QLD Mazda CX-9 AWD 2008-2015 Design Defect - Obligations

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ionyssamazda

Member
3 March 2021
4
1
4
Hi everyone,

I would like to know if I have a case against Mazda Australia regarding this matter, potentially grounds for a class action.

Situation:
* I am the owner of a 2013 Mazda CX-9 AWD, and have owned for 2 years
* There is a component called the Transfer Case / Power Transfer Unit that takes an input from the Transmission and drives the wheels
* The Transfer Case in this generation (2008-2015, AWD variant) is classed by Mazda as 'non serviceable' and contains what Mazda call 'life time oil'. Servicing of this part does not appear on any official Mazda Maintenance Schedule for this vehicle (Mazda AU website).
* The oil in this unit degrades over time as any part with oil does and needs to have the oil replaced (confirmed by Mazda Service Manager )
* Without replacing the oil at regular intervals the oil breaks down and stops lubricating the internal parts. The internal parts then start to break apart, the oil fills with metal filings, which then break down and destroy the Transfer Case
* As the Transfer Case degrades it will start to degrade the input from the Transmission (splines) to the point where the Transmission is also destroyed
* I took my CX-9 into the Mazda Sunshine Coast service centre due to a strong 'shudder' in the drive train at certain RPMs and they happily quoted me $19,000 to replace the Transmission and Transfer Case. The friendly lady at the counter then went on to recommend I instead sell the vehicle as fast as I could, either to a dealer or privately (ethics!).
* When asked about second hand parts, Mazda happily informed me that they don't recommend them for this issue, as the majority they have seen come through their service centre show signs of the same degradation / destruction. One vehicle they told me about needed 4 separate Transfer Case + Transmissions until they found a second hand part that wasn't degraded / destroyed.
* When asked how to prevent recurrence of this issue post repairs / replacement, Mazda informed me that like any part with oil it needs to be serviced regularly (Mazda Service Manager). When I asked where it appears on the offical Maintenance Schedule (as it does not appear), they refused to answer the question.
* Looking at the various Mazda forums this is a known issue with many owners reporting similar stories for this generation. There are videos posted on how to replace the oil in the Transfer Case to prevent this issue, but it is a non standard procedure, as there is no drainage port to get the oil out. Some mechanics are reported as refusing to do the service, as Mazda does not recommend it. Mazda USA apparently extended the manufacturers warranty on the Transmission and Transfer Case on this generation to 9 years so that owners could get their defective units repaired / replaced.

My deductions / inference:
* Mazda Australia know there is a design defect with the Transfer Case
* Mazda Australia know that without regular servicing, the Transfer Case will eventually prematurely degrade / be destroyed
* Mazda Australia know that this then causes degradation / destruction of the Transmission
* Mazda Australia know that these premature failures are preventable with regular servicing of the Transfer Case. Yes, all engine parts will eventually fail, but a Tranmission and Transfer Case failing after 7.5 years and 145,000Ks is not the expected life time. And widespread failures as reported by Mazda, are not expected for a normal part.
* Mazda Australia have chosen to not update the Maintenance Schedules for this generation / variant to include the required regular servicing of the Transfer Case
* Mazda Australia are consciously preventing owners of these cars to prevent catastrophic failure and repair / replacement costs in the order of $19K
* Mazda Australia know the issue is widespread as they admit the majority of second hand parts show signs of this issue

Question for the forum:
1) How do I go about getting Mazda to pay for rectification of my own vehicle
2) How do we collectively go about get Mazda to remedy the Australian situation, inclusive of e.g. extending the Warranty on these parts as per USA practice, updating the Maintenance Schedule, providing instructions to mechanics on how to service this 'non serviceable' item, paying damages (?) to owners who provide proof they have previously had this issue.

Logic Flaws / Gaps:
A) Mazda will likely say this is 'normal wear and tear'. Rebuttal: Widespread (admitted by Mazda) degradation and destruction of Transfer Cases at 'relatively' low years / KM, which then goes on to destroy entire Transmissions, is not considered normal wear and tear. Also is countered by Mazda USA extending their warranty on these parts to 9 years due to known issues.
B) Mazda will likely say 'the owner did not look after the vehicle properly, e.g. used mis-matched tyres / towed heavy loads, etc.'. Rebuttal: The Owners Manual mentions correct patterns for rotating / replacing tyres, but the only repercussion highlighted is 'reduced traction, steerage, braking, increased wear on tyres'. If complete destruction of the Transfer Case and Transmission is a potential consequence, this needs to be communicated to owners and I would suggest reinforced by every tyre dealer. As my vehicle does not have a tow bar (and would suspect many don't) the excessive towing load can't be used as an argument for a wide spread issue.
 
