hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,566 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.

2011 Mazda CX-9 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2011 Mazda CX-9 Owner Comments

problem #14

Dec 312016


  • 90,400 miles


I was driving my 2011 Mazda Cx-9 and the car was smelling like it was burning and then it sounded like a pile of rocks being tossed around I pulled over to the side of the road and something exploded the car came to an abrupt stop and smoke came from underneath the hood. I had it towed to a repair shop and was told the transfer case went out and messed up the transmission. After doing research on the internet I found out this is a common problem that Mazda has known about for some time and has failed to notify the customer. This problem has apparently caused vehicles to catch fire while driving. After contacting Mazda they say they extended the warranty to 90,000 miles because of this problem but hasn't notifyed the owners of the vehicle. Mazda says it hasn't been recalled because it isn't a safety issue (which I disagree with, it could cause great harm or death) and it hasn't been reported enough. Mazda said they would replace the transfer case but not the labor or transmission. I believe this should be recalled since apparently it's happening in all Cx-9 vehicles between certain years. It's a defective part, nothing I did and I am left to pay to fix a problem that Mazda knows is their fault. My car has between 90,400 and 90,500 miles and I shouldn't be having this kind of major problem with a vehicle under 100,000 miles. If I would have been driving down an interstate at 70mph I have to wonder if I would have had an accident with injury or if my car would have caught fire what would have happened. I believe this is a major safety issue and needs to be investigated.

- Rougemont, NC, USA

problem #13

Jan 122016


  • 92,000 miles
My power train was supposed to be covered to 100,000 miles. When the tranfer case had to be replaced as per warning it happened at 93000 onstead of 90000 but I was told that not only eas I not covered but that the supposed warranty covered to 100000 miles was not valid either because the car wasn't classified at Mazda as a certified pre-owned car and the only reason I bought the car was although the mileage was high, approximately 54,300 miles for a 2 yr.old car I purchased it because with it supposedly being pre-owned car, the power train was to be warranteed to 100000 miles so picture my shock whrn I was told that the car was not considered to be pre-owned and that the power trsin wouldn't be covered. I must take it up with the dealer. So I was stick with the payment of the replacement of a part that was listed for recall. So for 2000 miles past original recall mileage and because Mazda had no record of my car being pre-owned I had to pay for everything myself. It looked like a monster had taken a bite of the part in question. I still have part cause I 'm still trying to get my money back to no avail#!!! it was stationary when the defect became evident.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #12

Dec 132016


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Mazda Cx-9. the contact stated that while driving at 70 mph, a strong odor of fuel fumes was inside the vehicle and an abnormal noise could be heard from the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transfer case needed replacement but the repairs were not completed. The contact then took the vehicle to a dealer where the failure was then confirmed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 103,000.

- Abington, PA, USA

problem #11

Dec 012016


  • 81,000 miles


Transfer case - had unusual wear and tear on the transfer case that lead me to lose stearing and driving capability when driving to work. Took my car to car dealer and the transfer case was ground down and the transmission was rusting. Had no water dammage and cost over $4,000. Since have researched and found that many Mazda owners have been experiences issues with their transmisson and transfer case. I believe this should be looked into.

- Pittston, PA, USA

problem #10

Nov 112016


  • 150,000 miles
2011 Mazda Cx-9 transfer case breakdown while moving due to fluid leaking out, causing severe wear on the transmission and disabling vehicle. My wife heard a strange sound 2 weeks ago and when she parked the car in the garage, there was a strange smell, like burnt wire or rotten egg smell. Had it evaluated at the local garage and they diagnosed leaking fluid from transfer case, which destroyed the bearings and threads around the shaft. The mechanic says this fluid is never supposed to have to be changed according to the Mazda manual. And there is so little fluid in the transfer case, it is hard to detect the leaking when it happens. I checked on google and there were hundreds of similar reports of tranfer case failure. One guy had four transfer cases installed in the first 20,000 miles after the car was purchased new. This is dangerous. If the transfer case fails at night or during a snowstorm, people could get killed. Not to mention the $3,000 to $8,000 bill for repair depending on whether it is just the transfer case or if it also the transmission that needs repair. This matter should be investigated as a recall item. Apparently, there have been several service bulletins and extensions of transfer case warranties offered by Mazda. The problem is widespread, with the edmund's complaints of failure including the years 2008-2014. It does not necessarily rleate to the amount of miles on the vehicle because many have failed shortly after being purchased new. The fact that Mazda has handled this on an individual event basis and very quietly has kept this from becoming newsworthy but the problem is so widespread, dangerous and costly, that the federal government should get involved.

