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 1 of 4)

problem #63

Jan 072016


  • 140,000 miles


I have had my electronicaly assisted steering go out on me and pose a serious risk to me and others while I drive. This was 1st noticed with a slight shutter or kickback when turning the steering wheel, while I did notify the dealership; they told me that unless there was a code they could not do anything. This was after it was already replaced with a re-manufactured one. When I had my car towed to the dealership the tow guy even stated to the dealer that the steering indicator light was on. But when the car was started at the dealer the light was not on. I've had to drive this way for a while now and it has become worse to where the steering wheel locks up and is hard to turn, almost causing me to hit another vehicle 80% of the time I drive.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #62

Jun 072016


  • 90,000 miles
The electric power steering has a connection directly under the coolant overflow. Coolant causes the connection to go bad, on multiple occasions my power steering would completely cut out. Almost caused me to be in an acciden. And from what I read online it seems to be a common issue. I do believe this to be a huge safety risk.

- Plover, WI, USA

problem #61

Mar 092016


  • 120,000 miles
Takata recall after completing the "interim repair" the cars power steering will intermittently go out without warning, or pull to the right electronically and forcefully with no notice, this is a seriously dangerous problem as, in addition to the car pulling hard right without notice, sometimes while correcting for the pull the power steering comes on without notice forcing the steering correction to swerve left. Also the ABS and tcl lights turn on an off intermittently since the ┐interim repair┐. the power-steering will go in and out while stopped, in motion in either city or highway, and while going in a straight line or while turning. ┐ this is going to kill someone

- Palm Bay, FL, USA

problem #60

Nov 302015


  • 147,000 miles


This involves the electrically assisted steering. While having an extended warranty that covered the part the dealer kept saying that there wasn't an issue with the steering, even after I had showed them how to manually diagnose the issue; and that they wouldn't be paying for it but the warranty would. This has been an ongoing problem that keeps getting worse the steering indicator light is on and the issue is constant. Whether at a stand still, driving, or turning. The wheel literally locks up and requires you to use force to brake it free, when this happens you have to immediately counter act the extreme breaking force (rotational) that you applied so you don't side swipe another car. (this is not just from the electrical assist not working but the rack itself) when you do counter the force, now your going the other way depending on the original force. This can and makes it seem to you and others that you snapping the car, extremely quickly in your lane for no reason. But also due to the force and speed makes the car want to break traction and spin out. Another instance is where you have little (still manual) force on the wheel and then the teeth of the gear seem to jump or bounce from 1 to the other which leads to a quick swaying of the car not quite snapping. And finally now and recently the electrical assist seems to be kicking in and adding more turn to the wheel. So when you think you've fixed the swaying forces the electrical assist adds more force and it throws you off on how much or less force you have to use so that you don't take out another vehicle these kinds of things should not be happening and need to be fixed, so that no one gets hurt. I have had many close instances not hitting ppls also I am unable to get my state inspection or a proper alignment of the vehicle so this is putting wear on my tires and I am unable to sell the vehicle

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #59

Oct 142015


  • 105,000 miles
Electronic power steering quit working while driving down the road.

- El Dorado, AR, USA

problem #58

May 012015


  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda Rx-8. while driving at 70 mph, the steering wheel independently turned in both directions. As a result, the contact crashed into a curb and the air bags failed to deploy. The contact did not sustain any injuries. A police report was not filed. In addition, the contact noticed that the rear passenger wheel well was curved and fractured. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician was unable to diagnose or repair the vehicle. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 95,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #57

May 142014


  • 29,300 miles


For some reason the power steering start working intermittent, now it is not working at all. May cause a fatal accident because of the hard to manipulate. My life is in danger.

- Coamo, PR, USA

problem #56

Mar 162015


  • 91,000 miles
Power steering suddenly started to pull to the right then went out.

- Lexington Park, MD, USA

problem #55

Feb 142015


  • 128,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway and when I wanted to take my exit I noticed that my power steering (assisted steering) gave out without any warning or precondition that it was failing. The steering was really heavy and almost made me crash into a divider, which really scared me. I then had to drive all the way home with out any power steering. I have thus spent several hundred dollars at the mechanic so they can figure out the problem. They have told me the problem is with the computer module that controls the power steering and it will need to be replaced. The mechanic directed me here to file a complaint because they said it is a common fault in this car and should be brought up to Mazda's attention.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #54

Feb 092015


  • 70,093 miles
Car turns left way too easy. Also car will pull left really hard and jerk out of my hands at higher speeds.

- Lawson, MO, USA

problem #53

Jan 012012


  • 95,000 miles


In early 2012 I started to notice that when the weather was cold my steering wheel would shudder as I backed out of my driveway. After a the initial wheel turn the problem would disappear until the next day, or week. Throughout the years the problem has gotten worse to the point that the power steering failed all together for 3 months in late 2013. Inexplicably the power steering returned in early 2014, but if the temperature was cold the steering was very heavy for a few degrees of turning and then the car would sense I had turned the wheel a few degrees and would then assist too much and the vehicle would jerk in that direction. As the year progressed the problem changed to a constant shake back and forth when I first started the vehicle. This issue would happen at speeds ranging from 0-10mph and only when either initiating a turn or while unwinding the wheel from a turn. I have had problems in the past couple of months, as the temperature has fallen again, when driving straight and entering a gradual curve in the road (travelling at any speed) the wheel will not give power steering assist and the wheel is very difficult to turn (compared to if power assist was working correctly) and then after a couple of degrees the assist will jump in and the car quickly over corrects and vehicle veers in the direction of the steer necessitating immediate correction in the opposite direction. There appear to be many complaints from a loyal Mazda fan base about this exact issue, and how several people have nearly had an accident, but there has been no response from Mazda. There seems to be no exact fix issued, not even a service bulletin.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #52

