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 1 of 3)

problem #46

Feb 122016


  • miles


December 2015 I had my car towed to a Mazda dealership (aaa service said to do so because of the noise and fear the vvt would break while in motion) to replace the vvt (timing chain) and valve cover gaskets - paying out of pocket. As of today, 2/12/16, the same noise, but louder, still occurs when I start the car and drive. The air bag light is on and was on when I took it in. No mention of was made. Also, when I received my receipt, they had the mileage wrong by 20,000 miles (potentially affecting carfax reports), and indicated on the sheet that other areas such as lights were fine and they were not. They did mention that my turbo may need replacing soon (another consistent complaint). There was a class action suit filed in NJ regarding this and it was thrown out. Why isn't the government doing something about all of these similar complaints" where do I go since I just don't trust Mazda dealerships"

- Pikesville, MD, USA

problem #45

Sep 192014


  • 77,000 miles
While driving on Colorado state highway 91 at approx 55 mph, the vehicle suddenly died. The engine ceased working, all systems ceased immediately. I was unable even to safely pull the car onto the shoulder, the loss of power was so complete and so sudden. The vehicle was 200 miles from my home, and 250 miles from the closest dealer at that point, so I had it towed to the closest garage that would look at it, about 60 miles away. That garage evaluated the car and stated that the timing chain had broken and a new engine would be required, at approximately $6,000 to $8,000. I phoned the closest Mazda dealer, in denver, and asked what they recommended. They also stated the engine would have to be replaced, at a cost of $8,000 to $9,000. I contacted the garage closest to my home and asked their advice. They stated they had experience replacing the timing chains and repairing engine damage in other vehicles and that they could diagnose whether that was an option. Their guess on cost was between $2,000 and $4,000 if the repair were possible and there was not too much damage to valves. Since the shop that is 25 miles from my home recommended repair at less than 1/2 the cost of the dealer 200 miles from my home, I elected to take it there. Upon research I found 1. the VIN # is one in a series with known timing chain failure, and that a heavier duty one had been issued to replace; 2. the dealer had replaced the vvt previously and should have replaced the timing chain at that time according to service bulletin 01-012/12, but did not replace the timing chain; 3. the failure happened 4 days after the expiration of the engine warranty and 7,000 miles over the 7yr/70,000 mi period; 4. Mazda would not honor the warranty since the repairs were done by an independent shop, not a dealer. Mazda knows that this VIN# is in a range of vehicles with this issue but will not fix.

- Basalt, CO, USA

problem #44

Apr 102015


  • 124,000 miles
I bought this car in February 2013 and two times since then I have had to replace the timing chain, thankfully my husband and I bought the extended warranty, but I have a feeling that it will do it again before I even pay my car off. Just a month ago I had to take my car in because my engine light came on, so I checked my engine oil and there was none on the dip stick. Called the place I just came from getting my oil changed the week before and found out that the turbo charger was malfunctioning and sucking all the oil out of the oil pan. The dealership says that it common for that make and model... my warranty covered the work but barely. I now have 4,000 miles left on my warranty.... what else could go wrong! I will never buy another Mazda period!

- Holts Summit, MO, USA

problem #43

Sep 042014

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 44,500 miles


I purchased my 2007 Mazda Cx-7 from a dealership in greensburg, pa in February of 2014, it was purchased as a used car with only 36,500 miles on it. I had no problems with the car at first, then I noticed my gas mileage was getting worse, that is when on memorial day my check engine light would come on and then go off. I took it my mechanic because I was unable to get it in to the dealership for a week at some points and the light would have be off by then. Then when I was on my way home on the evening of 9/4/14 my car made a very weird sound any time I would try to push on the gas. I pulled the car off the road and there it sat until I could reach the service department on the following day. My husband took the car to the dealership and that's where it sat because he was informed that it was unsafe to drive? I went up after work only to have them tell me that they could not get the readings from the diagnostic test and that they would have to send it to an actual Mazda dealership, where it has been for almost a week. I was informed yesterday that my turbo and other un-mentioned parts had broken. I then waited to hear back as to whether the warranty that I paid an additional $2,000 for at the time of purchase would cover it, it will not cover this and they stated that the turbo was not considered a part of the "powertrain" so they quoted me a price of upwards of $3300 to repair the vehicle that I have had for 7 months. I have started to do research into this vehicle and I have found out that this is actually quite a common problem with this make and model and that the manufacturer will not stand by the product fully knowing that this is a problem and the consumer is left holding quite a hefty bill. I implore you to research this and force their hand so that "[xxx]" doesn't keep getting stuck holding a huge bill for something this company just doesn't want to fix. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Derry , PA, USA

problem #42

Feb 032014


  • 104,232 miles
Timing chain replacement resulted in a catastrophic failure of the high pressure fuel pump and its housing. Replacing the timing chain returned the engine to production line specs, that were too much for a worn fuel pump to handle. The increased pressure to the fuel pump shattered it into numerous pieces less than 100 miles after the timing chain was replaced. Said pieces became lodged inside the cam shaft and ended up bending all of the valves. The necessitated a complete valve job, removing and replacing the cylinder head, fuel pump, cam shaft and oil control calve. At worst, all timing chain replacements should require a fuel pump change in order to prevent the sequence of events that happened to my car and thousands of others.

