Mazda Motor president Masamichi Kogai has apologised to the victims of a test drive crash and said the company would redouble efforts to ensure safety of its vehicles.

In a reference to an incident in Japan involving a collision avoidance system demonstration, he said: "Giving safety top priority, we will take further safety steps," Jiji News reported.

Earlier this month, a CX-5 with automatic braking unexpectedly crashed into a fence at a test driving event held by a local dealership in Fukaya, Saitama Prefecture, leaving the driver and a passenger injured.

The automaker subsequently cancelled test drives of models with the same safety system at the Tokyo show where Kogai apologised for causing trouble to many people and wished early recovery to the injured people.

After the media briefing, a Mazda official said the accident was unlikely to hurt the automaker's sales though the cause of the accident had yet to be identified.

Kogai said Mazda had received over 10,000 advance orders for the new Axela (3) compact since orders opened on 10 October. Monthly sales target is 3,000 units but it should be noted that such large initial orders are commonly reported in Japan.

The car was launched in Japan on Thursday, 21 November.

Mazda would also build the 3 at its new plant in Mexico (from January) and existing plants in Thailand and China, Kogai said.

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