2019 Mazda Mazda 3 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Steering, collision avoidance, electrical and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 Mazda Mazda 3 comes in both a sedan and hatchback format, both of which are quite popular with today’s driver. When discussing this model, the automaker claims “craftsmanship meets emotion.” This slogan does get one thing right, there are a lot of emotions, but many of them aren’t good. Dealing with a faulty electrical system, forward collision avoidance system, structure, engine and steering is proving to be too much.

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Problems with the Electrical System

The Mazda 3 is supposed to include high-tech features, but the electrical system seems to be causing more problems than it solves.

One Edmunds review states, “After 2 weeks the Bluetooth no longer worked, on 2 occasions now the brakes slammed on all on their own almost getting me rear ended and now owning it for only 9 months and 3000 miles – it would not start.”

The problems go even deeper. Service Bulletin #SA-054-20b talks about how the engine might not start because of a low voltage issue. What is Mazda’s response to this? The bulletin tells dealers to “inform the customer that Mazda is actively investigating this issue and apologizes for any inconvenience.” Imagine the emotions that come from this response.

2019 Mazda Mazda 3 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train
Fuel/propulsion System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Air Bags

Problems with the Forward Collision Avoidance

Today’s modern driver-assist software is meant to keep people safe, but Mazda’s defective systems are causing more trouble.

Here’s another Edmunds review. “Let’s start with the emergency braking which went off without cause an hour after I drove the car out of the show room. After this continued every day for two weeks I decided there must be something wrong with the car and it was also becoming very dangerous. I brought the car in and they told me nothing was wrong with the car only to find out a week later the car had been recalled for that exact issue.”

To back this information up, there is a massive recall worth looking at. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V907000 says that the Smart Brake System can detect an obstacle that doesn’t exist, which makes the automatic emergency braking system to stop the vehicle. If this happens in the middle of the road, it can lead to an accident. One thing is for sure – no one will have to wonder what “emotion” the driver behind the car thinks about this situation. If there isn’t a rear-end accident, the driver will be sure to motion with a finger gesture.

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Problems with the Vehicle Structure

In the same review mentioned above, the customer also talks about a structure-related issue.

This Edmunds user states, “The passenger door always getting stuck.”

However, the structure concerns go even deeper than this. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V558000 says that the adhesive on the rearview mirror might detach from the housing because the wrong adhesive was used. There’s another recall to mention, NHTSA Campaign Number 19V514000 talks about the seat cover material affecting the head restraint lock release button, causing this lock to stick. If an owner has a loose head restraint, there could be more serious injuries during an accident. Overall, it’s evident that Mazda “craftsmanship” has gone down the tubes.

Problems with the Vehicle Engine

What could be more important than a properly working engine? Mazda customers would argue that this is the most critical component, but it’s not working right.

Here is an NHTSA complaint to examine. “Car lulls/jerks when accelerating from low speeds. Car lacks power most of the time and performs poorly. Engine loses power, several occurrences of what would appear to be Limp Mode (can’t get passed 2000-3000) RPMs. Car has erratic idle RPMs, sometimes high and sometimes low. I’ve recently heard the engine roar while idling and hissing from the engine bay when shutting off the engine.”

This list of engine problems can’t get much larger, but there is something missing. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V497000 states that over 260,000 vehicles have the wrong software installed in the powertrain control module (PCM) that could cause the engine to stall. Just in case the other problems don’t cause the vehicle to quit while driving, this one is sure to aid in the cause. Imagine the emotion when stalled in the middle of a highway with a tractor-trailer driving up behind the car. It would be interesting to see how many owners have nearly peed their pants because of fear while driving this Mazda car.

Problems with the Steering

One final system to look at is the steering. Without a properly-working steering system, the car will be all over the road, which is precisely what’s happening.

Here is another NHTSA review. “I was on my street, a narrow residential street, preparing to back in my garage. In order to do that on this narrow street, I touched the lip of the driveway across the street. Speed well under 3 mph. When I did so, my car suddenly sharply accelerated and at the same time swerved to the right. The acceleration and swerve drove the car into the townhouses across the street from my house. The driveways are very short, barely a car’s length.”

Beyond the steering system, there is a major problem with the wheels that can also lead to an accident. NHTSA Campaign Number 19V425000 states that over 25,000 vehicles might be equipped with loosened lug nuts that could cause the wheel to fall off while driving. While this situation might be seen as humorous on the television, there’s nothing fun about it happening on the street. So, while this review shows that the Mazda 3 hasn’t been made with exceptional “craftsmanship,” it’s easy to agree that it creates plenty of emotion.

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.

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.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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