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Discussion Starter #1
Yup,

Pretty much 99% certain

I'm so tired of Mazda Australia being less than helpful in allowing me change out the factory seats to some orthapedic Recaros. I'm tired of the whole mess. $5000 on seats, $700 on ECU modules, losing all airbags but 2, having to have my whole ecu 'reprogrammed' at my expense.

I'm so tired of not being able to drive my car without getting a sore back

I'm tired for being taken to hospital with suspected meningococal due to such extreme back & neck pain & then being given a lumbar puncture test

I just don't understand how a pair of seats can just be SO wrong.

anyway rant over

I'm going to check out
VW Passat V6 SE
Lexus IS200
Subaru Liberty B4
 

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Replying to Topic 'well, Im selling mine...'

QUOTE
Originally posted by bURKENsTiEN


            Yup,

Pretty much 99% certain

I'm so tired of Mazda Australia being less than helpful in allowing me change out the factory seats to some orthapedic Recaros. I'm tired of the whole mess. $5000 on seats, $700 on ECU modules, losing all airbags but 2, having to have my whole ecu 'reprogrammed' at my expense.

I'm so tired of not being able to drive my car without getting a sore back

I'm tired for being taken to hospital with suspected meningococal due to such extreme back & neck pain & then being given a lumbar puncture test

I just don't understand how a pair of seats can just be SO wrong.

anyway rant over

I'm going to check out
VW Passat V6 SE
Lexus IS200
Subaru Liberty B4[/b]
Thats the weirdest thing i have heard. Why cant you get an aftermarket retailer to install the seats? Surely you dont expect Mazda to do it? Once it rolls out of the showroom, anything you add to the car afterwards is up to you, unless its an 'official' accessory. Ditto for the ECU, and how does that relate to the back pain?
As for those cars you mentioned, i am also looking at them. So far here are my findings:

Lexus - has the 1G-FE motor which although has VVTi is an old engine which not much promise. 114Kw at the flywheel and about 86Kw at the rear wheels. Expect to be owned by V6 camrys, magnas and of course commodores/falcons. The IS300 is another story altogether

B4 - very nice car (love the TT) but the blue interior, OMG! What were they thnking. Also expect a bit of lag between the two turbos switching. Also, its a subaru, so dont expect resale values as high as Lex. Its also kinda plain looking

Havent looked at the VW, but modding a VW would definetly be different

Well best of luck
 

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Replying to Topic 'well, Im selling mine...'

QUOTE
Originally posted by bURKENsTiEN


            Yup,

Pretty much 99% certain

I'm so tired of Mazda Australia being less than helpful in allowing me change out the factory seats to some orthapedic Recaros. I'm tired of the whole mess. $5000 on seats, $700 on ECU modules, losing all airbags but 2, having to have my whole ecu 'reprogrammed' at my expense.

I'm so tired of not being able to drive my car without getting a sore back

I'm tired for being taken to hospital with suspected meningococal due to such extreme back & neck pain & then being given a lumbar puncture test

I just don't understand how a pair of seats can just be SO wrong.

anyway rant over

I'm going to check out
VW Passat V6 SE
Lexus IS200
Subaru Liberty B4[/b]
Isn't that like kicking your own butt to punish someone else?

I have one word for you: aftermarket!!

Forget Mazda, when it comes to un-official solutions, you're better off choosing the aftermarket solution.
 

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Reading Topic: well, Im selling mine...

Exactly what I thought steve6er, why cant burkenstien (franks brother) go AFTERMARKET ? tell us the choices you had in regard to what mazda told you

Seems ridiculous to drop so much money so soon on what is essentially a great car with some obvious specific issues from burkenstiens POV

Tell us all the details please as being an OZ Mazda owner as well I am very interested in factory reponses to these type of major issues

Thanks if you can help
 

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Reading Topic: well, Im selling mine...

Definitely seems pretty crazy to sell so soon, if you do sell keep us informed on the mileage and how much value the car lost in the sale. No matter what gripes I have with mine, I'm sticking it out for a year. The scary thing is, I already have almost 2500 miles on my car...I better start staying home more often or else its value is going to die fast.

Its been mentioned but...what about aftermarket seats? Your about to lose at least $2,000USD over some $300USD aftermarket seats. You could even get some really sweet neoprolene racing seats for under $500USD.
 

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Reading Topic: well, Im selling mine...

Oh...and my votes for your next car would be: IS300 or BMW M3 :)
 

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Reading Topic: well, Im selling mine...

I too have some bad back problems. However, I find the stock seats quite comfy compared to whats out there. One of the cars I like but I don't like the seats is the Subaru WRX. The seats are cramped, supportive but cramped. I sat in a 2004 model today and the new seats are worse as the thigh bolsters dig into me and I mean bad.

I have to ask, but you've tried all possible adjustments, including the head rest?

What are you trying to accomplish with aftermarket seats?
The 6 is roomier than the IS300 and just slightly more room than the BMW 3 series, Audi A4.
The BMW "sport" seats are the best I've tried in almost any car.

