Mazda RX-7 Lemon Site

Others Who've Had Problems With Mazda

Last updated 3/27/96 - to remove real names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. I gave up keeping this list up to date a long time ago. I literally have over 500 messages from other Mazda owners and would-be who have visited the site. Many of these messages tell of excessive service histories with 3rd gen RX-7s.

Through the duration of my legal battles with Mazda I have come across a number of other people who have had similar problems dealing with representatives of Mazda Motors of America. While it is heartening to know that I'm not alone, it is disappointing to realize how widespread it appears that Mazda's customer relations problems are. I suppose that similar lists could be compiled for just about any manufacturer of just about any type of product so keep in mind that there are many, many happy RX-7 owners also.

Listed below are a few of the people I have run into and have given be on-line quotes (I don't retype). If you'd like your name added to the list, just e-mail me at with a summary of your issues.

To me, the quote immediately below this paragraph is the quintessential problem summary, except that this guy is smart enough to have installed an after-market boost gauge. I wish I had. (In fact, I am looking into putting one in my yellow car but haven't found a clean, inexpensive mount yet.) Anyway, here's what EVERY 93 RX-7 owner can expect. In my opinion, this is sure to happen to your car. Whether you notice it or not is another story. Almost certainly, this guy's problem is a failed vacuum hose or check valve or solenoid in the turbo control spaghetti.


" Mazda strikes again!!!! And they wonder why....
As I had outlined previously, my '93 base model has "lost" about two pounds of boost at the high end. On WOT normal operation has been boost peaks at 10 psi, drops to 8 psi as the 2d turbo comes on, then recovers quickly to 10 psi.
About a month ago, I saw where recovery to 10 psi was not happening. Since I have had a "history" of problems with this car, the folks at Mazda Customer Relations had asked that I call them any time I had a problem which required me to take it into the dealer. I did so, and they kindly (note this is NOT sarcastic) arranged a loaner for me while the dealer looked at it.
After testing it, the dealer indicated they could not du- plicate the problem (why am I not surprised), and that the technician found that the boost was recovering to 10 psi. I tested it on the way home, and found that the technician was probably having a beer in a bar when he said he was out testing. It was still not recovering boost.
Mazda again arranged for me to take the car in, and provided the dealer with an updated test procedure which indicates that proper operation is a cycle of 10 psi, 8 psi, 10 psi; and a vacuum reading of 15. Testing my car they confirmed the cycle to be 10 psi, 8 psi and holding with a vacuum of 17.5. That was last Friday.
On the weekend I further tested it, and found, in fact, the car help 8 psi through 90 mph in 4th, but at 105 mph began to lose more so that by 120 mph it was at 7 psi.
I called the dealer on Monday to determine what was to be done. He informed me they were waiting for Mazda to give them direction. I called Mazda, and my contact there "was out." He was also out on Tuesday and Wednesday and today. Nor did he respond to my faxes.
The dealer just told me that a few days ago Mazda had cal- led to let him know that as far as they were concerned the car is operating within spec, that the specs provided in the test procedure are "guidelines" not absolutes, and that they would be writing me a letter to that affect. I guess the guy didn't have the b...s (excuse me, Tuck) to tell me directly.
I guess I'll go looking for competent service. "

