really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,943 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.

2016 Mazda CX-5 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2016 Mazda CX-5 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Jun 142021


  • miles


Dealer identified drive belt tensioner as leaking and in need of replacement on a Mazda CX-5 with less than 30k miles on it. Many owners have reported identical failures at or around 30k. An insufficient part that is failing so frequently, this early on with low mileage is a significant safety issue.

- Campbell, CA, USA

problem #43

Oct 172020


  • 27,300 miles
While getting off a freeway exit suddenly there was some noise in the engine area followed by major rattling every time the car slowed down or sped up, making it undrivable. The professional diagnostic was that something within the transmission was broken/coming apart. The car had only around 27000 miles on it and this happened within months of drive-train warranty expiring.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #42

Aug 172020


  • 38,000 miles
When the car is cold and parked the transmission will lurch into drive sometimes and everytime when the car is cold the transmission will get stuck in third or fourth gear and the car will not accelerate until I floor it until then the car won't shift out of gear for a few hundred feet and continue to big down the engine, then after that the transmission will downshift and the car will start to accelerate. If I manually shift the car into first the problem won't occurre as badly. This sofar only happens once when the transmission and engine are cold. But even if I let the car sit and idle for a few minutes it'll still happen.

- Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #41

Apr 172020

CX-5 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


While backing out from a driveway into a city street, I shifted the vehicle from reverse to drive. The gear shift indicated that the car was in drive, but the vehicle continued to roll backward as if it was in neutral. The engine then stopped, and the vehicle needed to be pushed from the street out of the travel lanes.

- Brookline, MA, USA

problem #40

Aug 212019


  • 23,700 miles
When the vehicle is parked, then I move gear from park to drive, or reverse to drive, the vehicle stalls to go into to drive for a couple of seconds, the engine revs then there is a forceful jolt when it finally kicks in to drive. Also, when I'm at a stop for a while, then press on the gas pedal to drive, it takes a couple of seconds for the car to drive. This is a big concern for me because there seems to be a delay with the drive gear.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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problem #39

Aug 212019


  • 23,700 miles
When starting car and putting it into drive, then push the gas, the car hesitates to go into drive then jolts when it finally shifts into gear from park. My concern is that it takes long to go into drive from park, and the engine revs and jolts violently when it finally reads the drive gear which is not normal and is a safety concern for me.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #38

Jul 172019


  • 24,800 miles


Significant lag in transmission going from stop to either drive or reverse (3 - 5 seconds). Car can roll backward while waiting for gear to engage, and will rev and then jerk harshly into gear. Also will jerk when shifting while accelerating to highway speeds. Vehicle had under 25,000 miles on it when symptoms started. Took it to dealer and got approval for new transmission under warranty very quickly, which leads me to believe this is a known problem for Mazda. Saw many similar complaints on NHTSA website.

- Sequim, WA, USA

problem #37

Mar 082019


  • 60,000 miles
Purchased with just 50K miles. Took to Mazda for service light. Notified the differential needed replacement citing 2 TB (10155436 and 10145248) clearly identifying the root cause as defect in manufacturing. Further investigation provided clear proof of Mazda's assessment with the differential and pointing to the TB's as case for the claim approval. Pictures show year's long buildup of rust, broken couplers, water contaminated oil, metal shaving. All reflective of the damage created by the defective design indicated in the TB. The warranty claim was denied because of the related issues with the defective seal allowing damage to the differential and related parts. Also effectively voided my power-train warranty coverage. This presents a hazard operating the vehicle at certain speeds with broken metal parts in the transfer gears. I think it requires a recall because it is inevitable water, rain, snow, even a car washes will get into the system because of the faulty design. Facts: Vehicle had prior Mazda service and there is no evidence to support Mazda presented the repair option prior to the dash light appearing. Mazda has no service or warranty checks in place that detects the damage. The time it takes for that level of rust build up to accrue is self-evident this is major safety issue that should require a recall but also a matter of ethics and integrity. Water in your rear axle will undoubtedly cause failure to sealed mechanical components. Mazda was aware of this issue for years yet does not offer the consumer any additional coverage or any way to protect themselves from a hefty repair costs or risk of harm due to this failure. The vehicle itself holds evidence of drive-train and its warning system are both defective because the historic error codes/mileage in its internal memory. The system failed alerting the issues well after the manufacturer's warranty expired.

- Germantown, MD, USA

problem #36

Apr 022019


  • 59,000 miles
While accelerating or decelerating the rpms will jump nearly 1,000rpms before decreasing to its normally expected levels. This results in jumps and stutters in the transmission. Additionally, while shifting from reverse to drive the transmission takes several seconds to engage resulting in a vehicle that lingers in neutral. This makes the vehicle free roll backwards for several seconds before popping into drive which results in increased pressure in the drivetrain.

