Mazda Motor Corporation is to scrap all 4,703 US- and Canada-bound vehicles from the car-carrying vessel, Cougar Ace, which nearly capsized off the Aleutian Islands in late July.

"After thorough testing by engineers from our North American and Japanese R&D centres, we decided the most appropriate course of action - with our customers foremost in mind - was not to sell any of the 4,703 Mazdas aboard the ship," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, based in Irvine, California.

The Cougar Ace sat listing at more than 60 degrees for nearly a month after a ballast transfer incident at sea, before it could be towed to the Port of Portland, Oregon, for repairs and to have its cargo off-loaded.

O'Sullivan added that although some of the cars aboard the Cougar Ace showed little or no visible damage from being tied-down at severe angles for an extended period, the potential for future problems led the company to reconsider its initial decision to sell any of the vehicles as used.

A Mazda US spokesman in California last week declined to comment further on the shipping incident to just-auto, saying that an announcement was imminent.

The company had said last September it might sell repairable vehicles as used through its dealer network and published the VIN numbers of all affected vehicles on its US consumer web site.