" A few months ago there was a lot of discussion on the net about warranty claims and the morality informing Mazda and the Mazda dealer that a car was modified. I refrained from participating in that discussion because of my lawsuit against Mazda and my local Mazda dealer. Now that Mazda has settled with me (out of court), I'd like to share my experience with you. I'll try to make this as brief as possible.
I have a 93 R-1 which I purchased new. A few months after getting the car, I added an Authority Chip, a boost gauge, a Borla (cat back) Exhaust and a Pettit Air Induction System. After driving the car for about a year, I took the car to the Mazda dealer to complain about a shuttering from the right side of the car under hard acceleration and lower than normal boost pressure. After examining the car, the dealer told me that there was nothing wrong. Two months later, while driving home from work, my car seemed to lose power and the idle became very rough. I took the car back to the dealer and found out a few days later that my engine had blown a rear apex seal. The engine would have to be replaced. I was told that "Mazda had given preliminary approval to replace the engine under warranty" but that the Mazda district representative would have to give final approval. A few days later, I got a phone call from the Mazda district rep., to inform me that Mazda would not honor the warranty on my vehicle due to the modifications that I had made.
I asked the Mazda rep. how my modifications caused the engine to blow. I asked him what tests had been performed to determine what caused the seal to blow. He could not give me any viable answers. I then wrote Mazda and told them of all the problems that I had with the car. I asked them to examine the car to determine the exact cause of the failure. I told them that if they could show me how my modifications caused the failure that I would be willing to pay for the repairs. I got a two paragraph "screw you" letter back from Mazda.
I decided against letting the Mazda dealer repair my car. I took it to a local shop to have the engine removed for shipment to Pettit Racing for a rebuild. During the removal of my engine, the local mechanic discovered that my pre-cat had come apart internally and had plugged my catalytic converter (this explained the shuttering and the low boost pressure). I took these parts to the Mazda dealer to show them what caused the engine to fail. The Mazda dealer called the Mazda district representative. I was informed that not only would Mazda not reconsider replacing my engine under warranty, they also refused to replace my pre-cat and cat. This is clearly a violation of the Clean Air Act.
During the next few months, I made numerous telephone calls to other owners and rotary engine experts. I filed formal complaints with the FTC, the EPA and the DOT. I also had a 25-30 page failure analysis report prepared complete with photos. I then organized all of the information and took it to my attorney. He wrote Mazda and got a "screw you" letter back. On December 30, 1994 we filed a lawsuit against Mazda of America and the local dealer. On November 17, 1995, I went to my attorney's office to pick up a check from Mazda payable to me in the amount of $15,000.
This might seem like a lot of money to some of you but $15,000 just covered my out of pocket expenses. I certainly was not compensated for the hundred of hours that I spent putting my case together. Unfortunately under the law, unless I could prove fraud, all that I was entitled to collect was actual damages plus attorney's fees.
Only you can decide what is "morally right" for you. I will tell you that it is standard business at Mazda of America to deny any responsibility and only pay up when it is clear that you are ready, willing and able to take them to court. If you don't believe me, just ask someone whose car burned. Mazda counts on the fact that most people are either unfamiliar with the warranty laws or that you won't take the time, effort or expense to sue them.
I would like to thank those of you on the net that shared information with me over the last two years. I would especially like to thank Dave Zeckhausen who provided me with information and moral support and with Cameron Worth at Pettit who rebuilt my engine."

"First I would like to ask any of the 1993 owners out there who paid $25,000 - $35,000 for their cars if they consider the fact that the paint is chipping of their cars to be "fairly minor". (Perhaps we haven't made it clear on the net just how bad the chipping problem is. We are not just talking about a few little chips here. We're talking swiss cheese!)
At Bell Labs, where I work, there are three 3rd generation RX-7s. Mine was repurchased by Mazda under the NJ Lemon Law. The other 1993 R1 had a blown turbo and is currently under litigation. Mazda has offered the owner $6,000 to drop his legal case. The other is a 1994 R2 and has only been owned for 1 month.
I realize this is a small sample size, but we're talking about 66% of the RX-7s at Bell Labs are (were) in litigation. I have a table listing the number of warranty repairs broken out by part number on 1993 RX-7s. This table was produced early in 1994, so the numbers will be much higher than these today, but let me just give you a sample:
Radiator filler cap body: 598
Turbo charger 52
Water pump bearing 46
Water hose 122
radiator cap 60
filler cap 283
These are people who returned to the dealership and had these parts repaired under warranty. Given the small number of RX-7's produced, these numbers are staggering. And my table doesn't even list the common parts addressed by the TSB list (A-arm bushings, steering rack boots, interior trim pieces, engine mounts, rear hatch hinges, etc.)"

"Just got the '93 out of the shop for its 30,000 mile tune-up and the coolant recall. I had half-a-dozen other problems that I took it in for as well. The good news is the dealer actually addressed each and every issue I complained about. The parts to fix the dying power windows, clunking suspension, grinding noises in the transmission, glove compartment, and door handle are being ordered. The bad news is that it needs a new transmission and will take at least a week in the shop once all the parts come in :-(
For those who are essentially saying that the '93 owners are a bunch of whining crybabies that don't know how to take care of their cars... let me say that if you spent $30,000 on a car you should expect it to be as good in quality and reliability as a $20,000 car. It's NOT a McLaren or Jag SUPERCAR. This is a superb, run-of-the-mill production, 100% streetable machine that should be be as reliable and maintainable as any other car on the market. If you expect a lot less, then that's a pretty LAME attitude, IMHO.
I am still an avid proponent of the 3rd gen RX-7's, but facts is facts and the early production(93's) are a lot of trouble. Just because it's a tremendous performance car is no reason to bury your head in the sand and ignore its problems."
My $0.02

"I'm one of those owners that didn't ask "...gee, does the paint chip?". This is my first mazda, and no other car I've ever owned has had this problem, so why would I ask? It's not a question I'd ask like "what's the gas mileage, what's the top speed, etc...."
When I pay that much for a car I expect better. Next time I'll ask if the supercar has a weaknesses for kryptonite or paint chips."