- Plains, PA, USA

problem #35

Sep 232018


  • 36,000 miles
I purchased this vehicle with 36K miles on it, clean carfax, with only 1 owner. Within an hour from driving it home from the dealership, I noticed an issue when putting it in drive. There was a 5 second delay. Every single time I put it on drive, the delay would happen. If you stepped on the gas, it would act as if it were in neutral and violently jolt forward. Luckily, I was in a parking lot and I was able to avoid accidents. I purchased this car to Transport my children but I no longer feel that it is safe. The solution I was given at the dealership was that the transmission may potentially need to be replaced. Now I understand why it took them 3 months to sell this car. I feel like this is unethical.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #34

Feb 232018


  • 36,500 miles


Coasting. Driving to a stop sign or stop light or stopping point at a declining speed from 30mph to 25/20/15mph intervals are where the 'tugging'/'stutter' happens. Dealership says it is normal operation for the car to shift into gear when declining in speeds. Even corporate agreed with them. The only thing that is not normal is how come AWD variation doesn't have this issue? my older Mazda 3 from 2009 I drove didn't have this issue. Tested a Mazda 3 new 2018 and they had this issue. Also tested a sales department 2016 fwd cx 5, similar issue. My friend who is a physoclogist, her cx 5 2016 has the same tugging issue. Dealership said it could be a torque converter/transmission/ or cold weather within th transmission lines. No error codes were present when they checked. The driving experience seems very degrading for the newer models. The abrupt tugging could cause an accident to someone ahead of me or the jerking could make me hit the gas pedal even harder. Spoke to: Service request number 1-1225218842 spoke to roy from Mazda csdepartment 800.222.5500 select prompt 2, then ext. 1148. The cs called dealership and followed dealership guidance. If this is new for the vechicle as a standard of driving, then this must make it very unpleasant and predictable for future accidents.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #33

Jan 032018


  • 43,685 miles
The vehicle was bought brand new on 06/30/2015. It needed a new transmission at 20,690 miles (09/02/16). At ~43,000 miles, leaks were detected. The mechanic diagnosed the problem as powertrain issues. The leak was transmission fluid that spread to the whole length of the car underneath. The dealer was contacted, car was towed to the dealership that later confirmed the mechanic's diagnosis. Powertrain will be fixed at the manufacturer's expense (the manufacturer considers it a manufacturing issue and has honored the warranty).

- Athens, GA, USA

problem #32

Mar 302016


  • miles
There is a rubbing/grinding/vibration feel on the pedals and steering wheel, including the entire body vibration that can be also seen in the side mirrors. These problem are more noticeable at high speed. I suspect either the tire, brake, rotors, alignment, suspension or transmission problems. I have brought my car 6 times to three different dealership already with the guidance from Mazda corporate costumer service but they are denying my Cx-5 issues. This is pretty scary to drive, I always feel that something bad gonna happen on my car in the freeway because of rough and bumpy ride. This happened since the day I bought this. I am very disappointed with this car for 32K $. all Mazda dealership are not cooperating. Very bad experience.

- National City, CA, USA

problem #31

Mar 012017


  • 3,600 miles
My complaint is identical to complaint # 10913740. I special ordered my Cx-5 & picked it up Feb 2017.does not shift properly, revs up to 6000 before engaging, can't accelerate when I need to (like merging on freeway or changing lanes). Please see complaint # 10913740 because he describes it better than I, a non "car person" can. I've put my my gas foot to the floor trying to gain some speed so I wouldn't get rear ended and it takes, literally, about 10 seconds to respond at all. The dealer claims it is shifting as designed & says they can't recreate the problem. Car was there @3600 miles & they told me the tech couldn't find anything wrong with the car but did I want a drive with him. I did one, & he tried to tell me that revving to 5000 when on a small incline was normal. This is a lie. I brought the car back again- it was in for 7 days. 2nd time manufacturer involved, & supposedly its engineers would work on it. But all they did is run diagnostics (doesn't anybody actually look at the actual car anymore - computers do malfunction) and what they came up with is that I was engaging the gas and the brake at the same time, causing the car not to shift. First of all, my tiny foot couldn't be on both pedals if I tried; second, my left foot is a clutch foot. I am so used to using it on a clutch only that it dangles where a clutch would be if I hadn't bought this stupid automatic 2016 Cx-5. so now Mazda is saying that their engineers & dealer technicians are infallible and they will do nothing for me. Meanwhile, I am stuck with this pos I bought for $27,000 cash which is not only dangerous but extremely un-fun to drive due to the jerking, revving, etc., which are very unnerving, and with 5000 miles on car, I should want to drive it. Instead I am driving my nearly 12 year old VW so that I can get places safely and without the jarring problem of the Mazda.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #30

