Notes: The 2007 Mazda CX-7 has numerous reports filed with the NHTSA about engine & A/C problems.

Owners report problems with the 2007 CX-7's Variable Valve Timing (VVT) & timing chain failing, causing major damage to the engine — Mazda uses an interference design so typically the valves are bent & the entire engine needs to be replaced. Mazda dealers typically quote $9,000 for an engine replacement.

There is also a trend of the turbo failing at low mileage.

Finally for the 2007 CX-7 there is a clear pattern of A/C compressor failure at relatively low mileage. Owners report smoke & occasionally the serpentine belt catches fire when the A/C compressor clutch seizes while driving. Mazda extended the A/C warranty to 60,000 miles, however many owners report their A/C compressor failed very soon after the 60k mark.

In 2011, Mazda began a "Special Service Program" that extended the warranty to 7 years/70,000 miles covering turbocharger oil leaks & excessive timing chain noise — an early sign of timing chain failure. However coverage under the program requires perfect documentation of all required maintenance with other stipulations. Buyer beware.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,634 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.

2007 Mazda CX-7 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2007 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #26

Feb 192012


  • 79,800 miles


Our 2007 Mazda CX7 suddenly lost power and I was forced to stop the vehicle in the center median of the highway, as I was unable to move to the right due to other traffic. Vehicle was towed back to the dealership where problem was diagnosed as a broken pin on the variable valve time actuator (vvt). There was no prior indication of a problem with the vehicle (no warning lights) prior to the engine stopping. Dealership has indicated that complete engine replacement is recommended by Mazda. Currently the vehicle is awaiting arrival of an adjuster from extended warranty company to see if repairs/replacement will be covered. Additional online research has indicated that this is a well-document and frequently occurring problem with this make/model of vehicle, yet manufacturer has neglected to initiate a full recall. Rather they issued a "service bulletin" (#01-002/08) that addresses a vvt noise when starting engine. Bulletin states "some vehicles may exhibit a loud ticking noise from the variable valve timing. (vvt) this is caused by the lock pin of the variable valve timing actuator not fully engaging. Heat treatment has now been added around the hole of the variable valve timing rotor lock to prevent this from happening." It is believed that had my vehicle exhibited any symptoms, I could have had the service bulletin repairs made, and the engine failure due to the broken pin would have most likely been avoided. This should have been a recall, and not addressed by a service bulletin. There is strong evidence, as discovered via the internet, that multiple CX7 vehicles have had this exact same type of failure where the vehicle has suddenly stopped running while being driven at highway speeds. This constitutes an extreme safety hazard that could possibly result in serious personal injury or death.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #25

Feb 252011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 61,263 miles
I have a 2007 Mazda CX7 that has a broken vvt timing system. The car is not drivable and the part is not available. The car currently has 74,000 miles on it. This is a know issue with Mazda and they are not taking responsibility. This is devastating as a consumer to not have the support of Mazda on a known defect with their vehicle. I am requesting that something be done so that Mazda takes responsibility for this defect and compensates Mazda CX7 owners for these expensive repairs!

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #24

Apr 012011


  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Mazda Cx-7. the contact stated that a clunking noise emitted from the engine upon starting the vehicle. The contact also stated that the vehicle failed to shift properly while driving at speeds above 40 mph. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the dealer stated that the timing belt and adjusters needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 71,000 and the current mileage was 84,000.

- Berkley, MI, USA

problem #23

Aug 192009


  • 71,000 miles


As the proud owner of a new Mazda CX7, I felt confident after the first year of driving this SUV that it would carry me at least 10yrs. Until I begin to notice acceleration problems and noticing puffs of white smoke expelled from the exhaust pipe when it finally realized I was trying to increase speed. Took SUV to a Mazda dealer and was informed nothing was wrong with it. Fine, then began to hear like a rattling noise during acceleration (sounded like a rock in a tin can) sound then goes away after a few moments. Took to dealer again was told no problem. Well, on my way to work at 70 mph on busy interstate, I lose acceleration. Cost safely to the side of the road without being ran over by 18 wheeler, , had vehicle towed to Mazda dealer. I was then informed the timing chain broke, yes at 70,000 miles. Only then to be informed later that due to timing breaking my engine was ruined. I was then devastated, even more so after I was told it would 8000 for a new engine plus 2000 for labor. I had no other option but to park the vehicle and attempted to save money to have it fixed. Well that was 2 yrs ago and its still parked, and 2 yrs now without a vehicle. I had routine documented oil changes at Mazda dealers only, I took very good care of this truck. After searching the internet, I am reading the same incidents from thousands of people concerning the exact same issue. Mazda has finally states that there is a problem with the timing chains and has issued an extended warranty on it. But from reading reports, Mazda is giving people a hard time. Mazda CX7 are dangerous vehicles, someone could have been killed due to this poorly made SUV. I am reporting this because it really needs to be looked into before someone is killed to many people on the internet complaining about this failure. Please investigate this vehicle< we cant all be wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Clinton, NC, USA

