Mazda Protege Rust Problems

icvciicvci Member Posts: 1,031
After noticing rust on my 2003 Mazda Protege 5 I did some searching and discovered that rust is really a problem on these cars. I think we need to have a place that everyone can voice their disgust.

On my car, the paint has completely eroded and there's bare metal in front of both rear wheels just above the lower trim. There's a dime-sized bubble on my roof. And I've got rust bubbling on the window frames on both the passenger and drivers side rear windows. (Those spots were visible summer of 2007.)

Mazda needs to do something about this, a car built in 2003 shouldn't be rusting away after 5 years.


  • zoom_oh_2002p5zoom_oh_2002p5 Member Posts: 17
    I had rust at 40,000 miles on my Protege5. Just behind the passenger side rear wheel well. The leading and narrow edge of the lower panel. I had a body shop do both sides at that location and touch up some rust on the rear door panels.
    At 60,000 miles I have rust on the passenger side above the panel that had rust before.
    I have rust developing at the seams above the wheel well in the engine compartment.

    I am very upset about this, because it could keep me from driving this engineering gem for 200,000 miles.

    Toyota Camry's have a chronic and premature rust problem in the same place, just behind the rear wheels where the body panels come together.

    Rust starts where the steel feathers to its thinnest edge anywhere in the car. Take the metal back so another part of the car has a thinner edge, and the rust will show up at the new location first.

    Toyota did a classic quality deployment study to actually set quality specs for rust.
    They did this by setting the specification for the thinnest dimension for steel on the lower part of the car. Look for areas in the sheet metal where the sheet metal is feathered to a knife edge and may have a ragged look. That's where the rust will usually start.

    With the winning design and technical ZOOM team at Mazda I hope this rust issue gets addressed quickly, and if there is a technical solution for those owners who are disappointed with the performance (rust) of the vehicles they currently own, I hope the owners will be notified by Mazda of the solution.

    There are specialized rust arrestors (not just a paint coverup) that actually convert rust to an inert compound and stop further rust. (Krylon-Duplicolor-"Rust Tough' -Sherwin-Williams). At one time I was marketing manager for Krylon Rust Tough from S-W, and handled marketing for Krylon and Duplicolor. You can find Duplicolor in most automotive departments and auto parts retailers. You can find Krylon in many parts stores as well as major hardware and building and lumber supply retailers.

    Find the detail shop who does the touch up detailing for your local car auctions and you will find a shop that knows what they are doing with this problem. I was very happy with the work done by my body shop. I have not had a recurrence of rust in the 40,000 mile repair.

    Good luck with the rust solution. I will continue to research and explore this issue, and report here what I end up doing with my second bout with rust, and with the rust problem on top of the wheel wells at the seams, in the engine compartment.

  • rminnjrminnj Member Posts: 2
    I just wanted to reply to this thread a year after to voice an angry ME TOO! Our
    2002 Protege5 started rusting at about 40000 miles in odd places with paint bubbles. Mazda would do nothing. Now with 100K miles on the car and years later it is rusting everywhere..

    - In front of both rear wheel wells (the side molding worn down the paint and the rust has eatenthe entire panel away....both sides.

    - The very top of both rear wheel wells...the paint has bubbled out and is eating vertically upward. Mazda says a stone must had it direectly there (both sides).

    - Where the rear bumper meets the rear wheel well. Again, Mazda says a stone must have done it.. (both sides).

    - Right under the word Protege 5 in the middle of the hatchback the rust has bubbled almost all the way up to the window.. Never a scratch or dent started under the word/eblem.

    -Under all 4 doors ..the weld seal of the door panel has failed and seperated and rust is visible.

    - Entire undercarriage of the car. The undercoating has failed and there is rust visible everywhere. Car is 6 years old and we're afraid the floor boards may give out.

    - All 4 alloy wheels..the paint on them bubbled/corroded up on all edges.

    Except for the bearings and suspension the car has been quite reliable. Too bad because any savings are negated because the body is beyond repair. It's like we purchased an old Honda or Fiat from the 1970's and there is no galvanized metal anywhere on the car.

