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When the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hit in the early months of 2020, the economic shockwave that it created was enormous. In those first months, many companies did what they could to help, including car manufacturers who offered payment relief to struggling customers. Some of these same manufacturers, such as Mazda and Toyota, are offering relief to a different set of customers who are going through some very tough times due to Hurricane Ida and other tropical storms. 

Car company services during the coronavirus pandemic

A Mazda Financial Services plaque
Mazda Financial Services plaque | MAZDA NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS

Before Hurricane Ida, when the coronavirus outbreak caused a series of lockdowns in March of 2020, numerous vehicle manufacturers stepped up to help customers in big and small ways. As CNET reported, many companies, including Hyundai, GM, and Ford, offered relief in various forms. Financial assistance offered included deferred payments, zero percent financing, some monthly payments covered by the company, and more. 

Other forms of relief and assistance were even more creative. For example, General Motors activated OnStar for all its customers, whether or not they had opted into the program. This allowed customers to receive emergency assistance during a time in our nation’s history when they were particularly likely to need it. GM also offered owners complimentary Wi-Fi data for three months to help them stay connected during lockdown. 

Additionally, there was Mazda’s Essential Car Program, which originally offered free standard oil changes and enhanced car cleaning services for U.S. health care workers and, as of August 2021, was extended to educators as well. The program for educators provides a free standard oil change, inspection, and interior and exterior vehicle cleaning for education professionals of all types and at all levels.  Educators do not need to be Mazda owners to take advantage of the services.

Mazda and Toyota are now giving breaks to victims of Hurricane Ida

Speaking of Mazda, it has now begun a relief program to help another group of people who have gone through tough times of late: victims of Hurricane Ida who the storm may have dislocated. Inside Mazda has explained that any customer of Mazda Financial Services in the designated disaster areas is eligible to apply for relief. Forms of assistance include extensions and deferred lease payments, redirected billing statements, and help with arranging phone or online payments.

Toyota has also stepped up to help its customers impacted by Hurricane Ida. Toyota owners living in designated disaster areas can receive extensions and lease deferred payments, redirecting billing statements, and phone or online payment options. 

Mazda is also offering relief to victims of Hurricane Henri

Hurricane Ida wasn’t the only storm to impact the States in recent months. In August, Henri walloped the East Coast as well. According to the Associated Press, it knocked out power to some 140,000 homes and caused a great deal of flooding

To show support for customers impacted by the storm, Mazda has offered assistance similar to those it made regarding victims of Hurricane Ida. Saying that “Mazda Financial Services cares about the safety and well-being of its customers and wants to help those suffering from this natural disaster,” the company offered extensions and lease deferred payments, redirected billing statements, and online or phone payment options to those in the declared disaster area. 

As disasters hit the United States in various forms, it’s reassuring to know that many companies are willing to work with customers who have been particularly impacted. While they’re certainly hoping to gain some positive publicity out of their initiatives, ultimately, it’s the customers who benefit. 


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