2022 Mazda 3 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Airbag & Seatbelt Pretensioner issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

well for more than a decade. Starting out with sales of well over 97,000, it tipped 120,000 in 2007 and more than 134,000 in 2012. But since 2019, sales have been falling.

Mazda’s explanation was that they increased prices too much. Reports from 2019 indicate that they believed customers would see the added value that the price increases offered. But it hasn’t improved, and sales continue to drop.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019    2020    2021   

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2022 Mazda 3

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Air Bags
8
Air Bags:srs Malfunction Warning Lamp/light
2
Seat Belts
1
Electrical System
1
Seats
1

By mid-2022, only 14,855 of the 2022 model have been sold.

Another explanation is that consumers no longer go for the once popular hatchback designs, although the 2022 model is also available as a sedan. Nevertheless, it doesn’t explain, or even relate to, the complaints 2022 Mazda3 owners are lodging with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Most Common Problems with the 2022 Mazda3

The only problem 2022 Mazda Mazda3 drivers have bothered to complain about is the airbags. And there are a lot of very unhappy consumers.

There are two major issues. One involves an airbag/seatbelt pretensioner malfunction. The other relates to a notification that reads, “Airbag Malfunction. Have the vehicle inspected.”

We checked the complaints about the 2021 Mazda3 and discovered that airbag malfunctions were an issue then too.

2022 Mazda3 Air Bag Problems

By mid-year, there had been six complaints to the NHTSA about the 2022 Mazda3. Alarmingly, all have been about the vehicle’s airbags. One of the first simply says: “Airbag warning light went on. Found Code B1126:13 Driver Side Airbag deployment. Replaced (the) driver side airbag under warranty.”

Others are more specific, stating the two related malfunctions mentioned above. They are probably closely related, if not the same.

The 2022 Mazda3 was released in the U.S. early in 2022.

Airbag/Seatbelt Pretensioner Malfunction

The first complaint to the NHTSA was in April 2022 from a new owner who purchased the car with 17 miles on the clock.

“After 500 miles on the odometer, (I) began receiving multiple daily warnings through the MyMazda app indicating airbag/seat belt pretensioner malfunction. Subsequently (I) noticed the same warning lit up on the dash while driving for approximately 10 seconds and then (the) light went out.”

This is when the owner discovered a technical service bulletin dated 317/2022 no: 08-001/22 that indicated this as a known problem for Mazda3 vehicles between 2019 and 2022. The bulletin shows a design flaw in the path layout for the wire harness connecting to the side airbag module in the seat back. It recommends modifying the plastic module cover by removing several inches of plastic, several inches of foam padding, and pinning a section of the wire harness to the seat frame with a plastic grommet.

“This is a clear safety hazard concern that should have been addressed before I was allowed to drive the vehicle away from the dealership. Mazda’s position is not to address the issue until they receive a customer complaint. If I had been in an accident I may have been severely injured or killed because of this malfunction.”

A frustrated sedan owner complained about the same issue stating: “I have taken my vehicle to my Mazda dealership a total of 7 times for this same issue ‘Airbag/seatbelt pre tensioner’ and yet to have my car fixed. Every time I take my car into the dealership service they claim the issue has been fixed and it has not been till this day.”

“This issue on the Mazda 3 sedan needs to be investigated as this is a huge safety issue for customers.”

Airbag Malfunction

The “Airbag Malfunction: Have the vehicle inspected” is horribly common. Furthermore, it seems that there is no resolution.

The most recent complaint states that he got the notification after owning the car for two months. The dealer “determined that the airbag was not receiving enough power, which triggered the warning. They replaced the part, and now two months later, I have received the same notification. This problem is persistent, and I have seen in forums that many are having to deal with this issue. Mazda needs to recall the cars to replace the parts with ones that will not cause this type of inconvenience. After all, airbags are a huge part of safety.”

Another owner got the notification when the new car had only about 20 miles on the clock.

“Mazda has a technical service bulletin for this problem (Bulletin no:08-001/22) and states the issue is due to ‘Driver-side air bag module circuit: open circuit or resistance high’. This issue also occurs on the passenger-side airbag. It is a possibility that I could have been in an accident and the side airbag would not function. Or even perhaps the airbag may have had an electrical error and engaged itself while I could have been driving. My local dealership has verified the issue, however, they still have not been able to correct the issue after 8 weeks.”

This owner filed a complaint after driving a loaner vehicle for seven weeks. The reasons:

  1. This issue is so common
  2. It pertains to something crucially important to safety
  3. This is occurring almost immediately after purchase
  4. Mazda does not seem to be able to readily and quickly fix the issue

What to do if your 2022 Mazda3 is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Recurring problems with any vehicle may indicate that it is a lemon. You may not have experienced airbag issues with your 2022 Mazda3, but you may have other problems.

If you believe you have a lemon on your hands, for whatever reason, a legal firm like Lemberg Law can negotiate a settlement with the manufacturer on your behalf. We have negotiated many settlement deals for our clients from trade-ins to buy-backs.

