really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 8
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,299 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 Tribute brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Mazda Tribute Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Mar 022015

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 141,300 miles


I noticed a brake fluid leak under the vehicle in my garage. After checking under the hood, I noticed brake fluid splattered around engine compartment. When I checked the brake fluid, the top was loose, and the reservoir was low. This is the second time I noticed this, and when I checked my VIN# against recalls, there is none for this problem for my particular vehicle. But I know there is a safety recall in effect for 2001-2002 Tributes for this problem per NHTSA 12V016000. It specifically references the master cylinder reservoir cap, which I think may be my problem also.

- Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #29

Oct 102012

Tribute 4-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that brake fluid was leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was advised that the brake fluid reservoir housing was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance since the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12V016000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 154,000 and the current mileage was 188,000.

- Chapel Hill, NC, USA

problem #28

Jan 032012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that the vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign id number: 12V016000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module ). the recall campaign was expected to begin February 2012 however, the parts needed for the repairs were not readily available. The contact believed that the time frame involved with having a recall defect repaired was unreasonable. The contact had not experienced a failure within the vehicle. The current mileage was unknown.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #27

Mar 252012


  • 132,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. While driving approximately 30 mph, there was a strong burning odor when smoke began to billow from the hood area. The contact maneuvered to the side of the road and inspected the fire under the hood. A fire report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to the residence and was neither diagnosed nor repaired. Prior to the fire, the contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 07V157000 (service brakes, hydraulic: Antilock: Control unit/module). The dealer was contacted in order to secure an appointment for recall repairs but the dealer advised that the parts needed for repair were not available. In addition, the technician assured the contact that the vehicle was safe to drive however, the contact experienced the recall consequence before the recall repair could be performed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 132,000.

- Washington Township , MI, USA

problem #26

Feb 082012


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute.the contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number:12V016000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module) and was informed by the manufacturer that the parts needed to perform the recall repair would take three months to be manufactured. The contact stated that the time period for the recall repair was unsatisfactory. The current and the failure mileages were 60,000.

- Rogers, AR, USA

problem #25

Feb 222012

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that the front passenger door malfunctioned and as a result, she unable to unlocked or open the door. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 150,000 and the current mileage was 152,000. The consumer stated brake fluid leaked which caused her to not have any brakes. As a result, the consumer had an accident and hit a pole. The consumer also stated the vehicle has electrical problems. Updated 04/25/12

- Birmingham , AL, USA

problem #24

Feb 012005


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for unrelated repairs where the mechanic advised the contact that the master cylinder was leaking onto the ABS pump wiring. The wiring was melted and the pump was no longer functioning. The ABS and brake warning lights were also illuminated. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 12V016000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module ) but was advised by the manufacturer that the VIN was not included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Terrytown, LA, USA

problem #23

Jan 132012

Tribute 6-cyl

  • miles
My son has driven this vehicle since 2008, when we purchased it for him to use while in college. He was driving onto campus and when approaching the parking lot, he noticed ABS and airbag lights coming on and off on the dashboard. As he parked he realized there was smoke coming from under the hood. He opened the hood, saw a fire, and called 911 immediately. They arrived quickly and successfully put the fire out. Firemen told him it appeared to have been electrical and he was lucky they got there as quick as they did. Insurance claim adjuster took it to a Ford shop (closest) where they had it for a week and said they couldn't get parts, but were aware of a recall coming on the area the fire had occurred in (the wiring harness and ABS module). It was then sent to a Mazda dealer, that had it for 10 days, and finally said the needed parts were obsolete and they could not repair the vehicle. Claims adjuster checked with another Ford and another Mazda dealer, getting the same answers from both. By the way, when they checked on the VIN, they said it was not on any Mazda recalls. This was at the end of January/beginning of February 2012. So after all this, they had to total a vehicle that only had about 77,000 miles on it and was in excellent condition otherwise. The day I get home from having documents notarized for the insurance company, in my mailbox is a recall from Mazda....this very one 6712A, which I had already found online days prior to the Mazda dealers denying our VIN was included. The recall letter states the work from a prior recall in 2007 regarding this issue had been done. We are very grateful this fire did not cause an accident or more serious emergency situation. And we are grateful our insurance company isn't holding things up due to Mazda's lack of help.