problem #22

Dec 192011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
On 12/19/11, I was driving appx. 60 - 65 mph on I-81 when my 2007 Mazda Cx-7 just shut off. I was in the middle of traffic on the interstate, with a large tractor trailer behind me, but I was able to safely maneuver my car onto the shoulder of the interstate. My car would not start again. I did quite a bit of research on line regarding this particular issue and found a significant number of claims from other people that had this same problem happen to their 2007 Mazda CX7. The final diagnosis is total engine failure with a price tag of $7200 to fix. That would be for a whole new engine. I found a service bulletin from January of 2008 that corporate Mazda sent out to their dealers re: A problem with the timing chain. The bulletin specifically identifies a series of VIN#'s affected, and mine falls into the category. There is currently about 65K miles on my car (I canT remember exactly), and I did not buy the extended warranty because who would think that a 2007 vehicle would need a new engine @ 65K miles" I think I should've been notified that there was an ongoing issue with this particular model and year. Both Mazda and the dealership are telling me they will not do anything for me, because the vehicle is out of warranty. Mazda needs to take responsibility here. I'm lucky I was able to get my car through the traffic and off the interstate. Does someone need to be killed before this issue gets attention" my car showed absolutely no warning signs that something was wrong for me to pro-actively have this checked.

- Mountain Top, PA, USA

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problem #21

Dec 122011


  • 70,000 miles
This vehicle has caused me nothing but problems! I have had it for 3 years and it has been in the shop 4 times and this last time is the transmission at 70,000 miles! this is ridiculous...Mazda needs to clean up it's act. Customers should not have charges like this early on in the life of a vehicle. The vehicle is gorgeous but perhaps they should have spent a little more time putting it together as it doesn't matter for eye appealing it is when it doesn't run!

- Brandon, SD, USA

problem #20

May 062008

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 34,951 miles


Timing valve replaced at 34,951 miles, then engine replaced at 41,060 miles on July 24, 2008.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #19

Nov 122011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 47,500 miles
The power train (timing chain) failed in less than 4 years, 47,000 miles --one owner with regular maintenance done.

- Granby, CO, USA

problem #18

Oct 222011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Purchased my vehicle 15 months ago at 38,000 miles. In October, I was driving along and the car stopped running. No warning, nothing on the dash lighting up, the vehicle just started loosing speed. The steering was going as well. I put the vehicle in neutral to try and get the steering back and it was a hard steer to the side of the road. I tried starting the vehicle and it would turn but not start. Two tows later, I find, to my surprise at 62,000, that I need a new engine. My timing chain either broke or has derailed. This all happened on October 22nd. It is now November 10th and I still do not have an exact diagnosis nor a vehicle. Yes, warranty is done at 60,000 miles, but what vehicles loose and engine at 62,000 in this decade? and, thankfully, I was not on a highway when this happened as I'm not sure what happened to the steering in this whole process.

- West Dover, VT, USA

problem #17

Sep 222011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
There are two complaints for this vehicle. 1. timing belt...failure after 68,000 miles changed after a dispute with dealership, we still had to pay for 2 hrs of labor. 2. turbo unit...failure after 70,000 miles still at option but to pay $3083 to get fixed. Turbo failure happened on highway, vehicle performed erratic and limped to off ramp using shoulder.

