2023 Mazda CX-50 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Structure, road noise, and high fuel usage issues are among the top complaints from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is the first vehicle to be manufactured at the new Mazda Toyota manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama. Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) is a $2.3 billion joint venture partnership between Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation.

A press release issued by Mazda on January 26, 2022, states that the plan is to produce 300,000 vehicles every year, half for Mazda and half for Toyota. These CX-50 crossover SUVs are being made specifically for the U.S. market.

Production began in January 2022 and the first SUVs came off the line mid-year. So far, the reviews aren’t shocking, but they aren’t all good. Criticism is varied.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2023 Mazda CX-50

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Power Train

Most Common Problems with the 2023 Mazda CX-50

Rattles, shoddy workmanship, road noise, heavy steering, and complaints that it produces a rough ride are some of the common problems owners of the new 2023 Mazda CX-50 are faced with.

While there are only 4 consumer complaints logged with the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as of October 2022, there are already 52 manufacturer communications. These include technical service bulletins (TSBs) and general advice to dealerships.

There are some harsh reviews on Edmunds as well as in some of the CX-50 forums. Comments on the Mazda CX-50 Facebook group are mixed.

CX-50 Structural Problems

Structure issues top the list of complaints by 2023 Mazda CX-50 owners to the NHTSA. Most relate to shoddy workmanship.

For instance, an Arizona owner complains that the hood is not adequately secured and so it wobbles at all speeds on the road. There is also a loud “clanging metal noise” that comes from the front area of the SUV.

An owner from Rhode Island complains that the fabric lining or insulation below the dashboard is coming out of the seam between the dash and pillars on both sides.

There are 10 manufacturer communications about structure. Examples include:

  • Some customers may report a rattle from the sunroof area.
  • Customers may complain about either rear fender liner (mudguard) hanging down because it is too short to fit into the fender trim.
  • Customers may report excess wind noise from the vehicle and that noise may be coming from the crossbars or that the sunroof will not open because it contacts a crossbar or the load on the cross bars.
  • Some vehicles may exhibit paint peeling on the front bumper.
  • Some customers will report that their fuel door was stuck closed and would not open to refuel the vehicle.

All follow through with instructions on how dealers must deal with these issues. But is this acceptable?

Complaints About Rattles

Technically structure issues, rattles are more an irritation than a performance issue. But when you buy what the manufacturer claims is a “rugged and capable crossover SUV” that “offers superior driving dynamics and a beautiful design,” you don’t expect it to rattle.

A member of CX50 Forums highlights rattles around the sunroof and/or sunroof trim. There is a TSB for dealers if owners complain about this issue (see above).

Advice from this member is that you will have to demonstrate the rattle to your dealer because it doesn’t affect all CX-50s. He also says that there are two different rattles:

  1. A cross-brace rattle where the noise comes from the cross brace cover after the vehicle has been driven and the clips loosen over time.
  2. A side cover rattle where the noise comes from the side cover vibrating against the assembly due to poor retention of the cover clips.

The member of a more general Mazda Forum also complains about rattles. The issue applies to a CX-50 Premium Plus with a normally aspirated engine. The dashboard started to rattle after a few hundred miles. At first it was minor, but it got progressively more frequent and louder.

“It can best be described as a rapid buzz.” He was able to stop it by pushing down on the horizontal part of the dashboard below the central display.

“I took it to my dealer and they had it in their workshop for a total of 6 weeks to fix it, but without success. I was so fed up with it that I changed it for another CX-50 (identical model – different color).”

Taking sensible precautions, he test drove the new SUV “to ensure it was rattle free, and it was. I’ve now put 300 miles on this new vehicle and the identical rattle has started up again.”

CX-50 Brake Problems

Even though this complaint from an owner in Texas is related to shoddy workmanship, it is also a safety issue.

“I was driving my vehicle and a large plastic part fell from the upper footwell and became lodged under the brake pedal causing me to become unable to use the brakes. This is a major safety concern, and could have resulted in an accident.”

Other 2023 CX-50 Problems

These include road noise, high fuel consumption, and complaints about the Mazda Connect App.

Road Noise & Rough Ride Issues

A fairly good 4-star review on Edmunds complains about road noise at highway speeds. It happens on some surface and is annoying. “It’s not constant, so it might just be the OEM tires on rougher surfaces. But definitely take it up to highway speeds on your test drive to make sure it’s something you can live with.

Another Edmunds review that gives only two out of five stars states: “Harsh ride and heavy steering. How is this intended for off-road use? This is one of the least comfortable cars I’ve ever driven. CX-5 is far from comfortable, and this is worse.”

Fuel Mileage & Mazda Connect App Issues

An Edmunds complaint about fuel mileage states that it has been “kind of disappointing. Combined average (for me, about 2/3 city and 1/3 highway) struggles to break 24 mpg. Not catastrophic, but definitely under the EPA estimate. May try to feed it premium gas next tank to see if that makes a difference.”

The same person says that the “Mazda Connect app is kind of awful. In theory, it should be helpful…but it doesn’t work consistently, and is slow as molasses even when it does work. If it were just telematics and marketing stuff, I wouldn’t care. But it’s the only way to use the remote start. Why couldn’t they have just put that function on the key fob?”

What to do if your 2023 Mazda CX-50: Your Lemon Rights

You might think that your Mazda CX-50 is a lemon, but you need a lemon law professional to confirm this for you. Often, when a SUV has recurring problems that affect the use and value of the vehicle, it is indeed a lemon.

