really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
125,660 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.

2005 Mazda Tribute body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Mazda Tribute Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Aug 032015


  • 100,100 miles


The rear right wheel well has been completely rusted out to the point that the suspension broke through into the interior of the car. The left rear and both front wheel wells look to be in perfect condition which seems abnormal for just one wheel well to be affected by extreme rust and corrosion. We bought this Mazda Tribute less then a year ago from the dan wolf Chevrolet dealership in naperville Illinois, with it "passing inspection". since then my family and I have treated this car with extraordinary care by regular maintenance and overall cleanliness. The my family of five (three children) have used this vehicle everyday to drive to work and school not knowing the danger it apposed on us and other drivers on the road. When researching this particular problem we noticed that this very dangerous and unsafe incident has happened to owners of the 2005 Mazda Tribute across the U.S. (www.carcomplaints.com/Mazda/Tribute/2005/body_paint/wheel_well_completely_rusted_out.shtml) the dealership nor Mazda have been any help to solve this problem. I believe that a recall for this car should be made to avoid any harm or threat to families and drivers on the road.

- Wheaton, IL, USA

problem #29

Feb 092015

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
The upper rear shock absorber mount came apart due to rust, the shock absorber came loose and was hitting against the wheel well or tire. Repairs were made at a cost of 4600. The other rear shock absorber mount on the driver side did not show any signs of rust. Updated 09/29/15... updated 09/30/15

- Marquette, MI, USA

problem #28

Jul 262015


  • 80,000 miles
Rusted on left side rear wheel will not pass inspection new tires, brakes spark plugs and pistons rides like a dream but the rust will not support the shocks needs to be recalled by Mazda an inferior Ford body

- South Charleston, WV, USA

problem #27

May 052015


  • 80,000 miles


I own a 2005 Mazda Tribute with 80,000 miles, new tires, new brakes, new spark plugs and pistons (installed in April ) cost=1200.00 took my car in for an inspection in may and my mechanic told me there was considerable rust on the right wheel well and may not support the struts he advised me not to drive it and I took it to a body shop and they said D1500.+ not including labor and they could not guarantee they could GT rid of the rust, not involved in an accident-my car runs good but I afraid to drive it. 75 retired and this is my only mode of transportation and I cannot afford another car. I noticed on line Mazda has recalled a lot of cars for this same problem-do they nor undercoat cars anymore.

- South Charleston, WV, USA

problem #26

Mar 022015


  • 110,000 miles
The passenger side rear wheel well has rusted out. Suspension is now protruding into the interior of the vehicle. The extent of the rust is abnormal, even for the geographic area. It is no longer safe to drive the vehicle. Condition is result of manufacturing defect. Contacted Mazda usa to ask when they will be scheduling recall based on huge number of complaints re: Same issue and they stated that the issue is due to improper washing of the car and sent paragraph on how to wash a car. Useless.

- Ithaca, NY, USA

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problem #25

Jun 202015


  • 247,000 miles
Was driving and heard a loud thud in the backseat passenger wheel well. I drove less than a mile home and saw that the wheel well had disintegrated completely above the tire forcing the shock into the body of the car.

- North Ridgeville, OH, USA

problem #24

May 082015


  • 88,024 miles


Went to get my annual inspection and was told that my right rear shock tower is rusted out.

- Ithaca, NY, USA

problem #23

Apr 042015


  • 245,000 miles
Excessive, localized rust has developed in the right, rear wheel well, resulting in the shock being loose and making a loud banging sound when going over even small bumps. The left side and the rest of the car does not have this problem indicating a localized manufacturing/engineering defect.

- Clinton Twp, MI, USA

problem #22

Mar 032015

Tribute 4-cyl

  • 173,000 miles
The entire rear passenger wheel well has rusted away and the shock is completely detached from the frame on our Tribute. This is obviously not normal wear and tear as the vehicle is only 10 years old and it is only happening on the rear passenger. It is going to cost me a lot to fix and will definitely be the last Mazda I buy (unless by chance Mazda sees how this is a major problem with Tributes/escapes and makes it right).

- Sugar Grove, OH, USA

problem #21

Feb 272015

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 126,525 miles
I had a rattling noise that started coming from the right rear and sounded like something was bouncing around in the back compartment. It got worse fast. I was stunned to find not only the right wheel well, but both sides completely rusted through and the shocks were ready to break away from the mounts. Both my mechanic shop and a reputable body shop independently told me that this vehicle is not safe to drive. The body shop is hesitant to touch it. They said that they can try to fabricate and fix it, but the problem is when there is rust involved, where do they stop? I bought this vehicle less than a year ago, supposedly taken very good care of, as I do. I still owe thousands on it and I'm not happy! my 2002 escape didn't have rust problems... the motor went out before it had rust!