"While I've had a number of problems with my car, the worst that has happened is that it needed a new turbo unit. It has never stranded me and I've never had any suspension problems. It has had its share of rattles and squeaks and it has had paint peel on the interior trim (as they all did) and, perhaps most annoying of all, I'm one of the people with swiss-cheese paint.
Since I posted the article you quote on this page (where I said that the only major problem was needing a new turbo) more things have gone wrong, but have been (mostly) fixed. I now have 38000 miles on the car.

But I wouldn't trade the car for anything. When I get behind the wheel, it's love all over again. These problems would not be half so annoying if Mazda's American organization and dealer network were competent and customer-oriented."

"I own a 93 R1 which like most of you third generation owners has been in the shop no less than fifteen times. To prove it I have warranty service records that are literally .75 inches thick! What I was wondering is if there are any third generation owners who have kept their cars past the warranty period. In my case the three years will expire far sooner than the 50k and as much as I love the car, I am in a dilemma as to whether to keep it or sell it for a new Supra Twin Turbo.
Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to own a completely trouble free car, particularly one that is three years old, however some of the repairs other third generation owners have had performed under warranty sound terribly expensive if one has to foot the bill. New transmissions, new turbos, new catalytic converters, even new engines, these are not minor repairs.
While I don't mind having minor problems corrected at my expense, new engines and such are simply inexcusable in a new car with 30k miles. Has anyone had major post-warranty work done on their third generation RX-7? What was your experience? Any thoughts would be appreciated as I trully love the car but detest the maker."

" >Re: brake rotors: I've had my rears replaced twice due to... first, heavy corrosion on the rotor centers upon delivery of my car, and second, warped after 10k miles
Also I've recently had my fronts replaced due to warping at 19k miles
ALL under warranty. My dealer was very slow to diagnose the problems for themselves and required much complaining on my part to admit their was a problem with pulsing pedals, etc. Eventually (to shut me up?) they acquiesced and replaced the rotors and pads. My dealer, Barney Garver in Houston, always seems to fight me at first on any problem, then after many visits finally gives in and fixes my car. After the last 5 day stay in the shop, to fix my secondary turbo, the tops of both front fenders had compression dents from the mechanic leaning on them. After pointing this out to the Service Manager they dispatched the local "painless" dent guy to fix on Mazda's purchase order. and so it goes.
If you want any corroboration or documentation on my problems please send me a post. I have kept ALL my receipts."
93 silver touring, VIN JM1F3312PO210484
repaint, recalls, split coolant tank, water pump,
2 sets of rear rotors, 2 sets of rear pads, 1 set front
rotors and pads, rebuilt clutch, replaced hatch hinges, ...bad secondary turbo, Dents from inept mechanics, and Oh yeah, hesitation, too!

> There have been several mentions of leaking intake manifold gaskets (Todd and at least one other) causing problems with idle speed and consistency. Hahn Racecraft has been tracing a similar problem on my... (Snip Snip) ... Anyone else had trouble with this gasket?
"Yes. I took my car in for the fuel line recall and regular servicing in August. While there, I thought why not take the opportunity to complain about the 3000 hesitation. The dealer thought they had a solution - a blown intake gasket. This and the turbos were replaced. I now suffer from a lack of power and the 3000 hesitation problem. (grrr)"

"I don't neccessarily want to bring up an old subject of paint chips which has been discussed extensively in the past few months but i am looking for some advice. My situation is this i have a '93 Montego (3/92) with plenty o chips - -- surprise, surprise. After getting no relief from my service manager i spoke with the district rep. in August. The district rep. agreed that the paint sucked and should be replaced - of course after i reminded him of all of the other RX-7s which Mazda has repainted - he suggested that "if it's going to be done it should be done right" and that "it should be stripped down to bare metal with baking soda and repainted." Now some time has passed and his opinion has, ahhm, changed. He wants to only paint half. My problem is somewhat obvious i want him to do as he previously promised and strip every inch of the bad paint off and reapply paint that will stick. Some time down the road after my warrantee expires i don't want to have half my car's paint new and bright and the other half chipping and dull. If anyone out there can help me out and give advise as to how to convince the rep. to do the entire car - he seems to be a pretty reasonable guy bound by Mazda's bottom line. Those of you who have gotten partial paint jobs are you happy? any complaints? recommendations? Those of you who have gotten the entire car painted I'm sure you can empathize with my situation any advice."


