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Is there an allowable tolerance for the fitment of the aluminium tray on my 2020 Mazda BT-50?

Asked by Jason

I have just recently purchased a 2020 Freestyle cab-chassis Mazda BT-50 fitted with an aluminium tray through the dealer. The right-hand side of the tray was 35mm higher than the left when looking from the rear. It was returned to the dealer to rectify and was then returned approximately 15mm higher. The dealer said this is normal and inside the tolerances, which apparently allow up to 20mm difference.

The dealer even suggesting that the fuel tank being on the left-hand side would contribute to the problem. However, an empty or full tank seems to make no difference. Since the rectification, the tray is now returning to the 35mm difference as before. Is this something that is normally seen? Or should this be more level then it is? I have had three other trade utes and have never seen this issue before.

Answered by CarsGuide

15 Sep 2020 David Morley

I never cease to be amazed at the rubbish some car dealers resort to dipstick explain faults with their products. As far as I know, there is no allowable `tolerance’ for a brand-new aluminium tray to be out of whack. Nor should there be one; if a manufacturer can’t build a tray that is square and true in 2020, it really should be in another industry.

The other puzzling thing is that the tray on your car was re-set to 15mm out of whack and seems to be gradually returning to its original 35mm discrepancy. There are a few possible causes here. One would be that the tray itself is twisted and doesn’t sit square on the vehicle. The second is that the vehicle is somehow bent and won’t line up with the tray and its mounting points. Perhaps there’s a problem with the vehicle’s suspension that is sitting one side of the ute higher than the other. That could be a broken or faulty spring, a damaged shock absorber, a worn suspension bush or maybe a tyre that is a different size to the other three. But those are all pretty crazy suggestions in the context of a brand-new vehicle.

I actually contacted an aluminium-tray manufacturer to be told that in some cases, the vehicle’s cabin and chassis will not be aligned precisely from the factory. In that case, the tray would be fitted to visually line-up with the cabin so that the truck looks `right’ to the eye. Even then, this condition is very uncommon and, either way, 35mm is too far out to be considered anything like acceptable. The specialist I spoke with was confident that, in your case, Jason, the tray is simply incorrectly fitted and needs to be removed and fitted properly. Make it the dealer’s problem. One other thing is for sure, too; it’s not the location of the fuel tank that is causing this problem.

Further to that, Mazda Australia has weighed in and confirmed that there’s no tolerance involved but that the problem would be an easy fix at a Mazda dealership. Your best bet is to contact Mazda’s customer service hotline on 1800 034411.

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