hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,682 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 Protege lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Mazda Protege Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 222011

Protege 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles


Mazda headlight harness - the lights are constantly going out (during the past 4 years). I went to replace the bulb years ago and it came back on as I wiggled the harness to pull the bulb out. Over 80 times since then I've had to smack the headlight to get it to come back on. This happens predominantly when the temperature is below 0 celsius (freezing). This has occurred on my 2001 Mazda MPV (which I got rid of this year) and my 2003 Mazda Protege which I still have. Once it happened on my Protege I knew it wasn't an MPV situation, it must be a Mazda problem and likely relates to the supplier that makes the harness for the headlights. Many times my wife and I have been 'flashed' by other drivers for not having lights on.

- Burlington, 00, USA

problem #1

Sep 112008


  • 68,364 miles
The low beam halogen bulb (headlight) on the passenger side of my Mazda recently burned out. > first complaint--because of a cramped engine compartment, the bulb is difficult to replace. I have smallish hands for a man. There was barely room to access the bulb socket (holder) on the outside corner of the headlight "pod". > second complaint--the bulb holder was complex. The bulb plugs into an "internal" socket; this pair slides into the headlight "pod"; the pair is then held in place by a wire clip; everything thus far gets covered by a rubber gasket; and lastly, there's an "external" connection (plug). > third complaint--the headlight "pod" is a intrinsically lousy design. Even in broad daylight, I couldn't see the catch-point for the wire clip. > fourth complaint--the "pod" itself is frail. It's apparently plastic. The plastic apparently ages badly. My gentle attempt to refasten the wire clip broke something on the back of the "pod"--I don't know what. So I was forced to replace the "pod" assembly at a cost of over $400. > note--I'd previously replaced three headlight bulbs on this car; and though successful, I was frustrated with the process each time. > there oughta be a law! > an owner should be able to replace any safety-related light bulb on the outside of their vehicle with 1) no prior experience mechanically, eg, a teen barbie-bimbo; 2) only modest hand dexterity, eg, an old fart with arthritis; 3) no tool more complex than a commonplace screwdriver; and 4) without an owner's manual, eg, an older used car. > the goal here is to empower an owner to keep their vehicle in safest condition. I request that the usdot issue and enforce suitable standards for the manufacture of "family" vehicles. > it's too !@#$% late to help me. I doubt whether I'll ever buy another Mazda.

- New York, NY, USA

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