2001-'04 Mazda Tribute Recalled for Rust, Steering Problem | Edmunds

2001-'04 Mazda Tribute Recalled for Rust, Steering Problem


Just the Facts:
  • Mazda North American Operations is recalling 109,000 2001-'04 Mazda Tribute SUVs because a rust problem may cause the lower control arm to separate, potentially resulting in a significant loss of steering control.
  • Dealers will install a new reinforcement crossbrace on the affected Tributes.
  • Parts are not available at this point.

WASHINGTON Mazda North American Operations is recalling 109,000 2001-'04 Mazda Tribute SUVs because a rust problem may cause the lower control arm to separate, potentially resulting in a significant loss of steering control, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"These vehicles may experience excessive corrosion at the forward attachment of the lower control arm," said NHTSA in a summary of the problem. "A separation of the lower control arm can result in a significant loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash."

The Tribute recall is related to a similar recall of the 2001-'04 Ford Escape. The Escape and the Tribute are built on the same platform.

Mazda did not respond immediately to a query from Edmunds asking if there are any injuries, crashes or fatalities linked to the Tribute recall. Ford said it is aware of one crash that may be related to the problem.

The affected Tributes were built from May 22, 2000 through December 19, 2003. They were originally sold or currently registered in so-called "salt belt" states in the Midwest and Northeast.

Mazda dealers will install a new reinforcement crossbrace on the affected Tributes. But parts are not available at this point and no date has been set for the recall.

Mazda said it expects to send an interim notification to owners around May 19. When parts are available, a second letter will be sent to owners, telling them to bring the vehicle in to have the part installed. Owners can contact Mazda at 1-800-222-5500.

Edmunds says: Mazda dealers are ready now to inspect the affected Tributes and either inform customers that the vehicle is safe to drive until the parts are available or provide a rental vehicle if an immediate repair is needed.

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