Owners of Mazda Maxda3 cars file lawsuit after claiming clutches wear down and fail.

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Owners of Mazda Maxda3 cars file lawsuit after claiming clutches wear down and fail.

— Mazda Mazda3 clutch replacements have caused owners to file a proposed class-action lawsuit against the automaker concerning Mazda3 clutch failures.

The clutch lawsuit targets model year 2010-2015 Mazda3 cars with allegedly defective clutch release levers (clutch forks), bearings and pins. The cars named in the lawsuit are equipped with either a 5-speed or 6-speed transmission.

The lawsuit alleges the clutch assemblies have a defect in design that causes premature clutch failure and premature wear to the transmission components. The plaintiffs say the defects cause problems with the clutch disks and pressure plates, in addition to the flywheels.

The plaintiffs say although Mazda allegedly knows about the defect, many consumers are stuck with huge repair bills because dealers won't make repairs under warranty.

"At approximately 44,000 started to hear clatter sounds when starting motor and starting in first gear. took to my mechanic for inspection. He told me the clutch was worn out. Had my mechanic repair it after my Mazda dealership informed me it was my fault for premature clutch wear and not covered. Quoted me an estimate for repair of $2100? My mechanic bill was $1600." - 2010 Mazda Mazda3 owner / West Linn, Oregon

Another Mazda3 owner said what other owners have said: Mazda refuses to cover the repairs because the clutch replacements are blamed on the way owners drive the cars.

"This is the third clutch to go out on this car. The first two clutches went out at 6,598 miles and, subsequently, at 9,793 miles. Mazda covered the full cost on the first clutch, and only cover parts on the second clutch--despite the car being under full warranty--claiming driver error. This car, or this model, has a problem and owners are being force to pay the price." - 2010 Mazda Mazda3 owner / Arvada, Colorado

The plaintiffs say clutch failure can occur suddenly and without warning and cause a safety hazard while leaving a driver stranded. The lawsuit alleges Mazda has known about the clutch failures for years because of consumer complaints and warranty claims. Mazda allegedly redesigned the clutch assembly several times including in 2014, yet clutch replacements and failures continue.

According to the clutch lawsuit, Mazda refuses to tell prospective or current customers about the alleged clutch defects and instead conceals the problems by offering an express "bumper-to-bumper" warranty.

However, the automaker often refuses to repair the clutch pressure plate and flywheel, parts the plaintiffs say are explicitly covered by Mazda’s 3-year/36,000 mile warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty and 7-year/70,000 mile certified pre-owned powertrain warranty.

The plaintiffs say instead of receiving help from Mazda, the automaker continues to blame its customers for clutch failures and the need for replacements. In addition, the plaintiffs say even when the Mazda3 cars are repaired, the automaker uses defective clutches as replacements.

The Mazda3 clutch lawsuit says the only way owners can sometimes get help from the automaker is by complaining loudly enough to receive reduced repair rates.

The Mazda Mazda3 clutch replacement lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California - Megan Humphrey, Iris Gonzalez, Charles Bunch, Anne Stom, David Woodward, Greg Thomason, Lisa Massa and Dan Carney, et al vs. Mazda Motor Corp.

The plaintiffs are represented by Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel, and McCuneWright.

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