really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,901 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 #8

Jun 112013

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 261,554 miles


On June 25, 2013 @ 11:00am I called Mazda corporation (reference call number:[xxx]) about recalls associated with my Mazda Tribute 2003 and was told that the recalls were not assigned to the VIN number of my vehicle. The Mazda representative stated that only the seat beat adjustment has been assigned to my vehicle and that I do not qualify for the recall. Mazda will not honor the recall. I bought the Tribute in 2010 from a dealership; thus, was not aware of the recalls. I have been having a lot of problems with the vehicle and have spent a lot of money trying to fix it. I have a 13 and 14 year old girls and am a single parent. According to the recall, the vehicle is not safe. I cannot afford right now to purchase another vehicle. I am only asking Mazda to honor the recalls. Please see the recall notice below from Mazda. 2003 Mazda Tribute recall item affected: Vehicle speed control:cables date announced: 7/27/2012 description of recall: Mazda is recalling certain model year 2001 through 2006, and 2008, Tribute vehicles equipped with 3.0L V6 engines and speed control. Inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the speed control cable connector could result in a stuck throttle when the accelerator pedal is fully or almost-fully depressed. This risk exists regardless of whether or not speed control (cruise control) is used. Action needed to fix it: Mazda will notify owners, and dealers will repair the vehicles by increasing the engine cover clearance, free of charge. Remedy parts are now available. The safety recall began on September 13, 2012. Owners may contact Mazda customer assistance center at 1-800-222-5500, option #6. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #7

Feb 012011

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The first 2 to 4 times the accelerator is used (not pushed hard), the cable sticks. We have to push harder on the pedal, then it suddenly releases. This causes the vehicle to jump in the direction chosen. It is very difficult to smoothly back our of the garage or parking space. Then the accelerator is slow to return to idle. It appears to be the same issue as recall NHTSA campaign #04V583000 for 2004 Tributes, but our vehicle was built at the end of 2003.

- Portage, MI, USA

problem #6

Feb 092009


  • 78,000 miles
Vehicle is a 2003 Mazda Tribute, which had a recall 04V583000 for vehicle speed control cables. Was told this recall was fixed on 8/11/2005. This vehicle has horrible issues with sudden acceleration while driving down the highway, it will not slow down, the accelerator is stuck wide open and braking will not slow the vehicle down. These incidents happen at least three times a week, and at various speeds (25 mph-55mph), it can suddenly be driving down the road up to 85 and 90 mph. Happens both in rural and city driving. Was told by Mazda dealer recall is closed and will not consider this as anything to do with the recall. There were two recalls on this vehicle for this issue, and I feel this issue is still related to the same problem. The incident is ongoing and has been since February, 2009.

- Irma, WI, USA

problem #5

May 022006

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles


: the contact stated while driving about 30 mph, with accelerator pressure applied, the accelerator pedal pulled to the floor without warning. The vehicle accelerated at a high speed onto the highway. The contact attempted to disengage the accelerator pedal by pumping the pedal several times without success. The vehicle slowly responded to brake pressure and the vehicle was placed in park. While parked, the engine revved until the ignition was turned off. The vehicle was towed to a dealer who determined the casing on the cruise control cracked which caused the cruise control cable to stick, although the cruise control was not engaged at that time. The dealer replaced the cruise control casing and cables which corrected the problem. The valve cover and gasket were replaced. Updated 07/07/06

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Jan 042006

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving home at 25 mph the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning. The emergency brake had to be engaged and the keys removed from the ignition before the vehicle stopped. When the vehicle was restarted the engine revved to the maximum rpms. After five minutes the vehicle restarted and it operated normally. After the vehicle was driven home it was towed to the local dealer. When the tow truck operator started the vehicle he experienced the same problem with the engine revving to the maximum rpms. At the dealership the mechanic also observed the engine revving at the highest rpms. This vehicle was repaired under NHTSA recall campaign 04V583000 concerning the vehicle speed control in March 2005. The contact was concerned that recall repairs did not remedy the problem. The vehicle is currently undergoing diagnostic testing.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #2

Feb 092005

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,655 miles
While driving the vehicle, the accelerator stuck. The consumer pulled off the road due to heavy fog but the vehicle went into the lake. Recall campaign# 04V583000.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #1

Nov 042004

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
Accellator pedal is harder to press down, then it was 15,000 miles ago. It does return to a proper idle speed at this time. Per Mazda serivce department tech, the throttle body collects a "soot", or oily exhaust over time, causing the throttle body butterfly valve to not move freely. The cause of this condition in Mazda Tribute and in Ford escapes is a poor design of the entrance of exhaust gasses to be reburned. The exhaust gasses are returned just in back of the throttle body, thereby causing the buildup and possible malfunction of the throttle body in the open position. Recall campaign number 04V583000 does not cover this problem, as it covers the vehicle speed control cables.

- Golden, CO, USA

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