really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,273 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Mazda RX-8 Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Oct 182011


  • 110,000 miles


First indications, the failure warning light upon starting. Used another car that day. Next day, no warning light, however, on the way home, the steering abruptly made a *full* turn to the right very quickly (going about 30mph on a dirt road). I was able to stop the car before it ran off the road - no failure warning light on the dash. Since then the failure light has appeared in increasing frequency to the point it is mostly on. When the warning light is on, the steering is essentially manual, but workable. The worst case is when it is off, and suddenly goes into a failure mode without* indication (I.e. the warning light stays off). It has happened a few times, even when at a full stop and the wheel turns by itself to the right. Pretty disconcerting. The full symptom description is that it becomes extremely easy to turn clockwise and more difficult to turn counter-clockwise. I'd rather it was in failure mode and hard to steer than indicating everything is fine and then suddenly decide it wants to go a different direction - always to the right in my case. Reviewing the other complaints here makes it seem like a flaw in the implementation or probably the selected part(s) Mazda used, but worse even, there are two different failure modes, one making it hard to steer, but at least consistent, and the other mode leaving the driver guessing as to what direction the car will travel and when it may decide to do that. I'm having it repaired and will retain the failed components. When it does indicate failure it remains that way until the engine is shut down. When it indicates everything is fine, it may fail anytime, but never indicates failure. I'm submitting this in hopes that something can be done to prevent a terrible accident for someone who has not yet experienced the problem. The first case for me was on a dirt road - if it was on a highway... ouch.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #22

Jan 102012


  • 108,522 miles
As I turned on my car one time, the power steering just didn't come on. I then shut it off, and then turned it back on and it worked. After this happened several times the power steering ceased to turn on at all. It wasn't as if the motor for the electric steering was slowly going out; it was either night or day.

- Menan, ID, USA

problem #21

Jan 032012


  • 95,655 miles
My Mazda RX8 had power steering fail while driving my child home from school. So not cool.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #20

Aug 162011


  • 58,000 miles


Power steering issues, failing, electrical issues where coolant overflow is located not covered in warranty.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #19

Nov 072011


  • 89,000 miles
My electronic power steering is going in and out causing me to lose power steering. This is a problem that many 2004 Rx-8 owners are discussing online and in forums. Dealers and mechanics know of the problem with connectors and racks going bad but Mazda has refused to address the chronic problem. It is dangerous and costly, I am on my second repair of the problem. Please push Mazda to step up and address this growing and chronic problem.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #18

Nov 252010


  • miles
My power steering light comes off and on randomly. When the light comes on my power steering does not work, which in most cases I am already on the road and this is very unsafe. The power steering comes and goes, sometimes it last for a couple days before it turns off but most of the time it does not work at all. I have already taken it to the dealer and they say its the rack, which I spent over $1000 to replace and it still does not work. I have about 15 friends with this same car and they have all had the same issue. Mazda needs to fix this before a wreck happens when someones power steering goes off while they are driving 70 mph down the interstate.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #17

Sep 142011


  • 61,000 miles


I first noticed a problem in my steering while driving in my neighborhood. The steering felt very light and crisp when I would turn to the left. When I would return to dead center and then turn the steering wheel to the right, the steering became very stiff. The next day when I started the car, the "power steering malfunction" light was on. Power steering was completely disabled at that time. Upon doing research I have found out that this is a very common problem with 2004 and 2005 RX8's.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #16

Sep 022011


  • 67,000 miles
I just got the car back from dealership they had to put new motor in at 67000 miles replaced motor and catalytic converter 3 coils and also told me they had to flush it out as it was flooded I drove less than 100 miles and power steering went out? now I don't know what the problem is and have to take it back less than a month later this is crazy!!!! cost me over $1100 to get it back and drive 2 times and now broke again this car is a piece of crap should have done homework on it before buying.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #15

Feb 202011


  • 60,000 miles
I was driving my 2004 Mazda Rx-8, which had approximately 60,000 miles at the time, when I suddenly lost power steering in one direction and steering became very light in the other direction. This problem disappeared the next time I started the car, but reappeared intermittently for several hundred miles, eventually causing the car to lose power steering in both directions. This was intermittent for a while, as well, but eventually the power steering ceased to function altogether. These failures were accompanied by a power steering warning light, which remains illuminated to this day. The first time I experienced the phenomenon, I was very startled by it and feel that, had the problem occurred at an inopportune moment, it could have very well contributed to an accident.

- El Dorado, AR, USA

problem #14

Jun 152010


  • 62,000 miles
Power steering failure.