- Spring Park, MN, USA

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problem #9

Oct 272016


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Mazda Cx-9. while driving 35 mph, the front wheels seized. The vehicle skidded and came to a complete stop without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact mentioned that the vehicle was serviced for the lower control arms one day prior to the failure. The vehicle had an extended warranty for the transfer case, but it expired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #8

Nov 152015


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owns a 2011 Mazda Cx-9. while driving at various speeds, the vehicle would not have adequate power to go up or down hills. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the transfer case of the vehicle failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 48,000.....updated 03-31-16

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #7

Sep 202015


  • 3 miles
Hissing noise when pressing brake pedal. If feels like more force is needed to stop vehicle. Loud noise from transmission when shifting from part to drive/reverse

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #6

Apr 092015

CX-9 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
I just bought an 2011 Cx-9 Mazda few weeks ago. When I was parking I noticed that every time I put the car in drive it make a sound very hard, and sometimes when putting it in reverse. It may be some problems with the transfer case. In addition, when the car is running on 2nd another weird sound. I am taking the car to the near dealer if the problem continue.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #5

Apr 082015


  • 33,739 miles
Traveling with family on I95 started smelling a burning odor. Later developed a distinct vibration and grinding sound. Got it home now non usable. Vehicle was previously repaired at my shop, a loss due to hurricane sandy, and as such branded. Faulkner Mazda and Mazda corporation both denied any warranty claim due to title branding even though both admitted it was a safety issue, although the service dept at faulkner did add "that anything could cause an accident". I am just lucky that it didn't grenade while on the interstate at speed with my family in the car. Corporate Mazda advised me to save my receipts in case they issue a recall in the future. Will not recommend Mazda to anyone in the future.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #4

Mar 182015

CX-9 6-cyl

  • 57,480 miles


The Mazda 2011 Cx-9 crossover SUV seems to have a defect in the power transfer unit (ptu). Mazda North american operations issued a letter to Mazda owners informing about a special service program to extend the warranty coverage for the repair of the power transfer unit (ptu) on "certain 2010-2011 Cx-9 all-wheel drive vehicles produced from July 28, 2009 through December 2, 2013." I quote the letter. On March 18, 2015, I began to experience a problem whereby my 2011 Cx-9 made a grinding and snapping sound when in reverse mode. This behavior was followed by a pungent odor in the cabin. I contacted the nearest dealership and tried to get an immediate appointment to examine the vehicle. However the dealership could not accommodate me nor expressed any awareness of the symptoms. Yet, the letter was published since last year. I contacted a local mechanic and had them inspect the vehicle and they diagnosed the problem exactly as described in the letter from Mazda. In fact, the mechanic is aware of this problem with Mazda and Lincoln brand vehicles. Currently, I am having trouble getting immediate assistance from the dealership or Mazda North american operations. I called several times to the dealership and they were unresponsive. Is NHTSA aware of this ptu defect and what was necessary to require a recall/replacement of the ptu 'prior' to inevitable failure as we experienced? thank you.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

problem #3

Jan 012015


  • 67,000 miles
I have a 2011 Mazda Cx-9 and when slowing down there is a jolt when it shifts from 4th to 3rd. This seems to happen more when its cold out. It only happens when it shifts from 4th to 3rd. Its not all the time its just random.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #2

May 172013


  • miles
2011 Mazda Cx-9. consumer writes in regards to vehicle fire caused by transmission/transfer case failure. The consumer stated the bottom of the vehicle caught on fire, it was put out before any excessive damage was done. The consumer stated prior to the fire, the vehicle started vibrating and when she attempted to drive, it would not move.

- Manalapan, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jun 072013

CX-9 6-cyl

  • 36,300 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Mazda Cx-9. the contact stated that there were fuel fumes inside the cabin of the vehicle. Additionally, the contact was driving 20 mph when the vehicle began to decelerate independently and stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who determined that the transfer case was cracked and seized. The failure was not reported to the manufacturer. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 36,300. Updated 07/30/13 the dealer replaced the transfer case. Updated 08/01/13

- Colorado Springs , CO, USA

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