really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 1
Average Mileage:
64,600 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Mazda Protege Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 012014

Protege 4-cyl

  • 134,000 miles


Passenger side strut tower has rusted to the point that failure of the suspension is imminent. The rust inhibitor that was applied from Mazda motor Corp. During manufacturing, on the passenger front wheel well has failed and is allowing water, road salt etc to enter the engine bay and cause severe rusting on the top and side portion of the strut tower where the side motor mount and strut tower brace attach to the strut tower. The failure of the rust inhibitor has now caused the failure of the steel strut tower which in-turn could cause the engine and/or front passenger side suspension to become dislodged and cause a severe accident. Pictures can be provided upon request.

- West Chester, OH, USA

problem #4

Mar 052011

Protege 4-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
I bought the car from a smaller cheap dealership, I had no idea that the front end would be as bad as it got. My lower control arm / ball joint was so corroded every time I made a left turn it would make a loud noise in the left front wheel then would continue to happen over and over each time. This would happen often when it was dry and warm and sat for awhile. Living in buffalo, well you can not help but hit potholes in some places more than others. This would make the problem worse and throw my steering off while travel at a high rate of speed. If I was doing the curves on route 33 or route 290 I would have to slow done to maintain steering ability. I have recently been told it was so bad I could lose my wheel and crash. So I went to a local repair shop and they fixed the problem; but with a slightly new problem one of the screws were so corroded they charged me $100 to make an access panel from my drivers side floor panel under my feet. The total for just those parts came to $350 plus wheel alignment.

- Lancaster, NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 282013

Protege 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
While my son was driving to work on a hill curve turn he lost control on icy wet road and hit a tree he died on 01/29/2013 he was 18 years old he was going to school and working.

- Pomona, NY, USA

problem #2

Apr 252004

Protege 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Mazdas peed Protege suffers from excess torque steer and very unstable steering at speeds over 30 mile per hour. If you excellerate hard the vehicle will jump left or right depending on speed. Also when travelling at highway speed vehicle will swerve left or right without warning or for any noticable reason also at highway speed the vehicle tends to drift in its lane. Dealer service states that this is normal for a high performance vehicle and nothing is wrong. I have owned many high performance automobiles and have never seen this before. This condition has almost resulted in accidents on many occasions and only radical steering has prevented an accident so far.

- Erie, CO, USA

problem #1

Jul 042003


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While making a turn, the steering wheel felt loose, the consumer loss control of vehicle which jumped the curb and hit a pole. No one was injured, but the consumer would like for Mazda to correct all of the 2,000 Mazda speed Protege vehicles before serious injury occurs.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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