really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
7,825 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Mazda Protege Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 202004

Protege 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,500 miles


I have a 2003 Mazda Protege. When I purchased the car, I paid extra for a side airbags and anti-lock brake package. On Monday, December 20th of 2004, I was broad sided by a 1990 huge Chevy work pick up. I was going 40 mph, I estimate the truck at the same. My side airbags failed to deploy. If I had not seen the truck coming and offset the angle of impact, my brother and I would most likely be in the hospital right now. When I contacted Mazda Consumer Affairs, I was told that they were not guaranteed to deploy and "made a note in my file they failed to deploy.? at no point during the buying process was I told they were not guaranteed. When talking to Mazda"S Consumer Affairs, I was also told they would not look into the failure unless my insurance company came after them.

- Kimberton, PA, USA

problem #1

Nov 122002

Protege 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 150 miles
Failure of side air bag to deploy. On date indicated the right side of my 2003 Mazda protege5 struck a metal utility pole with sufficient force to cause the vehicle to be a total loss, yet the side curtain air bag did not deploy. This was a direct and not glancing blow the main force of which struck immediately over the right rear wheel. Interestingly enough, when notified, the Mazda usa customer service representative stated that the insurance company (usaa) should initiate any required action. Yet, the insurance company claims they are not "involved" if the air bag did not contribute to the cause of the accident. Is no one but me concerned that there may be a defective side air bag system design or that a defective unit may have been installed in my car?

- Owens Cross Roads, AL, USA

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