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Reactions: Kleva2

Scruff

Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
872
128
2,389
NSW
If Mazda USA did in fact extend the warranty to 9 years, then that is very important information here. It means that vehicles in the USA are still covered at the moment - but it also means that Aussie owners are running out of time.

Given the time issue, I think your best bet would be to find a few other owners as quickly as you can, that are experiencing, or have already experienced this issue. You then need to get everything you have as a group to the ACCC. I reckon 5 or more cases would be enough to get the ACCC's attention.

Class actions take too much time and there's too much hassle and money involved. It's better to get the ACCC to start looking into it as soon as you can - it's much faster, much easier and no cost involved, win or lose.
 

ionyssamazda

Member
3 March 2021
4
1
4
If Mazda USA did in fact extend the warranty to 9 years, then that is very important information here. It means that vehicles in the USA are still covered at the moment - but it also means that Aussie owners are running out of time.

Given the time issue, I think your best bet would be to find a few other owners as quickly as you can, that are experiencing, or have already experienced this issue. You then need to get everything you have as a group to the ACCC. I reckon 5 or more cases would be enough to get the ACCC's attention.

Class actions take too much time and there's too much hassle and money involved. It's better to get the ACCC to start looking into it as soon as you can - it's much faster, much easier and no cost involved, win or lose.
Thanks Scruff, I'll follow up with that. Much appreciated.
 

Scruff

Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
872
128
2,389
NSW
You're welcome.
 

Karen Bailey

Member
4 April 2021
1
0
1
I too have just found out the oil leak of my 2013 CX 9 Mazda requires new transfer case and maybe more. I have only had it 18 months
It does not have a tow bar and has Parelli tyres which I have just replacedall of them and had itserviced regularly since I purchased.
To sell I would loose $10,000 and I would not sell privately.

I too have been told $3500 plus labour.
What do you do?
 

Meganevans933

Member
7 May 2021
1
0
1
Me!!!!! I have a Mazda CX-9 GT 2013 model with the EXACT same issues you have listed. How can we get in touch? I’m currently dealing with Mazda but have only just started the process today.
 

Kleva2

Member
23 May 2021
3
0
1
Me! Our cx9 luxury 2009 is off the road as we speak due to this horrible shudder. The Mazda dealership wouldn’t diagnose it but suggested we see a transmission specialist. I wonder if Slater Gordon would be interested a class action suggestion.
 

Hong

Member
11 June 2021
1
0
1
Me too. My CX9 2010 model is off the road due to the failure of transfer case. Have to pay ~ 3k to get it fixed.
 

ionyssamazda

Member
3 March 2021
4
1
4
I was able to get Mazda Australia to replace my Transmission and Transfer Case at no cost. After Mazda Sunshine Coast quoted $19K to replace them, I did the research and complained to Mazda Australia as the 'manufacturer' under Australian Consumer Law, and that these had failed the consumer guarantee for quality and fit for use, citing the North American extended warranty that had been issued for this fault. They dragged their feet and had me take the car back into Mazda Sunshine Coast for them to inspect (potentially at my cost), but as the transfer case had also damaged the splines on the transmission, they agreed to the replacement.
 

Kleva2

Member
23 May 2021
3
0
1
I was able to get Mazda Australia to replace my Transmission and Transfer Case at no cost. After Mazda Sunshine Coast quoted $19K to replace them, I did the research and complained to Mazda Australia as the 'manufacturer' under Australian Consumer Law, and that these had failed the consumer guarantee for quality and fit for use, citing the North American extended warranty that had been issued for this fault. They dragged their feet and had me take the car back into Mazda Sunshine Coast for them to inspect (potentially at my cost), but as the transfer case had also damaged the splines on the transmission, they agreed to the replacement.
What!!!!??!!! What year was your car?
The Mazda dealership in Adelaide that we took ours to wouldn’t even diagnose the issue, they sent us to a “transmission specialist” who diagnosed it and gave us the bad news and $19k fix quote. The car is now on its way to the wreckers :(