How do you get dealers to handle intermittent issue under warranty

Messages
96
Location
Schaumburg, IL
So I purchased a 2018 Mazda 3. Recently, the backup camera start to flicker and then scroll up and down. The problem is intermittent, and I have no idea how to trigger it. I did save a video of it happening on my phone.

I took it to the dealer, and they said they couldn't get it to happen. Even with the video, apparently unless they can get it to happen, they can't fix it. They did update the firmware, but the issue did not go away. Apparently, the video of it happening is not enough. I contacted Mazda's corporate office in case I just have a bad dealer (this is my first experience with them), but they pretty much confirm the same thing, which is no service unless they can see it for real. They did however indicate that they will send them the video to see if there is anything we can do.

Question: Is this typical behavior for a car manufacturer? This is my first Mazda, so I am not familiar with the vendor. In addition, I have had warranty repair before from Ford and Subaru, but did not encounter similar issues. What can I do to get my issue fixed?

Paul
 
Messages
1,453
Location
Ca
It is hard to fix something when its working correctly, however your video should be enough for them to R&R the defective unit. Good luck.
 

Paul_Siu

Thread starter
Messages
96
Location
Schaumburg, IL
The issue is that they seem the video but said they can't figure it out. What I would do if I were them is to check out the connection (which I assume that have done) and tighten stuff. If that doesn't work, I would start swapping out stuff. The most likely cause is that the camera may be faulty or the cable. The reason I think that is because the display seems to only flicker when backing up and displaying the camera view and not when I am driving forward. I don't know if there is some way to test the camera or may be one would swap it out for a new unit, but maybe they don't want to swap out the unit that because it may cost them money or their policy don't allow that.
 
Messages
254
Location
Maryland
Stop by the dealer's service department then next time it is doing it. Leave the car running and have a "service adviser" and a technician come out to see it doing what it's doing - that way they both can document it doing whatever.

I had to do that a couple of times when our 2004 TrailBlazer was under warranty. One time the Service 4 WD light came on. I called OnStar to see if they could read for any codes, and when they couldn't I drove right to the dealership I was using, left the engine running and had them come out to the TrailBlazer. The technician went back into the shop, came back with a Tech 2, hooked it up and determined it was a module not communicating with the rest of the other modules. I then made an appointment to come back to have the module replaced, and went back to work.
 
Messages
8,198
Location
New England
You can continue to document it and hope it permanently breaks or a the very least stores a code.

Theres no point in throwing parts at it and you can't diagnose a failure in something that is working correctly.
It’s NOT working correctly. The OP also mentioned that connections could be checked first, which is what I would expect anyone to do before throwing parts at it.

OP, I do agree that if it’s a hardware issue it‘ll likely get worse and be more apparent. You’ve documented the problem, which is the most important part. The next most important part is posting on your respective Mazda forum to see if this is common and what the fix is.
 
Messages
2,818
Location
USA
Common failure points are the camera itself and the signal cable where it crosses between the trunk / hatch and the rest of the car. See if you can get the camera to come on with the engine not running then go to the back and shake / bang on things to try and localize the problem. If the engine does have to be running have someone in the driver's seat holding the brakes with strict instructions not to run over you.

Really the dealer techs should have done this if they were at all interested in fixing it.
 
Last edited:

Paul_Siu

Thread starter
Messages
96
Location
Schaumburg, IL
Any other dealers in your area?
There is, but review on the dealers are a bit mixed.

This particular dealer started off on the wrong foot. The sales person was a pain to deal with, but this appear to be a normal experience, but I figure service department is different than the sales, so perhaps I would have a better experience, but on my first service (you get one free service). The guy told me that he recommends that I get the oil change every 3 months or every 3,000 miles because all non-highway driving is severe driving and because Chicago weather is severe (I have to disagree). He also recommended regular throttle body cleaning. Next time I try to get the car look at for the camera, they again try to sell me throttle body cleaning. I am no mechanic, but I think there is something wrong with the design of the car if it needs throttle body cleaning at 10K.

My experience with Subaru dealer started out bad, too. The original dealer was a pain to deal. Switching to a different dealer made a big difference. I am not saying that Subaru dealers are better than Mazda dealers, but that some dealer are better than others. My only hesitation is that yelp report on the other dealers aren't great either. Perhaps I would need to give it a try.

Also want to see what the corporate would do. Supposedly, they want to see the video.

I have posted to Mazda forum. One poster encountered the same issue. After being show the video, they replace the camera and it was fixed. ONe other person had the same experience. Another person got the right around until it ran out of warranty and ended up fixing it for $816 out of warranty.

