PORTLAND, Ore. — “Fire in the hole!” shouts Ron Hoodenpyle, covering his ears and stepping away from a brand-new Mazda 3 he just wired with special detonators. Suddenly, all six of the car’s airbags explode at once.
Within hours the metallic blue sedan will be drained, gutted, squished and shredded — one of thousands to meet the same fate here. The cars are so new, most don’t even have 10 miles on the odometer.
Auto makers usually try to find the best way to build new vehicles. These days, Mazda Motor Corp. is busy figuring out how to most efficiently destroy them.