In 2008 my wife and I bought a 2008 Mazda 5. (Here is a review I wrote on the Mazda 5). We love our car. It suits our family perfectly. It is/was also the only vehicle on the market that has all the specific features we wanted. We had the odd warranty issue, though it never really deterred us as we understand things happen, besides, they were covered.
In early 2010 (or possibly late 2009) the left rear shock blew out and leaked all over. Courtenay Mazda replaced it under warranty. In September 2010 the right rear shock blew out. Mazda replaced it under warranty. Our warranty ran out in April of 2011, then in January of 2012, 16 months after it was replaced, the rear right shock blew out again.
We are pretty easy on our car, no off-roading or fast speed bumps. We take it pretty easy. There is NO way a shock should die after just over a year. There is obviously a problem with these stock Mazda 5 shocks.
To reinforce this fact, Mazda is now putting the beefier 2012 model shocks on all older Mazda 5’s when replacements are necessary indicating they acknowledge the previous part was insufficient. (Should this not have been a recall or TSB issue then?)
So here I am. Another blown shock. But the way I see it, even though my purchase warranty is up, the replacement shock Courtenay Mazda put in just over a year ago should be covered under its own warranty, so I take the car into Mazda.
I ask the parts guy about it. He looks me up in the computer and says no, it will not be covered. I am pissed. 16 months for a shock? He tells me he will give me a deal on parts and labour. The shocks are $149 each and the labour is about $100. He takes off 25% and quotes me about $300 plus tax. The shocks they will use are from the new 2012 model.
I tell the parts guy, no, I will take the care elsewhere and put aftermarket shocks on it. The Mazda shocks are not ones I can trust, and besides the warranty is terrible. The parts guy says, and this is an exact quote, “They don’t make aftermarket shocks for the Mazda 5. All shops have to come to us to get them”.
This pisses me off, but fine, if it is my only solution I will let Courtenay Mazda fix the car and shell out the $350 after taxes.
I go home and start researching. Wouldn’t you know it, Monroe makes an aftermarket shock that fits the Mazda 5! (Here it is). And guess what, it also has a LIFETIME Warranty! And Guess what else, they are on sale and cost only $50.54 each right now (regular price was $67.39). Canadian Tire can have them installed for $211 AFTER all taxes.
Not only is this much cheaper, the more important take away is that AFTERMARKET SHOCKS DO EXIST FOR THE MAZDA 5. The parts guy at Courtenay Mazda full out LIED to me. You’re Busted buddy.
My wife called Courtenay Mazda to complain about the whole situation and was forwarded to the owner (I am not sure what his name is). He said he would look into it and promised to call us by Monday. Well Monday came and went and we did not hear a word from him.
Even if the answer was still “no” we will not replace the parts for free, had the owner called us back he could have saved some face with us. While it may not have been enough to keep our business, it may have prevented me from writing this blog post which will hopefully rank well in Google for “Courtenay Mazda”.
Okay, while I am 100% certain, the parts guy at Mazda full out lied to me, I want to play devils advocate, because I do recognize that it IS possible that hey truly believed that there were no aftermarket shock options. I find it very hard to believe that this could be true, BUT it is possible.
It is possible that the parts guy did NOTHING wrong. After all, he is just following Mazda’s policies – its those policies that are the problem. In the parts guys defense, he did also offer me a discount on the repairs for what its worth.
So if we take the lie out of the equation, the whole thing is still pretty bad, that Mazda can’t warranty a replacement part that they know is insufficient. It wreaks of “evil doing”. Lets sell this guy a part we know will break soon, then sell it to him again, and again, and again, AND lets charge 3 times what a reliable warrantied part will cost him elsewhere.
The fact that the owner didn’t return his call like he said he would just throws gas on the fire and makes them look worse.
The Parts Guy
I want to add one more thing about the parts guy. I know his name, but am not putting it in here incase he truly did not lie to me, because if he thought he was telling the truth, the only thing he did “wrong” was follow policies set by the dealership. I have run into this particular parts guy a few times at parties, and he is genuinely a nice guy. Parts Guy, you know who you are, If you really believed that aftermarket parts did not exist then then you and I are good, if you really did lie, then you are dead to me.
Jan 24, 2012: We had the new shocks installed by Canadian Tire. Car is running like new again. Guy at Canadian Tire told me that someone from “Courtenay Mazda” (cause it said so on the call display) called to ask about his “wifes” mazda 5. Certainly this was either the parts guy or the owner, probably checking to see if we could actually get it cheaper there. Funny that they wouldnt “*67″ the call or wait and call from home. Too funny.
Jan 26, 2012: The owner of Courtenay Mazda told us on Saturday Jan 21′st that he would call us back on Monday. Today is Thursday Jan 26, and still no word from him. I don’t think we will ever hear from him, but its too late anyways.
Feb 13, 2012: Well, still no-one has got back to me. I kind of thought someone would have by now. I have added a poll below as well, so please vote, and comment with more details!
August 23, 2013 It is about 18 months since we put the Monroe shocks on the car and so far no issues what so ever, the shocks are working perfectly! I see that this post is also ranking well – I am actually quite surprised that nobody at Courtenay Mazda has ever tried to contact me.
Have you dealt with Courtenay Mazda in the past?
Please answer our unscientific poll below. Also, please post more info in the comments (Both GOOD & BAD will be posted – I want to see stories from both sides)
Mazda 5 Suspension Issues
Also, here are some places where people are noting that the shocks in their MAZDA 5 are insufficient. I am posting these links to help show, that it is not just my car, but a known Mazda 5 issue.