"Still no good news on the "lurch" problem with my '93. Mazda now says,"We've done all there is to do, and the car is running within specs, so tough luck." They base this on the dealer saying all he feels is a minor hesitation at 3000 rpm, and they ignore my statements of how violently it sometimes bucks and jerks..."lurches"...enough to almost give a whiplash effect.
I've scoured my saved RX7net files, but don't find definitive info to use as ammo to get some attention on this problem. So I am requesting you good souls to send me some clear, crisp, concise "ammo" to use."

"I'm beginning to think that it is Mazda'z policy to have their dealer's service dept's deny everything. Any thing I've had replaced, including door seals, hatch hinges, Turbos, Cats, and engine ( @20K mi) were all denied at being defective the first time(s) I brought the car in to be serviced. I won't purchase another Mazda vehicle because of it. Also, regarding the 3rd gens, I don't think their mechanics are familiar enough with them to know how they shoud drive when their healthy and so are not able to notice when somethings wrong. To us that drive them every day a power drop is obvious. To these guys even a sick 3rd gen is fast.&qout;

"I am collecting information for a friend of mine. He just bought his wife a new 1993 Mazda RX7. It had less than 500 miles on it when she parked it in the garage at 6PM one evening. At 3AM my friend smelled smoke. He was able to rouse his family and get them all to safety before the flames engulfed his house including his office. The car was destroyed and most of the house and almost everything in it was lost. His job has been interrupted because his office and files have been destroyed, his family has been living in motels and temporary housing, and they will have to rebuild their entire home. He says that the experience has left him and his family with a fear of living on the site again. This was a beautiful home that he has landscaped and improved for years. I had posted this message in misc and was given this address and the address of a mazda mailing list. Any information regarding similar experiences would be appreciated."

"You are not the first person to have your house & car destroyed by your 93 RX-7 catching on fire in the middle of the night. Call Leo (name removed) in Orange County, CA (phone # removed). Leo's house and car were also destroyed after his 93 caught fire sometime after shutting it off. As of a few months ago, Mazda had investigated at least 12 engine fires in the 93 RX-7. Mazda "claims" the fires are from coolant leaks. I don't believe them. I think the coolant leak theory is a cover up for some bigger problems. I hope that you report this fire to Jeff Quandt at the NHTSA (202)366-5207. If you are interested, I have the names of several other RX-7 owners who had car fires. While their settlements prevent them from discussing the terms of their settlement, they can discuss other information. I also have a copy of the NHTSA file on the engine fires. I hope that you can find some one to investigate the specific cause of the fire. It would be real helpful to the rest of us."

"Last night I received a phone call from a surgeon in Tennessee whose 1993 Base Model RX-7 burned up on Tuesday morning. The significant thing here is that his car had already had the recall campaign service performed. Here are the details:
At 5:00 AM after performing surgery all night, the Doctor drove his car into his garage. As he was stepping out of his car he noticed white smoke coming from under the hood. He popped the hood release and began to lift the hood. As he did, the smoke turned black and he noticed flames. Since his wife and 5 year old were asleep in the house, he decided that he must get the car out of the garage. Fortunately, the car started right up and he backed it out into the driveway. Then he ran inside to call the fire department.
They were only a few blocks away and the rescue squad arrived in a couple minutes. They were unable to put the fire out with extinguishers and the heat and flames drove them back. The ladder truck arrived and began hosing down the car. A dramatic moment occurred when one of the front tires exploded. By the time the fire was extinguished, the entire front of the car was destroyed.
The next morning he called the dealer. On Thursday morning, after flying all night, 4 Japanese engineers from Hiroshima arrived to examine the car. They loaded the car onto a flatbed (breaking an axle in the process) and took it away. His dealer later told him that the car was crated up and flown back to Japan. When he complained that he had not given permission for the car to be taken, the dealer reversed his position and told him that he had been mistaken and the car had not been sent to Japan.
Mazda offered to pay him the exact amount that he had paid for the car provided he sign documents promising that he would never discuss this incident with anyone. Then they started to play games with the amount he paid for the car. They had given him an $8,000 trade-in on his old car. Now they were claiming that they had only given him $5,000 in trade and discounted the car by $3,000, thus reducing the amount of money they would pay him by that amount. At that point, the doctor decided he should contact a lawyer.
That's also when he called me since my name and number are on cross-postings to America On-Line forums. I gave him the name and number of the NHTSA investigator (Jeff Quandt) who is responsible for the coolant system recall.
Jeff had suspected that the engine fires were caused by oil leaks in the turbos and that the coolant system recall was insufficient. This is just the type of evidence he needs to re-open the investigation.
The important thing to remember here is that you should think twice about parking your 1993 RX-7 in an attached garage even if you have had the recall service performed. Until the follow-up investigation is complete, we cannot be sure that any of these cars won't burst into flames without warning.
At the doctor's request, his name and number are being withheld until he speaks with his lawyer. For those of you out there who have dealt with the RX-7 car fires and may have helpful information for this doctor, please contact me by email and I will forward your names and email addresses to him. This guy could probably use your help. "

