There is only one thing I hate about My Supercharged Miata

Mine 2016 Supercharged MX-5 Miata It is without a doubt the best car I have ever owned. He’s landing on top by virtue of being under 15 and It doesn’t look broken somehow. The dynamics that hit the world and the open-ended excitement make it even better. But there’s still one flaw that drives me crazy: the seat belt ringing.

Since I’m an adult capable of making quick risk assessments, I never have to worry about hearing any other car ring. If for a while I forget to put my seat belt on at first, it’s one chime and I’ll make it through in a second. I don’t have to be told twice. In my Miata though, I’ve heard enough that the sound activates something fundamental inside me. Because, in a carefully thought-out car, that’s the one thing Mazda has overlooked.

The problem is not with the resonance itself, but with the sensor that activates it. Like most cars, the car is programmed to chime if it detects a passenger in the driver or passenger seat. The detection is handled by a weight sensor, which will also deactivate the passenger airbag for lightweight passengers for whom the airbags are not designed. However, the exact weight does not seem to affect the computer that activates the resonance. Alternatively, if it detects weight — apparently any weight that could put appreciable pressure on the seat — the bell goes off. This means that any item on the passenger seat is likely to trigger it.

This wouldn’t be a problem if there were other places to put things close at hand, as in most cars and even some Miatas. For the NC generation, Mazda experimented with plush accessories like fixed cup holders and even a glove box. The company soon realized that such lavish touches were seen as unjustified, and thus both were eliminated from the ND cabin. There’s a phone display indent in front of the transmission about half as deep as the phone, a “center console” that doesn’t fit my wallet nor my phone, pockets in the door the size of an AirPods case, and two movable cup holders that can swap between two locations. Neither mode can reliably restrain the phone during normal city driving.

I hate driving and things in my pocket, because they usually fall off, so I put my wallet in the door pocket and my keys in the phone-shaped indent. This leaves no room for the phone, so I just throw it on the seat. Resonance.

I put my phone in the door card and it’s not big enough to keep it from flying across the cab when turning and dropping my wallet on the seat. Resonance. Usually, but sometimes not. A bag of junk food or a protein bar occasionally slips under her radar, but a book, soda bottle, or bottle of sunscreen will always trigger her. Getting away with a backpack or pizza in an untethered seat is a ridiculous fantasy.

No other car I’ve driven lately has such a harmonious resonance. It’s very sensitive, although I’m sure testing cars with things on the seats isn’t official policy, it’s amazing that Mazda didn’t find this flaw by chance and modify it. While seated, the ND1 Miata—my car and 2018 press car that I own—doesn’t stop beeping unless it buckles and runs dry with the seat belt buckled across the seat no occupant is sitting on. Then, when you pick up a passenger, you can be sure he’s dealing with unnecessary inconvenience, too.

This is, of course, a minor complaint. But I’m not the only one who hates it. Several people across Miata.net and Reddit have pointed out this issue. The only solution anyone offers is to buckle the seat even when it’s empty or buy an anti-tuning accessory to shove it into the seat belt slot, preventing occupants from being able to physically fasten the seat without removing it.

This seems to be the biggest oversight in the ND1 Miata design process that speaks volumes about how good the Mazda team is. And if you doubt their commitment to making the perfect sports car after reading this, I have good news that might bring you back. According to my owner’s ND2 sources, Mazda fixed the resonance for the Miata’s mid-cycle refresh.