    When I see those shiny new Mazdas and read the good reviews I get think that even all the new Mazda 3's will be rusting in the rear wheel wells in a few years. A real shame, the car has been reliable but we could never buy another one.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    I also am experiencing the bubbling of paint behind passenger door on leading edge of wheel well. I garage this car 75% of the year. (Vespas need Mazda side in summer). I wash it frequently. Myself. W Turtle Wax Auto Wash. I wax it 3x/year. I baby this car. I love this car. Have seen a silver 02/03 model in town w lots of rust on it. Reason I checked mine out. Has anyone had any luck w Mazda on this? It was not a cheap car. Stickered @ close to $20k w the options I got. I am hesitant to buy another one. :(
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    Got a song & dance from local dealer & regional rep about Mazda not being responsible for this on account of climate. I rephrased the response by saying "What you are telling me is that Mazda sells cars in markets that they are not built to handle?" No response. I like the CX7, but would not even look @ another Mazda if this is company policy. Caveat emptor, big time, I guess. I hope Mazda does check these boards out. My 02 Subaru has no rust on it. Had a bad head gasket @ 53k miles. Yes, out of warrany. Many others had this problem. After some wrangling, online w Cherry Hill NJ HQ, they decided to cover it. I inititally requested a 50/50 solution as the car did have 53k miles on it. They covered it all, @ a non Subie shop as we have no dealership in my city. Mazda, do the right thing. Cover these cars! :mad: Overall the car has been gr8. No other problems. A shame they have chosen this course of action (inaction!)
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    would not even look another Mazda if this is company policy. Caveat emptor
    I hear you.

    Actually I'm getting obsessed! As I walk by vehicles I glance at the state of the body and look for rust ... sure enough, I see other Proteges with the familiar pattern of rust around the rear wheel wells. This does not inspire confidence in the brand, especially if you know you have done everything reasonable to maintain the vehicle (e.g. rustproofing). I believe the problem partially involves the manufacturing process and partially customer relations. If auto manufacturers want to survive beyond the initial sale, they should recognize that they have a responsibility to their customers to maintain fair value in their investment.

    In a related vein, Mazda had announced earlier this summer a new painting process to reduce the impact on the environment. Let's hope Mazda is looking for other ways of improving their processes to respond to customer issues.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    It appears to me the only recourse I have will be to be brutally frank & honest when Consumer Reports sends me their annual product survey this year. I have up 2 this point raved about the car, but I will now have 2 B brutally honest about the substandard body on the car. Any other drivers of this marque who subscribe to Consumer Reports could do the same thing if they have experienced these same rust issues. A shame, as overall the car is, & has been, a joy to drive & is quite reliable. I fear Mazda has learned some of the plays out of the Detroit playbook. They should focus on what happened to Mopar & the General as a result & maybe reevaulate this stance? :sick:
  • zoomzoom21zoomzoom21 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Mazda Protege 5. The black rubber piece that covers the middle half of the back bumper needs replacing, it's rippled and turning gray instead of black.
    where do I obtain this piece? or can I? I've searched all over hte web for this "part" or "piece". Ca anyone help?
  • zoom_oh_2002p5zoom_oh_2002p5 Member Posts: 17
    My plate says Zoom Ohio
    My wife's plate say ZZ Miata

    We're Mazda nuts.

    I also have a 2002 MP5.
    The black rub strip wasn't factory original and if you remove it and clean up the bumper you will be fine.
    However, it is a stocked part at the dealership.
    You may be able to bring back the color with a tire treatment product like Armorall.
    Ask a counterman at Autozone or Advance.
    At this point in time, I'd suggest you remove it, clean up the bumper, and move on.

    I added my strip AFTER I took delivery.

    [email protected]
    Canton Ohio
    70k 2002
  • zoomzoom21zoomzoom21 Member Posts: 2
    I appreciate the info. I'll try that.
    I'll let ypu know.

    much thanks!
  • kschleickschleic Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2003 protege with a rust problem and the hood, roof, and trunk paint faded. The rust spot (paint bubble) is right on top of the wheel well. I, too, baby the car and keep it clean. When I went to the dealer, they treated me like a crook. They pretty much laughed in my face. I have driven mazdas all my life. Well, I just bought a toyota and I will not go back. :sick:
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    You did the right thing. If others also show their displeasure by purchasing other marques maybe they will become a little more customer focused. I would be hard pressed to buy another one. Probably a Subaru for me. I feel your pain. Good luck w your Toyota.
  • zoom_oh_2002p5zoom_oh_2002p5 Member Posts: 17
    Seems to me this might be an opportunity for a class action settlement.
    It is a consistent problem.
    Anyone know of any rust class actions that succeeded on other makes?
    The Toyota pickup had a rust problem with the frame that became a structural problem.
    Toyota gave trade ins on the the problem trucks and a good price on the replacement new truck.
    My brother in law was a victim of this rust.

    The problem with the Mazda Protege5 2002 and 2003 is in the same place as Hondas and Toyotas in the 90's rusted out.

    Best check is to look at a car you are looking to buy, a model that is 7 years old.

    We have had four Miatas, some 10 years old and never had the problem at this location.

    I believe some of the problem Protege5's were made in Thailand.

    Bruce Kennedy
    Canton Ohio
  • iamziamz Member Posts: 542
    "I believe some of the problem Protege5's were made in Thailand. "

    That is simply not true. They were built in Japan.

