Mazda is adding a reinforcement crossbrace for added strength on the affected models. The recall covers Tributes currently registered in or originally sold in 20 northern states and Washington, DC, where road salt is used.
The reinforcement braces aren't available yet to do the repair. Mazda will send a letter in May to owners of affected vehicles that will inform them of the problem, and a second letter telling them when the parts will be ready. Scroll down to read the full recall press release.
Dear Mr. Robertson:
This letter serves to acknowledge Mazda North American Operations's notification to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of a safety recall which will be conducted pursuant to Federal law for the product(s) listed below. Please review the following information to ensure that it conforms to your records as this information is being made available to the public. If the information does not agree with your records, please contact us immediately to discuss your concerns.
Mfr's Report Date: April 4, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V-174
STRUCTURE:FRAME AND MEMBERS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 109,000
Mazda North American Operations (Mazda) is recalling certain model year 2001-2004 Tribute vehicles manufactured May 22, 2000, through December 19, 2003, originally sold, or currently registered in, 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. These vehicles may experience excessive corrosion at the forward attachment of the lower control arm.
A separation of the lower control arm can result in a significant loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.
Mazda will notify owners, and dealers will install a newly designed reinforcement cross-brace, free of charge. Parts are not currently available. Mazda expects to send an interim notification around May 19, 2014. When parts are available, owners will be mailed a second letter to come in to have the part installed. If customers bring their vehicles to a dealer before reinforcement crossbraces are available, dealers will inspect the subframe and either inform customers that the vehicle is safe to drive until the remedy parts are available or provide a rental vehicle until parts are available if an immediate repair is needed. Owners may contact Mazda at 1-800-222-5500. Mazda's number for this recall is 7514D.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.