Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,232 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2010 Mazda MAZDA3 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2010 Mazda MAZDA3 Owner Comments

problem #19

Feb 152015

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 32,000 miles


Drove 80 miles to destination on freeway using cruise control. Car accelerated above cruise setting on downhill - did not engine brake to hold speed. When pulling into destination hotel parking spot and with right foot on brake, engine revved dramatically. Applied both feet to break. Automatic transmission. Changed gears to N, R & P, but engine continued to rev. Turned engine off. Smoke generated from engine entered cabin. Did not use car until next day. Returning home next day used cruise control and exited freeway for break. Slowing down for stop light with car ahead and foot on brake when engine revved again as before. Shifted car into neutral and turned off car then back on. Drove car to dealer on way home without another incident. This dealer is where we purchased the care and all work except tires/alignment and battery occurred. They examined and inspected the car and kept it for the next 10 days logging 200 miles without a recurrence of the unintended acceleration.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #18

Sep 202012


  • 64,077 miles
The vehicle broke the clutch.

- Humacao, PR, USA

problem #17

May 112014


  • 67,000 miles
I was driving down the road all the sudden my car stopped and would not engage. Apparently my clutch just randomly went out. I have to completely replace the entire thing $1000. Mazda said its a normal wear and tear at 67000 miles we should not be doing a complete replacement of the clutch. It should not just randomly go out without any warning.

- Hutchinson , KS, USA

problem #16

Nov 152012


  • 33,000 miles


Clutch gave out at 33,000 miles. That is absurd. Mazda claims its under their "wear and tear" but this is not a new problem for a lot of people. Premature clutch failure should have been a recall on Mazda 3's back in 2011.

- Windham, NY, USA

problem #15

Feb 062014


  • 31,700 miles
Clutch failure while driving resulting in difficulty steering and loss of control of the vehicle. As the care had a low mileage and is new you are not expecting this kind of problem. Need to investigate why these clutches are failing, specifically in the 2010 model.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

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problem #14

Dec 022013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • miles
2010 Mazda 3. consumer writes in regards to vehicle tires, softness of the brake and resurfacing rotors. The consumer stated a visual inspection revealed the transmission fluid needed to be replaced, the tires were wearing unevenly, and the vehicle pulled to the left. Also, the battery was replaced.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #13

Jun 132013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles


Was driving on highway and RPM started to rev up, couldn't switch gears and clutch gave out from underneath me. Luckily was able to roll off the highway when I noticed the problem. Of course one problem leads to another battery then died at the shop, had to replace as well, this comes not even a month after the rotors for brakes hit the fan. This has got to be one of the most problematic cars I have seen. A clutch dying less then 3 years is very strange and has happened to others as well with this model.

- Tustin, CA, USA

problem #12

Mar 222013


  • 35,000 miles
Have had a situation occur about a dozen times since I purchased new in July 2010 with 93 miles - now at ~35500 miles. When coming to a stop on a cold engine that has only been running about 2-3 minutes, clutch pushed in to shift out of gear and brakes applied engine will rev to ~2500 RPM and it will stay there for about 3-4 seconds. First few times it happened I figured I hit the gas as well as the brake, after that I began to check my foot position on occurrence and my foot was nowhere near the accelerator. This has not caused any problems with a car accelerating on its own as it typically occurs as I am pushing the clutch in to come to a stop. Only happens when the engine is still cold (generally the first stop of the day) and is very random when it occurs. Have not brought to attention of dealership as there are no common factors to be able to reproduce the problem. Upon notice of other complaints for this issue I wanted to add my own experience.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #11

Jan 282013


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Mazda Mazda3. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, the driver noticed a burning odor in the vehicle. Additionally, the contact heard a clicking sound when driving at slow speeds. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the clutch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Chardon, OH, USA

problem #10

Oct 012012


  • 30,000 miles
At around 24,000 miles I experienced a partial clutch failure (couldn't shift out of gear) that went away after pumping the clutch petal. I asked the dealership about this and was told not to worry about it, and that it was probably due to clutch freezing up in the cold. At around 30,000 miles the car started shaking whenever I engaged/disengaged the clutch. In order to get the clutch to engage at all I had to let off the clutch petal much slower than usual. I took the car to the original dealership it was purchased at and was told the friction disc was worn out, and that this was a wear and tear item and therefore not under warranty. In addition, they said that the Pilot bearing had failed. After getting these items replaced a loud creaking noise occurs whenever engaging/disengaging the clutch or accelerator pedals. The issue is still not resolved.

- Blacksburg, VA, USA

problem #9

Oct 232012

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 33,452 miles


I brought my car into an authorized Mazda dealer for an oil change and mentioned that I noticed a slight slipping in the clutch. I was later informed by the dealer that even though I had just 33,000 highway miles, the entire clutch assembly needed to be replaced. Even though I was still within the warranty period, they told me that it would not be covered. I complained to Mazda customer care and got no where. The most frustrating part is that after the dealer completed the repair, they told me that the clutch showed no signs of abuse and that in their professional opinion, this was a premature failure of the clutch. Even with this information, Mazda itself still would not cover the repair.

