Notes: Except for a minor issue with cracked motor mounts, the 2008 MAZDA3 is a fantastic vehicle with a great reputation.

If you need to replace the motor mounts, first ask your dealer if they'll cover it -- the motor mounts were dealt with in a TSB & were recalled for some model years. Otherwise buy aftermarket motor mounts -- owners report this solves the problem. If you use the same OEM parts, they may just crack again.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
61,749 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.

2008 Mazda MAZDA3 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Mazda MAZDA3 Owner Comments

problem #14

Sep 012016


  • 37,000 miles


A few years ago upon washing my car I noticed my tail lights looked a bit odd so I took a closer look and realized they had melted to the point they were deformed and as a result the light emitted is far less than when in tact. I took the car to the dealership and they replaced them under warranty even though my warranty expired and they assured me it was a fluke issue and that it would never happen again. Well last weekend I go to place groceries in my trunk and saw they looked melted again. After a closer look they had indeed melted again, but this time even worse that before and they emit even less light than the first time around. After a little research it's become apparent this is a wide spread issue for a multitude of Mazda models. Online forums are full of people with the same issue both on the Mazda 3 and a wide array of different Mazda models. The Mazda, 5 and even the CX9 all have this very issue and almost everyone stated the light output was very subdued and in a few cases no light at all or the housing melted so badly it broke the light completely and they were not able to change out the bulb, and rather, had to purchase brand new taillights. I just called Mazda usa customer service and they told me that since my car is so far out of warranty there was nothing they could do, so I explained it's not a cosmetic or aesthetic issue, but a safety issue and though the rep agreed it was a widespread issue, even among current models being sold, he insisted that since my car is out of warranty it's not their problem!!! how can so many units from so many models have this same safety issue and it not have been recalled"??!?!?!?!" this is an outrage and eventually it will end in catastrophe and hopefully it's not with me! please feel free to contact me if necessary. I'd be glad to help. Mazda service is pretty terrible as it is but this is insane!

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #13

Mar 012016


  • 70,000 miles
My left rear tail red tail light went out. I tried to change it but it has melted to the wires and the light housing. I am unable to change it. I am afraid this melting is a dangerous issue because it's a possible fire hazard. I searched the internet and have found many other Mazda owners with this same issue. Others even have both sides melting the rear lights. I cannot even change the bulb now. This can be a danger because I cannot use my left tail light or left rear signal. This could cause someone to crash into me not knowing I am slowing down for a left turn.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #12

Jul 082015

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 180,000 miles
I was driving when suddenly and without notice I lost all control over the engine. Pressing the accelerator down did not change the engine speed. The engine would only idle. The car was towed to the dealer who determined that a bad connection occurred between the wiring and the "PCM" module. If this had occurred while passing or while executing a left turn, a serious or even fatal accident could have occurred. MA 10/22/2015

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #11

Aug 202008


  • miles


Ever since I brought this car I'm having issues with my headlamps. I had replaced headlight bulbs atleast 15 times. Lamps will last roughly 3 to 6 months and then burnout. I complained many times to the dealership and they have no answer to the root cause other than simply changing the bulbs. I suspect there might be an issue in wiring. Many 2008 Mazda 3 owners are complaining similar issues on-line and websites.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #10

Apr 012015

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 82,360 miles
On 04/01/2015 while driving in the city at about 25 mph the transmission went from 4 to 1, and the car jerked really hard. At light and check engine light came on. After pulling over and turning the car off and waiting a couple of minutes, at light went away, check engine light was still on. The same happened in two days, then in 5 days while driving on a freeway with speed 65 mph - the car jerked and bucked at full speed, at light and check engine light on, transmission went from 5 to 1 to 3, tachometer went from 2500 RPM to over 4000 RPM - thankfully I did not hit anyone and I wasn't hit by other cars when that happened (I was very scared!). I got the car towed to the dealership, and after two days of diagnostics the answer - transmission control module (tcm) is bad. I did research online - very common problem with cars of this make, model and year. Dealer can not fix it because tcm is on nationwide back order! I have no car for a week now and it could be a month when the part will be available. This kind of problem worth of a recall due to the safety concerns and the cost of the replacement - over $1000 including diagnostics.

- Willowick, OH, USA

problem #9

Jun 132014

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Tail/brake light lenses melted. Original parts, replaced the whole tail light assembly and bulbs in June 2014 and I noticed in August 2014 the tail light on the drivers side was out. The lenses melted again, the bulbs were 7443.researched on the internet and found this problem on numerous posts mainly with the Mazda 3 hatchback which is what I have. Called the local Mazda dealer and they said they never heard of the problem. Sounds like a fire hazard. Have you had any other complaints about this?