" Ok. I just got back from the Mazda dealer and had another one of those stupid Service managers, who probably doesn't know how the rotary engine works anyway, tried to tell me why they wouldn't fix my oil leak. The problem was an oil leak from the oilpan after the rebuild.
Unfortunately, the first thing they did was ask what modifications I had and popped the hood to see all of the aftermarket equipment. I rode to the back of the shop with the mechanic, he put it on the rack and looked for the leak. He then went to service manager to discuss the problem. When he returned, he told me that I was denied.
I was, needless to say, PISSED! I went off on the guy and asked him to explain how any of the equipment I put on would cause an oil leak. The best he could come up with was the increased boost pressure would blow through the seals into the rotor housing. That was not really why they wouldn't do the fix. The Mechanic was saying how he would have to remove the engine to get to the oil pan. He would not get paid and did not want to do the repairs. I then went to the Service Manager, who through the course of discussion, said that he looked at the car and determined that the cause was my equipment. I was amazed that he told me that he actually looked at the car when I was with it the whole time. I looked at the service rep. who had also been with me to ask if I somehow missed the time when the Manager looked at the car. The moronic Service Manager was called on his lie. What an a**hole!!!
Anyway after using everything I knew to get the job done I was unsuccessful. I'm supposed to go back next week to see the District Representative. What I need now is some really good advice on how to deal with these jerks. I even tried telling them that is their burden to prove it was my fault. I need good practical and legal ammunition.
I guess I'm done ranting and raving now, but I would love some help.
I am now convinced that all Mazda people are either stupid or a**holes."

" >have to remove the engine to get to the oil pan. He would not get paid and did not want to do the repairs.
Sounds like the moron who worked on my car here one time. He basically told me he did not want to perform and intake gasket r/r because it would be under warranty from the last one he did and he would not get paid. Along with lacking brains they lack tact!
>I am now convinced that all Mazda people are either stupid or assholes.
You need to remove the "either" and the "or". Good luck to you! "