- Mount Laurel, NJ, USA

problem #16

Aug 312011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles


My car makes a rattling noise at start up. After reading the horror story's online about this car vvta going out, or the ac compressor going out and messing up the engine I took it too the Mazda dealership. They said I needed a new variable valve timing actuator. This is a major problem with year make and model. So I talk to independent mechanic who has experience with Mazda and has fixed this same problem numerous times on this vehicle. He stated the problem is you can only get the part from Mazda and they are still selling the defective part. Why isn't someone doing something about this. This issue has caused people from losing all power while traveling at high speed on the highway. My car also has a transfer case leak which is another thing everyone else is having problems with. Someone get these guys to recall this part.this is a very dangerous car!!!

- Burlington, NC, USA

problem #15

Jul 062010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
7/6/10(25,000 miles) driving "piece of crap" from w-pa to phila after 1 1/2 hours in car airconditioning gets hot & loud noise starts. Able to pull off main highway &find a sears auto shop they say air compressor in my pice of crap (2007 CX7) has fallen apart - they don't do this work-I needed a Mazda dealership-they wouldn't recommend me driving home! it's a holiday (July 4th celebrated this day) I have no idea where a dealership is-I am over 200 miles from home - everything else is closed. Found a hotel to stay overnt & search for a dealership. Found 1 abt 20 miles away. Next day (praying the whole 20 miles) that piece of crap would make it to the shop. It did I explain situation to a non-caring, won't look me in the face mechanic who finally states (after 3 hour wait) my warranty expired 5 days prior & it would take 3 days to get part & fix. Here I am 200 miles away from home, in a not so racially diverse area of West pa- leaving for vaca the next day- & I can't get home!!! it was like pulling teeth to get a rental car # & a taxi cab # from these people. I was finally able to get home via 8 hour bus ride & go on much needed (after this ordeal) vaca, however I still had to pay over $800 & pick piece of crap back up. I complained to Mazda couple times &finally got letter that they were extending the warranty for air compressors to 60,000 so I got $ back, but not for the hotel stay, taxi ride to bus and bus ride home and back up there! couple other problems came up later -white smoke out of tail pipe after ideling, dealership couldn't find a problem, also saw something leaking, dealership couldn't find anything leaking--- 8/4/11 (31,000 miles) took piece of crap in for a noise it's making at start up. Vvt gone bad, but still under the powertrain warranty so got fixed. What's next"?" I'm afraid to drive to far in this car!! can't take driving vacas-- gonna get rid of "piece of crap" prior to the warranties expiring in 2012! got to!!!

- Upper Darby, PA, USA

problem #14

Apr 012011


  • 62,000 miles
2007 grand touring Mazda Cx-7 has well known vvt issue causing oil to burn, in spite of regular oil changes and all recommended maintenance. We are original owners and know how car was maintained. Timing chain went at 62K miles, just out of warranty. After that service, drove 1K more miles and noticed loss of acceleration. Took car back to dealer, and they advised we needed a whole new engine, which they would not cover, aside from a 20% goodwill offset. Spouse wonT let me operate car any longer in fear it will break down causing accident. Unsafe vehicle.

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #13

Feb 152011


  • miles
I own a 2007 Mazda CX7. Since I bought the car, at 29K miles I had to have the fuel tank replaced. At around 34K had to have the turbo looked at because of black smoke blowing on my bumper, Mazda replaced the pipes. My pipes were still smoking, had to take off work, take car in again because of black smoke, Mazda tried replacing rings in turbo, still blowin bluish white smoke, now getting turbo replaced. I had the air compressor replaced a about a month ago. Now I have a ticking noise coming from engine and I'm scared the timing chain will break soon. Mazda needs to replace the timing chains on these models. I think Mazda should do the right thing an recall this model, yr before someone gets hurt or breaks down in the middle of nowhere with kids in the car.

