Mazda Follows in the Latest Motor Vehicle Recall

On April 21, 2014, Mazda announced a recall of more than 109,000 Tributes from the 2001-2004 model years. This voluntary recall addresses a potential steering issue caused by rust collection, particularly in cold-weather states. No injuries or accidents have been reported as a result of this issue.

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall affects only Tribute SUVs from the aforementioned model years that were sold or registered in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. Although consumer advocates often criticize “regional recalls,” the NHTSA maintains that they are safe and effective.

The road salt that is typically used for ice and snow safety in those states can cause parts of the vehicle’s suspension to become corroded. If one part, called the lower control arm, becomes damaged, a dangerous loss of steering control could occur.

Mazda will begin notifying affected customers by mail in early May. In the meantime, if you believe your 2001-2004 Mazda Tribute is affected by this recall, visit your local dealer. Though replacement parts are not currently available, the manufacturer will cover the cost of a rental car until such time that the new brace can be installed.

Last month, 386,000 Ford Escape SUVs built at the same plant as Tributes were recalled for the same issue. In addition, this is the second recall for Mazda in just a few weeks–42,000 Mazda6 sedans from the 2010-12 model years were recalled in early April for recurrent yellow sac spider infestation.

Although the recall is voluntary, federal law requires automakers to alert the NHTSA of an action plan within five days of learning about a potential safety issue, even if no accidents have occurred.

Concerned customers can contact Mazda directly at 1-800-222-5500. Reference recall number 7514D. You can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, or access more information online at