" The district rep is coming to tell you that your emission warranty is void, which covers about the whole damn car. ECU, Turbos, Motor etc. There will be other portions to this as well.
How do I know this? They did exactly the same thing to me, exactly, except they sneak attacked me with the district REP. Certain people there will try to act like your friend, "Try to help you out and plead your case for you." But they are all on a different team than you. I did get a copy, don't know from who, and I don't know if I have it anymore, but they are on the net, of a document from SEMA stating the burden of proof etc. Get this before you go. Since (forgive the language) they are going to f**k with you, you might as well play the same game since you now know in advance what they are going to do. Cancel the meeting a couple of hours in advance a few times and say you are booked the rest of the week since the district rep is probably not based in your area and has to travel there. Bring a copy of the SEMA thing as well as intimidate them by bringing a tape recorder with you and showing them. Make it known that you want to collect all of this information for a future lawsuit. Lie and tell them that you uncle is a lawyer and that you will not have to worry about legal fee's. What ever you do, don't think you have a prayer here. This happened to me by only having the intercooler in, everything else was taken off the car and they still voided most of the warranty. You are right, none of them understand what each item does, an intercooler alone will do nothing but help the car and is actually better for it. Get ready to be really screwed, they are going to flag your VIN number in the Mazda computer as voided portions of warranty if not all. If you ever sell the car that goes with it. Don't let them touch your car from here on out.
They took mine out, which when brought in later for the recall, had nothing on it but a smaller pill in the wastegate line. NOTHING else was visible on the car or in it. Remember this was a recall visit, they took the car out and put a boost gauge on it and the mechanic went out with my car trying to make as much boost as possible. Then they bragged to me about doing it, like they had caught me at something. The ran in 5th gear lower RPM up to 17 psi of boost on 92 octane gas and no fuel computer to add fuel for the huge jump in boost. I don't know how they got it to do this without the boost cut kicking in. I would say I (THEY) were amazingly lucky that the motor didn't blow right then and there. This was all I ever needed to know to realize that these mechanics were complete idiots who didn't have the first clue about this car. IDIOTS!! Trying to get the highest boost they could. In case anyone in MN is on the net, this was Morries Mazda that did all of this. Todd used to get work done on his car with the mods on and he thought they wouldn't do anything, in fact you got a new motor with the mods on didn't you Todd, but last I heard they were trying to deny the warranty for a coolant fix. Oh yeah that coolant sensor failure is caused by higher boost and fat tires right? hehe.
I'm sorry but without legal action I am afraid you are S#$% out of luck.
Let this be a very important lesson to all of you out there planning to bring a car in with any mods at all. No matter how nice the dealer or service guy is. You will get screwed in the long run with no basis at all. "

" Hi Jeff. Just visited your www mazda lemon site. I'm glad you finally were victorious. If you have a sec, I'll tell you about my mazda. I purchased a new Navajo (it's a 2 door Explorer) about 4 years ago. The transmission was recalled and of course I brought it in (later told by a service technician it's Ok to ignore these things). The transmission leaked the night I brought it home. 5 repair attempts later, it still leaked. I met with the regional manager and he agreed to fix the leak, but it would take a week and mazda declined to provide me with a car. This time they fixed the transmission and I vowed I'd never buy another mazda. Since MA (where purchased) and CT (where reside) lemon laws must be invoked prior to 18,000 miles I was out of luck. But wait. A few months later the truck began to get thirsty with the coolant. A mazda dealer pressure tested it and didn't believe I was adding prestone every month. I had an oil analysis done which showed coolant in the oil. mazda replaced the head gasket (twice) but by then the car was out of warranty. I'm sure you can guess what mazda said -- see ya! I hired a (lousy) lawyer and he estimated it would cost $2,500 to sue mazda with what I gathered was a 50/50 chance of being successful. The truck has lasted 100,000 miles, but I don't leave home without prestone. Please let me know if you'd like a picture of my truck and maybe some quotes from mazda's customer "service" people. Oh, my dealer went bankrupt in the middle of this fiasco too. Thanks for your time. "

" A local guy here owns a import performance shop, he runs a RX-7 and complains that every system on the car has failed at one time or another, the first car he owned was in the shop for SEVEN months, the new one is fouling spark plugs, at $85 a set. Is this a sign of things to come?

That's nothing. I owned a '93 RX-7TT before my ZXTT. That car broke down once every two weeks. The ECU went bad and caused it to stall when the AC was on, boost hoses came off (under stock boost levels), door handles fell off, interior panels lost their finish (it flaked off), the fift gear synchro died (fifth!?) because you can't shift to third at high RPM, two air pumps went bad, the fuel tank baffle went bad, the motor mounts came loose, coolant leaked all the time, the front seal had to be replaced (while still on the dealer's lot as I later found out), if you looked at it funny the metal dented, the paint chipped off if a bug hit it, and lots more stuff I've forgotten about over time. FINALLY, the car caught fire on the way to work one day!!! By the time the fire department got there, it was toast. Mazda denied responsibility of course. They claimed they'd never heard of any other RX-7 fires. After finding 5 other owners with fires and a long protracted battle with Mazda, my threatened lawsuit paid off and they settled the case out of court. Later, they owned up to at least 20 such fires and had two recall campaigns to correct the problem. "


" Hello, my name is (removed). It seems that we have a few things in common concerning our vehicles. I'm running into problems with my car. Two days ago, it caught fire under the hood and the whole front of the car was burned. Now I'm in a bind. Here is a general order of events