- Brewster, NY, USA

problem #8

Oct 262012


  • 50,000 miles
Clutches are supposed to be bullet proof. Being one of the main parts of the car and necessary to it's basic function, clutches should be included in the 5 year/60,000 miles warranty. But they're not. The clutch on the 2010 Mazda3 is only covered for 7500 miles. That's suspicious in and of itself. So here's my story, my clutch gave out after 50,000 miles. No warning or anything. The mechanic I took it to said in the 32 years he's been fixing clutches, he's never seen anything so horrific. He had to have metal fabricators come in and make parts because some of the surrounding equipment was so warped. Mazda claims no responsibility for their faulty product. I've read stories online where people report their clutch blowing out at 14,000 miles., a leader in car resources rates the clutch problem on this specific car at a 9.7/10. It's a faulty part in a car and Mazda will not even consider it to be an actual thing. It's not right at all.

- Windham, NY, USA

problem #7

Sep 202012


  • 16,680 miles
The clutch on my manual transmission 2010 Mazda3 suddenly stopped operating properly. It grinds gears and does not change gears when I shift. I drove the vehicle in to a Mazda dealer on Saturday, with a week left on my warranty. On Monday, they called to tell me that their technician could not even drive my car as there was no clutch pad! I wondered how I could drive the car to them, but once it was in their possession, it was suddenly undriveable. I am now being forced to pay $1100 to replace the clutch, because they say my warranty does not cover normal wear and tear. I asked how a completely disintegrated clutch pad is "normal wear and tear" on a vehicle which has only been driven 16K miles! this could have been dangerous had it failed completely while driving! I filed a claim with the better business bureau. I also called the Mazda corporate office for assistance, where I was told I could simply voice a complaint. "tom" refused to allow me to speak with a supervisor or anyone higher than himself (he was just a call-center employee). He offered to call the dealership and ask them to provide me with a discount. When I spoke to the dealer today, they said tom did call them, but never asked for any discounts! all he did was explain that Mazda has not recalled the clutch, so my warranty would not cover the necessary replacement. Mazda sold me a sub-par vehicle, and now they lied about their way of handling the error. I looked online and have found several complaints on the same vehicle claiming the exact same problems on a low-mileage clutch. This clearly is a manufacturing defect, not driver error. It should be recalled as the problem is so common in this exact make and model with such low miles. $1100 later and I get a new shoddy clutch which I will have to replace in another 16K miles. Disappointed and will never own another Mazda again if this is not resolved.

- Horsham, PA, USA

problem #6

Nov 112010

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Many times but sporadically over the last two years my Mazda 3, when coming to a stop and foot firmly on the brake will have a sudden surge in RPM between 1200-2500 RPM and try to accelerate. Seems to happen most often first thing in the morning more often. Because I am constantly ready there has been no crash, though the time rpms reached 2500 I had difficulty stopping the car, on a freeway on ramp where sudden deceleration was needed. I have found that one pump of the break alleviates the problem if there is room to do so.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #5

Feb 012012


  • 26,000 miles
I have had my 2010 Mazda 3S since June of 2010 when I bought it new. I drive to and from work every day. I have 26,000 miles on it, 75% of which are highway miles. I was driving to work last week, and noticed something with the car felt off. Every day of the week it got worse and worse, so I finally brought it to my mechanic who told me, as I suspected, that the clutch was slipping and nearing the end of its life. I have yet to replace the brake pads on this car, and to get told that the clutch is gone before I even replace normal maintenance items is just flat out unacceptable. I have had two previous cars with manual transmissions, and never replaced a clutch, even when they had close to 100,000 miles on them. My mechanic suggested before I do anything, to look on forums and see if anyone else has been having similar problems with premature clutch wear. I have spent my whole weekend on Mazda and edmunds forums reading about countless people with my model year, 2010, who have had clutches go before 35,000 miles. This is not a one-off case, and it is certainly not a "wear and tear" issue as the dealership says it is. That's their blanket cover-their-[xxx]statement because they know they put out a poor product and don't want to deal with the costs incurred with replacing them. I have no faith anymore in my local dealership, or Mazda as a brand at this point. With the significant number of similar issues to mine, the fact that they are still unwilling to admit that they chose an inferior supplier to cut costs for one of the most crucial parts of the car, that isn't covered under warranty, is just piss poor business practice. I don't know what writing this will do, if anything, but I decided that I am done being [xxx] around by the dealer and hopefully this is followed by other Mazda owners who share the distaste for their product and service as I do. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Garden City , NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 242011


  • 24,000 miles
At less than 24,000 miles, my clutch has begun to slip terribly and creates a terrible burning smell. I know there are hundreds of other Mazda owners who have also had to replace their clutches before they've had to replace brake pads. This is a drain on consumers, and a safety issue to boot.

- South River, NJ, USA

problem #3

Dec 132011

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 8,500 miles
I purchased a 2010 Mazda 3 as a demo on July 30, 2011 with 4100 miles on it. I now have 8500 miles on it and the clutch has failed. After taking it to the local Mazda dealership, I was told it was a normal wear produce and it had been abused so I had to pay for the repair. When I bought the car it had a high release in the clutch pedal but I figured it was normal for the car. Since early November, the "intake manifold runner" has been extremely sensitive to the point that I cannot maintain speed up a slight incline without the engine revving up. I was told when I took the car to the dealership this was due to a clutch failure. I don't believe it is acceptable for a clutch to go out after just 8500 miles of driving. My previous vehicle went over 100,000 miles of my same driving and manual transmission without any clutch issues. I am not happy with Mazda, Mazda parts, and Mazda's customer assistance on this issue.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #2

Feb 082011


  • 19,000 miles
Clutch malfunction says it's not defective which is it because the car only has 19,000 miles.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #1

Dec 152010


  • 5,000 miles
At 5000 miles clutch started to make squeaking sound and vibration when engaging.

- Broomall, PA, USA

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