17 Years Ago Today : Car Carrier Capsized At Sea Forcing Mazda To Destroy All 4,703 Cars Onboard

17 Years Ago Today : Car Carrier Capsized At Sea Forcing Mazda To Destroy All 4,703 Cars Onboard

17 Years Ago Today : Cargo ship, Cougar Ace, capsized at sea forcing  Mazda to destroy all 4,703 vehicles onboard.

Mazda turned down options to donate or even sell the recovered 4,703 vehicles out of safety concerns.

The Japanese brand said : “We certainly didn’t save any money crushing,”. “What we saved was our reputation.”

It’s been 17 years ago today since a freighter, the Cougar Ace, carrying about 4,703 brand new Mazda cars and a handful of other vehicles from Japan to Vancouver, B.C.⁠ sank in the Pacific.

After spending weeks on the high seas, leaning at approximately 60 degrees, the freighter was eventually righted in an operation that cost the life of one of the team members.

17 Years Ago Today : Car Carrier Capsized At Sea Forcing Mazda To Destroy All 4,703 Cars Onboard - autojosh

Having saved the cars, Mazda turned down options to donate or even sell the recovered vehicles to auto repair schools, but instead destroyed all 4,703 cars out of safety concerns.

Mazda said : “We certainly didn’t save any money crushing,”. “What we saved was our reputation.”

17 Years Ago Today : Car Carrier Capsized At Sea Forcing Mazda To Destroy All 4,703 Cars Onboard - autojosh

17 Years Ago Today : Car Carrier Capsized At Sea Forcing Mazda To Destroy All 4,703 Cars Onboard - autojosh

17 Years Ago Today : Car Carrier Capsized At Sea Forcing Mazda To Destroy All 4,703 Cars Onboard - autojosh

Then, the Japanese automaker was worried about getting sued someday if, to say, an air-bag failed to fire properly during a crash due to overexposure to salty sea air.

Initially Mazda said only 68 cars were damaged in the crash due to either slipping their moorings or rolling into other vehicles, but it eventually decided to crush all 4,700+ vehicles.

17 Years Ago Today : Car Carrier Capsized At Sea Forcing Mazda To Destroy All 4,703 Cars Onboard - autojosh

17 Years Ago Today : Car Carrier Capsized At Sea Forcing Mazda To Destroy All 4,703 Cars Onboard - autojosh

Before the vehicles were loaded one by one into an overbuilt portable crusher, Mazda carefully render each part inoperable, cutting all four wheels in half, shred the cars, and recycle the steel, probably into new cars.

The vehicles being shipped, which includes 2,804 Mazda 3s, 1329 CX-7s, 295 MX-5s, 214 RX-8s, 56 Mazda 5s, and 5 Mazdaspeed 6s, were worth about $103 million back then.

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