  1. Car stalled.
  2. Hesitation.
  3. Replaced engine at dealers expense.

Now the dealer is claiming that I didn't have one of the recalls done to the car. (You know the one about the fires under the hood). I had been under the impression that the recall had been done along with the replacement of the engine. Anyway, I can see where this is heading! Do you have any suggestions where to start? I would appreciate the help. This is just one of the many problems that I have had with the car. I've kept all of my documentation on the car as far as maintenance goes.
Do you know a good lawyer in MD, Northern VA, or DC ? "

" To all you out there in the wonderful world of Mazda, I have a new one for you. I bought new a 1995 MX-6 last June. I thought the car was great until New England weather was at it's peak. When it snows outside it also snows inside. What I mean by that is, snow blows though every vent in my car. After shoveling 1/4 inch of snow out of my car every time it snowed and the dealership telling me this was "normal" due to New England weather I went to Mazda Motors of America for help.
After much prodding they finally sent out two engineers, a member of the quality assurance department, and the regional rep. to install a special test kit. A "test kit" you ask? It's a special snow filter I was warned not to tell anyone about. This "test kit" is suppose to stop that "normal" 1/4 of an inch of snow from entering my car. Mazda has been working on this "test kit" for about three years now. This case of interior snowing and interior icing is very well documented. I've seen a binder about three inches thick with many pictures of car who have to shovel the snow and scrape the interior windows.
If that isn't bad enough there's also a water leak that the dealership ironically can't seem to find and say once again that it's "normal" to have to scrape the interior windows, with an ice scraper, even if you don't have to scrape the outside.
I've followed all the guidelines on the Lemon Law, gone through mediation, and am now in the process of filing for a court date. "

Mazda Lemons of Massachusetts

" Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your opinion of Mazda Motors America. While my RX-7 story is not nearly as involved as yours, it, too, shows Mazda's incredible neglect in supporting their customers, especially of their flagship RX-7.
I leased my 93 RX-7 (one of the first built - something like 2-92 build date) in April of '93 from an out of town dealer. I didn't do NEARLY as good as you in wheeling and dealing. It was a base model with leather and floor mats, and the price was $26K. Not bad, but not great. It, too, was a demo with about 2000 miles on it. I thought it was a great deal ( a previous deal had fallen through, and this one came up) and signed the lease agreement after (I know - I deserve this) noting that the gearbox felt a little sloppy going into 5th gear. Nothing too severe - it just never felt like it had 'clicked into" 5th gear. I mentioned this to the dealer who replied -" I just drove that car yesterday, and I didn't notice anything." I figured - ahhh it's just me, and if not- that's what the warranty is for. Prophetic words, indeed.
After less than a week of driving the car ( <800 miles) with far more highway driving than on a test drive, I thought I had better take it in to a local (not the dealer I leased from) dealer who had always given me great service on previous Mazdas. To make a long story short, the dealer said, "You need a complete rebuild of the gearbox", which blew me away. Again, I wasn't too upset, knowing it would be a warranty repair. I was still kicking myself for not acting on my observation of the problem before signing the lease, but was still OK because I was getting an RX-7 at a decent price now with a new gearbox. However, the local dealer's next statement sent me through the roof. He said, " the last guy that rebuilt the transmission didn't do a very good job.". Excuse me the LAST GUY to rebuild the gearbox? He replied yes, that the gearbox in this vehicle had been repaired before by the very same dealer I leased it from for the very same reason I mentioned to the dealer before I signed the lease. In the process of the repair, a ball bearing (from what I gather) was left rolling around in the tranny, and roached everything in sight. I believe the repair bill was close to $3000, and I believe the leasing dealer was held responsible, as Mazda itself refused to pay for the repair under the circumstances. Eventually, the local dealer came through and got me the car back after about a week, but not without a fight from me for circumstances beyond their control (i.e. parts availability).
My dissatisfaction with the leasing dealer should be obvious. My dissatisfaction with Mazda stems from the fact that after informing them of this situation, I was told by a Mazda Regional Service representative that"... it really is an inconvenience when customers call us with theses complaints..." and that there was no way for a rental car to be arranged. Basically, Mazda felt that if they gave me their precious car back 8 days later, that would be fine no matter how much walking I had to do. And that is exactly what happened.
Unfortunately, my lease comes up this month, and in spite of this and other minor flaws (TSBs, all of which have been corrected), I am going to purchase the vehicle because I LOVE THE GOD DAMN CAR TOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!
I can't afford anything else, so Mazda has me by the short hairs, and I regret that my purchase of this vehicle will be counted as a statistic in the "TOTALLY SATISIFIED" column, but I will buy it nonetheless.
Glad your RX-7 experience ended up equitable, as I hope mine will, and thought you might enjoy a similar story of Mazda Motors satisfaction. "

