hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
115,799 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.

2004 Mazda Tribute suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Mazda Tribute Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Sep 232016


  • 95,000 miles


My 2004 Mazda Tribute has less than 100,000 miles and this past week while leaving a local mall there seemed to be more road noise than usual coming from the rear. A visual inspection of the rear passenger side wheel well revealed that the top of the strut, along with a portion of the metal mount was broken away from the body. The mount had completely rusted away from the wheel well exposing the interior of the cargo area. Most of my driving is done either in town or highway. It is very disappointing that Mazda (and Ford) has failed to take responsibility for its poor engineering. I hope it doesn't take a fatality or injury for either the manufacturer or the government to address this issue.

- Wooster, OH, USA

problem #36

Aug 292016


  • 140,000 miles
My 2004 Mazda Tribute (just like a Ford escape) has totally rusted out on the passenger back wheel well.my husband was doing about 20 mph and heard the loud bang! the shock mounting is completely rusted away and bangs against the car and provides no stabilizing control. I found a bunch of complaints after I googled it - all right rear! the front was recalled but why not rear" our mechanic said it was basically totaled. And good luck trying to find someone to fix it! it can not be driven at all! cant sell it or trade it in! and we cant find anyone to touch it! Mazda's response was they can hook us up with a salesman to purchase another Mazda. Really????????????"

- Hopatcong, NJ, USA

problem #35

Mar 072016


  • 175,000 miles
The right rear shock tower broke away from the body, causing the vehicle to jerk hard right, as I was driving on the highway at about 60 miles per hour, this almost caused an accident, I crossed into the middle lane cutting off the auto in that lane. Had it not been for the driving skills off the other driver and myself there would have been an accident. The shock then tore the inside of the tire up causing a flat. When I called Mazda they said it was not a safety issue and had no plans to recall the vehicle for this most common problem.this vehicle has a recall for rust on the front frame mount but not on the rust problems in the rear of the vehicles. I feel they used inferior metal in the entire automobile and should repair this very dangerous problem.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #34

Jul 122016


  • 101,000 miles


2004 Mazda Tribute, approx. 101,000 miles. Complete failure/rust-through of rear, passenger-side wheel well causing separation of shock/strut from the frame. As indicated in the hundreds of complaints I have read, experienced loud clunk and swaying of the vehicle, brought to our long-time mechanic who indicated he had never seen anything like it and based on age/condition there is no way this should have occurred. Brought vehicle in to Mazda dealership after speaking to Mazda customer care (rep indicated that recall for sub-frame corrosion should address this) only to be told that recall repair was completed but car was unsafe to drive due to the corrosion and shock separation. When I called Mazda back and asked how it is possible to issue a recall on a known issue for rust but only address one contact point on the frame as, clearly, the entire frame is made/coated with the same materials, was advised basically not their problem and it is possible a future recall could address this issue. This is absolutely unacceptable and as a current owner of a 2014 Mazda 6 (and past owners of 6 other Mazda's) I can not understand how a safety issue such as this is not being addressed. As evidenced by this website and multiple others, this issue affects 2001-2006 Mazda Tributes (& Ford escapes) and was already acknowledged to be a defect in the materials used as evidenced in recall# 14V-174. Excessive corrosion is not limited to a single attachment point on the frame, to even imply that it would be is avoidance of liability by the manufacturer(s) at best, criminal negligence is a better descriptor. It is the entire frame that is defective and this needs to be addressed as a critical safety issue before someone gets seriously injured or killed, the complaints seem to be increasing so it is only a matter of time. Please address this-the original recall needs to be expanded asap

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

problem #33

May 312016


  • 132,000 miles
Right rear shock mount has rusted completely through. This may result in suspension failure and possible loss of control of vehicle. Photos of extensive rust condition widely available on the internet.

- Castleton, NY, USA

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problem #32

Feb 192016


  • 150,000 miles
A very load banging sound is coming from my right passenger wheel well area. It appears the shock-absorber mounting location is rusted away and breaking off. I can see inside my car through the speaker grill now. First occured when the car was in motion and driving over a road with small potholes. The rest of the underside of the car seems ok.

- Mahtomedi, MN, USA

problem #31

Dec 012015


  • 94,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 5 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the rear passenger side of the vehicle. The failure recurred on several occasions while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was excessive rust on the passenger rear wheel well and shock strut mount, which needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 94,000.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #30

Nov 142015


  • 153,546 miles
The rear passenger wheel well has excessive corrosion through the frame of my vehicle. The corrosion has split my frame in half and left wholes surrounding the split. My shock tower is exposed and corroded making it unsafe to drive. The rear driver side is splitting in the same exact place.this is a serious safety hazard and obvious defect. Driving straight down a dirt road at 35 mph (approx.) a loud snap and dust rolling thing through the rear speaker mounted on the wheel well. I then pulled over and inspected the car and found that it was all rusted out.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #29

Nov 032015


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, there was an abnormal noise coming from the rear passenger side of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the entire passenger side wheel well was rusted and corroded. The vehicle was unable to be driven. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 135,000.

- Woodgrey, MN, USA

problem #28

Nov 022015

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Mazda Tribute. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle subframe corrosion issues. The consumer was informed the vehicle could not be repaired. Also, the consumer is seeking reimbursement for the replacement of the idle air control motor and the cleaning of the throttle body.

