really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,684 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Mazda Tribute Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 192011

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 139,640 miles


Driving 65mph on freeway went to switch lanes and accelerator pedal fell completely to floorboard. Immediately put on emergency flashers and pumped brakes into emergency lane. Upon inspection showed throttle cable just snapped clean.

- Mt. Washington, KY, USA

problem #6

Jan 262006

Tribute 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
: the contact stated while the cruise control is engaged, if the accelerator is gently applied the pedal pulled down to the floor. The vehicle suddenly lurched forward. The contact pulled over and placed the vehicle in neutral. With the acceleration subdued, the engine was turned off and on, but the accelerator pedal remained on the floor. The vehicle was seen by a dealer, but the dealer was unable to duplicate the problem. The vehicle was seen by a secondary dealer. Although the dealer was unable to duplicate the problem as well, the dealer replaced the accelerator cable and cruise control. The vehicle has not been driven to determine if this repair remedied the problem.

- Edenton, NC, USA

problem #5

Mar 082005

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,450 miles
I have a 2003 Mazda Tribute. I received a recall notice in late February just before going on a business trip about an "accelerator cable" problem. Shortly after I returned frommy trip and before I could bring this vehicle to the dealer I experienced this problem while on the highway at 65 mph !!!!!! it was icy and snowy and in traffic !!! the car would not slow down. I honked the horn, put on flashers and waived people out of my way, got to the side of the road, slammed on the brakes and when I got slow enough, threw it in park and pulled the key. Mazda roadside assistance towed the car, gave me a rental and fixed the problem, but I could have died! this was bad - really bad! I am so thankful that my wife was not driving the car !!!! I understand that since they sent a recall noptice out, they feel there is nothing more that could have been done, but I disagree !!! this is a life-threatening problem! they should call, or do something to make sure that this recall is performed immediately! failure to do so could result in serious accident or death. Mazda sends out so much mail, that I am worried many persons might disregard and not even know about the recall. Greater efforts should be made to notify Tribute owners of the probelm and urge them to get the recall repair performed immediately! I was very very fortunate, but I imagine that others will not be.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #4

Jan 182005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles


While driving 40 mph vehicle accelerated. As a result, consumer's vehicle rear ended another vehicle. No injuries reported. Consumer stated two weeks later a recall for the accelerator pedal was issued.

- Matteson, IL, USA

problem #3

Sep 252004

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Accelerator pedal gets stuck in idle position. By applying force, then accelerator pedal moves but vehicle takes off erratically. It happens when engine is cold and hot.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #2

Nov 172003

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,500 miles
Accelerator pedal is sticky right from the start of depressing the pedal. Once the resistance is overcome the vehicle lurches forward. Dealer claims carbon build up (contamination) on or near the throttle plate is causing initial resistance. Two occurrences (approximately 5,000 and 10,000 miles) have resulted in dealer cleaning area to remove contamination.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #1

Dec 102002


  • 7,200 miles
When it is cold the accelerator sticks after going about an inch. When the accelerator becomes unlocked it causes the vehicle to lurch forward. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who informed the consumer that there was a carbon buildup on the cable. This incident occurred at least twenty five times. The manufacturer was aware of the problem.

- Mays Landing, NJ, USA

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