really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,608 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.

2004 Mazda RX-8 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Mazda RX-8 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Nov 012012


  • miles


2004 Mazda RX8. Consumer writes in regards to several defects in the vehicle. The consumer stated about a year after having the vehicle, the rear tail lights started filling up with water. Also, the vehicle stopped running with no warning. The consumer was informed the vehicle needed a catalytic converter. When the consumer took the vehicle to the dealer, he was informed the vehicle needed two oxygen sensors. After the oxygen sensors were replaced, the stalling continued. The consumer had the vehicle towed the dealer, where he was informed the vehicle needed a new engine.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #36

May 012011


  • 65,000 miles
Engine stalls and lack of power. Dealer keeps saying its fine. Cannot even drive anymore. It started with not starting then after getting it started hesitation and lack of power kept getting worse. Became unsafe to drive.

- Magnolia, TX, USA

problem #35

Feb 102011

RX-8 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I bought my 2004 Mazda Rx-8 at 52,000 miles. At 65,000 miles I was on my way back from Malibu when my check engine light came on. Roadside service towed my car to the nearest Mazda dealer in thousand oaks. There they told me that my car needed to have the coils and spark plugs replaced costing $880. After they finished the job, I went back to pick up my car from the lot. I turn my car on and the check engine light came on yet again, wasting my 2 hr. Trip. After further diagnosis they informed me that my wiring harness, oxygen sensor, radiator sensor, and fuel pump needed to be replaced. All this costing around $2600 which amounts my total expenses to approximately $3500. After checking for recalls on my car on NHTSA, I found a recall for engine and engine cooling problems which, if not fixed, resulted in all the same problems that I currently have right now. I was also informed that my car was still under the 100,000 miles or 10 year engine warranty. When I notified the dealer about the recalls and the warranty, they refused to offer me any help, stating that my car had already had the recall performed and that the warranty only specifically covered the 1.3 renesis rotary engine and not its related components. They refuse to take responsibility for the problems they caused by selling a faulty product. When the dealer couldn't offer me any help I decided to contact Mazda customer service. They also refused to help me in any way. The price that they are demanding is ridiculous as well seeing as how a brand new motor costs $2200 and with labor would amount close to what I now have to pay. Since Mazda remains firmly resolved on the issue, I have no choice but to helplessly pay the money that they ask for. My last resort is to file this complaint to NHTSA and hope that you may help me retrieve the money that rightfully belongs to me and to force Mazda to take full responsibility for the lemon product that they are selling.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #34

Jan 192011


  • Manual transmission
  • 94,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Mazda RX8. The contact stated that the engine was leaking oil which caused the vehicle to not start. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who stated that the engine burned due to neglect and needed to be replaced. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 94,000. Updated 03/31/11 updated 12/28/2011

- Godley, TX, USA

problem #33

Oct 112010


  • 99,130 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda RX8. The contact stated that the vehicle engine was exhibiting a decrease in power and was sporadically slow to start. The dealer advised the contact that the engine had low compression and would need a motor replacement. The vehicle was not repaired and the contact stated that the dealer denied the repair under an extended warranty. The manufacturer advised the contact that they would consult with the dealer and contact him at a later date. The manufacturer offered no further assistance. The failure mileage was 99,130.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #32

Jun 252010


  • 40,833 miles
My 2004 Mazda Rx-8 only has 53,000 miles on it and is again in the shop due to manufacturer-related engine failure. This is the second time in less than 1 year I've been left stranded in hazardous circumstances because of engine failure. I've also experienced power steering failure and loss of engine compression/engine misfires while driving on multiple occasions. As a result, I'm becoming increasingly concerned for my safety, as well as for the safety of others who own/operate this type of Mazda vehicle. Please consider organizing a class-action lawsuit against Mazda to hold them accountable for putting many valuable lives at risk.

- Los Olivos, CA, USA

problem #31

Mar 062010


  • 103,000 miles


I have owned a 2004 Mazda RX7 since Oct 07 since then the engine has been replaced at 26,000 miles 2 set of coils spark plugs and wires, sensors, transmission, radiator reservoir just for starters. Now the car is stalling at low RPM's or when it gets hot leaving me stranded in intersections and on busy freeways. Mazda has a bulletin out on this car but because they do not consider it a safety issue they will not recall the car. I beg to differ!! being stranded in an intersection or on a busy highway increases my odds greatly that I am going to be hit by another car and possibly killed. There has got to be some type of government body out there that can enforce these many claims of engine failure against Mazda and there rotary engine because the latest diagnosis is that I need to replace the engine again!! please help!

