they won't replace it. I don't want a "believe", I would like facts...I told them to show me how it can be done, and if they succeed, I will flatly appologize, but they refused every time. Obviously, based on this thread, this is a known problem and I am convinced it's not coming from my way if holding the steering wheel, moreover, it's at 5.30, where my hand is not often there.
Redman, you said you had it changed 4 times, did Mazda told you what the problem was?
Any idea who is the steering wheel manufacturer? it seems the same defect was also noticed on Honda and Hyundai or Kia cars, so they might come from the same steering wheel suplier. Any suggestions welcome.

My 8 months steering wheel ( replaced in February) View attachment 237948 View attachment 237948 View attachment 237949 View attachment 237950 View attachment 237951

Thanks,

Michel
I think I should check mine and hope that I don't find any...
 

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Wow..... mine has a small amount of wear on it, but then again my car has nearly 200,000 miles on it too! It doesn't look like THAT!
 

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There's a section of my wheel that has those scratches/marks, but I found out that I did that myself when I exited the car with my pocket knife clipped to my jeans pocket. I've since moved it to another pocket, and it hasn't happened since, nor has it shown up on any other part of my wheel.
 

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Yes, those marks are physical damage. I've done it before in a previous vehicle as I used to like my steering wheel low. Add to that my thick legs and anytime anything got caught between the wheel and my leg there would be enough pressure on the wheel while getting in/out to cause damage if whatever was stuck between was hard and blunt (the half moons dragging) or sharp (the aligned cuts / tears).

I had done nearly identical damage to yours pictured with a metal jacket zipper that got caught between my leg and steering wheel when my massive keychain (which was in my pocket) closed the gap between my leg and the wheel while getting out of the car.

My wife had done it in smaller sections with her purse in her car (putting it on her leg then getting out of the car and a buckle getting pinched between).

The fact that you say it's @ 5:30 on the wheel aligns with this same pattern assuming the wheel was straight or nearly straight when parked as typical.

Once we learned what it was we re-positioned the wheel / seat slightly and had been able to avoid any further damage by being a little more careful about what we were doing.
 

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

Tickerguy, this damages are nothing compared to the first steering wheel rim when they changed it the first time, it was very bad, almost a quarter of the steering wheel leatherette was severely damaged. Mazda Australia allowed my car dealer to change it under warranty, they didn’t ask any question, and didn’t suggest anything to me in case they were convinced it was man made.

On my side, I believe these damages on my wheel are indeed physical damages but not done by a mechanical or contact way. By looking at the damages closely, we can see it is not clear cuts, neither some material shearing due to a prolonged and forced friction effect by something harder than the wheel material. Having a look at a typical defect, some of the skin starts to lift up a bit, then opens up, a bit like when too much stress is put on a sausage if it’s too much bent and the skin split. We can also see some defects starting to grow, not in an ordered way that could be done with, say a friction action between the wheel and another hard material bit.

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I visited few companies producing steering wheel for different automotive brands, even did some work with them.
The making of a steering wheel is very tricky, not only it’s a safety item with the airbag and the high ductility aluminium or magnesium casting frame, it’s also a cosmetic item as the steering wheel is pretty much right in front or our eyes every second we are driving. And of course, the “touch” of the material is important for the comfort of the driving.
The sewing of the material on the rim can be very tricky and is a delicate operation.

I am of a light body kind of person and when driving, my legs are about 150mm down the steering wheel. The position I should get in order to drive and have my legs touching the wheel would be extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous.

I hardly would touch the wheel when go in and out of the car and I am even more careful about it since I detected the first damaged area, which is at the back of the wheel, an area that pretty much can’t be damaged by friction with something else when going in and out the car.

Other parameters: I am the only driver of this car , so can’t blame somebody else, and I never had it before on any of my previous cars.

My nails are short and 0.7mm thick, some quite blunt and pretty hard to do any damage with them. Mazda Australia suggested it could be a ring, I don’t have any and if it was a ring with such sharp edges to do some damages, I reckon my finger wouldn’t look good.

And based on the orientation of the defects, I would have to have my nail perpendicular to the wheel, pretty hard to have my hand in this position even when the car is stopped, impossible to drive like this.

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I showed the defects to a friend of mine, who was looking for buying a new car, and told me that he has some damages on his wheel due to the ring of his wife and it doesn’t look like this to him. He was asking me what I thought about Mazda, I told him there are great car, very good value, I love my car, but not happy with this issue. He decided to go for another brand.

I am working in a research organization, in the material division, with plenty of my colleagues with Phd, experts in their domain, we deal with any kind of material, develop new ones, we even do official inquiries when requested by any other companies or organization, in order to find the origin of some damages, breaking etc…I showed the photos to some of my colleague and they also can’t really see how it can be man made.

I was away for about 3 weeks overseas and the damages didn’t stop growing and the longs stripes of defects are pretty new.

Looking on the Internet, I found that some other people got the same issue, but also on other cars. Maybe these car manufacturers are using or used the same steering wheel supplier who had an issue with the processing of the material itself or an assembly issue?
My replacement steering wheel was perfect when installed on my car, and started to deteriorate only days after, meaning say after 4 hours driving. I would therefore think that the way the spares are kept, keep them away from deterioration, which can be to protect them from the natural UV, and as you might know guys, UVs in Australia are pretty nasty.
Also the wheel doesn’t have any stress while stored.
So can it be a combination of stress caused by the simple effect of having our hand on the wheel while driving and the material on the wheel is too much under tension while assembly, to a point when we start using the wheel, the additional stress does make the defect starting? With the addition of UV maybe?
The refusal to replace might be caused by a shortage of spares?

Pretty much all of these, and a bit more, have been reported to Mazda Australia, who might well read this forum too.
I just try to understand and I have to admit to tell me that their “believe it’s me but don’t want to how me how it can be done because it’s not in the procedure" didn’t help. I suggested I could come to their headquarters with a spare wheel so they can show me, but no, not in the procedure...

I have been working for the automotive industry for few decades now, and I don’t think any car manufacturer would do with a “believe” from a supplier, the “should be right mate” is not on at all. Data, tests, what is called PFMEA, DFMEA etc…yes…

As requested to Mazda, I would like them to show me how it can be done, and if successful, I would flatly apologize, admit my mistake, and why not, send them a slab of beer, or fix it. If they can fix it without replacing the wheel, good, am all ok with that.

I expect the defects to grow as they did on the first wheel, so I will keep track of it and document it.

Otherwise, what a great car, I love it and take great care of it. I am very satisfied by my car dealer, service is great, friendly, very helpful, and felt sorry for them when I had to show them only few days after they replaced the rim that it was starting again, the guy from the dealership was quite annoyed.

have a good weekend everybody :)

Mike
 

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I don't have any sausage in hand, but found this bit of soft plastic tub, showing similar kind of defects when a bit under stress.
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Obviously, it's not the same material, but it shows a similar pattern. Material under stress, the leatherette on the rim has been sewed too tight? would it make sense?
 
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