2018 Mazda MX-5 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Windshield cracking, vehicle structure and electrical issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners


2018 Mazda MX-5

The 2018 Mazda MX-5 continues a long line of iconic sports car heritage and has a dedicated following. Even the newest lineup claims to be the “roadster that made the mold and broke it.” Sadly, many of the loyal customers are jumping ship with this model. Between the poor visibility, faulty electrical system and defective structure, this roadster isn’t what it once was.

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Problems with the Windshield Cracking

Behind the wheel of this sports car, it’s expected that the driver would have an unobstructed view of what’s ahead, yet defects with the windshield seem to prohibit this.

Here’s one example from the Miata Forum. “I do what I can to protect my car from rocks. I keep two trucks worth of distance from big trucks and never drive close to any cars. And yet, I keep getting tiny rocks chipping the windshield from what feels like nowhere. A couple of months into ownership I got a trio of chips and tiny scratches (smaller than a quarter of a fingernail) a few inches from the center of my line of sight, definitely close enough to be constantly distracting, especially with the constant sunny summer weather. Visibility was not impaired, but I found myself unable not to keep noticing them, my focus turning on them over and over again. It drove me crazy. They were so small there was no repairing them. I bit the bullet, got the windshield replaced for $1,200. Yikes. Very happy with the results, I started being even more careful since. Even bigger distances, changing lanes to never be behind a truck. And I was lucky for a few months. But then, in the span of a month, 3 rock chips, tiny enough to be but a white dot from the inside, but right in my line of sight (one literally right in front of my eyes, dead straight). I find myself frustrated, defeated. I love this car with all my heart, and I trust the company I used to replace it again and do a great job, but am I really going to go through 2 windshield replacements a year? Am I supposed to just budget 2.5k a year on windshield replacements just to keep myself from being constantly distracted by shiny glimmering white dots in my line of vision?”

The windshield isn’t the only concern; Mazda has also discussed trouble with the power windows. Service Bulletin #09-045-18-3530 states that the windows might not move or fall down into the door. This problem is caused by a damaged power window motor due to water infiltrating the area through the molding. To correct the problem, Mazda had to remake the shape of the glass to prevent water from entering into the electronics. In this case, the automaker was completely truthful in stating that it broke the mold. Apparently, its mold couldn’t even stop water from entering.

Problems with the Electrical System

The MX-5 might be small, but there are still plenty of electrical components required to keep everything running smoothly. When this system fails, customers become more than just inconvenienced.

Here’s a comment left on the Miata Forum. “So I often got out and start my car when it’s cold and let it run for a few minutes. Today I went out and unlocked it (key in pocket) started it and got out and closed the door (key still in pocket). Grabbed the mail put it in the house and then went to get back in the car. The door won’t unlock, tried both keys, tried putting the key in the door and holding it either direction, tried the buttons on the keys, tried the passenger door, nothing. The trunk however will unlock fine by hitting the button by the license plate but not the fob button. I went and got a new battery for the fob and no luck. The car and fobs are only a year old and the lights on the fob light up. I can see on the dash that even with the keys on the other side of the house it doesn’t have the red key missing icon. Talked to Mazda for an hour and they had no ideas other than what I tried. Currently waiting on road side service to come out and hopefully get the door open been sitting there idling for 2 hours and the fuel gauge hasn’t moved. I’ll also note that I’ve done this 100+ times before with no issue but now this one time I’m kind of screwed.”

What a messed up situation this owner finds himself in. Sadly, it’s not the only error with this car that causes massive problems. Look at NHTSA Campaign Number 19V072000 that states faulty transmission software can lead to an abrupt downshift. This recall affects more than 14,000 vehicles and poses a safety risk. To repair the issue, the automaker must re-program the Transmission Control Module. In the meantime, the MX-5 does more than just break the mold; it could also be responsible for breaking a few necks when downshifting too hard.

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

The Mazda MX-5 has earned a reputation with consumers of being reliable and sporty looking, but what happens when the structure can’t hold up. That’s precisely what’s happening with the 2018 models.

One NHTSA complaint states, “Started from creak noise as car starts to move, accelerate or stop. Now it developed to some ticking noise every time the car accelerates or decelerates. The car is only at about 9700 miles. Went to [dealer] to inspect the car. They said it is normal and come back when it gets worse.”

It’s pretty bad when the dealer is turning away a customer, telling them to expect the noises to get worse. But that’s not all. Service Bulletin #09-011-19-3567 also talks about rust on the front door quarter glass guide near the door beltline molding. It appears that the area is being damaged by vibration during driving and requires a spacer installation to prevent the rubbing. At this point, it might be wise for Mazda to create an entirely new mold and start over.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon 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.

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