- Lemon Grove, CA, USA

problem #12

Sep 152010


  • 65,468 miles
My wife's 2007 CX7 was in a parking lot. My wife started it up, came to a stop sign and the car died without warning. It had 65,000 miles on it (5000 over the warranty) and wasn't even 3 years old. We had always gotten regular oil changes and had just had one the week before. We had it towed to the nearest Mazda dealer. The first time I talked to a service tech he mentioned the timing chain breaking. Later, they explained it as a valve (variable valve timing actuator?) failing and causing oil chain failure (jumping the gearing). My bill ($7500 - new engine) only states internal parts failure. They tried to indicate the oil was dirty even thought the oil was changed less than a week prior. After reading through many CX7 forums online it seems they were trying to build a case for engine sludge to cover themselves. Less than 2 months later replaced intake manifold shutter valve and had to flush and reseal brake lines. Went to kerry Mazda of ky to originally purchase a 2008 because of low finance deals. They shifted my attention to the 2007 (3500 miles) and I agreed because of the certified new (100,000 miles) program. When I found out I didn't have 100,000 mile coverage I went back to dealer and we pulled the paperwork and under the warranty it says certified and also remainder manufacturer's warranty. So it ends up they sold me a used car as new and I didn't even get the financing of a new car - very shady. Mazda corporate was of no help either, simply stating the car was out of warranty and there was nothing they could do. Needless to say I will never buy Mazda again. I will also make sure I don't trust what they say and make sure I read and understand every page even as they try and rush you through it. I fear someone will be killed when their CX7 suddenly stops on a busy highway. Hopefully, Mazda will address the problem before that happens.

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #11

Dec 032010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
We have a 2007 Mazda Cx-7 with 67,000 miles on it. My wife was driving it on the highway, set the cruise control and moments later the engine died. Turns out the problem was caused by a timing chain on variable valve timing actuator failing and damaging the engine. We have read many other people that have had issue with the timing chain and vvt. Mazda is unwilling to assist us in replacing the damages. What upsets us most is my wife could have been injured or killed.

- Battle Creek, MI, USA

problem #10

Sep 012010

CX-7 4-cyl

  • miles
2007 CX7. Nothing but trouble since I bought it new in 07. I travel alot, so it does have 100K miles on it, but since day 1 it's been awful. Rear view mirror kept falling off, airbag indicator lights and check engine light stayed on constantly. Dealership had the car for 21 days trying to fix the electrical issues and the check engine light, 2 days later it came back on. Vvt and actuator were replaced and so was egr. Hard ticking noise in the engine at start-up as well as sitting idle - was told it was the timing assembly. Car was no longer under warranty, I called Mazda usa and complained, they finally agreed to eat the cost of the repair (this was at 75K miles) - but I had to pay almost $700 in labor charges. 20K miles later, the ticking noise is back. The check engine light stays on constantly and doesn't produce a read-out on the computer check. A/C not blowing the cold air that it used to either. Not to mention the numerous recalls that I was never notified of ~ had I not checked online for recall events, I'd have never known. There were at least 4 that affected my vehicle. I've sent numerous emails to Mazda usa requesting something be done - the entire car should have been recalled due to all the issues. Now at 100K miles and major mechanical issues, trading it in isn't even an option. No return emails & no return phone calls from Mazda. This is the 2nd Mazda I've owned - never again will I make such a foolish purchase. I'm a salesperson myself and can't believe Mazda will not stand behind their product.....especially one that costs $25K.

- Buchanan, VA, USA

problem #9

Sep 212010


  • 26,700 miles
2007 Mazda CX7 began making a rattling noise at start-up...noise would go away quickly and car, which has 27000 miles and has had no previous problem, ran great. Dealer says it's a "major issue", at least a bad timing chain, but says they will fix it under the 60,000 mile power train warranty. Saw on an edmonds web site that this seems to be a problem with this model of car and that most folks haven't been so lucky with Mazda.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 012010


  • 29,000 miles
I own a 2007 Mazda CX7 and it was been at the dealer every month this summer and I'm on my second loner car. The trouble started last summer with pinging and turbo lag. That seemed to stop and the dealer said that it was a software issue. But this summer we have had three separate issues. 1. transfer case leak. Fixed. 2. engine stabilizer leak. Fixed. 3. variable valve timing actuator vvta. Currently in shop. Car loudly "growls" to life, squeaky belt, difficulty starting, told by dealer that will eventually cause engine trouble if not fixed. This has all been since July!!! we are just shy of 30K and the warranty expires next month. I am very afraid that something else will go wrong and we will end up paying for it. Upon reading a few CX7 web sites and blogs, it has become clear that this vvta issue will lead to a timing belt failure and engine loss. I have a little less then 30,000 miles on this car and bought it new. Unfortunately this seems to be a relatively common occurrence in the 2007 model. Please issue a recall so that this defect can be addressed prior to engine failure and not at owners expense. Thank you!

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #7

Sep 012010


  • 84,000 miles
The timing chain is messed up on my 2007 Mazda Cx-7 it only has 85K miles on it.

- Kinston, NC, USA

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