    I think you guys expect a little too much out of your cars. It is pretty normal for rust to be showing up on cars that are 7 or 8 eight years old in areas of the country where they dump profuse amounts of salt on the roads in the winters. I can tell you first hand that Honda has always had a problem with rust. Their cars show the same amount of rust and more than my P5. The leading edge of the hood on my VW was considerably rusted after 6 years. It is what it is.
  • kschleickschleic Member Posts: 5
    I have lived in MD all my life. I had a mazda 626 for 10 years. I had 285,000 miles on it. I had no rust or no paint fade. I have owned a Cavalier for 9 years. I drove it 240,000 milesI had no rust or paint fade. I have a 1995 dodge dakota. I have no rust on it. I take care of my vehicles.
  • iamziamz Member Posts: 542
    You've been very lucky then. What about all your other Mazdas (besides your 626)? How did they hold up? All my red cars started fading in about 3 years. My yellow P5 took about 7 years before it started showing paint fade. That's pretty good since it always sits outside.
  • iamziamz Member Posts: 542
    A friend here at work has a Chevy S10 that is one year older than my P5 and half as many miles. It has holes eaten through the rocker panels. If you like your cars pretty and rust free, DO NOT move to Minnesota. We just have different expectations, apparently, based on our experiences.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    My Protege 5 says "made in Japan". I shall take them @ their word on this.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    I guess I must have been pretty fortunate w my other cars then. I live on the west coast of MI, not more than 6 miles from Lake Michigan. We got lots & lots of snow. My '96 Taurus wagon never showed rust. My '94 Dodge Shadow never showed rust. Same for my '02 Outback. I keep them very clean & garaged 9 months out of the year. Get @ least 3 coats of wax each summer. Wash them myself w Turtle Wax Auto cleaner. 40k miles is too quick to rust. A shame, as otherwise the car is quite nice. It is a manufacturing defect plain & simple.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    Must be the great weather you get in MD. If Mazda or any manufacturer wants to sell a car in all 50 states those cars s/b engineered to withstand the weather in whatever market the car ends up in. This car was obviously not designed for our brutal winters, yet it was sold here by a MI dealer. Shame on Mazda. My Outback is a dream here, & rust free to boot.
  • devilishangeldevilishangel Member Posts: 1
    Hi everyone,
    I just wanted to post and say that I bought my Mazda Protege5 in July 2003, and have just started having rust problems in the last few months. Rust on the right rear door and my luck, the warranty ran out just right before we got in to see Mazda about all of this.
    Of course, you know Mazda says they have nothing to do with this, and with no warranty for sure no help.
    Well when we took it to 2 local car repairs, they said it was damaged sometime before I even bought the car, the panel inside the door wasn't affixed properly and the leaking caused the rusting. (the strip alongside the length of the car is also falling off at the rear)
    The damage, they said, was most likely caused at the dealer they got the car from or when they got the car to the dealership where I actually signed & bought.
    Of course, with this information, Mazda still will not budge. I'm really cheesed about this, and with seeing all of you having rust problems on 2003 Protege5's, it makes me mad. It might not be exactly the same situation in every case, but I think Mazda needs to be held accountable.
    My car was serviced by Mazda for awhile and then by independent service businesses, and has never been in an accident, which my insurance can verify.
    For anyone in a similar situation, it might be beneficial to take your car to a local shop and have them check it out and make sure it wasn't damaged like mine.
    I really do wonder if enough people make a case for a suit against them... :mad:
    Anyone who wants to do some more talking about this past this forum, you can email me at: [email protected]

  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    I bought my Mazda Protege5 in July 2003 ... 2 local car repairs ... said it was damaged sometime before ... the panel inside the door wasn't affixed properly and the leaking caused the rusting. (the strip alongside the length of the car is also falling off at the rear) The damage, they said, was most likely caused at the dealer ...

    Hmm, although this may be true, it would be difficult to prove six years after the fact. You may want to consider other options rather than taking on MazdaUSA as the rust will not stop in the meantime. For example, you may want to negotiate with the dealer a reduction in the cost of the repair. In my case, I had the rust on my 2002 P5 removed two years ago; the rear wheelwells and panels were repainted for about C$250 as part of a goodwill agreement with my dealership. Prior to this, I had received independent evaluations of the work required and therefore knew the costs would easily be twice those proposed by the dealership, so I went along with the agreement. Not ideal but this may be better than fighting windmills (with apologies to Cervantes).

    p.s. my repairs have held back the rust for the most part, but it's just a matter of time before it re-emerges; I am counting on another 2 to 3 years before moving onto my next vehicle.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Unless you have perforation of the panel, it is not covered under Mazda warranty. This is the norm, not the exception for rust warranty for majority of auto manufacturers.

