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UPDATE — CLASS ACTION FILED: Mazda3 Owners – Clutch Problems, Replacement and Premature Failure Are Not Your Fault

UPDATE

On July 15, 2016, the Firm filed an amended class action complaint concerning the alleged defect in 2010-15 Mazda 3 clutch assemblies.  The case currently is proceeding in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division.  We will update this blog post as the case proceeds.

Zoom-Zoom. If you’re a Mazda owner, you’ve probably seen the commercials. They’re everywhere. They’re filled with lively music and images of drivers coasting along highways in their sporty, fun and fast Mazda cars. Chances are they were on your mind when you purchased your Mazda3. And they definitely were when you guided the vehicle onto the road for your first joy ride.

Then your Mazda3’s clutch starts to experience problems like slipping, requiring a little more effort every time you shifted gears. Finally, your Mazda3’s clutch stops working all together. You head in to the nearest dealership, warranty in hand because your Mazda3 is covered by a three-year/36,000 mile warranty, and confident that your Mazda dealer will replace the clutch. After all – your warranty is still in effect. Then reality sets in. Mazda will not cover clutch replacement. The Mazda dealer tells you that your clutch failed and needs to be replaced BECAUSE OF YOU. You “Zoomed-Zoomed” too much, driver error. “But wait,” you say, “I know how to drive a manual car and have never had problems with any other clutch.” Sorry, you’re told, it’s wear and tear, and it’ll be $1200 to replace the clutch so you can get back to zoom-zooming. The bad news? You probably had to pay it. The good news? You’re not alone.

Second generation (2009-2013) Mazda3 owners need to know that premature clutch failure is a common problem well-known to Mazda, and Mazda should be forced to honor its warranty and replace the clutch at no cost to you. Ever since the second generation Mazda3 debuted during the 2009 model year, owners have complained of premature clutch failure, in some cases in as few as 12,000 miles. And the problem only worsened after the release of the 2010 Mazda3.

The internet is littered with hundreds of complaints concerning early cutch failure plaguing the 2010 Mazda3. According to some owners, Mazda knows of the problem and has traced it to a “master and slave cylinder failure/malfunction [that] has led to premature clutch wear on this car.” And Mazda has informed other owners that it has updated the clutch assembly, seemingly acknowledging that the vehicle suffers from a design or manufacturing defect. In short, Mazda may tell you that your clutch failed due to driver error, but even Mazda knows that’s not the case.

The 2011 and 2012 Mazda3 also suffer from early or premature clutch failure. Yet after four years of complaints from owners, Mazda continues to charge its customers thousands of dollars to replace a defective part that Mazda knows will fail well before it should. There’s no question that vehicle owners expect a clutch to last for well in excess of 50,000 miles, and that most owners will not need to replace a clutch within the first 100,000 miles. Yet Mazda, the same company that encourages its drivers to drive their cars for pure enjoyment and “exhilarating performance,” tells its customers that clutch failure inside of 30,000 miles is excepted, or worse, the owner’s fault.

We would like to help. If you own a 2009-2013 Mazda3 and have experienced problems with, or early failure of, your clutch, we would love to talk to you about your experience, the cost to repair, and how we can help you try to recoup costs that Mazda should have covered in the first place.