- Escondido, CA, USA

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problem #41

May 012014


  • miles
I was driving my 2007 Mazda Cx-7 a few days ago on a major road and it suddenly started to make a loud noise as I accelerated and would not increase speed. This was very scary and dangerous experience for me because my car felt like it was about to cutoff on a major highway while cars were driving at high speeds. I took my car to the dealership the next day and I was told I needed to replace the turbocharger and vvt & timing chain for a total of $4,200. I begin to perform research online on these issues and found forums where hundreds of Mazda owners have experienced this same issue with their vehicle. Unbeknownst to me, Mazda sent a letter to owners with an extended warranty program for both of these issues. The warranty period is 70,000mi or 7 years. My vehicle is 75,000 and one mother past the 7 yr time period. Mazda is circumventing the recall process by offering an extended warranty for parts that they know are defective and the consumers who believed that they would honor their product is left with a huge bill to repair their vehicle when Mazda is responsible party. Please see the link below to see numerous complaints by other Mazda owners on this same issue. Https://

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #40

Sep 192007

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 9,351 miles


I purchased a brand new 2007 Mazda Cx-7 in April 2007, the vehicle started experiencing engine problems in September 2007, I was told it may have something to do with the vvt (variable valve timing) and timing chain. The vvt was replaced by the dealership a short time later; however, not the timing chain. After the vvt was replaced my vehicle starting to experience thick white smoke coming out of the tail pipes. My dealership technician advised this was due to a turbo issue with the engine. All of this occurred within the first couple years of my ownership. I have had the turbo repaired (out of pocket expense), as well as the vvt (2 times) and the timing chain it all seems to no avail. The car is revving very high on cold start ups and is now experiencing a code as of the last couple of days that is stating there is a decarbonization issue with the engine that is linked to the timing chain. Of course this is now the 5th time this vehicle engine will be opened up to diagnose one of the known issues that Mazda North America is aware of. I have had this vehicle since 2007, and has just over 120,000 miles on it. I have maintained a very good service history on the vehicle taking it to "reliable" Mazda dealerships in the area where I live. My main concern is Mazda is doing nothing to rectify the issue and it's only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or even worse. The vehicle safety is impaired due to unstable engine performance. There is obvious technical issues with the engines for this Mazda engine model.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #39

May 122013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Turning into a walmart parking lot my car shut down for no reason. Almost got hit by another car that was passing by since I was not able to turn. Turning into my apartment complex the car turned off again. Started to research issues with this car and I ran into many similar complaints. Car turned off another 4 times. Car shakes when I turn ac on.and when I place it on reverse. Also had the clicking noise but it seemed to go away. There seems to be some sensor issues. I took my CX7 to Mazda so that they can see what is going on. They ran tests. Came back and said it would cost me about $3500. It was a list of things that could be wrong they said, they were not so sure what to say. Mechanic then stated that since he works at Mazda he probably should not be telling me this but he said that he has seen that problem one too many times with this particular car. That yes Mazda does know about it but they blame the owners. So I asked it I were to pay this would I get some warranty, he said no because the same problem will happen again. God forbid that my car turns off and I have and accident, since car gives no warning. I have 2 children that ride with me all the time. Mazda had some sort of recall on this car a few years ago. I purchased this car February of 2012. I know understand why this person took car to trade out. Maybe they got notice but did not care to take care of it, they traded the car in. I think they should look at those issues on all Mazda CX7. Their main issues are the turbo, the ac, and the timing belt. If you read other complaints you will see that its the same issue which is due to the actual car not the owners, please help us affected by these vehicles get Mazda to finally take responsibility for this. Make them recall these cars and get the problem fixed. To where we wont run into the same issues over and over again before someone looses a life.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #38

