2020 Mazda CX-5 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Wheels, electrical system and brake issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Crossover SUVs have become a very popular segment in America. The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is praised as being “poised under pressure,” but owners tend to disagree. From the faulty electrical system to the malfunctioning service brakes and defective wheels, this vehicle only seems to put people in danger.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2021   2022

Problems with the Electrical System

Here’s just one example from Edmunds. “The computer issues started.  Weekly they got worse until they are now a daily issue.  The problems are random- suddenly the dash goes dark, Sirius not available, car won’t unlock, car won’t lock, message that the cruise control is not available under 20 mpg flashes while I’m driving at 40 mph etc.  I could go on and on.  Of course the dealership service department tells me there is nothing wrong so the 2nd time I put in (my brand new car of 3 months,) I gave them a memory card with numerous videos and pictures. Received the dumb broad act for that.  They get one more chance to fix this before I invoke the Lemon Law.”

Don’t let Mazda fool anyone. The company is fully aware of many electrical problems. One such instance is illustrated with Service Bulletin #SA-049-20, which talks about how the engine might not start because of a parasitic drain and low battery voltage. However, instead of offering a fix, the company can only say, “Mazda is aware of the issue and is working on a solution.” A lot of good that does for customers that are waiting to get to work, but have a dead battery instead.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Air Bags
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Fuel/propulsion System

Brake Problems

On the flip side of being able to start the vehicle, it’s also imperative that the SUV stops. For this to happen, the brakes must be in optimal working condition, but they are not.

Another Edmunds review states, “I’m a mechanic/auto enthusiast and have owned about 30 cars in my life. The 2019 cx-5 was the first time I bought a brand new car. At 12,000 I had to bring it in for service due to all four calipers sticking. Mazda said they just need grease due to them being improperly grease to begin with and set me on my way. Now at 23,000 I’m back with same problem and need rotors, pads and calipers. Mazda says it all comes out of my pocket and its due to the weather elements. Now out of all the cars I’ve had and work on…..normally pads go at least 35,000. I personally have never had to change sooner than 50,000. I’m blown away by this and going to make hit Avenue possible to let everyone know about this.”

Yet again, Mazda is fully aware of problems, even talking about brake dragging, juddering and other noises with Service Bulletin #SA-019-20. Driving the CX-5 is like having a one-man band on the street. Who knows what sounds will come out of it next?

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Problems with the Wheels

Finally, customers are put in danger simply because of the wheels and further defects.

This next story from an NHTSA complaint is alarming. “After picking up a brand new car from Mazda dealership, I was returning home using a 3-lane I-75 highway, as always extremely busy. To stay in this traffic I was forced to drive at 70 mph, which is the local speed limit. It turns out that from the speed of 60 mph up, the car didn’t want to drive in a straight line on its own and required continuous steering wheel corrections. This created a hazardous driving condition considering the fact that the adjacent lanes were packed up with other vehicles. Upon arrival, I examined the tires installed on the car and found them to be M+S Toyo A36 – the type used for mud and snow conditions, typically in cold climates. The irony is I live in South-Central Florida, the dealership is also in South-Central Florida, and the new Mazda cars were shipped from the producer to the Jacksonville Port in Florida for the local markets. Thus, while perfectly acceptable in Montana or Michigan, this type of M+S tire is just dangerous when used on hot, South-Central FL interstate highways. I contacted the Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) asking for replacing the type of tires on my car and pointing to the fact that Mazda Japan specifies a different, safer type (tread and compound) of tires for their own markets. The MNAO answer was in essence: ‘One Size Fits All.'”

Sadly, the company has other issues to deal with when it comes to manufacturing. Even Service Bulletin #09-008-20-3675 talks about how the roof, trunk and hood might become stained. This is due to the RAPGARD removal and a chemical reaction that occurs in colder climates. Moisture apparently gets trapped between the paint and the RAPGARD, leading to damage to the brand new vehicles. It’s good that the CX-5 claims to be “poised under pressure,” because it seems there will be a lot of it coming from unhappy customers.

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
  • Joe B

    Mazda 2019 cx5 was the first brand new car I ever bought. I am an engineer that has always done all the work on my 20 plus cars in the past. I have never had more unnecessary problems with a car in my life. The brake system is total garbage. Had to replace calipers brakes and rotors at 25000 miles…..out of pocket. Had the hood repainted cuz was flaking off. Tires were absolute garage. Had no control in the snow and even wet roads….eventually crash…..different tires worked great!

  • PH

    Bought mazda 2020 cx5 grand touring in Feb 2021. It is still under warranty. In August the following occured. All USB ports stopped charging including cigarette charger, auto windshield wipers stopped working, auto lights stopped working, seems like distance set between drivers is decreasing on its own. I have at max distance setting. I do see some spotting on hood which i need to investigate further.(based on painting complaint I read about) Dealership has my vehicle now. I am concerned because they told me they do not do diagnostic tests just go by my list (that threw up a big red flag. I know that costs them extra money). I called back for progress update. I told them another dealer does diagnostic. I was then told they did a diagnostic test. Ill ask for report later. I had called another dealership and they said they absolutely do diagnostics. I am going to follow up with other dealer as I am not confident in this dealer.

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