- Amherst, NY, USA

problem #27

Oct 282015


  • 91,000 miles


In researching the NHTSA website it is clear that this is not a unique complaint. The vehicle has 91,000 miles. The rear passenger side upper shock mount has completely separated from the chassis due to excessive corrosion. This is the only area on this vehicle where such extensive corrosion exists. Numerous sources have stated that the damage to this vehicle is irreparable, and that further use of this vehicle would be extremely hazardous. Numerous complaints for this defect indicate that it is time for this manufacturing and design defect to be investigated. #10669545

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #26

Sep 302015


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that while driving approximately at 40 mph, there was an abnormal snapping sound. The brake pedal was applied, but the vehicle hesitated to stop and the front passenger tire seized. The vehicle was towed to a dealer for where the mechanic replaced the sub frame, cv joint, and the lower control arm. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle started to make a vibrating motion. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 120,000.

- West Bath, ME, USA

problem #25

Sep 272015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that while driving, the vehicle had an abnormal loud sound. The contact stated that the rear passenger side shock support in the wheel well had rotted. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.

- Wareham , MA, USA

problem #24

Aug 102015


  • 140,250 miles
My 2004 Mazda Tribute (just like a Ford escape) has totally rusted out on the passenger back wheel well. The suspension is affected as well as the shock mounting is completely rusted away and bangs against the car and provides no stabilizing control. The repairs are going to be very costly and I found numerous reports of the same rust out and right rear suspension failure on Mazda Tributes and Ford escape in the 2001-2005 model years. Mazda and Ford conducted a recall on Tributes and escapes due to rust out of right front suspension. The same is immediately needed on the right rear suspension. The left rear suspension appears fine and does not show any of the same rust problem.

- Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA

problem #23

Aug 012015

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,631 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mazda Tribute. While driving at 35 mph over a bump in the road, the vehicle made a loud abnormal sound. After inspecting the vehicle, the contact noticed that the passenger side rear wheel well and the shock tower were corroded. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 142,631. MA 10/25/15

- Lebanon, OH, USA

problem #22

Jul 202015


  • 151,523 miles
Right rear shock has broken through wheel panel and can be seen from the trunk area. Left rear side has stress fractures and I assume will also break through eventually. Took car to body shop and was told that the wheel panel has rusted through and that it would be too expensive to fix because to properly fix the car one would have to replace the wheel panel and any other metal area on both sides of the car that is rusted. Is NHTSA willing to take the car to test the undercoating and metal to determine if they meet proper standards" I went online and have seen that this same problem with other madza Tributes and even Ford escapes. Can you help"

- Perry Hall, MD, USA

problem #21

Jan 082014


  • 161,094 miles
Braking system (ABS) failed (I could have killed someone or myself) no back pressure going up hills resulting in failing suspension all front end has failed all door latches failed I'm terrified to operate this vehicle!!!!! recall notices where never sent to me and modern motors only completed recall numbers 7514D and 6812G why is it that recalls are closed when I obviously had issues and I never received notices? I purchased my Mazda Tribute 2004 at modern motors in 2008 as the second owner. I was never informed of these recalls and I think it's only fair that they should be done at no charge. Report receipt date: Dec 10, 2004 NHTSA campaign number: 04V583000 component(s): Vehicle speed control report receipt date: Dec 23, 2004 NHTSA campaign number: 04V605000 component(s): Latches/locks/linkages (my rear glass latches have been broken/defect) report receipt date: Mar 29, 2007 NHTSA campaign number: 07E023000 component(s): Service brakes, hydraulic report receipt date: Apr 10, 2007 NHTSA campaign number: 07V157000 component(s): Service brakes, hydraulic report receipt date: Jul 27, 2012 NHTSA campaign number: 12V357000 component(s): Engine and engine cooling, vehicle speed control report receipt date: Apr 04, 2014 NHTSA campaign number: 14V174000 component(s): Structure since I was the second owner why wasn't I informed of such defects/recalls"?" this is what modern motors has typed on my work order that needs to be done. Gasket is leaking, front axle seals are leaking, front and rear pinion seals are leaking, rear shocks are leaking, front sway bar links have play, front and rear molded rubber brake hose are cracked. Exhaust hanger is broken, gas tank strap has been modified because there was no holder to hold the tank up and on. Needs tires and alignment which I can do.

- Goshen, CT, USA

problem #20

Feb 022015

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Shocking rod went though it.

- Maine, NY, USA

problem #19

Mar 092015

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
Extensive rust in the back passenger wheel well which has caused the suspension to break away from the body of the car.

- Mountainville, NY, USA

problem #18

Feb 112015

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • 140,683 miles
While on highway, loud thump. Upon inspection, passenger side wheel well is rusted through. Damage is very significant. Shock absorber mount is separated from the frame. Driver side does not show damage, at least from outside inspection. The car is not safe to drive. Have not called the dealer yet, but messages about this problem indicate that Mazda is not honoring the design flaw as a manufacturing defect. No word yet upon what it will cost to fix. Sounds like a recall needs set up.

- Columbus, OH, USA

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