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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,200 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Mazda CX-7 Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 192011

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 40,900 miles


2008 Mazda cx-7with 40,925 miles. Am disabled, retired military so to save money I peform own oil changes approximately every 5000 to 7500 miles depending on driving conditions. Alwas need to add oil in between changes though no leak found. Was told by Mazda service within first 6 months of owning this vehicles that the turbo gets extremely hot and burns off oil. Just before mileage stated above, the check engine light came on while driving and engine lost power. No other indications leading up to this. Handheldobcd-II computer check showed code P0101 (mass air flow sensor). Checked Cx-7 on-line forums and in less than 1/2 an hour found over 25 complaints (stopped searching at this point) with same problem I have. Apparently this is a common problem and the outcomes were scary. As per several forums, Mazda tells customers, as I was also told, that the turbo and bearings bad, said sludge in engine breaches warranty due to lack of maintenance proof and denies to honor warranty. Say car needs a rebuilt or new engine and turbo installed and I must pay $7K - $9K for a rebuilt engine. Now owe over $18K on a car that should have a recall done on it for this problem. Spoke wih Mazda customer assistance ad they told me that the district service manager's (dsm) decision is final, and nothing they can do to help me. Then asked my dealer for dsm phone number and was told they can't let me have it, but said he was going to be at their dealership that day to verify another warranty claim denial and that they would have him call me. Filed on-line complaint with BBB and am awaiing info from them to discuss mediation and if that fails arbitration.

- Queen Creek, AZ, USA

problem #2

Jul 082010


  • 79,000 miles
I purchased my 2008 Mazda CX7 new from jake sweeney Mazda in cinti, oh. I had not had any problems with it until this incident. I was driving for work from cinti, oh to clarksburg, wv. 20 minutes into my drive, the ac went out. There was a strong smell of a belt burning. I turned the air off, put the windows down and continued to drive without ac. Three hours later, the car stalled. I was able to pull over and get it started again. I drove to the nearest repair shop I could find. They told me the drivetrain had gone bad and would need to be replaced. I called Mazda and they told me it was out of the 5 yr/60,000 mile warranty since the car has 79,000 miles on it. I could pay to have it towed to the closest Mazda dealership and have a diagnostic done to see if they would consider honoring the warranty. This would not be applied to any needed repairs. I opted to leave it at the repair shop. They are ordering the part which will take a week to get. I had to rent a car to get back home and will have to drive back to wv to get my car. I realize the car is out of warranty but having the drivetrain go out after only two years and 79,000 miles is terrible quality. I have leased new cars all my life and have never had one have a problem this major after only two and half years. I won't be buying another Mazda again.

- Fairfield, OH, USA

problem #1

Jul 262008

CX-7 4-cyl

  • 700 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mazda Cx-7. the contact stopped the vehicle and turned off the ignition. When he placed the gear into park, it would not engage. The dealer stated that all of the vehicles do not lock in park after turning off the ignition switch. The gear shift moves while the engine is on and the vehicle is in park. The contact has owned the vehicle for three weeks. Another driver exited their vehicle and thought that the vehicle was in park after she turned off the vehicle. The gear failed to lock into place and the vehicle crashed into a tree. The service manager at the dealer stated that this was abnormal, but all of the vehicles operate in that manner and there may be a potential safety hazard. The contact and service manager also observed several vehicles that were designed in that manner. The contact is also waiting on a district service manager to call him back. The insurance company was liable for the repairs. The owner's manual did not indicate that there may be difficulty with the gear shift. There was damage to the rear end bumper and tailgate of the vehicle. The failure mileage was approximately 700 and current mileage was 760. Updated 09/10/08. Updated 09/11/08.

- Naperville, IL, USA

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