- Millsboro, DE, USA

problem #8

Mar 272014

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 68,606 miles


In the past month the radio, lights, the cluster, all shut down and restart as driving. Last night as driving on telegraph rd, 45 mph, the power steering suddenly stopped working, I could not control the car, and another vehicle behind me almost hit me, as I was switching in neutral, and back in drive. All of the sudden regain control and was able to turn right into a parking lot. I remember having this issue back in Jan. Of 2011, and there was a recall for it, that I have had fixed. The pattern is that I bought the vehicle in 2008, 3 years later - in 2011 the recall took care of the defective part, and now, 3 years after the replacement the same issue arise. This is very dangerous, can cause accidents, as is happens as driving unexpectedly.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #7

Feb 012013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • miles
The red plastic on my tail light has melted. I assume that this could have at some point created a fire or some other safety hazard. There are many complaints about this very problem in this make and model car and this needs to be addressed by Mazda even if the car is no longer under warranty. This is a safety issue and I believe the government should take this seriously and move to action against Mazda for this flaw in their manufacturing. We are now having to replace this part and it will cost about $600.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #6

Nov 012013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
I parked my car on numerous occasions in the last few months where the transmission failed to engage in park. It required multiple tries to get the park indicator light on the dash to reflect that the car was safely engaged in park. Before I realized what was happening with the transmission. On at least 3 occasions I was unable to start my car at all when I returned from a brief stop. The problem with failing to start happened when the car was on a slight incline and I had engaged the parking brake. After jiggling the automatic transmission lever repeatedly, moving the steering wheel and applying the brake vigorously, I was eventually able to get the car to start. I'm not sure whether it was rocking of the vehicle from frustration or jiggling the gear selector that finally worked. The car has a new battery and has had all scheduled maintenance performed by my local Mazda dealer. When this happens, other electrical equipment functions but there is absolutely no response from the ignition system.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #5

May 132013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 68,800 miles
My windshield wipers stopped working. After a visit to the shop, I learned that my micro computer was not working and needed to be replaced. This repair cost $729. After some research I found that this is a very common problem with Mazda 3S made around 2008. My car is only 5 years old with fairly low mileage, I believe that a defective part caused the problem and this issue should be evaluated for recall and reimbursement. Thank you.

- Shelton , WA, USA

problem #4

Jan 172013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 101,571 miles


While driving at 65 mph on interstate 95 in fort lauderdae, fl both of my headlights failed. I was in total darkness and thank god I remembered my dad saying that your high beams are a backup system. This worked. We have had this car in for service 5 times for lamp failures on headlights always at no cost" now both failed at once, the internet is flooded with with complaints. Is my care safe? I do not trust the dealers, they never charge me for lamp repairs, are they hiding something"

- Danvers, MA, USA

problem #3

Aug 312012

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Rear tail lights are factory equipped with factory bulbs and developed melted holes on the rear lenses.

- New Orleans , LA, USA

problem #2

Apr 062012


  • 49,150 miles
I started the car, put it in reverse and began backing out. As the car began to move the steering felt sluggish like the power steering was not working. The condition lasted a few seconds then cleared up. That happened twice more as I was backing out. Whenever the steering became sluggish some of the warning lights turned on (low tire, ABS, brake, oil, etc). They turned off whenever the steering returned to normal. The condition seemed to clear itself so I put the car in drive and went a few hundred feet. The sluggish steering and flashing warning lights began again. I stopped the car, left the engine running and checked the tires, power steering belt, and power steering fluid level. All were ok. At this point I shut off the engine and removed the key. The speedometer and tachometer needles oscillated wildly from end to end for several seconds. The warning lights were also on. After waiting for the instrumentation to settle to the normal off state, I inserted the key and attempted to start the vehicle. There was no electrical power whatever, like the battery had been removed. I removed the key waited 15 seconds and attempted to start the engine again. That time the car started as expected. I drove the car slowly for a few minutes and there was no recurrence of the problem. The car has been driven several hundred miles since then with no recurrence of the steering issue or flashing warning lights.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #1

Mar 202011


  • 25,000 miles
Uncontrolled acceleration when vehicle is standing still (stop sign, traffic signal) have found it necessary to shift into neutral until engine revs down to normal rpms, and then proceed. This does not occur when vehicle is in motion (Toyota prius). Have eliminated "floor mats" or foot slipping onto gas pedal.

- Smyrna, DE, USA

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