really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,945 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Mazda Tribute Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #25

Jun 222016


  • miles


I start my car up an I see the air bag light flashing

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #24

Jun 152016


  • 160,000 miles
Wife had an accisdent with substantial front end damage. No air bags deployed she was injured hit a tree

- Trumbull, CT, USA

problem #23

Feb 012016

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Mazda Tribute both airbags went out. The consumer stated only the passenger air bag was replaced.

- Great Neck, NY, USA

problem #22

Oct 092013


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. While starting the vehicle, the air bag warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer on numerous occasions to be diagnosed, but the failure could not be determined. The contact stated that a seat belt connection was repaired to rectify the situation; however, the air bag light illuminated. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #21

Sep 012015

Tribute 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Mazda Tribute. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle airbag issues. The consumer wanted to know if his vehicle was on the recall list.

- Malone, NY, USA

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problem #20

Jun 052015


  • 202,654 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. While driving at approximately 55 mph, the brakes failed and the air bag light illuminated. The vehicle was merged over to side of the road. The contact was aware that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 07V157000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 202,654.

- Rockytop, TN, USA

problem #19

Sep 302014

Tribute 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Mazda Tribute air bag light came on and would not go out. The dealer informed the consumer, the connectors under the passenger seat were bad and needed to be replaced. Several weeks later, the air bag light illuminated again and it would not go out. The consumer returned to the dealer, where he was informed the connectors under the driver' seat were bad.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #18

Jan 122015


  • 75,000 miles
The air bag light is staying on, first blinking, and then it stays on for all of car's operation. I feel unsafe in the car, not knowing whether it will deploy when needed or when not needed. The car is in fine shape, no accidents, and there appear to be a number of complaints about this issue, as well as frustration with the inadequate and expensive repairs people have had to do to get their air bag light issue addressed. Shouldn't this be a formal recall to coincide with the bulletin issued relating to it?

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #17

Oct 012012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that the air bag warning light remained. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Salesville , OH, USA

problem #16

Dec 072013

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 112,734 miles
The airbag alert light comes on once engine is started. It flashes up to six flashes and then remains on in a steady manner.

- Bear, DE, USA

problem #15

Oct 102013

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 115,797 miles


Shortly after starting my Mazda 2003 Tribute on 10-10-2013 at approximately:30 pm, after about 1 mile of traveling, my air bag indicator light began to flash on the dashboard & shortly thereafter stayed on solid without flashing. Each time I have used my vehicle since that date I experience the same trouble with the air bag indicator light initially flashing and then staying on steady throughout the duration traveling from location to location.

- Cataula, GA, USA

problem #14

Jun 062012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that after starting the ignition, the air bag warning indicator illuminated continuously until the engine was turned off. Whenever the engine was operable the failure occurred. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Maiden, NC, USA

problem #13

Aug 062012


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that the air bag warning light was illuminated. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer and was told that the spring tensioner for the air bag needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 98,000 and the current mileage was 110,000.

- Owgeo, NY, USA

problem #12

Jul 152009

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
Starting in 7/2009 my 2003 Mazda Tribute's air bag light came on. Repairs included replacing the connector under the pass seat. Since then the light has come on 5 times and each time a connector kit was needed for repairs. Eventually the light burned out and cost over $200 for repairs. I called Mazda and complained. I also found numerous other owners complaining of the same problem on the internet. While the light is on or burned out according to mechanics I have talked to the air bag will not deploy in the event of a accident.

- Hollywood, SC, USA

problem #11

Mar 032009


  • miles
Mazda Tribute, 2003. Airbag light stay illuminated. Mazda repaired it 5 times and still it is lit. Have been told by the dealer that the airbag will not deploy should I be in an accident. I bought the car new, it has not been in an accident and up to now it was covered by warranty. Now they want me to pay $400 to fix something they can't fix anyway. I feel a defect trend exists with their airbags from all that I've read. If cars are mandated by the government to have functioning airbags then why is Mazda not being held accountable for the serious safety defects in their airbag system?

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #10

Mar 262010


  • 89,286 miles
The air bag light on my 2003 Mazda Tribute went on. I took it to the Mazda dealer of orange ca. They had claimed to my face that this has been a recurring issue with the Mazda Tributes lately. I was shocked to find out that this serious problem is happening with many of the Tributes not just mine. Why has Mazda not fixed the problem if they are aware of it" they claimed that the issue was with the electrical wiring of the seat belts that connected to that air bag. The seat belts would not lock if we were ever in a crash. Is that safe? does a death need to happen to get attention about the problem" because the car was not under warranty, I paid $486 out of my pocket to fix a defect that was not caused by normal wear and tear. After the repair the technicians could not get the air bag light to turn off. I asked if there may be a bigger problem that was overlooked. They said "no" the air bag light still periodically turns on and off. If I or any of my family members gets injured in an accident because of this safety negligence issue, I will sue Mazda. This seriously needs to be looked into to protect people from injury.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 032009


  • miles
The air bag light on my 2003 Mazda Tribute went on. I asked the local mechanic see why during a routine oil change. He says Mazda has a "technical service bulletin" out for wiring repairs under the seat. He says they know they have this wiring problem. Since my car has 100,000 miles Mazda says it is out of warranty and they won't cover it even though this is their wiring issue. The dealer wants to charge me $700 to fix their wiring problem which is very wrong.

- Mountain View, CA, USA

problem #8

Feb 082008


  • 29,900 miles
2003 Mazda Tribute, purchase new. ABS light keeps blinking and then stays on and then goes off. Three separate trips to white plains Mazda at a good cost to us and telling us it was corrected - drive a 1/2 mile from the dealer and the light goes on again. Corrected again and a week later it goes on again! additionally, we have an incident in a parked position with motor running (10/13/08) where the car's RPM jumped to 7,000, the car rumbled and completely shut down. Car could not be restarted. Had to have it towed at a substantial cost to me including a separate charge to try and jump the car and now is at Mazda white plains again. Please contact me. I have called customer service number and they are to be in touch with my dealer. Please advise.

- Irvington, NY, USA

problem #7

Jul 212008


  • miles
The airbag light has been repaired at least four times within the last two years. The last time was on July 10, 2008 at clippinger Mazda F, 2539 East garvey avenue North, West covina, ca 91791. Yesterday, July 21, the airbag light has been consistently on. I am concerned about my safety because the bag could deploy unexpectedly, or in the case of an accident, not deploy at all. I am driving a car that feels like having a hand grenade with the pin pulled.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 292007

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,755 miles
(1) airbag light illuminated on 2003 Mazda Tribute dashboard during return trip home from family gathering. (2) trouble codes identified at Mazda dealership where car was purchased: B1994 driver-side side air bag module circuit resistance high B1998 passenger-side side air bag module circuit resistance high informed by dealership that airbags may deploy at any time or may not deploy in case of a collision. Repairs necessary for proper airbag function. (3) as per tsb 0800205 and service kit 1L84-14293-aa problems addressed by dealership technician and airbag light no longer illuminated. Charge $338.37 parts and labor. Mazda and it's dealerships have profited by repairing, with Mazda certified parts, a known safety issue that could endanger the lives and safety of Mazda owners and their passengers if not addressed. There is a tsb and service kit designed to address this exact problem. This indicates Mazda is aware of the problem and is prepared to repair it at the cost of it's customers. When buying a product (a vehicle especially) safety is assumed. When there is a known safety hazard caused by the product, due to malfunction or negligence, it is the manufacturer's to correct the hazard. Not the customer.

- Albany, NY, USA

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