A proposed class action claims five different 2021 Mazda vehicle models leak engine oil due to a valve stem defect.
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The 21-page suit says the defect plaguing the vehicles—the 2021 Mazda CX-30, CX-5, CX-9, Mazda3 and Mazda6—causes the cars to consume an excessive amount of engine oil in between regular oil changes and creates an increased risk of engine failure, among other problems. Per the case, the defective Mazda valve stems seals allow engine oil to leak into a vehicle’s combustion chamber, making it difficult for drivers to maintain proper engine oil levels and leading to higher carbon emissions.
The plaintiff, a North Carolina attorney and certified public accountant, claims dealership defendant Keffer Mazda and other dealers are “actively conspiring” with the automaker to hide the “true nature” of the “known, dangerous” defect from the public.
An engine’s valve stem seals control oil consumption and lubricant in an engine by allowing a specific amount of oil inside the valve stem as it moves. According to the lawsuit, dealer-generated data shows that Mazda has acknowledged internally that some of the vehicles at issue consume excessive amounts of engine oil, a purported “symptom” of the alleged valve stem problem. One technical service bulletin in particular, from November 10, 2020, instructed dealers to measure a vehicle’s oil consumption after driving 1,200 miles and that “[n]o repair is necessary” when a car consumes less than one liter of oil within that mileage range, the suit says.
However, the Mazda owner’s manual and warranty advise that the recommended oil service interval for the 2021 vehicles at issue is “the earlier of 10,000 miles or one year,” the case states.
“Thus, according to Mazda, a vehicle needs to consume more than eight quarts of engine oil between recommended oil change intervals in order to necessitate a repair for excess oil consumption,” the filing relays, contesting that “[t]here is nothing normal or expected about this rate of oil consumption.”
From there, service bulletins in October and November 2021 expanded upon the apparent oil-burning issue, offering special instructions to dealers for customers who come in with low engine oil-level concerns, the complaint shares.
To date, the suit relays, Mazda has not provided dealers with an adequate repair procedure for the valve stem defect, which the case says “could be caused by premature valve guide wear or seals that are improperly installed.”
The lawsuit stresses that oil consumption is a well-known creator of harmful emissions into the atmosphere, as oil that enters a combustion chamber burns with fuel and is then pushed out with exhaust gases. The case alleges that Mazda, in obtaining the requisite authorizations to sell the 2021 vehicle models in the United States, failed to disclose that the cars would consume seven to eight times the amount of oil they should, “nor have they come clean since.”
The lawsuit looks to cover all consumers in the U.S. who are current or former owners and/or lessees of the 2021 Mazda CX-30, CX-5, CX-9, Mazda3 or Mazda6 vehicles that were subject to a December 2021 technical service bulletin, which include the following:
“2021 Mazda3 (Japan built 2.5T) with VINS lower than JM1BP******403639 (produced before September 14, 2021);
2021 Mazda6 (2.5T) with VINS lower than JM1GL******618910 (produced before September 15, 2021);
2021 CX-30 (2.5T);
2021 CX-5 (2.5T) with VINS lower than JM3KF******472325 (produced before September 14, 2021);
2021 CX-9 (2.5T) with VINS lower than JM3TC******541071 (produced before September 14, 2021).”
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