really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,997 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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problem #7

Dec 012014


  • 100,000 miles
Clutch slipping, high rpms, not red lining. Transmission exploded causing engine fire and burning motor and electrical components.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #6

Sep 172014

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I had my mechanic working on replacing a burnt out license plate light when he discovered that the tail lights were not working. He turned the lights off and back on, and the tail lights started working again, turned the lights back off and on again, and the tail lights were back to not working again. He identified the fuse box to be the cause of this issue, as when the tail lights were out, he would hit the fuse box which would then cause the lights to come back on, and he demonstrated this for me. This is a serious safety concern to me and after only a few minutes of internet research I found others were having the exact same issue. I feel very fortunate that I've not been hit from behind. I've called Mazda and they said they were not aware of a known issue and there were no recalls on the part, but I've also learned that this part has been reissued 6 times. This makes me think it has to be a known issue, otherwise why keep modifying the part?

- Appleton, WI, USA

problem #5

Sep 152013


  • 87,000 miles
While driving on the freeway at 65 mph at night, my lower dash (radio, HVAC) and steering wheel controls lighting went out for about ten minutes, and then came back on. This started happening intermittently from that point on, shutting off and coming back on randomly, with the lights being out continuously once for about 30 minutes while driving at night in traffic. The safety concern is that I just discovered the tail lights were also going out at the same time. Indications are that the cause is a defective passenger junction box (pjb). This is a serious safety issue and an unacceptable engineering flaw which appears to affect other drivers of this vehicle model as well. Due to prohibitive cost of jsb replacement and uncertainty of the integrity of that part itself, it may be necessary to install a failsafe independent wiring solution for the brake lights to ensure required reliability

- Rohnert Park, CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 022012

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Issue: All electrical components along with power steering shutting off intermittently while driving. The first instance of this issue happened while turning into a parking lot. As I was making a right turn all the electrical components in my vehicle shut off, along with the power steering. About a second later everything came back on and operating normally. This same issue would happen intermittently, usually when making right turns. There was never enough of a pattern to say that it was happening every week or month, etc. I took vehicle to Mazda dealership and they diagnosed it as battery cables needing to be replaced, after it started happening more frequently a few months later. The issue stopped for a couple months, but then began again. This time it started happening just by tapping on the brakes as well as making a turn. All the electrical on the vehicle would shut off, along with the power steering again; and then it would come back after a second being off. This time it began happening much more frequently, at least a couple of times a week; most recently it happened again and this time my power steering was off for my entire 30 mile drive home from work. I took it again to a different Mazda dealership to have it diagnosed, and this time I was told they needed to change the battery, alternator and power steering pump for starters; but was not guaranteed that would resolve the issue as the techs had never seen this issue before at their site; they say they called their corporate tech line and were advised to replace those items first. I even showed them a video I had taken of this happening in my car one night as I drove around my block in order to document the issue. There is no pattern with regards to speed of vehicle, or whether the engine is cold or has been running for a while, as the issue can happen regardless of any of these conditions.

- Homestead, FL, USA

problem #3

Apr 052012


  • miles
The interior lights around the air conditioner controls were not on, thought it was a short or a blown fuse, planned on checking once returning home that night. However was pulled over by local police dept and told I didn't have any tail lights. Checked all fuses right then, all fuses were good. Drove home with emergency flashers on to avoid being hit. Took the car to the mechanic the next day they checked all fuses and found the fuses were good but found the rear tail lights had blown. Two weeks later the same thing, no lights around air conditioner controls so I immediately got out of the car and discovered no tail lights. Took car back to same mechanic and upon researching he found that this model has problems with the passenger junction box (fuse box) having shorts. Will have to replace the entire junction box and the replacement box is approximately $800. With this being a known problem there should be a recall to replace all passenger junction boxes! I could have had an accident from not having tail lights and not knowing it!!!!!

- Soddy Daisy, TN, USA

problem #2

Jul 202010

(reported on)


  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Letter from congressman van hollen on behalf of constituent re safety problems (random stalling) with his 2004 Mazda3 the consumer went to sears to purchase a battery thinking that was the cause of the random stalling, but was told the battery was fine and it appeared there was an electrical problem, but they were unable to figure out what it was. The consumer then went to the dealer and was told different things were wrong with the vehicle, which was causing it to stall. The consumer paid for the repairs, but weeks later the vehicle stalled again. The consumer also stated the clutch and transmission was replaced.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #1

Sep 202005

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 34,981 miles
Electrical system failure vehicle, Mazda 3 manual, was returned to dealer after airbag recall maintenance was performed. Vehicle's electrical system suffered from many complaints. Service dealership stated that a loose ground wire at one of the fuse panels was the fault. Vehicle's electrical system ran as promised for months until both low-beam headlamps blew at the same time. The dealership has been notified and action will take place. I have experienced several electrical faults in the vehicle and assume many more are to come. Safety was severely compromised. No headlamps at night in a construction zone is very much a problem.

- Oil City, PA, USA