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #30

Mar 112010


  • 47,000 miles
I own a Mazda RX8-2004. Since purchase it has always idled rough. On occasion the vehicle will not start, supposedly flooded. Now just yesterday it was idling rough again but while merging on to the highway the engine cut off in an instant. The car lost all power. I was able to pull over to the side of the road and it did restart. I'm afraid to have my family in this car anymore. There are known issues with the rotary engine and failure it a big problem. This car has been recalled for the engine before but passed the Mazda "tests" and was never replaced. It's been documented by thousands of consumers. This engine failure is no different than the Toyota gas pedal problem that is putting consumers lives at risk. This problem is the reverse, you could be changing lanes and loose all power and get run over by a tractor trailer. Why are the complaints about this vehicle being ignored" is it because it's only one Mazda model and it doesn't have that many cars on the road" this vehicle is a lemon and a danger to drive. I cannot believe more deaths have not occurred and Mazda is allowed to sweep this under the carpet. I would get rid of this car but all car dealers know the deal with it and won't give you a penny for it thus I need to continue to drive this death trap. Please help us helpless consumers. Mazda should not be able to allow this to happen.

- Vernon, CT, USA

problem #29

Jun 102006


  • 26,625 miles
In June of 2005, I received a recall notice from the Mazda North american operations informing me that my vehicle had an inherent safety issue concerning the engine among other things. I took the car for a check and was told that the car checked out fine. In August 2006, Mazda North american operations extended the warranty on the car because the inherent defect does not necessarily show up immediately but may show up much later. In my case it showed up in June of 2008. The car started running hot, the engine light would come on and the car would idle high at a stop light. Once the car was turned off, the cooling fan would continue for several minutes. I took the car to the Mazda dealer who stated that I needed a new engine. The invoice indicated that a new engine was authorized among other things. After that incident, the vehicle ran alright up until the middle of August 2009 when the same issues reappeared. Supposedly, they installed an new engine but apparently that was not true. On August 16, 2009, I dropped the car off at the dealership to correct the problem or the give me another car. This car has a serious safety issue. I want Mazda to give me another car because I just don't trust driving the one with the defect.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #28

Oct 142008


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda Rx-8. when the contact attempted to stop the engine, the motor would kick, but the engine would not stop. A mechanic stated that the fuel pump was faulty and made the replacement. The repair only lasted one week. He took the vehicle to a Mazda dealer and they stated that there was a flooding issue. The dealer repaired the vehicle for free, but the failure recurred a month later. The mechanic stated that the outer grip on the fly wheel was loose. The mechanic repaired the vehicle, but the engine still would not start. The failure mileage was 40,000 and current mileage was 42,000.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #27

Apr 192009


  • 65,200 miles


I've been having a couple of incidents where my safety has been in danger because my vehicle suddenly shuts down in middle of road. Last time happened in a middle of an intersection, but it has happened in curvy uphill roads and highways, where I have been exposed to accidents because engine shuts down. I am more than concerned because its not just my safety but the ones traveling with me and the ones that not. Mazda has acknowledge the problem with the engine of the 2004 Rx-8, but in the dealership they always make something up not to check it under warranty. I need your intervention to deal with this issue. I have almost been involved in accidents because of this problem. I have found about the recall in this website. I have lost money, and time but not willing to risk my life. I need to know what steps to take action, because all they do is deny that's its warranty related even when they know about the recalls that related to this problem, all they do is sell you spark plugs and ignition coils (which they say is the cause and never solves anything but their sales). This has to stop. Its not fair to pay so much for a 2004 car and get back such a nightmare. I need to know what to know if I can get a remedy under federal laws of transportation safety. This is serious.

- Vega Baja, PR, USA

problem #26

Apr 292009


  • 56,200 miles
I was driving my 2004 Mazda Rx-8 on the highway at approximately 60mph and went to shift from 5th gear into 4th gear when I felt a "pop" at which point my clutch fell to the floor and I no longer had any ability to accelerate. Fortunately traffic was light and I was able to coast off onto the next exit ramp and pulled to the side of the road. I called Mazda roadside assistance who towed the car to Mazda bedford. I was told that the clutch was "blown" and needed to be completely replaced. The Mazda forum is full of similar episodes and I was encouraged to file a complaint.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

problem #25

Jan 312009


  • 71,000 miles
I would like to report the substandard performance of a car that will soon be know as the living coffin. The Mazda RX8 is in my opinion a death trap. While in houston, my car was always in the shop because it would stop on me in busy traffic. Now I am in austin and the car started stalling again. What does Mazda do to remedy this problem, they sent out a dvd, that tells you how to start the car when it stops. While, I was in dallas, I met people on line that also have these Mazda RX8's. they too are disgusted. This car is very unsafe, and will stop on you at the drop of a hat. Mazda has been secretly replacing engines, and all of a sudden the warranty is now at 100,000 miles. Now the catch: You take the car in and what you thought would be under warranty ends up costing you money. I have 70,000 miles on my 2004 RX8, and it has been a nightmare. I have also talked to people, that are upside down, and then other dealers are aware of this crap of a car. I have contacted your Agency once before, and nothing has been done, my next course of action is a complaint with the justice department. All I need is a email address for someone in your Agency, and I will have many stories. Today, my car stopped just as I crossed lake travis, and again as I attempted to clime a hill. We RX8 owners need help. You people only react only after someone has died. It is obvious there is a problem. This has been going on for years, and Mazda is doing nothing. I need help and I need it now.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #24

