really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,857 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

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problem #23

Oct 022017


  • 187,000 miles

- Rehoboth, MA, USA

problem #22

Dec 182012


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that the driver side door master switch was faulty preventing the doors from being lock or unlock. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, where the vehicle repaired. However, the remedy failed to repair the problem since the quality of the product used to repair was poor. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, who advised the contact that the problem was due to normal wear and tear. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 103,000.

- Rusk, TX, USA

problem #21

Dec 232014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that while the vehicle was parked, it caught fire. The fire was extinguished by a fire department. A police and fire report were filed and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received a notification of NHTSA campaign number: 12V016000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Patterson, NJ, USA

problem #20

Apr 142014

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
Applying brakes and ABS kicks in and makes the tires lock up in the back and slides the rear end of the vehicle around. Seems electrical problems are occurring also. Headlights have a short, reverse lights don't work, and window controls don't always work. Vehicle has done all this since I have owned it. It was bought used and I have had it checked for all recalls and they are all up to date, or so the Mazda dealer says they are. I have had brakes replaced along with rotors and tires and the vehicle does the same thing.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #19

Jun 032012


  • miles
Received notice from Mazda regarding safety recall #6712A in Feb 2012 for our 2002 Mazda Tribute - recommended action was to park vehicle outdoors, away from structures to prevent unattended potential fire from spreading related to electrical short /ABS module. It has now been 3 months and Mazda has not provided the necessary repairs to return this vehicle to a safe condition.

- Stuart, FL, USA

problem #18

Feb 222012

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mazda Tribute. The contact stated that the front passenger door malfunctioned and as a result, she unable to unlocked or open the door. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 150,000 and the current mileage was 152,000. The consumer stated brake fluid leaked which caused her to not have any brakes. As a result, the consumer had an accident and hit a pole. The consumer also stated the vehicle has electrical problems. Updated 04/25/12

- Birmingham , AL, USA

problem #17

Jan 132012

Tribute 6-cyl

  • miles
My son has driven this vehicle since 2008, when we purchased it for him to use while in college. He was driving onto campus and when approaching the parking lot, he noticed ABS and airbag lights coming on and off on the dashboard. As he parked he realized there was smoke coming from under the hood. He opened the hood, saw a fire, and called 911 immediately. They arrived quickly and successfully put the fire out. Firemen told him it appeared to have been electrical and he was lucky they got there as quick as they did. Insurance claim adjuster took it to a Ford shop (closest) where they had it for a week and said they couldn't get parts, but were aware of a recall coming on the area the fire had occurred in (the wiring harness and ABS module). It was then sent to a Mazda dealer, that had it for 10 days, and finally said the needed parts were obsolete and they could not repair the vehicle. Claims adjuster checked with another Ford and another Mazda dealer, getting the same answers from both. By the way, when they checked on the VIN, they said it was not on any Mazda recalls. This was at the end of January/beginning of February 2012. So after all this, they had to total a vehicle that only had about 77,000 miles on it and was in excellent condition otherwise. The day I get home from having documents notarized for the insurance company, in my mailbox is a recall from Mazda....this very one 6712A, which I had already found online days prior to the Mazda dealers denying our VIN was included. The recall letter states the work from a prior recall in 2007 regarding this issue had been done. We are very grateful this fire did not cause an accident or more serious emergency situation. And we are grateful our insurance company isn't holding things up due to Mazda's lack of help.

- Newcastle, WA, USA

problem #16

Sep 302011

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I started my car and the 'check engine' light flashed on-and-off. Thinking it would go away, I drove to route 3 in South shore, MA. Once on the highway, the light did not stop flashing, so I pulled over. Thirty seconds after pulling over in a rest area, white smoke appeared from under the hood. 10 seconds later, black smoke came from the hood which was accompanied with a burning smell. Luckily, someone from massdot was in the rest area and we determined that it was a car fire. We proceeded to step back and call 911 from a safe distance. The engine area of the car was on fire until the fire department was able to put it out.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #15

Jan 202011

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 126,500 miles
Intermittent ABS light, sometimes with brake light. Noticed a low hum from engine one night, checked for anything left on, decided it was probably normal noise I hadn't noticed before. The next morning, I was able to unlock doors, then tried to start engine. Engine turned over then all lights went off. Trying to start engine failed and I had to lock door manually. Got a jump start and was fine running local errands, but that hum was always there with engine off. The next day, same scenario. Got jump and went to Mazda dealer. Told no recalls for that year except seatbelts, was never asked for VIN. A tech offered to look and I explained where the noise was coming from and that I thought it was the ABS. He disagreed and looked around the engine. Eventually he said he had to "eat his words", that it was the ABS pump staying on. I asked if I could pull the ABS fuse and not affect any other systems since it wasn't working anyway. He said it was fine, and took it out for me. I never had any other brake-related problems. When my car started idling low and losing power at low speed, I took it to my local shop for repair. The computer reported a slightly off fuel mix and cylinder 5 misfiring. They said they wanted to replace the ignition coil, but I wasn't confident they felt certain that was the problem. I gave myself a crash course in engines and realized the number of things it could be was huge. I authorized the repair, but went online to see if there was a common issue with this model. That was when I realized my carfax report, and the dealer had concealed recalls. I wasn't certain my VIN was included until I picked up my car and the tech helped me look around the engine. Right there, in bright blue, was a sticker for the ABS recall campaign. At the very least, I should have had that information available when I bought it. The Mazda tech could not have missed the sticker, nor the 5 or so recalls, assuming he looked them up. Hoping that no fuse means no fire risk.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #14

Nov 152009

Tribute 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Airbag light stays on constantly.. found out on this forum that my airbag(s) may not deploy in the case of an accident. Not good. Clearly Mazda/Ford should "man up" and acknowledge this safety problem with a recall!