Mar 222013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 55,882 miles
Started smelling strong burning rubber odor emanating through vents of car while in operation, exited highway upon seeing white smoke fuming from under hood. Loss control of steering and vehicle shut off and would not crank again. Mechanic determined ac compressor has seized and serpentine belt was snapped due to friction from pulleys. If I had stayed on freeway instead of exiting, with the lost of steering I surely would have posed a danger to myself as well as others on the road. This complaint is one of numerous thousands that have been filed on behalf of Mazda and its Cx-7 model. There should be a recall issued for the ac compressor before it causes serious injury and/or fatality.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #37

Jan 082013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 112,050 miles
The vehicle started tapping upon start up and seemed to have trouble accelerating. There was also a rattling noise when the accelerator was pressed. I called the Mazda dealership and they stated that this is not their issue but they could look at my vehicle if I paid a $50 fee and what ever the issue, it would be my responsibility. There are countless issues with this vehicle ie. Varitable valve timing actuator, turbo failure, but nothing is being done by Mazda to correct this problem ie. Recall. Please help us, the owners of this vehicle!! we cannot afford to pay out all because Mazda will not admit their equipment is faulty. Thank you for your time.

- Mendenhall, MS, USA

problem #36

Nov 182012


  • 48,500 miles


In November of 2012 my family was driving home from seattle, wa to san diego, ca. When we were driving we smelled burning rubber so pulled over to see if we could see something wrong under the hood. Since it was 10pm and dark outside we couldn't see anything and decided to find the nearest hotel to stay at until we could take it to a shop. After we started driving we saw there was a freeway exit 1/2 a mile away so my husband was driving really slow(about 35mph) hoping we could make it without any problems when all of a sudden there was a huge jerking motion that felt like we ran into something even though we didn't. we stopped immediately and got a tow truck. It ended up being the ac compressor and serpentine belt that needed replaced, although Mazda was aware of this problem as they stated in their extended warranty that it had "defect in workmanship or materials, " the warranty was only extended to 5 years or 60,000 miles. My Mazda was 6 years old and had only 48,000 miles but wasn't covered because it was a year passed the warranty even though the miles were still under. We ended up paying $2,000 to fix it as well as another $300 to stay in a motel for 5 days. Ever since the day that the car broke and had the huge jerking movement, by back has hurt everyday since then. It especially didn't help that I was almost 5 months pregnant and although nothing happened to the baby, I'm hoping there was no permanent damage to my back since I've never had back pain or problems since before this incident. I didn't know who else to contact about this but I think this is a huge problem and Mazda needs to fix it before more people get hurt, especially because they already know this is a problem which is why the extended their warranty.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #35

Oct 212012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 67,500 miles
Driving East across the bay bridge from sf, the engine made a wheezing noise. After a mile the power dropped, and the car would only travel at 30 mph. No engine light came on to warn of this, even during the event. At this point it was obvious that it needed repair attention, and we found a Mazda dealer/repair shop relatively close by to drive it to. Once they had a chance to diagnose the problem, they reported to us that engine 'sludge' was to blame. The timing chain had been rubbing, and the vvt actuator had been compromised. Turbo galleys were also plugged. In Jan. Of this year, Mazda posted an extended warranty for Cx-7's timing chain and vvt. However, the dealer informed us after checking with Mazda that we were not eligible for the warranty. Gaps in our history of repair was the given reason. After an appeal, the rep from Mazda said the highest authority had reviewed the claim and again declined to help. We have read numerous complaints from other Cx-7 owners with the same problem. Many of them have also been denied the use the warranty that Mazda has extended.this is a vast and scary problem with this vehicle.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #34

Sep 242012


  • 84,000 miles
Vehicle was traveling North bound when check engine light came on as well as at on the driver console, the car would not accelerate or shift from 3rd gear in the middle highway causing the vehicle to decrease in speed.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #33

Aug 292012


  • 76,500 miles
My husband was driving the vehicle down a backroad highway going 60 when all of a sudden the car stopped. There was no notice, no noise nothing. The pos was towed to the local Mazda dealership. The looked at the vehicle and said "timing chain..$3000". ok, not what we expected but fine, fix it. 24 hours later, they called to advise that the engine is blown $7000. I contact the Mazda customer service ( aka people who are trained to tell you that you are sol) to see if there was any recall or any other things that may cover this. No, nothing but a extension was mailed Jan 2012 to advise that the timing chain was extended for repair. No notice was received and the address they had on file was correct. So here we sit with a worthless pos that nobody wants to take responsibility for. I would rather have it sit in the drive way and we share 1 vehicle than put 7000 into this car. I see that we are not the only people that have been taken advantage of by Mazda. Has anyone called recently into customer service to hear the list of recall notices" it take 8 mins for the automated system to list them all. This company needs to take responsibility for it's worthless machines! if a class action lawsuit ever comes out, I will join in a heartbeat. Can the NHTSA please look into this" I know that we are not the only people... no time in life should an engine need to be repaired with only 76K on it!!!

