really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,625 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Mazda Tribute Owner Comments

problem #12

Dec 162012

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the brake warning light illuminated. The contact merged to the shoulder of the road and noticed that the brake master cylinder reservoir cap was leaking brake fluid. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure and the current mileage was 55,000. Updated 1/29/13 the brake fluid reservoir was re-filled. A new brake reservoir cap was purchased from the Mazda dealer. The original cap was found to be leaking. Updated 02/06/13

- Minnieapolis, MN, USA

problem #11

Apr 272012


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda tribune. The contact stated that while braking to a stop, the brake line failed. The brake line fractured and all of the fluids leaked out. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who repaired the brake lines. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Cold Spring, MN, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Mar 042012


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked in a residential garage when the contact heard an explosion. The contact then noticed that the vehicle was in flames and the fire department was contacted to extinguish the fire. The vehicle was not diagnosed for the failure and declared as destroyed. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 07V157000 (service brakes, hydraulic:anti lock:control unit/module ) in which the contact had experienced similar symptoms as that which was described in the recall but the vehicle was not included in the recall. The VIN was not available. The failure and current mileage was 100,000.

- Pot Springs Village , AR, USA

problem #8

Aug 012011


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that anti-lock brake fluid was leaking onto the wiring. The contact could also smell a burning odor from the engine when driving. The battery and the ABS warning lights would illuminate sporadically. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure, but the contact had the brake fluid cap replaced. The dealer and the manufacturer were notified of the failure, but denied any assistance with repairs to the vehicle. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 12V005000 (service brakes, hydraulic:antilock:control) but did not confirm if the vehicle was included in the recall. The failure mileage was 82,000 and the current mileage was 89,000.

- West Columbia, SC, USA

problem #7

Apr 272011


  • miles
Brake line failing, during a normal stop one of the brake lines rupture. Two others had to be replaced due to poor conditions.

- Wasilla, AK, USA

problem #6

Nov 182006


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact was driving at an unknown speed when the vehicle began jerking abnormally. The contact stated that the failure would only occur in cold temperatures and when there was snow on the ground. In addition, the alternator had failed and was replaced three times by the local dealer. The vehicle would also abnormally accelerate and exhibit an unusual increase in engine rpms to 4000. The contact believed the vehicle to be involved in NHTSA campaign id number: 04V583000 (vehicle speed control: Cables) and NHTSA campaign id number: 07V157000 (service brakes, hydraulic: Antilock: Control unit/module) but was informed by the manufacturer that the vehicle was not included in either recall. The vehicle was not. The current mileage was 175,000 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Reynoldsville, PA, USA

problem #5

Jun 092009


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign id number 07V157000 and took the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer kept the vehicle for over four days. The contact was informed that the parts for the repair were unavailable and would arrive the following day. The dealer also stated that they would not provide a rental vehicle because her warranty was expired. The dealer removed the ABS wiring harness, but could not install it back into place. The vehicle has not been repaired. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were less than 86,000.

- Mt Olive, AL, USA

problem #4

Jul 012008


  • 47,500 miles
I purchased a 2003 Mazda Tribute on June 26, 2008. The car was wrecked today 7/1/08. The brakes failed to operate and ran into the back of a van in front of us. I took the vehicle back to the auto dealer, explained what happened ( I had a 5 day return policy) I was told the vehicle is no longer able to return because it was wrecked. The dealer also said that they were not liable for any factory recalls. The dealer gave me the toll free number to call Mazda. It turns out that there was a recall on ABS brakes for my vehicle and it was never brought in to be serviced. I'm thankful no one was hurt. I had driven 500 miles prior to the accident at speeds from 5-70mph. We could have been killed!!!!!!!

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

problem #3

Jun 092006

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
I have had my front brakes replaced 3 times and rotors once in 50K miles. It started around 15K miles with load rubbing noise when brakes applied.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #2

Oct 062003


  • miles
While driving about 45 mph on the highway and without warning the vehicle shut down. Steering locked/ brakes failed, and headlights were flickering on and off. Driver lost control of the vehicle, and went into a fence, causing a collision. Upon impact, air bags failed to deploy. The driver's side air bag did not deploy. Driver suffered injuries, and was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

- Dalton, GA, USA

problem #1

Apr 212003


  • miles
When the brakes were applied the pedal went down to the floor.

- Blue Jay, CA, USA

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