- Trophy Club, TX, USA

problem #13

Feb 132011

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
Fire initiated in the engine compartment, total damage to vehicle, 2 other vehicles resulted damaged.

- Juarez, Chihuahua; Mexico, 00, USA

problem #12

Jun 142010


  • 48,000 miles
Mazda Tribute died on a busy road during a rainstorm, would not crank, windows and gauges on dash intermittently worked as we waited for a tow -- towed to a shop, engine still won't crank. The local repair shop tech believes it is tsb: 01-047/06. Looking like a $1,200 bill coming (PCM, labor to troubleshoot and repair...and a new battery)..went to Mazda and they say the tsb helps a tech troubleshoot a problem.. my question is that if Mazda has had enough of these issues to write up a tsb then it must be a widespread issue caused by a Mazda design defect, so why is Mazda not backing it up and fixing for free as a recall or reimbursing if the fix is performed by an independent repair shop? (the part alone is ~$700)? need vehicle so having it fixed and will ask for the replaced part (powertrain control module - PCM).

- Coral Springs, FL, USA

problem #11

Sep 012008


  • 60,000 miles
My car was parked for two days when a fire started in the engine compartment. The fire started on the ABS module and burned the wire harness attached to the ABS module. I was able to put the fire out before the fire did major damage was done, however, I had to cover the deductible and insurance had to cover the rest of the cost. This car had been recalled for the ABS and I had taken it to the dealership when recalled. After service, I continued to receive recall notices, thought I was told there was nothing that needed to be serviced.

- Middle Village, NY, USA

problem #10

Nov 072006

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles
Clock/radio does not work until car is running up to 30 minutes or more. Dealer replaced entire unit which worked approx. 2 months before the issue re-appeared. Recently clock/radio has not worked for more than 1 week. The issue has been ongoing for more than 1 year with the dealer denying any electrical issue. As of today, vehicle at dealer again who now says it is an electrical issue.

- Bensalem, PA, USA

problem #9

Nov 252004

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
Intermittently while driving there was a screeching noise that sounded as if the ignition was re-engaging itself. The consumer took the vehicle to the dealership. The failure occurred in their presence: Also in acc mode, the vehicle started by itself. The dealership kept the vehicle for a week, performed diagnostic test, but no failure code was found they were unable to identify the cause of the failure. A week later the noise recurred but worse. The following day the starter burned out while attempting to the start vehicle. The vehicle was towed back to the dealership. The starter was replaced, but the vehicle is still at the dealership, because they indicated that the starter will burn out again unless they can find and fix the cause of the failure. A factory rep, . from the ca bureau of automotive repair is going to inspect the vehicle.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 162004

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
Our 2002 Mazda Tribute is currently going through a period of stalling, where total power is lost in the vehicle and the vehicle shuts off. Six months into owning the car, my wife took it in for a chip upgrade and this was supposed to solve the problem. Well, a month ago, it happened again. My wife had the vehicle scanned and it came up with nothing. Again, this morning, the vehicle stalled. It is unacceptable that a two year old car should have these problems, and no one can solve it! I am frustrated, and could use some guidance on where to go with my problem. My wife drives it daily for work, and I fear that it will kill out when she is doing 65 on the interstate. Help please.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #7

Jul 212003

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2002 Mazda Tribute V6 engine stalls while driving, can't control steering or brakes. This happened a few times 9 months ago, brought it to the dealership, they said the problem had been corrected by "reflashing the computer". now it has happened again. Although there have been no injuries so far, this could cause a very serious accident.

- Doylestown, PA, USA

problem #6

Jun 252003

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,700 miles
2002 Mazda Tribute 4X4 loss of brakes loss of steering had to stop by way of E-brake luckily no one was hurt notified from the dealer that there is a problem with the eprom on the main computer that needed to be reflashed. Also notified by dealer that they knew of this problem. I was never informed of this. This could have been a deadly accident that could be avoided by informing consumers to have repair done on vehicle. Do we have to wait for people to die before anything is done"??????"

- Keaau, HI, USA

problem #5

Apr 012003

Tribute 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,016 miles
On 7/31/02 my Tribute died while going down hill to a 4 way stop. At first I wasn't sure what to do, then I put my vehicle in park and tried to restart it. This was successful and I drove immediately to the dealer. I was given a rental for 2 days and when I went to pick it up was told that it could have been spider webs or something in the computer system area, so they cleaned out the vapor vent tubes. I was very nervous to be driving a car that could die in the middle of the road, I was just glad there was no accident. I thought that the problem was resolved until 4/01/03 when Tribute died while driving again. This time I was going uphill to a 4 way stop and was able to steer into a driving using all my force B/C the steering once again went out. Both times there was no warning, the dash lights were all on after it stalled. Once again I restarted my vehicle and drove immediately to the dealership where they reflashed PCM to latest calibrations, replaced the dpfe sensor, the mass air flow sensor and the idle air control valve. I am wondering if someone has to die before Mazda or the government will call a recall. If this is the case, both should be very ashamed for their lack of concern about the consumers.

- Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #4

Jan 132003

Tribute 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
2002 Mazda Tribute shuts off automatically while driving. Locking the steering wheel and giving you no control of the vehicle. It has been in for repair several times. I am working on a lemon law package now. Major safety issue. This has happened over 10 times in 10 months of leasing this vehicle.

- Crestview, FL, USA

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