pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
121,100 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replacement of rear spring/strut tower (3 reports)
  2. auxiliary support bracket kit (2 reports)
  3. not sure (2 reports)
  4. replace struts (2 reports)
  5. repair mounting area (1 reports)
2005 Mazda Tribute suspension problems

suspension problem

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2005 Mazda Tribute Owner Comments

problem #10

Mar 012018

Tribute LX 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


What else is there to say? I can't afford another vehicle right now.

- William M., Milford, PA, US

problem #9

Feb 202017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

right wheel well rusted through around shock

Car was always in garage. Three wheel wells are fine. right one shock is completely rusted though to trunk. Body and paint are good .Must be engineering bad design as number of tributes and escorts 2005 have same problem. Mazda should recall but refuses to do anything about it.

- Mike K., Erie, PA, US

problem #8

Sep 032016

Tribute V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

while driving hear rattling sound from back of car. eventually got louder. looked at wheel wells - found completely rusted out passenger side rear. strut not attached to anything. took to Midas to look at - will not touch without well being replaced - referred to body shop. went to 3 body shops - they will not touch. referred to restoration options. still driving - but worried. was told only damage would be to tire wear.

looking for replacement kit option.

- Bill H., Grove City, OH, US

problem #7

Aug 032016

Tribute LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 156,000 miles


The rear passenger side rear well collapsed due to rust and corrosion that could not be seen when doing a normal inspection due to the spray used to cover the inside of the wheel well. I was driving down the highway with my 3-year old daughter when I heard a pop come from the rear of the vehicle. I pulled into my driveway and upon inspection a metal rod had pierced the inside of my vehicle.

I immediately took the vehicle to my local repair shop and they said the car was unsafe and should not be driven. I left the car at the repair shop and was later told by the mechanic that it was a defect in the vehicle material where the strut tower punctured the inside of my car rendering the car a dangerous and potentially deadly vehicle.

I have contacted Mazda regarding this issue and have not yet heard back from them. The Tributes from 2001 - 2004 were recalled for this same issue. The 2005 vehicles need to be added to the recall list. If not, I will contact an attorney regarding this situation as this is my only means of transportation.

- Joan K., Mechanicsburg, PA, US

problem #6

May 012016

Tribute S 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

Searched the net and found countless complaints about the same issue, right rear strut rusted off body. I found no other mentions of the left side rusting off. This issue may cause a safety concern due to if the strut was to break free it could hit the right rear brake line and cause brake failure or fly off the vehicle and hit some one or thing behind.

The vehicle was completely inspected underneath and the right rear strut body mount area was the only area with rust.

Contacted Mazda and the local dealer ship as well as Mazda USA customer service said that it was not covered.

- stindell, Antioch, IL, US

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problem #5

Feb 242016

Tribute 6 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Rear shock mount rusted through floor, right side only like everybody else! I decided to follow recommendations on forums and I installed the repair kit (from ebay, 220$ + shipping and well worth it!) that includes a specially designed frame-mounting bracket for the shock absorber that you simply bolt on the frame just underneath the original shock mount. It comes with all the gear you need to seal the opening in the floor. I have done this by myself with no knowledge in 5-6 hours following the instructions provided. I am quite sure, like other folks I have talked to, that this was the best thing to do to keep this car on the road for a few more years!

Don't think about the 3-4k$ option to replace the wheel well...

- Mark S., Canton, US

problem #4

Dec 152015

Tribute V6 4x4 V6 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles


click to see larger images

premature strut rust premature strut rust premature strut rust premature strut rust

This is another 2005 Mazda Tribute with no visible rust ANYWHERE on the body other than the rear spring/strut support area. These are very nice vehicles if they didn't have the rust through on the rear spring/strut tower mounts.

This is very dangerous since the spring support can push right through the floor and can cause an accident if going around a corner at the time of failure. The frame itself is rusty and the strut tower is rusted through the frame as can be seen from the photos.

As a Mechanical Engineer myself, this has got to be a production problem. We don't see much rust here in Colorado, but I own two of these 2005 Mazda Tribute V6 4x4 vehicles with the identical rust problem.

This absolutely needs to be a recall, and is much more dangerous than some other recalls such as ignition switches that don't have quite enough resistance to prevent them from turning off under super rare conditions. We took these on trade-in through our shop but cannot sell them as they are.

- Terry N., Peyton, CO, US

problem #3

Aug 272015

Tribute LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 175,000 miles

I was driving along then the next thing I know, BLAM!!!! I'm thinking to my self what the heck was that so I pull over to the shoulder of the road. I thought that maybe I had a blowout or something. All of the tires looked ok until I got to the right rear passenger tire and notice a rusted out piece getting ready to fall of of my tire. I pick it up and notice an awfully huge hole in the wheel well. After I picked up the piece of scrap, I noticed it was the the strut tower. I call my father inlaw and he comes to my aid. He pulls the strut off and follows me home.

There's not a speck of rust anywhere on my Tribute. I've done everything to keep my vehicle spotless and in good working condition. I regularly wash and wax my vehicles and this is what I get from it. The SUV has ran like a top and have no major issues with it..ever. Besides regular replacements of tires, exhausts, etc...the vehicle has been spectacular, but I will never buy another Mazda again seeing how many other Tributes have had the same damn silimar problem. I am so disgusted with Mazda. When I called them they acted as if there's nothing they could do. WTF??? Now I cannot drive the vehicle and it just sits. Does anyone have any idea how I can get this thing fixed? $2000 not including labor is not an option. In fact it's completely out of my budget. Any reasonable suggestions would be appreciated.


- randallc, Abingdon, IL, US

problem #2

May 062015

Tribute LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

rusted undeneath will not pass inspection

I think this is disgusting. Several Mazda owners have had the same problem. my Tribute should last me at least another 30,000 miles I have new tires, new brakes and new spark plugs and pistons-the cars should be recalled I would love to get the other owners to join me in a class action law suit. I understand that Ford owns Mazda so that is the problem their cars are worthless, Mazda recalled several cars from 2001-2004 should have included 2005 -what recourse do I have???

- Judy R., South Charleston, WV, US

problem #1

Jan 072014

Tribute 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

struts rusted out in 3 years

All ford Escapes and Tributes owners can have this rust problem. It is always the right rear wheel well that rust out. On my Tribute the left rear start to rust as well. No help from Mazda. Need to find a custom body shop that does mind cutting and welding the uni body. SUV's should not rust out so badly at 100k that the strut falls off body. It is a safety issue.

The body shop I took it to developed a Escape rust fix because they had so many come into the shop with rust issues. It works for Tribute built in the same factory.....

- richardmn, St Paul, MN, US

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