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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,498 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.

2002 Mazda MPV transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Mazda MPV Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #40

Jan 162009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


My 2002 MPV suffered a complete transmission failure at about 75K miles, stalling out in morning traffic and needing to be pushed from the road. The transmission occasionally kicked when shifting since the car was new. I called Mazda, which refused to pay anything toward the repair, saying it had relinquished liability for a vehicle several years past warranty. Despite what I see in NHTSA's complaint log and elsewhere on the net, Mazda told me that it does not agree that the transmission on the 2002 MPV is unusually prone to failure. In the past seven months, this MPV has needed several other expensive engine repairs, some of which also repeatedly show up on the NHTSA complaint log: 3 ignition coils, a PCV hose, an idle control valve, and an oxygen sensor. This is quite a string of expensive failures for a car less than 7 years old. The dealer offered to do the transmission work for $3600, although it looks like I will have it done elsewhere for somewhat less. I strongly urge NHTSA to reevaluate whether a recall is merited for the 2002 MPV's defective transmission. The consumer stated he had to have 3 ignition coils, a PCV hose, and idle control valve nas a right upper oxygen sensor. Updated 02/12/09.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #39

Dec 112008


  • 72,000 miles
At 72K, transmission failed while driving at hwy speeds. Transmission went into neutral on its own. Had to replace transmission. Also all 6 coils have been replaced. 1 failed at approx. 38K, 2nd at 50K, the remaining at 72K.

- Kingwood, TX, USA

problem #38

Nov 222008


  • 104,000 miles
My van started jerking into 2nd gear and it had no pickup, I could feel it not catching gears so I took it to my mechanic and they say it needs a new transmission. It will cost between $2000 and $4000 to fix.

- Glover, VT, USA

problem #37

Sep 272008


  • 59,000 miles


I was driving our 2002 Mazda MPV, with only 59000 miles on it. We purchased the vehicle new in 2002. In this incident, I suddenly found that while driving at about 38 mph, I tried to accelerate (to 40 mph), and the vehicle decelerated instead. I repeatedly tried this, and the vehicle kept slowing instead of accelerating. We turned the car off, changed drivers in the shoulder, and repeated the same problem. There were no warning lights, just worsening of the problem, with extreme slowing. We managed to get the van to a service station. We were just informed that the transmission needs to be replaced. Something apparently snapped in the transmission, with no warning. The car will go in reverse, but will not go forward. We were headed for the highway that day, and are fortunate this happened where it did, not on a highway, but on a smaller road right near a service station. We are very lucky and extremely frustrated with Mazda. This severe and potentially dangerous problem could happen with no warning, on a well-maintained vehicle with relatively low mileage. The engine is being rebuilt for $2400, and we have been able to borrow a car for the duration of the repair. And by the looks of it, many owners of the 2002 Mazda have had the same problem!

- Maplewood, NJ, USA

problem #36

Jul 112008


  • 85,000 miles
Since new, hesitates between 40-50 mph, causing sudden loss of power, high rpms but no acceleration. Removing foot from gas van sometimes recovers. Has had transmission control module replaced as a result, then ignition coils were blamed and those were replaced one by one, sometimes more than once, then coolant temperature sensor went, now at 85,000 transmission went. Each event stranded my family by the side of the road and car had to be towed.

- Medford, NJ, USA

problem #35

Jun 162008


  • 95,000 miles
We have sent in our Mazda MPV 2002 van into 3 different dealerships six times for the same transmission issues. Everyone except one gave us a could not replicate problem answer. However, the one dealership that could replicate the problem said it was the mechanics of the transmission and we should not worry but logged in an incident during our warranty in case we had problems in the future. They also indicated that it would be handled as a warranty problem when and if the problem became worse and needed repaired. Now, the problem occurs all of the time with 3,4,5 gears shifting hard. Mazda has not corrected this issue and wants to charge me money for the repairs. After consulting two transmission specialist, they said it needed a rebuilt or replaced transmission.

