Sunday 3 November 2013

Mazda Digital Service Record

Roadster Service History
From July 2006 Mazda introduced a digital service records (DSR) system for all new models. In an age where a "full service history" can be easily and convincingly fabricated, having the manufacturer store service records electronically is supposed to offer a more secure method of tracking your car's maintenance. The system is designed to prevent the cover up of mechanical neglect and abuse and protect future owners from fraud.

Mazda says:

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The Mazda way

Conventionally, car services are tracked and stamped in a paper booklet. We at Mazda have developed the Digital Service Record system – a secure online database, where your entire service history is stored. We provide this with every vehicle we’ve registered since July 2006. Why do we do this?

It enhances value

Your Digital Service Record details the services and inspections completed on your car. An up-to-date record enhances your car’s resale value because the buyer can easily check the trustworthy and accurate service history.

It’s secure

If you’re a prospective buyer or looking to sell your Mazda, it’s good to know that the data is securely stored in a central database. This means you don’t have to worry about losing it and more importantly it avoids fraudulent entries. For example, as the Mazda service history includes the current mileage with each service entry, it would be easy to spot an odometer that has been tampered with.

It’s convenient

You will receive Service Reminders that are tailored to your driving patterns to ensure that you don’t miss a due service. When your car has a service, our Mazda Dealers can provide you with an updated printout showing all the items serviced. And if your copy of your Digital Service Record gets damaged or lost you can ask your dealer for a new copy.

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I asked Mazda how the system works and how prospective MX-5 buyers could check the history of a car they were interested in. Their response was:

In order to check the service history a Mazda vehicle you can either call us on 08457 48 48 48 with the registration and VIN number and we can relay over the phone the service history.

Alternatively, we can send you a copy of the service records we hold centrally for a Mazda vehicle, we would need to cover the current customer’s details for data protection reasons however the records will have all service and vehicle details.

I took this to mean that owners should have a printed copy of the DSR and you can either:

Ask the seller for the VIN number and registration of their car and give Mazda a call to run through the service records and mileages with you - they should match up with the printed copy.

Or you could request your own printed copy of the DSR from Mazda which should be fully up to date, but will have the registered owner's details blanked out. Hopefully they will have kept receipts and bills that match up with the work recorded on the DSR.

This does mean that after any work is carried out on the car, Mazda should be notified to update your car's records. The system isn't entirely foolproof as data entry mistakes can be made when recording VIN numbers and you may find your Roadster has suddenly turned into a Mazda 6 on the computer. Despite some shortcomings, I suspect the DSR system works ok for the first few years of a car's life when it's likely to be serviced at a Mazda dealership in accordance with warranty agreements. Later on, when subsequent owners start doing work themselves, service records will probably go back to traditional paper copies.

Independent garages can register to become an authorised user of the Mazda DSR in order to update the records for you. Check with your local friendly garage whether they are on the system and if not, ask them to sign up at the link below:

Mazda DSR Registration