Another update: My warranty company will not cover the head replacement, since it is a "manufacturer defect" according to them...but they ARE covering a transmission replacement with a "used" transmission that they will warranty for 1 year or 12K miles. So, I don't think I mentioned that the transmission was jerking between 2nd and 3rd gear on both up and downshifts and this was one of the other reasons I took the CX-9 in (on November 8th...but who's counting?). They diagnosed it as bad. Anyway, back on the head: the dealer will now approach Mazda corporate with a request to cover the repair. Judging from the entries on this forum, this has been a mixed bag, with some getting a "good will" repair and others not getting it approved. If anyone can provide/post any official communications with mazda...i.e., a letter, e-mail, anything that says they covered their head or engine replacement (for a car out of warranty) this would really be helpful to me as I make my case. Perhaps it is a lost cause...I cannot afford the 7K that the dealer would charge to replace the head, nor do I think it would be worth it to pay that much to make that kind of repair...although it is cheaper than a "new" car, I suppose. This really sucks. I've had 3 Mazdas and would like to stay with the brand, but after this, I really don't think I will. Meanwhile we continue to use a loaner 2022 CX-9, who knows how much longer we'll need to have that?So here is the update: they have filed with our extended warranty company (CarShield) for a head replacement and a new transmission (different problem). This is about $15K worth of work. We are waiting to hear back from the warranty company adjuster. We talked to them on the phone at least twice - between myself and the service advisor (Phil) - and the last I heard was that they have "elevated" the process to the adjuster supervisor on their end. The dealer filed this paperwork on the 17th and our car has been in the shop since the 8th (of Nov)! Waiting to hear on whether they will cover the repairs. The dealer decided NOT to pursue a remedy through Mazda, but if the warranty company rejects, that may be the next step. I cannot afford a $15K repair on this car at this time.