" I'm yet another person to add to your list who is having problems with a Mazda dealership, and indirectly I'm sure, with Mazda.
I bought a '93 RX-7 with leather in March of '93 from (dealer removed). Since then, I have repeatedly complained about a 3,000 rpm hesitation and paint chipping. The hesitation has finally gotten to the point that it is intolerable (particularly when it is cold) so I'm trying to get the dealership to do something about it. Thus far, the response I've gotten from the service advisor and the shop manager is that there is nothing wrong and that 'this is just a normal function of the car'. I've explained that the hesitation is sometimes like someone shut the engine off with it still in drive (major jolt).
I've showed these guys the information I've pulled from the Lemon Website in hopes that it might ring a bell or get them to contact Mazda. Common sense would tell you that if enough people come in and complain about the same problem, its time to get the techno-gurus in from Hiroshima to look at the problem. Just giving customers dumb looks and comments isn't going to make anybody happy. This is their modus operandi.
The amazing thing about this 3,000 rpm hesitation is that I've explained to these guys that 1) it is intermittent; 2) particularly bad when it is cold; and 3) exists. When they drive it, they say there is no problem. I told the service advisor that I don't enjoy coming in there and that it is a hassle, so why would I be making this up?
On the paint chipping problem, they are contacting Mazda to determine if they will cover it. This is INCREDIBLY stupid since every damn RX7 that is Red, Black, or Montego Blue seems to be having this problem. You'd think it would be a no brainer. So, once again, I've got to take the car back to the dealership.
Another note on the paint chipping, a couple of years back I was getting fed up with the answers I was getting on the paint chipping. There was a service advisor who actually told me that "these aerodynamic cars tend to get a lot more paint chips". I told him to get away from me. I was about to punch him. What an insult to the intelligence, but this seems to be the mode of operation for the service advisors. They are kind of a sacrificial front line to do battle with the customer. Unfortunately, they've missed the point, this isn't a battle, I just wanted the problems fixed.
BTW, (dealer removed) is also an Oldsmobile dealership. Figures.
As much as I love the RX-7, I think I will be buying a BMW Z3 or maybe splurge on an NSX just so I can get the kiss-ass service at those dealer- ships. Or maybe I'll give into the redneck in me and get a new 'Vette.
So much for Mazda Motors. They used to be a powerhouse in this country, unfortunately, they've become another casualty of complacency."

" I bought my '93 RX-7, used, at Hoehn Porsche, Acura in Carlsbad in 1996. Being that I bought the car at a dealership, I never thought I would have any major problems with it. Boy, was I NA¤VE!
Like you, my car has been constantly in the shop with major repairs. I can relate to everything that you have stated in your "Saga." Yet, to this day, no one can seem to fix my car- especially the lack of power in high gear and the radiating heat that comes from the transmission area (my leg feels like it's being roasted over a b-b-q pit). Oh, and then there is the toxic smell that comes in through the AC vents. The check engine light is on constantly. I basically gave up trying to solve the problems- after the engine, turbos, transmission, spark plugs, vacuum hoses, O2 sensor (my car now idles at a constant 1500 RPM and will sometimes fluctuate down to 1200 RPM) were replaced at 2 Mazda dealerships. So, I decided that it was time for me to sell the car and let the next owner deal with it.
Unfortunately, it's in the repair shop again. Last night I had the car towed from my parents' driveway to a repair shop, due to water gushing out of the radiator. It turns out that the motor to one of the fans froze, causing the fan to fall off and hit the radiator, leaving a BIG hole in it. Just my luck!!! Now I have to replace the Radiator, the motor fan and the fan itself. This is going to cost me $824 (excluding labor). I've already sunk in approximately $2000 on stuff that my extended warranty did not cover (this already expired). Do you know where I can find after market parts at a more affordable price? According to the people working on my car, there isn't any after market parts available. I hope this isn't the case."

I have many more stories like this but I'm too lazy to update the page. You get the picture.

1993 RX-7 owners who have had or will have cars repainted by Mazda:

Back to the RX-7 Lemon Site Main Page

All of the information on these pages is to my knowledge either an accurate summary of events and facts or is my opinion. It doesn't represent the views of Mazda (duh), my employer, my Internet service provider, or anyone else.