Nov 142007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda RX8. While driving various speeds, the vehicle will stall without warning. He took the vehicle to a local repair shop and a mechanic stated that fuel flooded the engine and causes the vehicle to stall. The engine was completely replaced. In addition, it takes several attempts to start the vehicle in cold weather conditions. The dealer stated that condensation was present and a vacuum needed to be installed, which would prevent water interference. The rear driver's side exterior lighting needed to be replaced due to the water entry. Finally, the front passenger side wheel bearing failed, which almost caused the tire to separate from the vehicle. The failure mileage was 32,000 and current mileage was 43,000. Updated 020209 the right front wheel bearing was worn. The check engine light illuminated. The front and rear coils were replaced. Updated 02/03/09.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #23

Oct 172008


  • 26,000 miles
Owner of an 2004 Rx-8. the vehicle had 8,000 miles at time of purchase. Within 2,000 miles of driving the vehicle, while driving down the interstate the engine shut down. Mazda replaced the sensor system. They stated that the key became unprogrammed while driving? the car was worked on at prebel Mazda in Georgia. My car now has 26,000 miles. I take very particular car with the maintenance of the car. Last Friday night, I shut my car off and it wouldn't restart. After some research, I have found that most all Rx-8 Mazda's have this similar issue. I am currently paying out of pocket, to have test run to determine the problem. There is a big chance that the vehicle will need it's engine replaced. Due to a recall "compression" issue by Mazda. I am very upset that I have a vehicle with major manufacturer defaults.

- Tullahoma, TN, USA

problem #22

Aug 122008


  • 28,512 miles
Driving home when making a left turn the vehicle stopped dead in the oncoming lane. This has happened at least 3 times before with no indication from the dealer as to the cause or solution to this problem. According to reports on the internet many complaints have indicated that around 28,000 miles the engine was replace due to lack of compression.

- Lake Villa, IL, USA

problem #21

Dec 272007


  • miles
I have a 2004 Mazda Rx-8. three times within the last six months (since December 2007) I have had to have the car towed to the dealer because although the car would start, it would not "catch" and fire up. The dealer says that it is a problem particular to the 2004 Rx-8 (no other year of this model has this problem). They said the engine gets flooded if the car isn't run "hot" for at least 1/2 hour (like it can happen if I just run to the grocery store and back). They said this is a recurring problem with the 2004 Rx-8. if this is a huge problem, why hasn't there been a recall to repair it? it costs me over $150 each time it has to go in, not to mention lost hours at work because my car won't start.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #20

Oct 252007


  • 49,000 miles
I bought my 2004 Rx-8 used with 48,000 miles on it. One month after purchasing the engine started to run rough, especially noticeable while at a stop light or sitting at an idle. Was told I had a compression variance in the engine and that it would have to be replaced. Undisclosed to me at the time of purchase was the fact that this car had already had the engine replace previously. I now have a car that is on its 3rd engine in 52,000 miles.

- Newhall, IA, USA

problem #19

Jan 042007

RX-8 4-cyl

  • 38,632 miles
I purchased my vehicle on 12/5/06 at russel Mazda in catonsville, md. Very satisfied with the look of the vehicle and having no prior knowledge the vehicle I made my decision to purchase. Several of my family members own Mazda"S and believe in your vehicles but none own the Rx-8. on 1/4/07, after moving a short distance to park the vehicle, the vehicle wouldn?T restart 5 minutes later. Vehicle had to be towed back to russel Mazda in catonsville for service. Dealer states ?no start condition. Car towed in. Customer hears a whining sound from under the hood when trying to star engine. Engine does not turn over, ?possible starter?. car flooded, de-flooded car as per bulletin #01-048/06xxb479R1//.3 ? procedure ?a? only. After believing this problem was resolved, I assumed everything was ok. To no avail, on April 4, 2008, due to an emergency, once again I had to drive the vehicle a short distance. After parking vehicle at home for 2 days during a short illness, I went to start vehicle to go to work vehicle wouldn?T start. ?de-javu?! I waited a few minutes and tried to start vehicle again. After that, I had to call out of work advising them of car trouble. I then waited 4 hours to try starting again, still no start. I called the castle Ford/Mazda in beltsville who advised me to tow vehicle in. Once unit arrived, after one week of waiting for results of diagnosis, vehicle was flooded again. The dealer gave me an initial repair estimate of $850. I was able to have them lower that amount to $650. My trust in Mazda"S products has truly been tarnished.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #18

Dec 032007

RX-8 0-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1) car often stalls/won't start 2) engine cranks and won't start/ had to take it to a shop many times 3) dealer says "engine flooded" and repaired.

- Edison, NJ, USA

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