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #34

Apr 042008

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,776 miles


O/D light flashing and harsh shift. My family and I was planning to take a trip to williamsburg va, and when I start the van, I discovered the O/D (over drive) light is flashing and harsh shifts. I took the van to amoco and ask to check my transmission. The service tech told me everything is normal, however we noticed your gears are not shifting smoothly. They could get any code of what causing. I left their shop and stopped by cottman transmission. They also scanned and couldn't get any code; they also test drive the van and also noticed same thing that amoco has told me. The tech has asked me to take to the dealer and give this bulletin # 05-001/04 (harsh shifts - reflash PCM). I dropped the car to the dealer over night and mention what have happened and also mentioned the bulletin number. I have received a call the following morning from the dealer service department. The service adviser has told me that I need a new transmission and when I ask how much, he said it will cost to you about $3200. This shocked me and decided to do some research. I found out this has happened to thousand of MPV 2002 owners, which one forum has suggested that I should file a complain here.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #33

Feb 212008

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles
We have 83000 miles on our vehicle. We have taken our vehicle in for the required check ups at 20K, 30K, ,for issues concerning air sensors. We had not received any caution by the dealer that we may have issues with any part dealing with the powertrain even after the dealer "26 point inspection" they always talk about. My family was driving from a doctor appointment, and the transmission started jerking in and out of gear. We called the dealer, and were informed that the car could have a transmission issue and not to drive it. Nobody was injured through the jerking motions of the car, but luckily, we were in our neighborhood when it happened. It was towed to our dealer for a diagnosis, and we were informed that it needed a new transmission.

- Midlothian, VA, USA

problem #32

Jan 122008

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,575 miles
Transmission failure, while 200 mi away from home, over $3,000 usd damage.

- Shelburne, VT, USA

problem #31

Dec 152007

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,600 miles
Vehicle has 79600 miles on it. I am the original owner and have maintained the car well. The transmission has completely failed and needs to be rebuilt to the tune of $3500. Mazda seems to be taking thier time getting in touch with me. They had denied that this is a cronic problem. This will be the last Mazda I will own if the Mazda usa cannot live up to the fact that the transmissions are faulty.

- Evansville, IN, USA

problem #30

Dec 092007

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,900 miles


The transmission in my 2002 Mazda MPV with 62,000 miles on the odometer, failed while driving in the carpool lane on the 405 freeway in orange county California. Fortunately I was able to pull the car over through 4 lanes of traffic to the shoulder. The failure occurred with no warning and no lights came on the dash. Had this happened in another situation it could pose a very serious safety threat.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #29

Nov 022007

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles
Transmission in 2002 Mazda MPV failed on 19 in summersville wv. Van serviced at Mazda dealer and transmission fluid flushed at 88000. Failed at 97,000. Had to push off of highway. Extended warranty is only covering part of cost.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #28

Oct 052007

MPV 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
I was driving my 2002 MPV ES with 60,000 miles on it when it suddenly would not go into drive(auto trans). I tried putting it in 2 and 3 with the same results. I paid $780 a week ago at the dealership to replace coils 1, 2,3 and now this!

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #27

Jun 292007

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,109 miles
The transmission was shifting rough so we had the car in to the dealership. The dealership flushed the transmission fluid and reprogrammed it. After the service the transmission started flaring and less than 100 miles later wouldn't shift to overdrive. I was on the freeway, so exited and at the second stop-light the car would not shift into gear at all. I had to push it off a 4-lane road and have it towed back to the dealership. The dealership reported the transmission had failed completely and required replacement.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #26

Aug 192007

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
My family & I just experience the same catastrophic transmission failure as described in these entries. We have a 2002 MPV ES with 54,000 miles and were returning from a weekend gateway to coer D eleene id. Luckily we stopped at a state park to stretch when the transmission gave out, 130 miles from home. After arranging for our MPV to be towed to the nearest Mazda dealership I pondered what went wrong and if I overlooked something. I came up with the following items. I performed all the regularly scheduled maintenance. I believed I mentioned on two separate service visits that the vehicles RPM are running high before a gear shift occurred but I don't see these comments in the customer invoice. During our trip I did notice the shift flaring but only when going up moderate to steep hills. I'm also very disappointed with Mazda, I was expecting a much more reliable & dependable vehicle. I now question if I'll ever purchase a Mazda made vehicle again.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #25