- Englewood, NJ, USA

problem #13

May 172011


  • 32,165 miles


Vehicle power steering intermittently decreases to the point of little or no power assist. Most common on starts after a long vehicle soak. Secondary concern is that the battery fails rapidly and repeatedly, and vehicle stalled in traffic en route to dealer to investigate poor power steering performance. Root cause reported as a failure of the electric power steering system in vehicle. Amperage request of power steering system is so great that can overwhelm electrical system, resulting in poor/no battery charging and believed cause of on-road stall. Per manufacturer service, only fix is replacement of entire power steering rack. Repair to be performed week of 5/20/11; old parts should be available.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #12

Feb 172011


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda RX8. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds, the power steering suddenly failed and became difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was unable to be driven and was towed to an authorized dealer. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who advised her that the body control module had failed. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 85,000.

- Crofton, MD, USA

problem #11

Feb 142011


  • 92,420 miles
My Mazda RX8 is having power steering problems, one time it lost power steering while I was driving... to most people, this will be something pretty scary and very dangerous if they do not know what is going on. I would recommend checking this out, because this is definitely a lawsuit just waiting to happen...

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #10

Sep 222010


  • 58,000 miles
Vehicle can turn left on its own with a faulty power steering rack and/or control module.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #9

Feb 012010


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda RX8. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph and making a turn he experienced a failure with the power steering which made it difficult to turn the steering wheel. The failure occurred on an intermittent basis. The vehicle was inspected by a dealer who informed him that the electric power steering module needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 55,000.

- Sheveport, LA, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Mar 102010


  • miles
I don't even know where to begin with the problem I have had with my 2004 Mazda Rx-8. I have owned it since September 2003 and it has had countless issues, parts replaced and failures. The incident I experienced last night put me over the edge and almost cost me my life. My Rx-8, which was just at the dealer 2 weeks ago, had an engine malfunction while I was on a major highway in Massachusetts. The speed of the vehicle went from approx 50mph to 10mph in a matter of a few seconds. Luckily I was able to make my way to the breakdown lane without injuring myself or anyone else; however, this is unacceptable. Every single part in my Rx-8 has been replaced except for the engine mounts and engine. I have dished out thousands of dollars already and the vehicle only has 44,000 miles on it. Not only is this a safety hazard to those of us driving the vehicle, but it is also a safety hazard to those around us. Had the car behind me not been paying attention my vehicle could have caused a deadly car crash in the middle of rush hour on a major highway. I have contacted numerous dealerships, the BBB, and am now looking into a class action lawsuit. Mazda needs to be held accountable for their actions. Unfortunately because my car was purchased in 2003, BBB wouldn't have anything to do with the case, however I have 57 pages of detailed repairs that have been made to this vehicle since I owned it, which I am more than happy to send to you. Tons of people online have had similar issues; just from automotive.com there are 30+ email addresses of individuals who have experienced problems similar to mine. Please help us get to the bottom of this faulty engine and make Mazda own up to their mistakes. People's lives are in danger and this is neither acceptable nor ethical. Ps- an employee of NHTSA has been contacted prior regarding this situation. Her name is cortney and her contact information is 1-888-327-4236 ext #: 1268. I received this from the automotive.com forum.

- Andover, MA, USA

problem #6

Feb 082010

RX-8 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda RX8. While driving 75 mph the steering wheel warning light illuminated on the dashboard and the power steering failed. The contact lost control of the vehicle and was able to safely drive onto the emergency lane. The vehicle was towed to his residence. The dealer advised him to have a diagnostic test performed. The failure mileage was 82,000. Updated 02/26/10 the consumer stated this is a known problem. Updated 06/10/10.

- Rigby, ID, USA

problem #5

Jan 302010


  • 50,000 miles
This is regarding a 2004 Mazda Rx-8 with about 65,000 miles. Power steering on car works ok when car first started. After about 15 minutes (and usually by the time I hit the highway) the car will jerk itself to the left and back to the right very sharply, almost causing loss of control of the car on at least three occasions. After jerk, steering light will light on dashboard and no power steering assist is available. Power steering has also gone out in the middle of a turn, also almost causing loss of control of vehicle. I found out through rx8club.com that this is a common problem with this car, and the dealership wants to charge upward of $2,000 to fix this problem.

- Bound Brook, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jul 122009


  • 25,000 miles
Experienced failure of power steering on 2004 Mazda Rx-8 with approximately 25K miles of use. Previously, power steering would fail intermittently but would correct itself after turning the car off and restarting it. We requested servicing of this problem in April of 2008 but it didn't show up in the computer scan of the car so the dealership told us to bring it back while the problem was occurring. However, it wasn't possible to drive the vehicle safely while the failure was occurring and it would correct itself once the car was stopped and restarted. Very unsafe to have the steering fail/seize while the car was in operation. The problem continued intermittently until July 12, 2009 when it failed completely. Car is currently back in the dealer shop waiting for parts that contain a sensor that should correct the problem to be shipped from Japan. The repair will require removing and replacing most of the steering system as the part can only be replaced as an entire unit. We were informed this was not covered by the warranty as it's not a defect and occurs through normal wear and tear.

- Toronto, 00, USA

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