- Newcastle, WA, USA

problem #22

Jul 012010


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that the engine and the ABS warning lights remained illuminated, and the engine released a burning odor. In addition, the contact stated that there was an increase in braking distance. The contact had the radiator, heater coil and the brake pads replaced but the failure was not corrected. The engine continued to release a burning odor and there was a continual increase in braking distance. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 80,000 and the current mileage was 115,000.

- Nacogdoches , TX, USA

problem #21

Feb 162012


  • 185,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 12V016000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module), but noticed that the services would not be performed until the second quarter of the year. The contact was also advised not to drive and to park the vehicle away from buildings until the repair could be performed. The dealer and the manufacturer were notified, but denied any assistance to a solution to the issue. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was dissatisfied with the time delay in having the repairs performed when a safety defect existed. The failure and the current mileage was approximately 185,000.

- Powder Springs, GA, USA

problem #20

Jun 152010

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 175,000 miles


I have had to replace the brake master cylinder 4 times in the last 2 years on my Mazda Tribute. It constantly leaks and eventually needs to be replaced. I called Mazda today and they told me that my vehicle is not currently on the list of the recall but I requested a confirmation # of my call just in case I have an accident due to brake failure. I told them that currently my brakes are not working properly and the gentlemen on the other side stated that there was nothing he could do now but that I should park my car on the outside. What kind of answer is this?

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #19

Jan 122012

Tribute 6-cyl

  • miles
Leaking reservoir cap on the master cylinder. I'm aware that Ford is recalling 01 and 02 escapes for this issue. I have a Mazda Tribute that is identical to the Ford escape and was assembled in the same factory as the escape. Will the recall for the leaking reservoir cap extend to the Tribute as well? I found my reservoir cap leaking a few years back after the warranty had expired and applied a fix at the time with cardboard but don't feel that it's a safe fix. I would hope this recall will also extend to the 01 and 02 Tributes as they are the identical in every way to the Ford except for a slightly different body style. I have owned the vehicle since new. In a separate issue I have experienced seal leaks in the rear differential on multiple occasions in both rear axles and the pinion seal. My Tribute is a 4X4. I feel this is unsafe as the leaks were severe enough that if the level of fluid were low enough could have caused the rear differential to cease up while driving. I have recently (1\2012) had to have both rear axle seals, pinion seal and pinion flange replaced because of this issue. I also had a rear axle seal replaced by the dealer I had originally purchased the vehicle from shortly after the warranty had expired about 3.5 years into ownership. This last time when the leaks occurred it was spraying differential fluid underneath the vehicle while driving and leaking onto the ground while parked. If the fluid had sprayed on a hot exhaust while driving it can also pose a fire hazard.

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #18

Apr 012010


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that she smelled a burning odor upon exiting the vehicle. The contact also stated that the anti lock braking light would intermittently illuminate and the anti lock braking system would engaged. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and the contact was informed that the anti lock braking system was faulty. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that the vehicle was not included in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 07V157000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control unit/module). The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 90,000.

- Tuscola, IL, USA

problem #17

Oct 012007


  • 75,000 miles
When pulling out of a parking lot, I applied the brakes. The engine completely stalled. I started it back up and everytime I applied the brakes, the engine stalled. After letting it sit for 1/2 hour, it ran fine. Two days later, it happened again. The Mazda dealership and an independant auto shop ran diagnostic and said the car was fine. It stalls like this every 3-4 days with no warning. You will be driving down the highway and have to brake and it stalls completely. No power to steering or acceleration.

- Bethlehem, GA, USA

problem #16

Jun 242011

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 71,540 miles
I was driving home and the front coil spring broke{the top portion} when it broke it blew out my tire and lodged a piece of it in between the brake rotor some how tearing the tire to bits. And then apx a month after that the other one broke luckily it di not do the same damage as the first time. So because of the cheaply made and wrongfully heat treated metal the spring broke. Which cost me a tire of $165 and to replace the spring at the cost of $273.69 this should be a recall because someone is going to die after looking in to it Ford Explorer, and the escape which is the exact same as the Mazda I found this has been a issue for alot of people. A spring of all parts of a car should never break like this. This could have and should have been prevented by not over heating the steel that the spring was made out of the is clearly neglect on Ford manufacturing and needs to be addressed before someone dies.because I was able to maneuver my car so I didn't hit anyone or anything the next person may not be so lucky....

