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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,041 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 lights problems

lights 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

Dec 012012


  • 110,000 miles
Tail-lights overheat causing the taillights to go out and melting sockets and red lenses. Replaced socket assemblies (oem) and bulbs (oem), then had to replace lens assemblies because white light comes out instead of red. About 3-year later the problem is recurring (taillight out intermittently, socket melted, and sense starting to melt.)

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #12

Apr 012016


  • 70,000 miles
On my Mazda3 I have noticed that driving at night has become more difficult due the head lights were not shining bright enough. I noticed now during the day time that the head light clear covers are corroded. It looks like there is condensation inside the head light cover housing and it has corroded the light covers. It reduces visibility that can cause dangerous conditions at night. I;M afraid I could hit something or someone not being able to fully see them.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #11

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 #10

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

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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

Aug 072014


  • miles


My tail lights have melted the red plastic cover severely in both lights. My friend driving behind me thought my reverse lights were on every time I braked. My lights were the original bulbs and not aftermarket. I did not notice the melting until August 2014.

- Papillion, NE, USA

problem #7

Feb 082013


  • miles
I was informed by my friend driving in back of me that my brake lights seemed to be melting away, I looked at the light and realized it was the light bulb melting the cover for the brake. I asked Mazda what was the reason but they didn't look into it and just advised me the amount I would need to have this fixed but because they advised me that I have to pay for this damage that looks like a manufacturer damage, I just left it alone until the light bulb went out and I have to be very careful to replace it not to get hurt from it. As 1 month passed, I realized that the cover was melting away and it looked just like a backup light and also realized that my right side was doing the same. I thought it this red cover wears away, this can be dangerous for the drivers in back of me that would only pay attention to the red lights when I hit the brake. This may be a hazard on the road and lead to accidents if drivers were not paying close attention that my brake light was no longer red. I then started doing research and noticed on the Mazda forum that many others had the same situation as me, hopefully you can look into it.

- Garden City Park, NY, USA

problem #6

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 #5

Jul 102013


  • miles
The plastic surrounding the tail lights has melted, so when braking or driving in the dark, the tail lights show as a mix of red and white. The front headlights go out, both have gone out at different times. Sometimes they start working again for no reason, but will be out again after a few days or weeks.

- Walpole, MA, 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

Mar 172010


  • miles
Headlights continually go out about two-three months after being replaced.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Apr 042011


  • 45,000 miles
Each of my headlights have gone out 3 times within 25,000 miles and 1 1/2 years of driving it.

- Plattsburgh, NY, USA

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