Tome
 

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Replying to Topic 'well, Im selling mine...'

QUOTE
Originally posted by diesel5599


            Oh...and my votes for your next car would be: IS300 or BMW M3 :)[/b]
Though way out of my range, I'd love to have an M3. :D I'm priced out of the market, but I'd only buy brand new. A number of the first year M3's released in NA ended up having nasty engine problems. I know one website forum dedicated to this tracked at least 100 blown engines (click HERE). Some of those guys got engine replacements, some poor saps just got rebuilds. I don't know if I'd want the local dealer installing a new engine months after I plunked down $50k+ for the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Replying to Topic 'well, Im selling mine...'

Ok, well here’s the full story.

I picked up my Mazda 6 Luxury Sports Hatch on 28/11/02. Within a week I had a sore back.

Now I should point out that I am a very fit individual who has never had a sore back before in my life. I religiously ride road & mountain bikes (250km a week would be average) as well as running & I also swim several times a week. In fact my training time is around 12-15 hours a week. I race cross country MTB & road events. I have a strong back, I’m flexible, I’m 183cm (6ft1) & 75kilograms (165lbs). I don’t consider my height or weight to be anything than totally normal.
Like I say, I’ve never had a sore back before this Mazda. Previously I have owned a 1989 Honda CRX and a 1995 Honda Integra VTIR, both of which are physically smaller cars yet I had no problems at all getting comfortable & never gave me any back pain.

Back to the story.
Within a week of owning the car I rang my local dealership to explain that I thought the seats were giving me a bad back. From my conversation with the dealer I basically got the impression that they didn’t really care. They did a complete handball, and told me that I should call Mazda Australia. So I did.
I called Mazda Australia, spoke to a customer service representative whom I explained the whole situation to. They said they had never heard of such a problem & that I should give myself a week to adjust to the seats. The line given to me was “Mazda makes seats for the majority of people. If you fit outside that majority….”
I gave it 2 weeks, carefully adjusting the seat a little at a time to try out each possible seat combination & then driving with that position. This typically involved an adjustment in the morning, drive to work, see how it feels. Then adjust at night & drive home from work. I’ve even tried big adjustments here & there to find *that* spot. Throughout all this my back is still sore. For at least one day I’m lying on the floor of the office in pain because of my back.
Mazda Australia calls me for a customer satisfaction service. Again, I retell my story to another customer service person who seems a little concerned but not enough to actually do anything.
I called again and was told that changing the seats shouldn’t be a problem and the warranty wont be affected unless the mounting of the seats is a ‘cause of concern’ to Mazda.
On 30/12/02 I sent a letter to Mazda Australia requesting in writing what I was verbally told above over the phone. On 21/1/02 I did receive my reply. It said that the warranty may be limited when there is a condition contributed to by the installation of the seats. Fair comment, but the wording is far too open to interpretation. They closed by saying sorry for being unable to provide defined answers.

The pain itself starts in the middle of my back & extends up to my shoulders.

I believe the problem stems from the fact that the seat back is too low for me. Look at the way you sit in a good car seat and you will see that the seat back extends up to at least shoulder level & probably above it. This ensures your upper back is actually supported & that any bolstering or extra padding is actually supporting your shoulders.
The seat back on the Mazda 6 Luxury seats extends only up as far as my shoulder blades, leaving a large amount of my back unsupported. In addition to this, there seems to be a moderate amount of bolstering which extends horizontally across the top of the seat back and is more pronounced on the sides. I guess if you were in the 160-170cm range then this would probably hold you in the seat quite nicely. However I don’t know any adult males who are under 170cm tall so I can’t test this out. For me this bolstering sticks right into the upper part of my back / shoulder blades & must be hunching me forward.

I went to see an orthopedic seating specialist, who saw the problem immediately when I sat in the car. He told me that the seat back was too low me for & not a good shape. This pretty much confirmed my suspicions. I tried out a few seats & agreed that a Recaro SE seat base with a Recaro SR seat back was the best fit for me, and it felt GOOD. The SR seat back actually has more side bolstering, but none of this horizontal bolstering which I believe is partially causing the problem. The Recaro seat back also extends well past my shoulders so I am fully supported.

The immediate problem we struck was that the seats have airbags in them, so it wouldn’t be a straight forward fit. I asked what they normally do and that is to get an auto electrician to fit a resistor pack to fool the ECU into thinking the airbag is still there. He was going to contact Mazda Australia for specific instructions though, as it has never been a problem before apparently for other car manufacturers.
When Mazda Australia replied, they said that they will only assist in this where certification of a medical condition exists. Not a problem for me, an invasion of my privacy but if it has to be done. I also need to replace my SRS entire module, at my cost, in the car for the model below that only has front airbags. So I also lose my curtain & rear airbags as well. This module then needs to be programmed, at my cost as well I assume.., with the ‘as built data’ supplied by Mazda so the system ignores the side airbags.