Paul
 
Messages
2,818
Location
USA
The law doesn't permit giving the customer a run-around until the warranty runs out. If you have documentation that you reported the problem during the warranty period, they have to cover it eventually even if time or miles run out.
 
Messages
1,093
Location
Maryland
I had a 2016 Kia Sorento with the 3.3 v-6. At low rpms, almost a lug, it would occasionally miss. I believe it was a bad injector. They pulled no codes and basically told me I would have to live with it until it threw a code. I was not happy, anyway the car was hit by someone and totaled so it was a problem resolved.
 
Messages
14,770
Location
...
There is, but review on the dealers are a bit mixed.

This particular dealer started off on the wrong foot. The sales person was a pain to deal with, but this appear to be a normal experience, but I figure service department is different than the sales, so perhaps I would have a better experience, but on my first service (you get one free service). The guy told me that he recommends that I get the oil change every 3 months or every 3,000 miles because all non-highway driving is severe driving and because Chicago weather is severe (I have to disagree). He also recommended regular throttle body cleaning. Next time I try to get the car look at for the camera, they again try to sell me throttle body cleaning. I am no mechanic, but I think there is something wrong with the design of the car if it needs throttle body cleaning at 10K.

My experience with Subaru dealer started out bad, too. The original dealer was a pain to deal. Switching to a different dealer made a big difference. I am not saying that Subaru dealers are better than Mazda dealers, but that some dealer are better than others. My only hesitation is that yelp report on the other dealers aren't great either. Perhaps I would need to give it a try.

Also want to see what the corporate would do. Supposedly, they want to see the video.

I have posted to Mazda forum. One poster encountered the same issue. After being show the video, they replace the camera and it was fixed. ONe other person had the same experience. Another person got the right around until it ran out of warranty and ended up fixing it for $816 out of warranty.

Paul

Dealer ratings can be tricky. In my area I have two dealers. One had good reviews, the other not so good. I bought my CX5 from the good one. In order to get what I wanted they found my car at the other dealer so a swap was made. I found out that both dealers are under the same ownership.

I use the “bad” dealer to buy filters and such. I haven’t had any problems and in fact they have treated me well so I plan on using them for service as they are only several miles away versus 20 plus.
 
Messages
5,719
Location
Atlanta
Try one of the sites that you can filter the reviews for service only.

Keep going over and complaining about it every time it does it, take the reports you found. Call Mazda and complain every time it does it. File a NHTSA complaint.
 
Messages
244
Location
MD
Mazda corporate isn’t a ton of help. I went through them to try to get my noises fixed on my 2017 mazda6. It was a long battle and continuous dropping the car off and picking it up after no problems found. They finally fixed 1/3 problems within a thousand miles of my warranty and now I just deal with the noises that they can’t hear, but happen every day multiple times a day.
Mazda will continue to tell you they can’t afford to throw parts at it, they are a boutique brand, unlike Honda or Toyota, and build a good car, that you’re basically making things up.
Good luck!
 
Messages
254
Location
Maryland
Another idea that should get their attention is to find all the social media sites the dealer uses and begin posting your negative experiences with their service department. That will get their attention fast and should result in a positive resolution for you.

A friend of mine took his wife's Mazda into a dealership for annual service. Well, the dealership found that one of the tires had worn out in under 5000 miles and told him it was because he had not brought the car in for 2500 mile rotations and balances. The dealership refused to replace the tire under warranty (this was within the first 12 months of ownership). Well, my friend took to social media posting his experience, the dealer's unwillingness to replace the tire under warranty, and their attempt to blame him for not getting the tires rotated and balanced often enough. Well, within a few days, one of the dealership's owners contacted him and offered to replace the tire IF he took his post down. He refused and posted about this conversation on social media. After about a week, the dealership relented and replaced the tire and gave him something like $500 in service department coupons when he agreed to update his postings to say the dealership replaced the tire after they actually replaced the tire.

Make noise. Lots of noise!
 
Messages
576
Location
Roanoke Virginia
At the dealership I work at we can’t do it either unless we see it ourselves doing it. What we usually do if it’s intermittent is have them leave it there for a couple hours or overnight then check on it periodically to see if it does it and then when it does figure out the problem and fix it.
 
Messages
3,989
Location
down in the park
It is hard to fix something when its working correctly, however your video should be enough for them to R&R the defective unit. Good luck.
alas it's not. Warranty departments need to see measurements that show the defect. The tech could lie and fake the measurements but what if the issue is in the camera and the head unit got replaced? The dealer will have to foot the bill
 
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