Crossover & Midsize

Why Drivers Complain About the 2012 Mazda CX-9 the Most

The Mazda CX-9 three-row SUV arrived on the scene in 2007. Consumer Reports described it as a longer and nicer version of the CX-7. Today’s 2020 model is also praised by Consumer Reports, which found it stylish and engaging to drive.

Car and Driver agreed, saying the CX-9 offers “sharp handling” and lots of technology, though it does have a small third row. Not everyone wants to buy a brand-new vehicle, though, so a used Mazda CX-9 could be a good choice. The 2012 CX-9 is one to avoid, though, and here’s a look at some of its most common problems.

Information on the Mazda CX-9 from Car Complaints

Researching a used vehicle on the Internet can provide lots of useful information, and CarComplaints.com is one source of info from other owners. The website collects the problems owners have had with their vehicles, then displays the info in visual form organized by model year and problem category.

Owners have submitted 219 problems with the Mazda CX-9 since 2007, and 46 of those are for the 2012 model year. It’s by far the year with the most submitted issues. Its many problems earned it Car Complaints’ “Beware of the Clunker” seal. Across all model years, the worst problem category for the CX-9 is brake problems. The worst problems for the 2012 model year are failure of the brake power boost unit, hard brakes, and faulty transmissions.

Brake power boost unit failure

The brake power boost unit failure on the 2012 model year is the most reported problem across all the Mazda CX-9’s model years. The issue has been reported 26 times so far. A failure of the brake booster causes the vehicle to cover more distance when stopping, a potential safety hazard. There have been related crashes and injuries, and owners have reported needing to stomp on the brake pedal.

Mazda did extend the warranty for the brake boosters for model years 2007 through 2013 back in 2014, covering seven years or 90,000 miles; however, even that extended time has now passed. Typical repair costs for the failed brake power boost units were about $680. The failure appeared on average around 67,100 miles, and owners gave it a severity rating of 8.0, or “pretty bad.”

Brakes that are hard to press

There have been six owners who reported having to brake hard with the 2012 Mazda CX-9. Owners described brakes that are hard to press and problems that are sometimes connected to other part failures, including the brake power booster. The brakes produced odd noises in some CX-9s and caused the SUV to take longer to stop. Repairs cost about $990, and the problem developed at around 61,450 miles on average. Owners rated it a 7.3 severity, or “pretty bad.”

A faulty transmission

The 2012 Mazda CX-9 has four submitted transmission problems, and two of those are for a faulty transmission. Both owners experienced hard shifting and failed transmissions. Each had to replace their transmissions twice, and one owner also replaced the TCM.

Repairs cost roughly $390, and the transmission problems appeared around 36,500 miles. The owners rated the problem a 10.0 on the severity scale, or “really awful.”

Other Mazda CX-9 model years

Despite several high-complaint years before 2012 in 2008, 2010, and 2011, problems have dropped off since then. They’ve stayed at 19 or below since 2013. Even a redesign for the CX-9 in 2016 didn’t cause a large jump in complaints. In 2017, there was only one submitted complaint, and no complaints have been submitted since then.

While all vehicle problems are frustrating and inconvenient, these three common Mazda CX-9 issues won’t totally empty out owners’ pockets, with all the repair costs coming in under $1,000 according to previous owners’ submissions.