If you need help contact our Helpline and we will assess your problem. The law says Mazda must pay the legal fees of lemon law cases, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Complaint Data

CategoryAir Bags, Seat Belts
DateNov 10, 2022
StateKY
Description
On 8/11/2022, my car indicated a message on my dashboard that said “air bag system malfunction. Have the vehicle inspected.” I also received a safety & security message in my inbox on my app that stated “air bag system and seat belt pre-tensioner system malfunction. Vehicle airbags and seat belt pre-tensioner may not operate correctly in an emergency. Have the vehicle inspected by your dealer.” this message was received multiple times. I called the dealer and they weren't sure what it meant so I took it to them on october 6, I dropped off my car at the dealer. They called me a few hours later and told me that my car was not safe to drive because the airbag and seat belts weren't working. Fortunately they had a rental for me, however, today is 11/10/2022 and I still don't have my car back. They stated that it may take up to 6 weeks to get the parts in. And this dealer has never seen anything like this before.
CategoryAir Bags, Electrical System
DateNov 07, 2022
StateVA
Description
The same or similar issue is described here: https://static. Nhtsa. Gov/odi/tsbs/2022/mc-10209787-0001. Pdf essentially, this issue has to do with the wiring under the seat that is responsible for airbag functioning. Adjusting the seat caused "airbag malfunctioning" alarm/notification to go off on a numerous occasions. Potential risk with this issue is that the airbag may deploy randomly or not deploy at all if collision happens. The vehicle has been inspected by vehicle who is working on the repair. However, the vehicle has been waiting for spare parts for 3 weeks now.
CategoryAir Bags
DateJul 14, 2022
StateCA
Description
I purchased my car on february 5, 2022. After two months and 3000 miles later, I started receiving a notification that reads “airbag malfunction. Have the vehicle inspected.” I took the car to the dealer, and after 6 hours, they determined that the airbag was not receiving enough power, which triggered the warning. They replaced the part, and now two months later, I have received the same notification. This problem is persistent, and I have seen in forums that many are having to deal with this issue. Mazda needs to recall the cars to replace the parts with ones that will not cause this type of inconvenience. After all, airbags are a huge part of safety.
CategoryAir Bags
DateJun 29, 2022
StateVA
Description
Air bag system malfunction mazda3 hatchback preferred package 2022. Current miles: 3911 owned for 6months. Received w/5 miles, I believe.
CategoryAir Bags, Seats
DateJun 21, 2022
StateNC
Description
When adjusting the driver seat, the vehicle began to display "air bag system malfunction. Have the vehicle inspected." this was with roughly 20 total miles on the odometer. It is a new car - mazda3 turbo sedan 2022. After researching online, this is a very common problem with new mazda3s and there are many customers with the exact same issue. The customers have also made complaints to the nhtsa. Mazda has a technical service bulletin for this problem (bulletin no:08-001/22) and states the issue is due to "driver-side air bag module circuit: open circuit or resistance high". This issue also occurs on the passenger-side air bag. It is a possibility that I could have been in an accident and the side airbag would not function. Or even perhaps the air bag may have had an electrical error and engaged itself while I could have been driving. My local dealership has verified the issue, however, they still have not been able to correct the issue after 8 weeks. So I have had to use a loaner for 7 weeks now. In summary, I'm filing a complaint because 1)this issue is so common 2)it pertains to something crucially important to safety 3)this is occurring almost immediately after purchase 4)mazda does not seem to be able to readily and quickly fix the issue.
CategoryAir Bags, Air Bags:srs Malfunction Warning Lamp/light
DateJun 10, 2022
StateFL
Description
Hello, I bought my 2022 mazda 3 sedan in february of 2022. I've had my car for a total of 5 months. From the very first month I bought my car I've had problems with the “air bag / seat belt pre tensioner.” I have seen this issue appear on my dashboard as well as my mazda app to give me warnings numerous times I can't keep track. I have taken my vehicle to my mazda dealership a total of 7 times for this same issue “air bag/seatbelt pre tensioner” and yet to have my car fixed. Every time I take my car into the dealership service they claim the issue has been fixed and it has not been till this day. I decided to do my own research on my vehicle and seen so many complaints throughout the internet regarding the same issue on my model 3 sedan. These issues have been happening from previous models of the company vehicles. The service department and corporate are well aware of my issue and say I'm not the first customer with this type of complaint. This issue on the mazda 3 sedan needs to be investigated as this is a huge safety issue for customers. We shouldn't have to pay the price as the buyer. Thank you
CategoryAir Bags
DateMay 17, 2022
StateNC
Description
Air bag warning light went on. Found code b1126:13 driver side airbag deployment. Replaced driver side air bag under warranty.
CategoryAir Bags, Air Bags:srs Malfunction Warning Lamp/light
DateApr 23, 2022
StateNY
Description
Purchased vehicle new at dealership april 15th 2022 w/ 17 miles on the odometer. After 500 miles on the odometer, began receiving multiple daily warnings through the mymazda app indicating airbag/seat belt pretensioner malfunction. Subsequently noticed the same warning lit up on the dash while driving for approximately 10 seconds and then light went out. Discovered technical service bulletin dated 317/2022 no: 08-001/22 indicating this a known problem for mazda 3 vehicles between 2019 and 2022. Showing design flaw in path layout for wire harness connecting to side airbag module in seat back. Recommends modifying plastic module cover by removing several inches of plastic, several inches of foam padding, and pinning section of wire harness to steal seat frame with plastic grommet. This is a clear safety hazard concern that should have been addressed before I was allowed to drive the vehicle away from the dealership. Mazda's position is not to address the issue until they receive a customer complaint. If I had been in an accident I may have been severely injured or killed because of this malfunction.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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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