definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,280 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.

2011 Mazda MAZDA3 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Mazda MAZDA3 Owner Comments

problem #8

Jan 292014

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 42,345 miles


Sudden clutch failure.

- Norwalk, CT, USA

problem #7

Nov 252013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Premature clutch failure. Mazda3 with manual transmission. Clutch suddenly burn out and cannot shift gear while driving. Heard something was falling down under the clutch and then smell smoky odor. Car dead in middle of local road. Only have 16, xxx miles and 2.5 years on this car. Contact the Mazda experience center, but they think it is a normal worn out part and warranty would not take care of it. However, I think there is possible a design defect in their clutch.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #6

Sep 042013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Around 3000 miles, manual transmission developed issue of not going into first gear from a stop. Dealer investigated and said that this is a quirk with the transmission and can be safely ignored by starting in a higher gear, which wears out the transmission faster. As of three weeks ago at this point, transmission developed intermittent issue where it "pops" out of second gear or grinds and damages internal parts before automatically moving to neutral. This occurs after a normal shift. Also has develop issue where is does not properly go into reverse, instead going into first gear. Dealer says that since there are no obd2 computer codes coming up, they are not allowed by the Mazda head office to remove the transmission and physically look at it. Currently I am very hesitant to drive the car at all due to the fact the I drive in heavy traffic while commuting 50 miles a day. I am not confident that my transmission will properly function at highway, local traffic, or residential speeds. I have barely avoided several accidents until the reverse gear issue became consistent. I have been driving manual transmissions for about 10 years and these issues have only appeared as this current car has aged very poorly. The drive train has shredded 50,000 mile tires in less than 25,000 miles. I fear what damage will happen because this issue seems to be occurring with way too much frequency among the 2011 Mazda3's with a manual transmission as per the other posts. I would appreciate any help in having Mazda properly investigate and resolve this issue to prevent further tragedy from the very high potential for a loss of life or bodily function incident.

- Parsippany, NJ, USA

problem #5

Jul 132013

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 20,896 miles


I first took my car in to the dealer when I noticed the clutch slipping after I shifted or when I accelerated at freeway speeds. Now, after 16 days, I finally have my 2011 Mazda 3 back with a completely new clutch assembly. Mazda paid 50%, not including the rental car. My final bill: $700 (not including the rental car cost for this time). They replaced not only the clutch disc, but the flywheel and associated bearings and parts. Apparently they consider replacing the clutch at 2 years / 20K miles to be "normal wear and tear" and not under warranty. In my opinion, the fact that it wore out so quickly, in itself, means it was defective. I have driven a manual car for almost 10 years (previously a Mazda rx-7) without any issues. I do not abuse my car, I do not ride the clutch, and I do not let anyone else drive the car. Mazda would not allow me to speak to anyone with the authority to assist me, specifically the district manager who made the decision. On top of that, the woman I spoke with when I called their customer service line at (800) 222-5500 was not only unhelpful, but flat out rude and confrontational. After this experience, I plan to trade this car due to the fact that it will need another new clutch at 40K miles of normal driving. Mazda has lost a loyal customer for life with their "guilty until proven innocent" mentality toward warranty claims.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 012012


  • 33,000 miles
Transmission hesitates when downshifting. On going issue.

- Fremont, CA, USA

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problem #3

May 112012


  • 16,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Mazda Mazda3. While driving approximately 10 mph the rpms increased and the vehicle began to hesitate while accelerating. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the failure occurred due to driver error. The technician stated the fly wheel, clutch, pressure plate, and the transmission had to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 16,000.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #2

Mar 162011

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 29,500 miles
I went on a trip and had my tires rotated and no brake work had been done to my car. The dealer that rotated tires mechanic called me to look at my car and showed me that my brakes were wearing unevenly. The one on the right side had about 10mm of brake pad on it and the left side had only about 3mm of brake pad left. The mechanic instructed me to take my car back to where I bought it and have them check it out because this type of break wearing is not normal. I took it to Mazda they checked it out and stated they could not find anything wrong and that there were no other problems with this year model so hence why I am reporting my problem. Hopefully no one else has this problem with their car. Because I had a wonderful experience buying my Mazda and simply love my car. But nothing that is made in bulk in a factory is perfect and sometimes their are glitches and that is what recalls are for and warranties right that is what we pay so much money for buying brand new cars. Peace of mind!

- Covington , GA, USA

problem #1

Oct 132011

MAZDA3 4-cyl

  • 3,500 miles
I stopped at a stop sign and my car started accelerating as if the accelerator was fully depressed. My foot was squarely on the brake at the time but I was being pulled slowly forward on to a busy roadway. I am an experienced driver and was able to turn the car sharply to the right along the shoulder to avoid oncoming traffic. I shifted into park, and then shut the engine off. My foot placement was no where near the accelerator, and there were no other obstructions (I.e. carpets). When I restarted the car the engine sounded normal. As an engineer, I am fairly certain that what ever happened was electronic in nature, not a mechanical obstruction or sticking linkage (I did not touch the gas pedal when I restarted). Prior to this incident I had been driving slow though a business park at 10 to 15 miles and hour for a couple of minutes, I was at a doctor appointment. I have not seen this issue before or since. Mazda has examined the car and did not see anything. I like the car, but I thought it was important to get this potentially dangerous flaw on record.

- Jamison, PA, USA

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