My girlfriend drives a 2010 Mazda 3 (2.5/manual) and has been having issues with the passenger side lower console heating up extremely hot to the touch while the A/C is on. I attached a picture of exactly where the heat is sourced. It doesn't do it when the A/C is off or if just the blower is on.
She just noticed it recently and I'm not going to lie, it gets pretty damn hot. It's to the point where you can't comfortably hold your hand there. The strange thing though is that it is still blowing really cold air without issue. From the workshop manual, it looks like the HVAC resistor is right behind that panel. Could it be that the resistor is going bad and overheating when under load? She ended up taking it to a shop who took apart the whole dash before I could get to it and came back finding nothing.
I was wondering if any others have experienced this issue or can check to see if they their 3 heats up there as well. I drive a 2013 Mazda 3 and haven't had any issues with excessive heat from that area. It gets slightly warm to the touch, but nothing like her car.