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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,414 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2012 Mazda CX-9 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2012 Mazda CX-9 Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 012016


  • 33,000 miles


The contact owns a 2012 Mazda Cx-9. while driving 20 mph, there was a loud metal to metal noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. In addition, the gears failed to shift correctly and the oil and engine indicators illuminated. The dealer diagnosed that the brakes needed to be changed. The brakes were replaced, but the failure recurred and worsened. The contact also smelled fuel coming from the vehicle and the vehicle had trouble accelerating. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 33,000.

- Stow, OH, USA

problem #5

Nov 282015


  • 28,764 miles
While driving on interstate 90 West in Massachusetts, 5 miles from route 84, our AWD Cx-9 started making a very loud whining noise. Within 10 seconds, the car started bucking, making a grinding noise and the steering became difficult. I was able to maneuver to the left side of the road; I could not make it to the breakdown lane because of the car's condition. Once the car stopped, we smelled burning fluid and some smoke came out of the vents inside the car. The car was unable to drive on its own, the wheels seemed locked and the grinding noise was extremely loud when in drive or neutral. I had to call 911. The mass state highway patrol arrived and had to push us over to the breakdown lane while the car was in neutral. The the mass state police halted all traffic on the highway for this to occur. We sat in the breakdown lane for an hour waiting for a tow truck. This entire situation was very dangerous. I had a toddler in the car with us. The highway was only moving around 35-40 miles an hour and slowing at the time of the incident. The mass state highway patrol and tow truck driver stated that the car may have spun out or flipped if the highway was moving at speed due to such a catastrophic steering failure. The Cx-9 had started making a occasional quiet whining sound in the days prior to the failure, on our drive from Virginia to mass. There was no other warning, no warning lights on the dash at all. The car was towed to the closest Mazda dealership and was diagnosed with an internal failure in the transfer case. The repair was covered under our power train warranty, as the car only had 28,764 miles at the time of the incident and is 3 years old.the Mazda dealer said there have been numerous transfer case failures in AWD Cx-9S. I want to see this part recalled because this failure created a very dangerous situation for my family.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #4

Nov 202014


  • 47,053 miles
Like one other incident, my complaint involves the transfer case which is specific to the AWD models. I was on a major roadway when I noticed a low, strange noise. About this time I was preparing to enter a turn lane when the car suddenly lurched and made an awful noise that literally sounded like the engine fell out. It then felt like I ran over said engine before the car came to an abrupt stop. Thankfully the light at the intersection had been red and traffic was slowing with me because I shudder at the thought if traffic had been moving at the regular rate of speed. Mazda roadside assistance had it towed to the dealership where the two guys immediately asked if it was an AWD model. They said that without even looking at it, based on what I'd said happened, they'd bet it was the transfer case. Thankfully the tc was still under the power train warranty, but it seems like Mazda is aware of this issue. Would have seriously been nice to be alerted to such a potentially dangerous defect. I would have certainly had mine replaced to avoid being put into the situation I was in.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #3

Jun 022014

CX-9 6-cyl

  • 36,000 miles


I've purchased 2012 Mazda Cx-9 AWD it late November of 2011.recently I've been experiencing multiple unexpected loss of power-assisted brakes failure incident.I was in a minor fender bendeer. Thank god the driver infront was very nice and didnt file any claim against my insurance. When I brought my vehicle into Mazda services department to get it resolve. Instead of taking unexpected loss of power-assisted brakes as an urgent matter. They told me that my car is drivable and it still break. I can drive my Mazda in the meanwhile, until they have an open appointment for my Mazda to be seen. After speaking to multiple personel at the services department. They were able to take my Mazda and fixed the unexpected loss of power-assisted brakes. Now im experiencing speed control and power train. I was at a stop light and my Mazda stalled in the middle of a left turning lane, in addtion to the stall incident, I was also experiencing the traction control light came on and the tire pressure monitor light began to flash. It felt like car had downshifted a couple of gears. I lost forward power in all gears. My sons and I came close to multiple rear-ended incident because of the mechanical issue of our Mazda CX9. Please becareful when deciding to purchased your Mazda vehicle.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #2

Jan 102014

CX-9 6-cyl

  • 13,670 miles
As I was driving home, the vehicle began to slow down and soon came to a complete stop, even as I continued to press the accelerator pedal, all as the engine continued to run. At the same time, I noticed a burning oil odor. This sudden deceleration and stop occurred in the middle lane of a major Chicago-area toll road on a cold and rainy Friday evening. A police officer who arrived at the scene was unable to push my car out of danger with his car. Fortunately, the car was towed away to a Mazda dealer before an accident occurred. The dealership technician confirmed the problem and found that the transfer case had overheated, lost all its fluid, and seized. The transfer case was replaced under warranty. The failure of the transfer case and subsequent sudden deceleration put me in grave danger, and such a failure is unforgivable for such a new vehicle. I feel that had the traffic on the evening of the incident not been as heavy, and thus slow as it was, I very well may have been rear-ended by another motorist. I urge the NHTSA to closely track any other incidents concerning seized transfer cases in Mazda Cx-9S--this is potentially a very dangerous defect.

- North Aurora, IL, USA

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problem #1

Jul 112013

CX-9 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Incident -1 traveling about 45 mph decelerating to make a right turn, the car stalls out leaving me with no control of steering and little ability to brake. Incident 2- making right turn (decelerating) car stalls out leaving me with no steering and little braking control. Incident 3- pulled up into driveway on slope. Put the car in reverse to back out, car stalled out leaving me with very little ability to brake.

- Andover, NJ, USA

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