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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,274 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.

2003 Mazda Tribute electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Mazda Tribute Owner Comments

problem #9

Feb 192016


  • 114,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. While driving approximately 25 mph, the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The engine started to hesitate and the vehicle was pulled over to the side of the road. The contact waited a few minutes to restart the vehicle and it performed normally. The vehicle was taken to auto zone to get the failure codes. The vehicle was driven to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the ignition switch failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN was invalid. The approximate failure mileage was 114,000.

- North New Jersey, NJ, USA

problem #8

Jun 012014


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed and repaired. The diagnostic results were unknown. The failure recurred. The contact stated that the vehicle was leaking oil from the lower control arm and the air bag warning light illuminated. The contact recieved notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V174000 (structure), which stated that the lower control arm could detach and cause a loss of steering control. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and informed them of the recall. The vehicle was not repaired and became inoperable. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Crystal, MN, USA

problem #7

Apr 082014


  • 147,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that after driving the vehicle for 15 minutes, she drove it into a drive way and after shifting into park the brake light illuminated. The contact stated that she shifted into drive and back to park to see if the vehicle would reset itself but the ABS light illuminated for 3 seconds and shut off. The contact turned the vehicle off and exit the vehicle. The contact stated that about an hour and a half later, she was informed that the vehicle was engulfed in flames. The fire department was notified and extinguished the fire. The fire department filed a report and stated that the fire was mechanical and confirmed that the vehicle had been on fire for a least an hour. The vehicle was destroyed. There were no injuries. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The vehicle was not inspected. The failure mileage was 147,000.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #6

Aug 282012

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 112,345 miles


Every time it rains really hard or there's flooding in the streets the car starts showing the battery light like it is going to die on me and as a precaution I try to pull out of the street to any place and while turning the steering wheel the car looses power and the wheels won't turn. Driving no more than 5mph while slowing down from a normal 35mph without warning my engine shut off and I lost power to my steering wheel and brakes. I was able to get the car to off the road after applying all my weight to the brakes and steering wheel. I missed an oncoming car and a tree by an inch. I decided to do some online research and it seems I am not the only one with this problem with a Mazda Tribute 2003. I am very worried because it hurricane season here in fl and the rain is not something I can predict, besides it seems absurd that I would even have to watch the weather to see if I should or not drive the car. This is an accident waiting to happen!! I drive my 2 year old every day and it is not right that Mazda would have cars with this issues out in the street. If feels like by signing a purchase contract on it. I had signed a death with it. Please do something. I haven't found that there is a recall for this issue.

- Greenacres, FL, USA

problem #5

Mar 192012

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
My 2003 Mazda Tribute was recalled in May 2007 for ABS voluntary safety recall. I took it in that same month and the dealer determined module connector did not need to be replaced. On March 15, 2012 ABS light came on for no reason and stayed on for an hour. Took it to have it checked on March 17, code could not be determined. Upon inspection everything looked fine. I was instructed to take it to the dealership should the ABS light come on again. Two days later, on March 19, 2012 I had been at work for an hour with my car parked when I was notified that my car was on fire. The car was totaled due to the fire. According to the recall of May 2007, an electrical short could cause an ABS malfunction which would illuminate the ABS light and could result in "burning odor, smoke, and/or fire. This could occur either when the vehicle ignition switch is in the off position or while the vehicle is being operated." My car was off when this occurred. I believe that had the module connector been replaced in 2007 when I took it in under the safety recall, this fire wouldn't have occurred.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #4

May 012010


  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact was driving 25 mph when the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact mentioned that the vehicle would start after being jump started but the failure would recur immediately after. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who diagnosed that the alternator was defective and needed to be replaced. The contact mentioned that he had to replaced the same parts twice before. The manufacturer was not made aware of the problem. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 125,000 and the current mileage was 160,000.

- Monroe, LA, USA

problem #3

Aug 112005

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles


Purchased Mazda Tribute new November 2003. Two months afterward the car stalled and the electrical system closed down. I had difficulty turning the key in the ignition, it locked. After four efforts to crank the car, the ignition unlocked and the engine started. I noticed that the clock had stopped. The dealership stated that they could not tell what the problem was unless it happened with them. Since November 2003 this has happened four times. The season nor weather conditions do not appear to matter. The latest incident was in August 2005 it was the worst. The engine would not turn over until after five tries, right after this I drove about 50 yards then it stalled and it took an additional three tries to get the engine to start. I drove about another 200 yards, it stalled again. It appears this problem is becoming worse.

- Superior, CO, USA

problem #2

Jan 062005

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
Parking brake failure, passenger seat heater turns itself on, cd player failure, radio failure.

- West Seneca, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 212003

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,617 miles
#1-transmission failure @ 3617 miles. Vehicle 3 months old. Mfg solution/remanufactured transmission vs new..#2-requested repair of smart unlocking feature as stated in owners manual on page 70 of part #9999-95-014C-03..mfg solution/will correct owners manual..something isn't right with these solutions..servicing dealer has done everything in it's power to correct to correct these issues & maintain good relations..Mazda mfg is reluctant to move beyond these solutions......

- Chicago Heights, IL, USA

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