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 1 of 4)

problem #70

Dec 292016


  • 59,700 miles


I was driving on an icy road, heard a loud bang, followed by a loud thumping noise from rear of vehicle. It caused me to lose control and slide into a snow bank. The right rear shock had broken loose and broke through the inside of cargo floor. I needed the SUV for going to work and had to get it repaired at the cost of over $1000. I feel Mazda should reimburse me for the repair bill. The whole shock tower was rusted through.I still have a hole in the inside cargo floor.

- Rhinelander, WI, USA

problem #69

Oct 122016


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mazda Tribute. While driving approximately 45 mph, the contact heard a banging noise underneath the front passenger seat. The contact pulled the vehicle over, looked underneath, and found that the shock of the rear passenger tire was detachted. The shock would lean against the tire while the vehicle was being turned. The contact took the vehicle to a certified mechanic who diagnosed that the shock was detached and the area were the shock was located was completely rusted. The inside finder panel and the shock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue and informed the contact the vehicle was not covered by a recall. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 145,000.

- Harrisville, OH, USA

problem #68

Oct 042016


  • 140,000 miles
I own a 2005 Tribute that has been kept in meticulous condition. Always garaged and taken to the dealership for maintenance. The vehicle runs like new with no signs of wear and tear, and has been a great car. That all changed when a few weeks ago I was driving about 40 mph down a residential street, and hit a small patch of bumps in the road (not potholes, just normal uneven pavement spots) and all of a sudden heard a jackhammer noise from the back of the car. The passenger side rear wheel well had completely disintegrated, leaving the wheel/suspension detached from the vehicle body/frame. Nothing was holding the suspension tower to the car. Had I been going faster or didn't stop right away this could have killed me. I have three small kids and I am so upset that such a dangerous condition is well-known. The way I found out was that I immediately went to the Ford/Mazda dealership when the noise happened. They took in the car and called me the next morning to say they wanted nothing to do with it because their corporate Ford/Mazda policy instructed them not to accept or work on vehicles with this defect. I'm shocked that Ford/Mazda would conceal such a dangerous known condition in their vehicles, putting thousands and thousands of people at risk without any warning. If I had received some kind of notification that the problem existed I would have gone to get it fixed right away at my own expense if needed, but instead I drove thousands of miles on the highway with my kids in the car ignorant to the fact that the car could have broken apart and caused us to crash without any warning.

- Grosse Pointe Woods, MI, USA

problem #67

Sep 202016


  • 84,000 miles


2005 Mazda Tribute rear right wheel well rusted through shock protruding into the interior of the vehicle. Clear factory defect. Mazda will not fix this issue.

- Hazle Township, PA, USA

problem #66

Sep 252016


  • 180,000 miles
Completely rusted out right side rear wheel well and suspension support. Seems to be a common and dangerous problem. Visual inspection of the rear passenger side wheel well revealed that the suspension arm was broken away from the body of the vehicle, making it unsafe to drive based on a mechanic's opinion. The suspension mount rusted completely away from the wheel well and has now exposed the interior portion of the rear cargo area. There was a recall on the front side for this issue for up to model year '04, but not including '05 which has the same body??

- Boston, MA, USA

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problem #65

Sep 222016


  • 157,764 miles
I went to get my oil changed and the mechanic showed me my rear wheel well. The shock mount is completely rusted out and unsafe to drive. He said he has never seen anything that bad. I have to go to a body shop and get a whole new wheel well and shock system. It is going to cost around $1100.

- Green Mountain, NC, USA

problem #64

Sep 152016


  • 90,000 miles


I am also a victim of the rear passenger wheel well rotting out so bad that it can not be repaired. Vehicle only has 90,000 miles on it. Mazda should take responsibility for this since it is not an isolated case

- Milford, MA, USA

problem #63

Aug 032016


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mazda Tribute. While driving 65 mph, there was a loud noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. It was diagnosed that the rear tail pipe had fallen off and the passenger side wheel well was rusted out. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was approximately 150,000.

- Madison, IN, USA

problem #62

May 022016


  • miles
We heard a loud drubbing sound, like the back seat had come undone. In fact, the underneath of the seat, under the car had become so rusted that the shock was detached from the rest of the car, which was making that sound. I was driving with my kids in the car for 100's of miles like this! Mazda had a recall on 2002-2004 Mazda Tributes but did not include my Mazda 2005, though made in 2004 and has the same issues as the recall, rust in the wheel well. Mazda will not fix it and will not pay for it since I had to fix it. I paid $1,086 to fix this, being without a car for a month. I was lucky that it was this cheap, only because they gave me a break. It was estimated to be over $2K. Even the clerk at Mazda said these vehicles "are all known to rust", so I can obviously sue Mazda on just that testimony, but otherwise, I have no recourse except to pay for this and wait and hope that a recall will pay me back some day.