Nov 262006

MPV 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,167 miles
Complete and immediate failure of transmission on highway going 65 mph of 2002 Mazda MPV with 39167 miles followed by failure of failure of ignition coil. Mazda did offer to go in with half of the charge at $1624.27. Ignition coil was a $396.03 charge

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #24

Aug 182007

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The transmission in my 2002 Mazda MPV failed. The minivan as less than 65000 miles. The transmission failed without warning and it's currently being repaired. The transmission failure left me and my wife and 2 children under the age of 8 in the middle of a 3 lane highway. Stranded, I needed a tow truck to get the car to the repair shop. I am the original owner of the minivan and it's incredible that an engine will fail so early.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #23

Jul 282007

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,030 miles
2002 Mazda MPV ES had a transmission failure without warning on interstate. We did make it to a exit ramp, but could not pull to side of road. With three children under the age of 8 was worried about there safety. Mazda has informed me that the internal pump in transmission goes without warning, striping out gears. My cost for a new transmission is $2800. Upon researching this I am finding that this is a common problem among MPV owners. First and foremost I am concerned about the safety of others when a catastrophic failure occurs without warning. Unable to move a vehicle on a busy highway or road is dangerous. Second I hypothesize that a defect may exist with the internal workings of the transmission in finding so many owners with this problem through Mazda clubs, and compliant websites.

- Gibsonia, PA, USA

problem #22

May 252007

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
Driving along with my 2 1/2 year old daughter on the freeway in very fast and very busy traffic conditions the van suddenly and without warning lost all power transfer to the wheels. The red lines raced up into the red, but the van would not be propelled any further by engine power. I had to coast nearly a mile or more on shoulder less rush hour highway, all the while transitioned lanes to the first exit I could access, then as momentum decreased I had to step out of the car into extremely heavy traffic and push a further 30 yards to the first turn-off, drivers door open, baby screaming with 55 mile an hour traffic screeching and swerving around me and the blind corner I was hidden behind. The van has 54,000 miles on it and is well looked after may I add. Now Mazda says "not their problem" but look at all the other people on here with the exact same story! low mileage 2002 Mazda MPV drops transmission with no warning in busy traffic. Its a wonder no one has been killed or injured. I feel lucky for me and my daughter. They are now attempting to charge me with $4000 for a rebuilt transmission, 1/4 of what I paid for the car used 10 months ago. Yes the car is out of warranty, but every manufacturer worth their salt offers "good will" programs for things like this, not Mazda. Last Mazda I buy, not only is my most precious possession, my family, left in harms way but then they try to soak you afterwards. Don't buy a Mazda that's my advice. Why no recall by the way?

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #21

Dec 272006

MPV 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,900 miles
While driving on the freeway, the transmission began to not transfer power when automatically shifting out of overdrive when the accelerator was pressed. After getting off the freeway and coming through a busy intersection, the transmission failed completely (zero power transfer) nearly causing an accident in the intersection as the vehicle coasted to a stop. The "check engine light" did not illuminate until after the transmission had completely failed. The vehicle had only 57K miles on the odometer and all service had been done by the dealer up to that point. The vehicle was brought to the Mazda dealer and diagnosed as total transmission failure. The fault code was P0752, shift solenoid circuit stuck on. Despite the vehicle being past the 3 year/50K mile warranty period, Mazda offered to replace the transmission with a factory rebuilt unit. We were responsible for the labor costs and split those costs with the local dealer. Judging by the already large number of similar complaints registered on the NHTSA site, this is a known, common problem with these vehicles and an investigation into this transmission defect should be started.

- Goleta, CA, USA

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