Oct 312014


  • 100,000 miles
I typically drive my RX8 like it should, one day I come home park my car per usual. Next morning I go to turn on my car, the dsc light stayed on, thought nothing of it, then on my way to work, I was driving causally, then while in the middle of a turn, my steering became very heavy and almost impossible to turn, my power steering had went out. After dealing with about 2 full days at the dealership, spending thousands, still no power steering, and I'm not credited any portion of what I paid to get fixed and its still not fixed. This is a known issue and a recall must be done immediately before people seriously get injured, injure others, or even die. This is all possible, if I didn't have both hands on the wheel, an accident most definitely would have taken place.

- Attleboro, MA, USA

problem #51

Sep 192014


  • 100,074 miles
About a month ago, my power steering motor on my 2004 Mazda Rx-8 went out (apparently it has no pump, it's all electrical). It goes in and out when I crank it up at different times, mostly out more than in, but anyway, it got to where it did it all the time. I took it to my mechanic and before he could fix it, the starter went out, and it wouldn't even crank! so we replaced the starter and the power steering, and the night I picked it up the power steering light was on and still didn't work, even with a new power steering motor! it goes in and out, so it must have worked with my mechanic. What is wrong with this Mazda" everything that can go wrong on this car does. Mazda does not know how to make their cars. This model has about five recalls as it is, why is the power steering not one of these" at the dealership, a new motor is $1800 dollars. At that amount, this issue should be a recall considering it to be such a small problem with such an expensive part that can be potentially dangerous. It should be recalled because on all of the Rx-8 forums that I've read, this has been a problem. This could get somebody killed, especially when it goes out while driving. Please have Mazda do something about this issue. Also, on the forums the starter is a 2004 Rx-8-wide problem.

- Rockmart, GA, USA

problem #50

Jun 132012


  • 6,500 miles
Steering torque sensor that sometimes fails to properly register driver steering input, causing the system to remove electric power steering (eps) assistance.

- Trinity, FL, USA

problem #49

May 062014


  • 102,000 miles
Power steering was lost mid-turn, had to wrestle the vehicle out of the turn. Forum search has revealed that many other Rx-8 owners are having steering issues and intermittent power steering loss. In the worst occurrences, the wheel becomes locked to one side. User-base has researched and found sensor issues that Mazda may want to address.

- Mays Landing, NJ, USA

problem #48

Apr 142011


  • 45,000 miles
Electrically assisted power steering stopped working intermittently until it no longer works at all. This is a common problem with this model. I found this fact by joining the RX8 club website. Multiple owners have reported this problem and it appears obvious that it is caused by poorly engineered/manufactured electrical connectors. Some owners have gone as far as replacing the wire harness only to have the problem recur. Making the problem worse is that the Mazda website has no mechanism to report the problem to the manufacturer. Currently the only time the power steering if functional is only for short periods after the care has been through a car wash and the undercarriage has become wet, and then it is only functional until the undercarriage dries out.

- Weott, CA, USA

problem #47

Aug 012013

RX-8 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
The electrical assist power steering intermittently stops working. Sometime, when starting the car, the power steering works fine. Other times, it will not work.

- Citrus Heights, CA, USA

problem #46

Feb 202014


  • miles
Power steering stopped working when I was turning on to the high way. Making it stiff and hard to turn. Clutch peddle collapsed making it had to shift gears and the clutch ratio is off,

- Windsor , CO, USA

problem #45

Jun 112013


  • 84,000 miles
Power steering failed and has many times cause me coming close in hitting the car next to me while driving. The steering wheel would turn by itself in a full 360. I constantly have to open my hood and shake to harness wire. This is a well known issue with this car. This issue should have been addressed a long time ago.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #44

Feb 232010


  • 72,000 miles
Was driving home when steering wheel began to "stick" over the course of a few days, steering went from working to not working at all. Steering malfunction light came on and hasn't gone off since. When it first happened, I took it to the dealer (although it was out of warranty) and they told me that it was the eps module and to replace it would be ~$1100. Purchased the module and that wasn't the issue they realized. Dealer wants to replace the entire steering system at a cost of $4000! what a joke. Why should I pay anything for an obvious defect from the factory. I've read too many posts of complaints about this issue and Mazda is turning a deaf ear. This company should be ashamed of themselves for even allowing such an issue to leave the factory, but even if you didn't know that it was a factory defect, you should be immediate to correct it, but you aren't. I guess that it will take for someone to die before you do something about it. I take a chance on driving my car along the interstate because when I come to a curve, the steering can freeze and I have to wrestle the car around the turn. A dangerous situation. Mazda, do something about this obvious flaw in this vehicle, amongst many other flaws. An issue with steering should be a non-issue. Are you serious Mazda? a lot of owners can't even steer their vehicle without creating a sweat. I am very frustrated and disappointed in your seemingly lack of concern with this matter.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

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