- Marion, MA, USA

problem #61

Aug 012016


  • miles
In the rear passenerger side wheel well, rusted out so bad rear shock has pulled away from body, causing jole all wsy thru car. Saw online this is a commom problem with this model and sister Ford escape heard recalls for 02 thru 04 models.

- Newport, MI, USA

problem #60

Aug 012016


  • 135,000 miles


While driving the vehicle at a speed of about 35 mph I felt what appeared to be a flat tire. After checking the tire, there was nothing obvious showing. At speeds about 55 mph the sensation of a flat tire ceased, however, as soon as I would slow down, it would return, along with a loud noise. I took the car in to Firestone tire. They discovered that the passenger side rear wheel well is completely rusted out. The strut housing is exposed and the wheel is at risk for literally separating from the vehicle. We were told that any small rear impact could cause the rear end of the vehicle to completely separate from the rest of the car. After having the vehicle checked by several different mechanics and body shops we were told that the vehicle is unsafe to drive and requires over $5800 in repairs. After contacting Mazda, they refuse to acknowledge this as a recall and the only off they made was for $1,500-$3,000 off the purchase of a brand new Mazda. We have cared for our vehicle impeccably. It only has 135,000 miles on it and has always had all maintenance performed. All other areas of the vehicle are in good condition. This is obviously an issue with the parts that were used on the assembly line during production. I find it very hard to believe that only one side in one area of the vehicle would rust out like this. Mazda should take responsibility for this before someone is seriously hurt or killed.

- Cottleville, MO, USA

problem #59

Aug 082016


  • 150,720 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mazda Tribute. While driving at various speeds, a popping sound emitted from the vehicle. The contact pulled over and discovered that the rear passneger side wheel well was rusted. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 150,720.

- Los Alamos, NM, USA

problem #58

Jul 222016


  • 91,000 miles
The underside and even the fuel entry area is rusted and is beginning to affect the exterior paint job around the truck and doors.

- Hamtramck, MI, USA

problem #57

Jul 312016


  • 131,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mazda Tribute. While driving 30 mph, there was an abnormal sound coming from the rear passenger side of the vehicle. The contact stated that there was a grinding sound coming from the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the subframe and shock mounts fractured from excessive corrosion. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 131,000.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #56

Jul 182016


  • 168,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, an abnormal sound emitted from the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the rear passenger side wheel well and frame was rusted and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 168,000.

- Lancaster, OH, USA

problem #55

Jul 182016


  • miles
Rear shock mount rusted, right side. Can not drive my car and no one will buy it in this condition. The body shop cannot repair and he said it is too dangerous to drive. It can cause an accident.

- Delaware, OH, USA

problem #54

Jun 022016


  • 145,000 miles
Extreme rust/corrosion in the wheel well area - frame degraded and fell away from the body -- shock coming loose - occurred while driving on city street - going straight.

- Forest Park, IL, USA

problem #53

May 302016


  • 89,000 miles
The passenger side rear wheel well is rusted out and the shock absorber is exposed and barely supported. The driver side is fine. There was a recall for this problem for the prior 4 years to this. It will be un-driveable soon.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

problem #52

May 182016


  • 43,000 miles
My right rear wheel well is completely rotted out. My body shop told me this should not ever happen. Also told me it was a bad piece of steel used in the manufacture and I could have been killed if it had not been detected and I kept driving it. The rest of my SUV is immaculate. I have seen other complaints on this. It is costing me $1500 to repair. I was driving and started hearing a rattling sound and stopped at a mechanic. My mechanic told me thank god you stopped before you got hurt.

- Conshohocken, PA, USA

problem #51

Apr 042016


  • 180,000 miles
2005 Mazda while driving on a city street I heard a loud clunk coming from the right rear of the vehicle. I discovered that the right rear wheelhouse had rusted out and the shock tower had completely broken off. The left wheelhouse is close behind. This is the same problem addressed by a Mazda recall for 2001-2004 models. Why hasn't Mazda been forced to address the problem with the 2005 model?

- Augusta, MI, USA

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