2021 Mazda 3 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Collision avoidance & electrical issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Mazda3, introduced as a 2004 model, is a success story. The brand’s best-selling model, it won the 2019 Women’s World Car of the Year and the Women’s World Family Car of the Year awards. In 2020, it also won the World Car Design of the Year award.

The 2021 model, which has been available in the U.S. since the fall of 2020, introduced the new Mazda3 2.5 Turbo. An additional 2 new powertrains were also introduced along with other new features.

But even award-winners have problems. There are currently 8 complaints highlighting 12 problems with the  U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There are also 174 manufacturer communications on file that bring faults, failures, and any other issues to the attention of dealers.

There are 12 complaints on file for the award-winning 2020 together with 2 recalls and 312 manufacturer communications. A total of 138 of these relate to equipment issues and 124 to the electrical system. The same categories top the list of manufacturer-identified problems for the 2021 model. With 77 equipment communications and 68 that relate to the electrical system.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2020   2022   2023   

Most Common Problems

Of the 8 consumer complaints listed by NHTSA so far, electrical problems top the list. Forward-collision avoidance issues are a close second, followed by land departure problems. There are also another 3 problems highlighted that involve airbags, brakes, and vehicle speed control.

In all, there are 12 problems highlighted, but some double up within the 8 complaints filed. We are going to look at the top 3 issues more closely.

2021 Mazda 3 Complaint Summary

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

Problems with the Electrical System

Of the 4 complaints that cite the electrical system as a problem, 2 report fires. Both vehicles reportedly burst into flames spontaneously while parked.

One caught fire in a parking lot. The other was on a flatbed truck because it had a flat tire and there wasn’t a replacement available and was being towed back to the owner’s residence. Both complainants were waiting for further information.

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Mazda pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

Forward Collision Avoidance Problems

One of the forward-collision avoidance problems was also listed as an electrical system problem. “The passenger side blind spot warning functions sporadically. It sometimes detects vehicles and sometimes does not while driving at the same speed.”

Another of the 3 complaints about forward-collision avoidance blames the smart brake system that “slams on brakes unnecessarily, while driving.” According to the complaint, the dealer maintains this feature cannot be disabled.

The third complaint describes two incidents during a short 25-minute drive. It is also listed as a brake issue.

The statement says the car hard-braked automatically both times.

The first time, “I had not touched the brake and I was driving straight and not veering. It was very sudden,” and jerked the driver in the seat.

The second time the driver was traveling at about 35 mph. There were two lanes and the car was in the left lane. No vehicles were in front or behind the car. Then the same thing happened.

“I did not have my foot on the brake at all, and had not veered at all and was driving straight. The brakes automatically came on suddenly in a very hard brake, resulting again in a sudden complete stop.”

Problems with Lane Departure

There are 2 lane departure problems in reports, one of which is combined with an electrical system complaint mentioned above.

The second is linked to a forward-collision avoidance problem. The complainant states, “The error code “B14FO-76 FORWARD SENSING CAMERA DEVIATION – WRONG MOUNTING POSITION” was discovered and verified when the vehicle was in for a rockchip repair to the windshield.

The complaint responds to the forward sensing camera deviation (FSC) issue. It states, “There were no warning messages nor lights to alert the driver as to the improper installation/mounting of this device. There has been no known modification or obstruction of the FSC”.

Furthermore, this is an issue that “affects multiple safety systems of this vehicle, which affects the safety of the vehicle’s passengers as well as everyone’s safety around the vehicle every time it is driven. There’s no telling what injury and damage may occur from errant un-commanded driving tasks such as emergency braking and faulty lane departure corrections.”

There are a couple of issues that relate to the FSC mentioned in the manufacturer communications. But these don’t appear to be related to this complaint. Instead, they relate to a poor field of view and low visibility.

What to do if your 2021 Mazda3 is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Do you think you’ve bought a lemon? If your Mazda3 has persistent problems that keep recurring, it might be a lemon, especially if they relate to the brakes, transmission, or the engine. Electrical problems would also rank negatively.

But don’t just think about it. Call our Helpline so we can investigate and advise you.

Lemberg Law specializes in lemon law and we know what to look for. Options we negotiate include cash settlements, replacement cars, buybacks, and trade-ins. Circumstances differ, which is why we invite you to contact us for help. It won’t cost you anything because the law insists Mazda must pay legal fees for lemon cases.

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

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation from Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.
By submitting above, I agree to the privacy policy and terms and consent to be contacted by an agent via phone call or text message at the phone number(s) listed above, including wireless number(s).