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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
29,818 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 Protege transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Mazda Protege Owner Comments

problem #13

Feb 192008

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,200 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2002 Mazda protege5 was being driven at speed no greater than 40 mph and the automatic transmission would not shift past 3rd gear. Had car towed to local dealership where I was informed the transmission failed and would have to be replaced. The car only has 72,200 miles on it. In November 2006 the engine coil for cylinders 2 and 3 had an internal failure which flooded the spark plugs and made the car inoperable at that time as well. I am currently waiting to see if extended warranty will cover what I am sure will be a rebuilt transmission which if the same kind as already in the vehicle will most likely fail again.

- Lee's Summit, MO, USA

problem #12

Sep 062007

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Protege. While performing an emissions inspection, the dealer noticed a leak caused by a faulty transmission seal and stated that it was a defect. The vehicle has not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 77,000.

- Silverspring, MD, USA

problem #11

Nov 202005

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
My 2002 Mazda Protege has 61,000. The transmission has completely gone out on it. When I called the dealer to inquire if this was 'normal' because I had only once before had to replace a transmission at 120,000 she said, "oh yeah we get them all the time. Then wanted to charge me $4,500 to fix it." I went into the Mazda dealer to try and replace the said car and I told him about my situation and he also said, "yeah, 61,000 miles, just after the warranty expires, they timed that right." I can not believe the transmission has gone out so soon.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #10

Jun 012006

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Automatic transmission:there are two serious problems with the transmission which are potentially very dangerous. 1)when shifted into drive the transmission frequently fails to engage. Depressing the accelerator from a stop results in a racing engine and almost no forward movement. This is extremely dangerous when pulling onto a high-speed interstate highway with other cars behind and around you. Dealer mechanics offer explanations such as not really a problem, drive it like it is. This dealer had the car for over a week. Another dealer (suggested by Mazda after contacting them) says we need to replace the transmission at our expense. This problem is worsening. 2)overdrive warning light on dash blinks on with no apparent reason. While this situation exists, the transmission seems locked in high gear. Accelerating from a stop is once again a difficult and dangerous experience.

- Reisterstown, MD, USA

problem #9

Sep 062005

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
I have a 2002 Mazda Protege LX with 61,000 miles on it. Recently my transmission failed and had to fix it with aamoco. Total bill, $2500. I realized the problem when I drove the car it wouldn't shift. It acted like I was driving in neutral. Mazda refused to take care of the problem and now I'm stuck with a have safe half reliable car. This is very dangerous because if your driving on a highway and you can't accelerate it creates a very scary dangerous problem.

- Bordentwon, NJ, USA

problem #8

Oct 262004

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Mazda Protege was involved in a head on collision at 30 mph yet the air bags did not deploy. The consumer sustained two slipped disk in her back. After the vehicle's body damage was repaired the vehicle was taken to the dealer to have the air bags tested but the dealer refused to test the air bag. The indicated that as long as the air bag light wasn't on that everything was fine. The radio switches stations on it's own. The seat belt light did not illuminate when the car was started. The transmission failed 9/7/2004, 40561 miles. The vehicle alignment wont hold. The brakes have been replaced three times due to noise.

- West Haven, CT, USA

problem #7

Feb 012002

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

We purchased a Mazda protege5 in January of 2002. Within a very short time, (~1000 miles, maybe less), we noticed a high pitched whining noise. This noise occurs between 50 and 75 miles per hour on average. We brought the vehicle in to Mazda, and a mechanic immediately tied the problem to the transmission. So, in very short order, they replaced our transmission, (which worried me a little). Unfortunately, this did not correct the problem, so we complained once more, and within a week or two Mazda apparently released a bulletin which releases them of all responsibility. This bulletin apparently states that the whining noise associated with certain Mazda protege5 vehicles is merely a vibration in the engine and will not affect the integrity of the vehicle or its resale value. I would like to suggest that I certainly would not buy an otherwise pristine vehicle if it whined every time I got on the freeway...I have to turn my radio up quite loud just to drown it out!!! Mazda will do nothing for us, which is sad, because I have enjoyed owning this and other vehicles, but will not necessarily consider buying another.

- Acworth, GA, USA

problem #6

Mar 202004

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
Transmission was slipping at higher gears on sat. (03/20). Would race to high RPM's as though looking for another gear. Husband took to service this morning. Problem became worse as he drove to dealership. Would "thunk" into gear, would race to high RPM's at 35-45 mph. When arrived at dealership, they checked and confirmed that the transmission has failed. Car was bought new and only has 34,000 miles on it.

- Bealeton, VA, USA

problem #5

Oct 282003

Protege

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
While driving automatic transmission didn't shift properly, none of the gears worked. Dealer inspected vehicle several times, and could not duplicate or correct the problem.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #4

Jul 022003

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
There is a distinct transmission whine/squeal that occurs when the car accelerates beyond 50 mph. This began to occur after about 17000 miles. It was not present when I purchased the car. Mazda claims this is 'normal' and caused by the resonance of parts which occurs once the engine has been broken in. This information was never disclosed to me when purchasing the vehicle and I feel it is bizarre that a new car would have such an inherent flaw that Mazda feels is normal and that customers accept the noise factor once the car is 'broken in'.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 112003

(reported on)

Protege

  • 8,934 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

When driving at any speed especailly high, vehicle lets off a very high pitch noise. Noise is very destracting while driving and consumer has gotten headaches as a result.

- Pendleton, OR, USA

problem #2

Aug 102002

Protege 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
We purchased a new 2002 Mazda Protege LX in 08/2002. Within days we were having problems with the transmission. Sometimes just hesitation in acceleration and shifting. Frequent failure to shift at all or failure to shift for prolonged intervals (sometimes miles). Occasional slamming into gear and car lurching forward. We have had 3 incidents that almost lead to accidents. We have had car in for repairs on 5 separate occasions, but dealer said they could not find anything wrong. Letter of notification of defect to manufacturer sent to Mazda corporate on 3/22/03. Car was taken into dealer for final chance to repair. Dealer still says they can find nothing wrong. We purchased a 2nd Mazda Protege LX at the same time, and we have had no problems with its transmission and it shifts smoothly and properly. Even though this is a dangerous and potentially life threatening issue and this car is clearly a lemon, Mazda has done nothing to replace this car.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #1

Mar 292002

Protege

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission locked up while trying to shift to 5th gear, vehicle stalled while going through an intersection near a quarry, had to pull the emergency brake to stop vehicle, almost went into a ditch.

- Hartland, WI, USA

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