Mazda has finally succumbed to the push for capped priced servicing and reconsiders its mandatory six-month service demands. The company hasn’t made it clear how this impacts existing owners.

MAZDA HAS BEEN A NOTABLE HOLD-OUT AGAINST CAPPED PRICE SERVICING and has also angered some buyers with its insistence on six month/10,000km services when most of the opposition have been happy to recommend 12 month/20,000km or 15,000km service intervals.

Mazda’s new scheme, called “Mazda Service Selection”, will be rolled out to coincide with the launch of the all-new Mazda3, which will be in showrooms from 1 February. The rest of Mazda’s range will be included in the scheme by mid-year.

The change comes as a result of customer feedback. Mazda Australia MD Martin Benders briefed his team to develop a more user-friendly and flexible service schedule some 12 months ago. The new scheme moves away from 6 month/10,000km services to more accurately reflect how owners actually use their cars.

The 10,000km cap stays in place, but owners who don’t do high mileage (the average annual mileage for Australian motorists is 13,000km and many do considerably less) will have the option of servicing their cars every twelve months. Drivers who do the Australian average of 13,000km per year will be looking at services every nine months.

We have often questioned Mazda’s insistence on six-monthly services, irrespective of mileage, and many owners see it as a cynical means of increasing dealer revenue. The new scheme means owners doing average annual mileage will now need to service their cars four times over the first three years of ownership, rather than the six demanded previously. The capped pricing will be transferrable when the car is sold, making second-hand Mazdas more appealing.

Using recommended service intervals, average usage and stated pricing, the new Mazda3 Neo 2.0 Auto will cost an owner $5971 over three years, compared to VW Golf VII 1.4 90TSI DSG at $6098, Hyundai i30 Active 1.8 Auto at $5325, Toyota Corolla Ascent 1.8 CVT $6850, Ford Focus LW2 2.0 Auto $6700 and Holden Cruze Equipe 1.8 Auto $6823.

We asked a representative of Mazda Australia when current owners of Mazda vehicles might be able to ignore the mandatory six month servicing and revert to a kilometre-based schedule without putting their warranties at risk. He was not particularly forthcoming, but suggested current owners should “discuss the issue with their Mazda service manager”. We did just that and the service manager for a leading Adelaide Mazda dealer recommended moving to a kilometre-based schedule as soon as we like.

Practical Motoring would strongly advise current Mazda owners make it clear to their service manager that the mandatory six months service program is now a matter of choice and in future you will be following Mazda’s own, revised, recommendations that your vehicle be serviced at 10,000km or every 12 months (whichever comes first; vehicles travelling less than 5000km per year should be serviced annually, regardless of mileage).

We’ll be interested to hear about your experiences with Mazda service managers and their responses. We suspect Mazda will be hard pressed to argue rejection of warranty claims on the basis of owners no longer following the six-monthly service procedure, but only if owners have followed the previous six month/10,000km recommendation until now.

Mazda’s capitulation leaves only Subaru of the top 10-selling brands in Australia not to offer capped price servicing.


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