2021 Mazda CX-9 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine and brake system issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The Mazda CX-9 is the Japanese automaker’s mid-size crossover SUV. It first arrived in the United States back in 2006 as a 2007 model. It’s constructed at the Ujina plan located in Hiroshima Prefecture. What’s interesting about this model is despite being built in Japan, it is not sold in its native country. The CX-9 is considered too large for Japanese regulations and would require a larger road tax if driven there. Because of that, the Japanese opt for a smaller CX-8 instead.

Since 2007, the Mazda CX-9 has been popular among busy families. However, 2021 was the model’s best-selling year to date. In the United States, 34,493 units were sold, with another 1,267 distributed throughout Mexico.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020

Most Common Problems with the Mazda CX-9

There’s no question that the 2021 Mazda CX-9 looks great and provides plenty of technology for a modern drive. Still, it’s been causing a lot of issues for drivers and their families. Among the top complaints (NHTSA), the engine is causing the most trouble, with the service brakes and structure falling behind.

2021 Mazda CX-9 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Air Bags
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
Electrical System: Instrument Cluster/panel
Power Train

Problems with the Engine

  • Excessive Oil Consumption: The 2021 Mazda CX-9 has a serious engine defect that is causing it to go through a lot of oil. It’s not even taking that long before customers realize how much oil is being used. In fact, one driver found that it required a quart every 2,500 miles, which is completely unacceptable.
  • Valve Stem Seal Defect: The reason for the oil consumption is a defect with the valve stem seal that has been outlined in Service Bulletin MT-005/20. Because of this bulletin, it’s clear that the automaker knows there’s a problem, yet there’s still no recall to fix it. With the bad valve stem seal, engine damage and failure are imminent, especially if customers aren’t paying attention to excessive oil consumption.
  • Lagging Power: Many enthusiasts were excited about the engine that was included with the 2021 Mazda CX-9 models. It was expected to bring with it lots of power, but there’s a noticeable lag that drivers are complaining about. While it will unleash power after a few seconds, the lag can be annoying and dangerous, especially in busy intersections.
  • Requires Premium Fuel: Customers find a surprise after purchasing or leasing the 2021 Mazda CX-9 that wasn’t expected. It turns out that premium gasoline is recommended, which significantly adds to the cost of driving this SUV.

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Brake Problems

  • Locked Up Brakes: A customer was heading downhill on a mildly snowy road. When they tapped their brakes, everything locked up. Additionally, the steering wheel wouldn’t turn, which caused them to run off of the road. Thankfully, the driver was only going five to ten mph and an accident didn’t occur.
  • Failing Safety Features: The service brakes are required for numerous advanced safety systems. When there’s a problem and the features fail, braking doesn’t work like it was intended. With the CX-9 model, customers are finding that collision mitigation, brake assist and lane departure warning can all be rendered useless because of the defects.

Structural Problems

  • Air Bag Projectiles: Over the years, automakers have been plagued with air bag problems, but this one seems a little unique to others. Customers have complained that the rear passenger handle can break, leading to sharp projectiles heading through the back seat when the rear curtain air bag is deployed. This is beyond an annoyance but could potentially lead to death.
  • Opening Rear Lift Gate: The rear lift gate shouldn’t be difficult to open, but it also shouldn’t have a mind of its own. Customers are struggling with a lift gate that opens with no warning, in some cases hitting other structural elements, such as a garage ceiling. When the lift gate opens, the rear glass can also shatter, leading to a dangerous mess. If this occurs in public, the SUV is also more at-risk for theft with the open rear hatch.
  • Cramped Cockpit: Even though the CX-9 is on the larger side, drivers are finding that it’s more cramped than expected. The front seats can be difficult to get in and out of, plus the doors appear to be narrower than some other comparable models. Not only that, but the door top seems to sit lower than others.
  • Loose Mud Flap: A customer struggled with a driver’s side rear mud flap coming off on the highway. This plastic piece has been known to fall off, according to that owner’s dealership. Because it’s only secured by plastic, it seems like it would be a bad design. Plus, the part alone costs owners nearly $200, on top of the cost of labor to replace it. With such premature failure, owners are wondering how many will need to be replaced over its life.

What to do if your 2021 Mazda CX-9 is a lemon?

Suspect you’ve got a lemon on your hands? Relax and allow us to handle your lemon case without any expense on your part. The laws compels Mazda to cover the incurred legal fees. Just pick up the phone and give a call.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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