So that’s about it in condensed form. At every step of the way Mazda have been very reluctant, unconcerned and generally less than helpful to me in trying to make me a happy customer. At the moment I’m not a happy customer.
 

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Reading Topic: well, Im selling mine...

Well, I can see your anger and how it is justified anyway. Good luck in the future. Tell us what car you pick. :)
 

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Replying to Topic 'well, Im selling mine...'

Well I'm not angry, it's more dissappointment really.

If Mazda would meet me somewhere with the cost of the replacement seats (if they gave me the SRS module & re-programming) I would be happy. I'm not asking them to pay for the seats, thats $5k I'm happy to pay.

But I have this niggling thought of what if something happens down the track & I need to use my warranty... I can see Mazda trying to wiggle their way out of it due to my seats.. It's not cool as the rest of the car is really great. But the seats are preventing me from enjoying my car. Currently I avoid driving it.
 

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Yeah. Understandable. One thing that I was wondering is if you perhaps have a longer upper body than "most people". Its very possible when you consider how some people have long legs and some people have long upper bodies but are the same height.
 

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QUOTE
Originally posted by bURKENsTiEN


            Well I'm not angry, it's more dissappointment really.

If Mazda would meet me somewhere with the cost of the replacement seats (if they gave me the SRS module & re-programming) I would be happy. I'm not asking them to pay for the seats, thats $5k I'm happy to pay.[/b]
I found your post on the 4sale thread 1st, so I'll bring my comment over here.

Couldn't you get an auto upolstry place to modify the seats - take out some of the top padding which you find excessive and add a little height ( maybe 3 cm or so of foam ) to the top. Then you could just get the drivers seat done, you would avoid the trouble and cost of playing with the SRS and you wouldn't have trouble selling later. Mazda probably wouldn't even notice the work.

As someone else mentioned it does sound like you are tall bodied. I am a similar height to you but my problem with most cars it the lack of seat travel - I find my legs cramped.

anyway - Good luck !
 

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Replying to Topic 'well, Im selling mine...'

QUOTE
Originally posted by bURKENsTiEN

anyway rant over

I'm going to check out
VW Passat V6 SE
Lexus IS200
Subaru Liberty B4[/b]
I also looked at these ( and others ). If you want to go fast at all costs then obviously the B4 is the pick.
Just watch out for insurance, and don't park in dodgy places :) And the interior is quite dated and a bit over the top.

I found the Lexus to be a quite under-rated car. I hate the gizmo dash, but it was very nice to drive. More refined, but less powerful than the Mazda. Handles really well too. It was rejected because I needed more space, especially for luggage.

The Passat was beautifully build but a little bland. If you like VW you could try a Bora V6 AWD.
 

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Replying to Topic 'well, Im selling mine...'

QUOTE
Originally posted by Velocity_Boy


            QUOTE
Originally posted by bURKENsTiEN


            Well I'm not angry, it's more dissappointment really.

If Mazda would meet me somewhere with the cost of the replacement seats (if they gave me the SRS module & re-programming) I would be happy. I'm not asking them to pay for the seats, thats $5k I'm happy to pay.[/b]
I found your post on the 4sale thread 1st, so I'll bring my comment over here.

Couldn't you get an auto upolstry place to modify the seats - take out some of the top padding which you find excessive and add a little height ( maybe 3 cm or so of foam ) to the top. Then you could just get the drivers seat done, you would avoid the trouble and cost of playing with the SRS and you wouldn't have trouble selling later. Mazda probably wouldn't even notice the work.

As someone else mentioned it does sound like you are tall bodied. I am a similar height to you but my problem with most cars it the lack of seat travel - I find my legs cramped.

anyway - Good luck ![/b][/quote]

My thoughts exactly. I don't really see why you are ignoring this reasonably cheap alternative.
 

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Reading Topic: Replying to Topic 'well, Im selling mine...'

Thanks for the full story F.
Wow, nature has dealt you a dodgy shape for the M6 seats and oz mazda wont come to the party. Let us know the eventual outcome.
Me thinks we are gonna have to spam their PR dept until they come up with a better solution than this.
This does not sound like the type of factory support u want after you put down over A$40 large for the luxury sport. I'm 193cms tall but my proportions are obviously different as I get way comfortable. I hope.
 

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Reading Topic: Replying to Topic 'well, Im selling mine...'

Now, I recently test drove the 6 here in the States, and I'm 193cm (6'4"); meaning long legs and body, not mention long... oh sorry ;) Anyway, I felt I had full upper body support from the seat, I made sure of it, because I find it i slouch for too long in my current cars seats then i start to get a sore neck. I don't know if they have deifferent seats as far as the luxury leather ons go in Oz, but I've never felt a more comfortable seat in a car, and I've sat in more than a few in my short time, just not many really nice ones. So I find it strange you'd have such a problem with the seats, and I can only hope I don't come across the same situation down the road when I finally get my car, though I won't be getting the side air bags and all, so I can just plain replace my seats.
 
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