To find out for sure, fill in our contact form or call us. The law says Mazda must pay the legal fees of lemon law cases. So, it’s not going to cost you a dime!

Complaint Data

CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes, Structure:body
DateMar 09, 2023
The manufacturer has deceived buyers concerning the towing capabilities: https://insidemazda. Mazdausa. Com/the-mazda-way/mazda-cx-50-offers-confident-towing-capabilities/ I bought the oem tow hitch and wiring to achieve the advertised 3500 lb towing capacity, but according to the owners manual that is not possible as you are limited to 1000 lb without a brake controller which can not be purchased through mazda. The trailer wiring and vehicle manual states that you must not modify it, which would be required to install a brake controller. I currently own a 2000lb trailer; I bought this vehicle specifically to pull it. There is no way to achieve this safely and legally despite the advertisements without aftermarket parts. If the required aftermarket brake controller install were to damage the vehicle's electrical system in some way, I doubt mazda would cover that under warranty. The promotional material says nothing about non-oem equipment first having to be installed in the car to achieve this tow limit safely. I'm sure the mazda marketing department is well aware that this claim would make the cx-50 more appealing vs. It's competitors, however it is not accurate.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateFeb 13, 2023
Wireless charging pad does not charge devices. Charging begins but after 3-5 minutes there is an error message that wireless charging is unavailable.
CategoryEngine, Power Train
DateOct 13, 2022
I purchased this brand new 2023 mazda cx-50 at the end of this july, and it has no incidents, no hits, no scratches at all. Last sunday while driving it, out of no where, the 'vehicle system malfunction' message showed up and I dropped my car at the dealership right away. There was the weird sound from the front of the vehicle every time I braked to 10 mph, and I don't want to take risk of my own to drive it anymore. The front right-side lower active grille shutter was broke, and three lit damages were spotted on the condenser behind it. Luckily no leakage happened at that time. The dealership gave it a rounded inspection and told me 'it might be hit by a little rock'. Yeah, a little rock broke the entire grille shutter. I realize that there is no protection of any sort in front of the shutters, and it is very easy for any little object to break the shutters and the condensers as well. You can see easily from any picture of a cx50, there are two open big holes at the lower front, and the shutters are inside. This makes the shutter entirely expose. It's only two months since I bought this car, I believe I will not be the first cx50 owner that has this problem. It is highly possible that this is a design flaw, there should be some protective manners in front of the shutters to reduce the possibilities of something hitting it. Mazda's warranty is not covering this since they told me 'it was damaged by hitting a little rock', but this damage was because there is no protection to the shutter at all.
DateAug 16, 2022
At all speeds, hood visibly wobbles when driving. Additionally, clanging metal noise noted from front area. Hood is not adequately secured to prevent this from happening.
DateJul 30, 2022
Purchased the vehicle 5/20/22, mileage today is 1050 on 7 30 22, and the goodyear reliance drivers side tire has a large dimple on sidewall, noticed it about 10 days ago and have had no response from dealer. Stopped driving it due to excessive heat wave and just common sense. Can easily notice it. And no, did not hit anything with tire, ever. I do not have any repair bill yet. I can't send a pic due to reception. Here. Getting a ride to town monday if there's any way to add it. Please let me know. Thank you.
CategoryService Brakes, Unknown Or Other
DateJul 05, 2022
I was driving my vehicle and a large plastic part fell from the upper footwell and became lodged under the break pedal causing me to become unable to use the brakes. This is a major safety concern, and could have resulted in an accident.
DateJun 24, 2022
Fabric lining or insulation below dashboard is coming out of the seam between the dash and pillars on both sides.
CategoryElectrical System, Service Brakes, Unknown Or Other
DateMay 25, 2022
At 10:16 am, I was driving home on hall rd. In michigan. Hall road is currently under construction and only two lanes are open and the speed is 40mph. It was raining pretty hard and also very windy. I was traveling west in the left lane and I noticed people in front of me began slowing down to about 10mph and going around an object I couldnt see. By the time it was my turn to pass said object, I realized it was a speed limit sign that had been knocked over by the wind. I went around it and pulled off to the side of the road where there was a small patch of flat, clear land (I believe there is a fire extinguisher or some kind of service system there). Try to act fast, I opened my door, removed my seatbelt and after looking for cars behind me, I ran across the road and picked up the large sign and moved it out of the way. By the time I had moved the sign, I noticed cars slowly approaching but were not willing to pass me. Then I heard them honking their horns but because it was raining hard, I couldnt see who or hear what they were saying. I figured id look back at my car in case that was the reason and sure enough, it was and I jumped out of the way, and watched my car slowly fall off the ledge of the open roads and into the construction area of the new roads (there was a 2-3 foot deep and maybe 1-2 feet wide trench between the open road and the newly paved roads). My car then stopped abruptly, hanging over the ledge. Seeing the car had stopped completely, I opened the door and slowly got the car off the ledge. This did minor damage to the underside of my front and rear bumper but nothing serious. The problem I feel that is evident is that the car never engaged the electronic parking brake. This was a similar issue to what led to the death of [xxx] (granted, his shifting mechanism was an audi style shifter and was shift-by-wire). I am not sure exactly what kind of automatic transmission is in my mazda other than a 6spd. Information redacted pursuant to the freedom of information act (foia), 5 u. S. C. 552(b

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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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  • Mustapha S

    1- Rattle from the sunroof
    2- Mazda connect too slow
    3- Consumes too much gas

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