- Cement City, MI, USA

problem #15

Sep 302011

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I started my car and the 'check engine' light flashed on-and-off. Thinking it would go away, I drove to route 3 in South shore, MA. Once on the highway, the light did not stop flashing, so I pulled over. Thirty seconds after pulling over in a rest area, white smoke appeared from under the hood. 10 seconds later, black smoke came from the hood which was accompanied with a burning smell. Luckily, someone from massdot was in the rest area and we determined that it was a car fire. We proceeded to step back and call 911 from a safe distance. The engine area of the car was on fire until the fire department was able to put it out.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #14

Jan 042008


  • 60,000 miles
My 2002 Mazda Tribute's ABS light came on. I noticed a pulsating in the brake that got worse fairly quickly. The sensor ring for the ABS, located on the axle, was cracked. First one side, and within a few months, the other side did the same thing. Not a cheap fix considering the complete axle had to be replaced. I really like my Tribute, so much so, I insisted my mother buy one when she was looking for a new vehicle. She opted for a 2007 Ford escape. Low and behold, she experienced the same problem!

- Ellwood City, PA, USA

problem #13

Jan 202011

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 126,500 miles
Intermittent ABS light, sometimes with brake light. Noticed a low hum from engine one night, checked for anything left on, decided it was probably normal noise I hadn't noticed before. The next morning, I was able to unlock doors, then tried to start engine. Engine turned over then all lights went off. Trying to start engine failed and I had to lock door manually. Got a jump start and was fine running local errands, but that hum was always there with engine off. The next day, same scenario. Got jump and went to Mazda dealer. Told no recalls for that year except seatbelts, was never asked for VIN. A tech offered to look and I explained where the noise was coming from and that I thought it was the ABS. He disagreed and looked around the engine. Eventually he said he had to "eat his words", that it was the ABS pump staying on. I asked if I could pull the ABS fuse and not affect any other systems since it wasn't working anyway. He said it was fine, and took it out for me. I never had any other brake-related problems. When my car started idling low and losing power at low speed, I took it to my local shop for repair. The computer reported a slightly off fuel mix and cylinder 5 misfiring. They said they wanted to replace the ignition coil, but I wasn't confident they felt certain that was the problem. I gave myself a crash course in engines and realized the number of things it could be was huge. I authorized the repair, but went online to see if there was a common issue with this model. That was when I realized my carfax report, and the dealer had concealed recalls. I wasn't certain my VIN was included until I picked up my car and the tech helped me look around the engine. Right there, in bright blue, was a sticker for the ABS recall campaign. At the very least, I should have had that information available when I bought it. The Mazda tech could not have missed the sticker, nor the 5 or so recalls, assuming he looked them up. Hoping that no fuse means no fire risk.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #12

Apr 122010


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The vehicle was parked when the vehicle brake fluid leaked onto the antilock brake module connector which resulted into a fire. The failure occurred twice and was extinguished with a fire extinguisher. Also, after the second occurrence there was a disconnection of the battery. The vehicle had been previously serviced for the recall remedy, associated with NHTSA campaign id number 07V157000 (service brakes, hydraulic: Antilock: Control unit/module). The dealer was notified of the failure and informed that the vehicle had prior recall remedy performed and was unable to provide further assistance. The failure and current mileages were 100,000.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #11

Jun 302009


  • 47,405 miles
I own a 2002 Mazda Tribute with only 47,475 miles on it. In the past 6 weeks I have noticed when stepping on the brakes on dry pavement the antilock brakes kick in and the pedal goes to the floor unless I pump them. This has become very dangerous as it is happening more frequently. I had my son look at the brakes to make sure it wasn't the pads and he found a broken tooth on the driver's side front ABS ring which is causing the problem. I did some research on the web to find if there are any recalls and found no recalls for this trouble but I did find others who are experiencing the same problem. I will have to have the car serviced at an approximate cost of $800. I feel that this must be a problem that needs to be looked into. A car with 47,475 miles should not have these problems. Please let me know if anything can be done to have Mazda cover this cost or if I have any other recourse.

- Selden, NY, USA

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