- Deerfield, WI, USA

problem #20

Feb 062015


  • 110,000 miles


Driving cross country and heard a loud thump in rt rear wheel well. After that every bump no matter how small the thump became more pronounced. Stopped to check things out, rt rear wheel well completely rusted through exposing suspension and corrosion on attachment to frame. Able to drive home safely, had dealership check it over and cost of repair to frame damage over cost of vehicle. Dealership reports ongoing issue with rt rear wheel well on 2005 year. Way to early for this much corrosion.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #19

Dec 152014

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The sub frame and axles completely rusted through and the lower control arms and everything supported came loose. It all needs to be replaced at a cost of thousands of dollars. This is the same issue I have been reading about on the same vehicle years 2001 - 2004 as well as many Ford escapes. They have been recalled so why would newer units with the same problem not have been recalled. For a newer car to have the same problem would make this issue be even worse then the manufacturer is reporting. Every dealer and every junk yard tells me the same thing, this is not isolated to the 2001 - 2004 model years. I have no option but to fix the manufacturers defect and hope that they admit more vehicles need to be recalled. They should fix the problem and pay for the parts and labor to repair their problem which they knowingly passed onto the consumer. I will do whatever it takes to inform as many people as possible to never buy a Mazda or Ford vehicle until they prove that they actually care about the consumer, recall these vehicles and pay for their defective product. They are putting people in a dangerous situation and they know it! another problem has been the engine. I have had problems with faulty ignition coils and sensors and the rusting of the rear wheel wells, which were rusted thru and had to be welded back together since they separated from the back of the car and I had a loud rattle and shake. Thank goodness this was recognized by the repair shop as they found it before it caused an accident. What is a owner to do?

- Cranberry Twp., PA, USA

problem #18

Oct 142014

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
Right rear wheelhouse has completely rusted out at 146,000 miles, and the strut is disconnected from the frame. Mazda has denied any responsibility for this issue and offered no assistance despite the fact that there are hundreds of complaints of this very issue on the NHTSA website, and despite the fact that the 2001-2004 Tributes were recalled and repaired for corrosion issues. The mechanic and collision repair center said they have never seen rust this bad in the same area of makes of vehicles. The collision repair center also stated that this is a $4,000-$6,000 repair that the owner should not be stuck with as it is a manufacture defect. They manufactured the 2005 Ford escape frame in the same plant and they share the same problem. This occurred while I was traveling down the highway at 70mph and the shock broke free right behind my sons carseat, the shock was touching the inner plastic. Luckily I pulled over to find out what the noise was. Mazda seems to have no concern for their customers safety. Customer beware.... and if you have a child at least put them on the drivers side for some safety. Lets all hope Mazda will stand up for their defective product........

- Bridgman, MI, USA

problem #17

Oct 072014

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • 101,655 miles
The vehicle was initially in the shop to repair shock tower on the right rear which was completed rusted out, that expense cost $1200, within the week, while driving 40mph, the check engine light came on, then the ABS light, then the car began to slow to a stop. The car felt like it was in neutral, there was no control of the car. I placed the car into park, I was along the side of the highway. The car was towed back to the shop and needed repair of fuel injection, engine computer, spark plugs and ignition coils. The total cost of repairs came to $1500 dollars. It was upsetting to deal with two major incidents in 1 week, especially expensive ones. The way the car came to a slow stop on a highway could have caused an accident as well.

- Dubuque, IA, USA

problem #16

Jun 022014


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mazda Tribute. The contact heard a loud noise coming from the rear driver side wheel. The contact discovered that the shock absorber was exposed due to the rear wheel well rusting away. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 160,000.

- Novi, MI, USA

problem #15

Sep 232014

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • 106,780 miles
Entire right (passenger) rear wheel well rusted away, including the shock mount.

- North Haledon, NJ, USA

problem #14

Sep 102014

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
The framework underneath and around the vehicle's rear passenger tire has rotted away, and the shock has penetrated the wheel well. The entire rear of the vehicle "rattles" loudly because of this. It appears that this deficiency was fixed, temporarily, before the sale of the vehicle was pursued.

- Auburn, NY, USA

problem #13

Sep 192012


  • 88,000 miles
Right after purchasing the car I heard noise underneath, from the front to the back and after purchasing is when the dealer said it was in an accident. I had already purchased the car and paid 9,000 dollars for it a year and a half ago and now I can no longer drive it because of safety. I went to the manufacturer who has estimated the total cost of repair including parts is $20,000 and commented that the vehicle was in a flood and not safe to drive. The chassis/frame around the back right strut is almost gone due to rust and the other side is going as well. There is rust under all parts of the vehicle. I don't know why the dealer was allowed to sale me the car.

- Camden, NJ, USA

problem #12

Apr 012014

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
The right rear wheel housing area rusted so bad that the top of shock bracket rusted away and shock started banging against floor. Took it to my Mazda dealer and service manager said it was not right that this should happen. He knows that I garage and take car of my vehicles.he gave me the number to call Mazda for help. Mazda said they would not help! I can't drive this vehicle because it is dangerous and unsafe. Because of family medical issues I can't afford to have it fixed and I will not trade it off to an unsuspecting buyer. Don't know what I will do. Looked on internet and found many of the same problems with the Tribute and Ford escape (both, which I been told by car dealers' service personal, are the same vehicle). You would think a auto company would stand behind their product. I'm no longer proud of the fact that I have owned about 10 Mazda vehicles.

- Ellisville, MO, USA

problem #11

Jun 302014

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 125,262 miles
The right rear wheel well is completely rusted out causing there to be no connection between the body and the rear shocks. Left rear wheel well is starting to rust. No other rust on the car other than the wheel wells. Estimate from the shop is over $4000. Only 9 years old and 125,000 miles on vehicle.

- Kaukauna, WI, USA

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