2018 Mazda CX-3 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Wheel, vehicle speed control and electrical issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

No one expects subcompact crossovers to have a lot of room. In fact, part of the charm is the sporty feel that the SUVs, such as the 2018 Mazda CX-3 provide. The automaker claims that the newest lineup allows users to “create your escape,” but most owners are simply looking for the out to switch models. In addition to a lack of space, this Mazda SUV features a malfunctioning electrical system, defective vehicle speed control and shoddy wheels.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2018 Mazda CX-3

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Back Over Prevention
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Vehicle Speed Control

Problems with the Electrical System

The heart of the electrical system is the battery and the alternator, but it runs far deeper than just that. When something breaks in the electrical system, owners face problems with the air conditioning, radio and more.

That’s what this Cars.com reviewer discusses. “I’ve had so many things go wrong with this car. Very disappointing.Poor quality. Air conditioning stopped working. Infotainment system continually restarts in even 1 degree weather. Persistent noise from front end.Shoddy trim. Will likely sell and go back to my trusted Subaru Forester.”

Considering the company has issued more than 60 electrical system bulletins, it’s clear that Mazda doesn’t know what it’s doing. One such example is Service Bulletin #SA-006-19, which talks about certain troubles with the MAZDA CONNECT system. Customers experience random reboots or a blank screen. To figure out the cause, technicians must work through a flow chart. That’s right; there are so many potential causes that Mazda created a flow chart. Instead of creating an “escape” as promised, the manufacturer spent it’s time producing flow charts related to problems because there are too many to count.

Problems with the Vehicle Speed Control

When the gas pedal is pressed, the vehicle should move. On the other hand, letting off the gas and pressing the brake, should stop a vehicle. These are basics that Mazda can’t seem to get right.

One NHTSA complaint states, “I was in a parking ramp, I rounded the corner going up and was pulling into a parking spot, my foot was on the brake and the car accelerated. I lurched forward into a wall of the ramp. It wasn’t raining so pavement and ramp were not wet. The dealer has looked at the car, said they saw brake and gas pedal active at the same time. They said nothing was wrong with the car.”

Despite the long list of electrical-related bulletins, Mazda chose to remain silent on the vehicle speed control issues. Obviously, these can be more deadly than whether or not the radio is working, so it makes sense why the manufacturer wouldn’t want to say anything. Still, owners are struggling to keep this crossover under control, putting them in further risk of injury. When they set out to create an escape, it isn’t through an accident that they hope to get away.

Problems with the Wheels

New cars should be equipped with durable and reliable wheels, as well as other equipment. But that’s not the case with the Mazda CX-3 either.

Just look at what this NHTSA user had to say. “I was sold a vehicle with ‘new’ tires. I’ve only had the vehicle about 6 months and found out the tires were made in 2011 and started to deteriorate so I had to buy actual new tires. I did not have an accident but feel there could have been a tire blowout. Luckily, I had run over a bolt and was trying to get a tire repair when the tire place told me about the bad condition of all four tires. The dealership first did not believe me but when I showed them a picture, they said they can sell tires up to 8 years old as new if they were not previously on a vehicle. I don’t know if that is true but if the tires were starting to dry rot it seems like a bad idea and certainly unethical if not illegal.”

No new car manufacturer should be putting tires this old on a vehicle. It’s a disaster waiting to happen, and a situation that no car owner should have to deal with. Sadly, this isn’t the only concern with the Mazda CX-3. In fact, Service Bulletin #SA-016-19 also discusses warranty claims with a noisy transmission, transfer unit or differentials that actually turn out to be a defective wheel bearing. This problem can lead to popping and grinding sounds as well. Plus, driving with a bad wheel bearing causes vibration and trouble steering, further putting drivers at risk. At this point, most owners do want an “escape,” but it’s from the CX-3. They hope to ditch this lemon and get into something that is actually made the way it should be.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Mazda pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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