- West Monroe, LA, USA

problem #32

Aug 202012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 52,870 miles
While driving the vehical started to make noise took it to first mechanic shop near bye and they told use the ac compressor was failing but it would be ok then on the way back home the car started to smoke from the compressor because the clutch had seized up we pulled over otherwise im sure we would have broken the belt causeing more damage.

- Great Falls , MT, USA

problem #31

Jun 172012


  • 125,000 miles
The air conditioner compressor went out. The vehicle began to have acceleration issues and started smoking like burnt rubber. Mazda has extended the warranty to 60,000 miles but refuses to replace the compressor beyond that mileage.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #30

Jun 032012


  • 94,000 miles
While driving our Cx-7 stopped running right in the middle of the road, we have found out that is a known issue with Mazda Cx-7 vvt pin/timing chain breaking. We were able to get the car stopped, but it was in the middle of the rode and was a hazard not only to our car, but other cars coming up behind us. We were unable to move the car and had to wait for a tow truck. Of course, Mazda won't do anything to remedy the situation because the warranty has passed...even though they knew the problem existed in 2009. Someone will get killed one day.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #29

Feb 182012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 77,312 miles
After six months, we began to have mechanical issues with the vehicle. A diesel-sounding chug coming from the engine seemed off for an unleaded four-cylinder SUV. The common issue seemed to be a part called a vvt actuator. No recalls or service advisories had been issued for engine parts at this time. However, in January 2012, an entire half-decade after the vehicle rolled off the assembly line, we received a ¿¿variable valve timing noise and timing chain noise warranty extension¿¿ notice by mail from Mazda. A month or so after we received the notice, the vehicle began leaking oil. We took our vehicle into a roger beasley Mazda center and had it examined. The oil cooler on the vehicle was beginning to fail. We explained the notice that we received in the mail and they were already well aware of these issues. We were told the engine had engine sludge and with it being a second-owner vehicle, we did not have the documentation to prove that regular oil changes had been performed. Instead, all repairs and replacements would come from our own pockets. The result ended up being a need to replace the vvt actuator, the timing chain, the oil cooler, and replacing all of the gaskets. The technician showed us a side-by-side of the current timing chain and the new replacement ¿¿ the used chain had literally stretched to be about half-an-inch longer than the replacement. We drove off the lot and hoped that the problems had been solved. Within two months of the repairs, the engine began making a high-pitched whining noise. My wife contacted the dealership that day while at work and they said to bring it in. On the way to the dealership, which is less than ten miles away, the vehicle died on the freeway. This ended up being the result of a blown turbocharger. Again, we had to take money from our nest egg to replace yet another part on this vehicle.

- Leander, TX, USA

problem #28

Apr 212012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • miles
While driving, heard a noise coming from the passenger side, some smell coming from that direction as well. Lost power to the vehicle, turned off the road and notice that there was smoke coming from the A/C compressor.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #27

Jan 012012

CX-7 4WD 4-cyl

  • 55,600 miles
I own a 2007 Mazda Cx-7, which I purchased in Nov. 2006, brand new. Over the past 2 years, I have heard a tapping noise coming from the engine compartment of the vehicle. Twice in the past 9 months, the vehicle lost complete power. I asked Mazda to check the vehicle and they stated that it was common, nothing to worry about. In January of 2012, I received a safety notice from Mazda in regards to a possible defect part, V.V.T. component and a loose timing chain. I took my vehicle to the Mazda dealership, who advised me that my vehicle contained this defective part, but stated that they were not going to repair the defective component due to the lack of receipts for oil changes and other maintenance records. The reason for the lack of receipts is because my brother-in-law, who is a mechanic, performed the oil changes and other maintenance work to the vehicle. I asked Mazda if the defective part could be hazardous and they advised me it was not harzardous or dangerous. Approx. 3 weeks ago, my wife ordered the necessary parts and paid for them in full. After 3 weeks, I was advised that the parts or not available. After reading numerous websites and complaints from Cx-7 owners, this is happening across the country. I further read that if the V.V.T. component fails while the vehicle is being operated, the engine will immediately cease, possibly causing the operator the inability to safely manveur the vehicle off the roadway. In my opinion, this is a danger to the occupants of the Mazda Cx-7 and other motorists. I have not heard of any accidents being reported as a result of the defective part, but I feel that Mazda is not taking the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the motorists. I feel that the matter should be taken care of by Mazda before someone is seriously hurt or killed.

- Blackwood, NJ, USA

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