Mar 182017


  • 5,411 miles
I purchased a 2016 new Mazda Cx-5 in October 2016. My car was only 5 months old with 5411 mileage on it when I experienced this problem. I was pulling up my driveway when I got in front of my garage doors of my home, with my foot on the brake about ready to put the car in park, the engine began to rev up to a high rate of speed and accelerated into my house. The house stopped the car from going any further. My husband was in the passenger seat and experienced this as well. I was pressing down on the brake, but nothing stopped it. I was close distance to the house and it happened so fast. I backed off my house. I had to get my garage doors replaced and the car fixed. I did not drive the car again. Once the body shop fixed the car (damage $2300 dollars), I had the vehicle towed to the Mazda dealership where I purchased the car to investigate the problem. They drove it for a few weeks with a black box, but never determined the problem or it happening again. Mazda corporation was involved with this investigation. I had filed the problem with them immediately after the accident had occurred. I refused to drive the car again. The dealership (Mazda in manchester, nh) worked a deal with me to buy the car back and get me into a new 2016 Mazda Cx-5. I hope I don't experience this with my new Cx-5. I really like the car, but I have to say that was an experience that no one would ever want to experience. I am just grateful that I wasn't on a street and it happened to my own property. It cost quite a bit in deductibles on house and car and I am sure my rates will go up on insurance on both. Unfortunately Mazda could not prove there was something wrong with the car, so my insurance company could not go after them for the damages. As I said before I am grateful my husband and I are ok and no one got hurt. Also, I found 4-6 others reporting this same complaint on the Cx-5.

- Londonderry, NH, USA

problem #29

Sep 302016


  • 1,000 miles
The 'start/stop' button to turn off the vehicle, can be done in any gear. When done in "park" the vehicle locks up the wheels and the vehicle does not roll. When stopped in other grears' the vehicle will roll out of my driveway. Vehicle should be corrected so the transmission will lock the wheels up when the vehicle is turned off in any transmission position.

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #28

Feb 092017

CX-5 4-cyl

  • 3,200 miles
Parked my car. Open up drivers door, radio and dash lights came on. Standing on driveway now push button to turn off radio and dash. Everything came back on. Did it three times and on the third time vehicle started to roll backwards. Had to curly on the floor bard and door wide open. Vehicle gaining speed, engine off, look at gear shift saying it's in park still. I had to jump out of vehicle because I thought I was going to die. Neighbor came to help me out and called 911 who sent an ambulance and police. Paramedics attended to my needs and rushed me to the hospital. Police ask the neighbors if someone was inside the vehicle and they said no. Police report shows vehicle still in park. Vehicle hit a tree and high center on a pge electrical box. Now vehicle is at a dealership who told my father under the table they were able to duplicate concerns but will not note it on the repair order. They looked at sensors and know codes appeared. Once my father mention he worked at a dealership they mention that I must have had the vehicle in reverse. If I stand outside of the vehicle and for a good minute to two minutes and it showed in park the whole time, there is something electrical going wrong with the vehicle. If you google radio is staying on when vehicle is shut off regarding these make and model there are several cases of this happening. People say they have to slam the vehicle into park to get the radio to work. Some people had a brake sensor replace which finally fixed the concern....updated 03/29/17

- Tigard, OR, USA

problem #27

Dec 102016


  • 900 miles
While driving the vehicle, the infotainment system abruptly turned off. Shortly thereafter and immediately after activating the turn signal the car stalled. The vehicle seemed to have completely turned off and coasted to a stop. The car then restarted and the check engine light was on.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #26

Sep 232016


  • 3,200 miles
The following has happened numerous times on my 2016 Mazda CX5 touring over the course of almost a year. The last incident occurred on or about September 23, 2016. 1) while in reverse, moving to drive, there is a lag before the transmission engages and then lurches forward. 2) from a stop, there is a lag before the transmission engages, the engine revs very loudly and then lurches forward. 3) at another time, the engine revs loudly and very high with no noticeable increase in speed and then all of a sudden, it seems that the transmission engages. Very dangerous.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #25

Jul 302016


  • 18,500 miles
While driving the would not shift. Engine light, traction control light and flat tire light all came on and the car would not go over 10. Tried to shift manually and nothing. Got over and stopped, restarted car and only engine light was on tried to move and it did for a very short distance and al the light and not shifting again. Stopped and re-started again and I could shift manually. I let the car sit for two hours and the auto transmission did work but didn't respond well. After about an hour drive it loss power and wouldn't shift again. I believe the transmission isn't being allowed to shift due to a valve issue. Currently waiting for Mazda to make a decision dealer re-set computer and all light are off, but car still doesn't respond well when driving so it is still at dealer ship and the car isn't a year old with only 18500 miles.

- Gorham, ME, USA

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