My letter to Mazda

Mazda North American Operations
Attn: Customer Assistance
Mazda North American Operations
7755 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618-2922

December 10, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

Subject: Lemon Law Return of my RX-8

I am writing you today in regards to my 2007 RX-8, which has spent more time in the shop for warranty work than I have spent driving it. I’m not kidding. My car has been in the shop a dozen times for warranty work. It has been in the shop four times alone for failures in the passenger airbag system. It is still in the shop for its fourth attempt to repair the airbag system, and as of this moment it has spent FIFTY-FOUR (54!!!) days in the shop on this one problem alone. My patience has run out.

The only thing more outrageous than my car’s time in the shop has been Mazda’s failure at customer service. While the folks at the shop have been helpful, professional, and sympathetic; they are just as frustrated as I at my vehicle’s frequent problems. When I ask what Mazda is going to do about my problems they say it is out of their hands and I need to talk to the dealership or call the 800 number. I talked to the service department manager, who said to let him know if there was anything he could do; but when I asked what he could actually do he admitted that he had no leverage with Mazda and couldn’t really do anything to help me. I talked to my salesman, and asked if he could help me get out from under this lemon without me having to hire a lawyer; and after a few days of research and phone calls he told me there was nothing he could do and that I would need to call the 800 number. Finally, I called the 800 number and as soon as I said I was tired of how often my car was in the shop, and that according to California law my car was a lemon, I was told that they couldn’t talk to me anymore and that I needed to write a letter. Given my experience so far, I have found my customer service interactions less than satisfactory. Good thing I haven’t sent in that survey yet…

So, here we are. In no uncertain terms, my car clearly meets the guidelines and criteria for lemon law return as listed on the California Attorney General’s website. I am going to return this car to Mazda via the lemon law protections guaranteed to California consumers. Take an hour, download my service history for the above referenced VIN, and marvel at the many problems I have had. Then give me a call and let me know whether or not Mazda is going to stand behind their claims of superior customer service and customer satisfaction, and follow the California lemon law guidelines, and offer buy my car back. If I don’t receive a phone call from Mazda within 48 hours of receipt of this letter, as noted on the return receipt, I will be hiring an attorney as this has gone on more than long enough.

Chris Knight

12 Replies to “My letter to Mazda”

  1. I have to admit, every time I see the 2008 Mazda RX-8 I drool and think what a sexy car. Then I remember all the troubles with _your_ car. D assures me that it’s not normal for that car, but it makes me hesitant to ever want to purchase a Mazda, no matter how sexy I think it is.

    I hope that they will buy the car back and you can get something sexy, sporty and that suits your needs.

    1. i just wanted to comment on the probs with my 04 mazda 6…..it went into shop 4 weeks ago and here is what my mechanic found out through the mazda people they go through…for years they have been getting 2 cars a year with the same problem and have never been able to fix them. why, didn’t they do a recall? oh, the mazda person, told them to ask me if i would let them keep my car (indeinately, at my expense) to see if my mechanic could fix it.

  2. Mazda is still jerking me around. I sent them all the required paperwork weeks ago, and have not heard a peep from them. I have filed an arbitration request with the BBB, and we’ll see how that goes.

    In the meantime, I think I’m going to take my car back into the dealership and make then fix all of the problems they introduced with their last failed repair attempt. After all, since the passenger airbag system is still malfunctioning I can’t drive the car if I am going anywhere with my wife. I might as well take it in and have Mazda keep paying for a rental. Every penny I cost them is yet another reason for them to deal with my request.

    -Chris

  3. Hey Chris,

    We have a 2008 Mazda CX-9 with the same air bag problems, what ever happen with you? We live in Wisconsin and also have the lemon law.

  4. Chris,

    How did you make out with your 2007 Mazda? I have a 2009 Mazda5 that pulls to the right and am facing the same lemon law issues – is there a way NOT to lose money with lemon law? Also, when you sent your letter to Mazda did you have to have a specific person’s name on the envelope to send it return receipt? Abby

    1. Depends on the state that you live in.

      In California, you do not lose money on a lemon law return. You pay a pro-rated usage fee based on mileage, which I consider fair. You get all your deposit back, and all your payments, including interest.

      Mazda wants you to send them a certified letter to the address in your owner’s manual, so that they can draw out the process as long as possible. I did that and all I got was run-around. I did not get worthwhile results until I contacted the Better Business Bureau and filed a dispute with their lemon law mediation group. All of a sudden Mazda stopped jerking me around.

      -Chris

      1. Well, I feel your pain my friend! I have an 07 Mazda 6. I have had countless issues with this LEMON! With 22K on it, I am having the left front strut replaced tomorrow for the FOURTH damn time! Dealer “insures” me that there is no reason for this to keep happening, then why the hell does it? However, in the state of VA where I am, you must file Lemon Law Suit within the first 18K, strut #3 was installed at 13K, hope I haven’t ran out of time. I have spoke with an atty. & have been advised to go ahead and write Mazda a letter informing them of my intent to sue and until Mazda responds nothing can be done about it. The strut has not been my only issue; pssg. side window motor quit, faulty interior lights, oil pan seal replaced, transmission mount replaced, donut gasket replaced on & lubed steering shaft, donut gasket replaced also on something to do with exhaust (sound like an engine full of crickets) that problem is also back! Driver side seat had to have a clip removed & foam baffle installed because upon exiting & entering the car it sounded like nails on a chalkboard. That’s all that I can think of at this very moment but that’s enough to get my feathers ruffled! Wish me luck with this battle & if you have any tips or suggestions on dealing with this “Lemonade Stand” called Mazda please post.

  5. thats nothing compared to the problems im having with my 04 rx8 touring. 3 new engines, 2 shuttervalve replacements, 4 A/C leaks, many fuel system problems, fuel pump replaced 2 days after 3rd new engine, alternator replaced 3 times in 1 year. i got the car back on friday and on saturday it started acting up. i feel you. i have two entire pages of what mazda has replaced on the Mazda Warranty Vehicle History Report. im contacting anyone i can at the moment for the lemon law and am getting no where. im in florida and am following you on your adventures. good luck to the both of us.
    Charles.

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