Notes: The 2008 Mazda CX-7 has numerous reports filed with the NHTSA about engine & A/C problems, continuing these defect trends from the 2007 model year.

Owners report problems with the 2008 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 2008 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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,621 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.

2008 Mazda CX-7 lights problems

lights problem

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2008 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 012016


  • miles


The oem bulbs in the brake lights are too hot and after some time the bulbs burn through the plastic, causing the brake lenses to get cloudy, the plastic to melt onto the bulb, and the red tint to fade in the brake lights. My car is like this and every 2008 Cx-7 I've seen has the same thing - cloudy and burned brake lenses from the bulbs burning a hole in the brake lense plastic.

- Alhambra, CA, USA

problem #6

Nov 222015


  • miles
* engine issues when the A/C compressor locked up. This is a known issue in this make and model. This happened around 36K miles while I was driving on a freeway. We had to coast into the next exit. * engine knocking issues. They still persist and started around 50K miles. * engine resistance. Alongside the knocking there seems to be a good amount of resistance when taking your foot off of the pedal for acceleration. * they added a factory extension to the radio for the ipod. Ever since they installed this, the rest of the electrical components have been overloaded. - headlights go out frequently. This concerns me as my wife drives the car and I wouldn't want both to go out at the same time. - the battery won't hold a charge if not driven for a few days. The dealership acknowledged that the radio has a 'parasitic draw' on the battery causing these issues, but refuses to take responsibility for their installation. Their solution is to charge $800+ for a new head unit, which is outrageous since I never did anything to the factory head unit.

- Dover, OH, USA

problem #5

Jan 082015

CX-7 4-cyl

  • miles
Just realized after changing back light that both side of rear lights have exactly the same problem, light bulbs are getting extremely hot during using and this burnt the plastic part that is part of the rear lights.

- Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #4

Sep 122011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 32,950 miles


Due to defective seals on the headlight assemblies, moisture builds up inside the lens causing very poor visibility at night driving...this is on the inside, not the outside of the lens....had purchased extended 7 year 70K mile bumper to bumper warranty but Mazda says it from going through car washes...what a scam..guess someone has to get hurt for them to fix there defective wife won't drive the car at night.. last Mazda I buy..their customer satisfaction service is horrible...this is a serious safety issue and should be addressed...look around, they are all fogged up!!

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #3

May 142013

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles
Mazda got stuck and had no power the first time second time happened October 9,2013 car kept shutting off and finally could not move. Turbo once again twice in 5 months and I only had this pre-owned vehicle for 7 months.

- Deer Park, NY, USA

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problem #2

Jan 212012

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 49,800 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mazda Cx-7. the contact stated that the rear exterior light would burn a hole in the tail light cover, melting the plastic. The dealer and manufacturer were notified of the failure and advised the contact that they would inspect the vehicle at a charge but the contact declined. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 49,800 and the current mileage was 49,880. Updated 02/22/12 updated 03/01/12

- Tamarac, FL, USA

problem #1

Sep 172010


  • 44,600 miles
Tail light lenses / plastic in the housing for stop lights, flashers / signal lights and back up lights ignited slowly and melted away. I realized that something was burning in my car and after a thorough search, I noticed that my left tail light was not working and the brake light / stop light appeared to be smoky. When I attempted to remove the light bulb to check the tail light housing, I noticed that the plastic lens within the tail light housing had melted and a strong smell of burnt plastic was felt immediately. I removed all the bulbs within the house to check for further meltdown of the plastic lens but at this time, it appears that only the brake light lens has melted to the point that I can now see the white light coming thru the outer shell of the red lens in the stop light. I have kept both light bulbs from the left and right tail lights, to show the melted plastic around the bulbs and I left the melted lens in the tail light housing to prove that there was a meltdown within the tail light housing. Note that the bulbs I removed 7743-12volt, are all original equipment from when I purchased the car from my local Mazda dealer on 12/7/2007. I am not sure if I should worry about the meltdown eventually becoming a electrical fire inside the tail light housing.

- Oakland Gardens, NY, USA

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