    So, anyone have an actual hole thru a panel?
  • zoom_oh_2002p5zoom_oh_2002p5 Member Posts: 17
    Thank you moparbad, very valuable comment for this discussion.
    The dealers should be more articulate at presenting this case.
    Perferation and industry norm was not mentioned in three meetings with the dealer and/or factory rep.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Have surface rust on lower rocker at seam on both sides of car and also in the rear wheel wells on inner surface. Will find out this week the cost to repair the problem areas.
    Only 62K on my 03 and the finish is in great condition except for the areas mentioned above. Car has been garaged since new.
    Well, not much I can do living in the "rust belt" with so much salt used in the winter.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    I saw an 03 this weekend @ local superstore. Had the same kind of rust you describe. Good luck. It was silver. I also saw a newer 626 w rust on the passenger side rear wheel well. I had not noticed this problem on the 626. The car, however, did not look as if it had been well maintained. Dents, dirty glass, very dirty & the driver, w/o resorting to any type of stereotypes, did not look as if he/she was really into maintaining cars. Sorry, I hate stereotypes, too, but Click & Clack would have called her "Dawna". Still love my Protege 5, just put new Generals on all 4(s), but wish they would/could do something about the rust issue. Balance of car is great. I would settle for a 50/50 or even 60/40 repair compromise.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Member Posts: 2,345
    I simply can't believe the number of severely rusted Mazdas I have seen in the last 3 years. A friend's cancer broke out only after 4 years of ownership of her 02 or 03 Protege 5, but I see it on all Proteges.

    So my question is: (assuming Mazda has surely addressed this issue by now??)

    What year was this finally addressed? Did they do it with a thicker coat of hot galvanizing? Or maybe they foolishly weren't using hot galvanizing?
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    edited August 2010
    You are right rust is an issue for the 2002 and 2003 Proteges. Mine started appearing after the third year. I took some preventative maintenance (annual rust proofing) and repair (had rust removed from wheelwells in 2005). Now, over eight years old, my P5 looks very good and should last another couple of years (fingers crossed).

    Since the Mazda3 replaced the Proteges starting in 2004 the problem may be occurring there. I see you posted the question on the Mazda3 forum which is a good idea.

    By "hot galvanizing" I suppose you are referring to hot-dip galvanizing. I would imagine they do use the process but frankly, I've never found a reference to it in the Mazda manual or brochures, so it would be interesting to hear one way or the other.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Member Posts: 2,345
    I think I have seen a newer than 04 rusted P3. Trying to figure out the year they got on top of this.
    Looks like this thread is not too active though it seems, so I guess Mazda owners are a complacent bunch? lol

    Thanks for your reply.
  • kschleickschleic Member Posts: 5
    It is not that we are not active, it is Mazda will not do anything to relieve our loss. I will not buy another Mazda and I will keep driving the one I have, so people can see the rust on the car. Also, if they ever ask me, I will do my best to let them know that Mazda does not back up their cars, once they are bought.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Member Posts: 2,345
    I feel badly for you all. But I agree with your strategy. I did the same with Ford many years ago. I am a huge advocate of boycott by the little guy. Enough little guy boycotts with long-lasting conviction, I have to believe forces a mfgr to pay heed and eventually do the right thing.

    With my situation with Ford it was not complicated. It was a cut and dried scene in which they called my bluff of a lifetime boycott and they were totally out of line. It wasn't even a grey area call, so I lost permanent lifetime respect for them as a brand, a name, and a family. I have been burned by Ford, GM, Honda, and VW. I personally know many who have been burned by Chrysler. I have had Subaru, Toyota and Nissan all do the right thing. I guess they were born with a conscience.

    I have found in most situations, it is not a grey area. Either the car co does the correct and proper thing or they stonewall and cause you to become so frustrated they hope (and it is their plan all along) that you simply give up.

    I think it is extremely important that victims write a registered letter to the head of a co and inform them that their stonewalling cost them a customer for LIFE. And don't waiver from that. Furthermore, when you go to buy your next car, confirm who owns who so that you aren't still supporting their thieving butts only under a different nameplate.

    I absolutely loved that you spread the word of unfair treatment. I do the same if the opportunity presents itself.
  • icvciicvci Member Posts: 1,031
    My P5 was rusting pretty badly for a 6 year old vehicle. Especially considering my wife's CR-V has absolutely no signs of rust in basically the same conditions.

    However, my P5 was totalled last Feb and the problem ceased to be a problem for me :(

    I bought a 2007 Mazda 5 with the payoff from the insurance co. It started to show rust too though. I had 2-3 dime sized bubbly-rusty patches on the roof, rust around the wheel wells and some pin-sized marks on the sides. And then I was rear-ended and that car was totaled a month ago.

    I bought an Accord with the cash and won't look at a Mazda until they figure out how to use water-based paints.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    Wow. Are you ok? Two cars totaled! I keep hoping my P5 will meet some kind of early demise, but no luck. My 02 Subie Outback has no rust on it. My friend's MPV, 02 model, also has beaucoup rust on it. Silver in color. I am also leery of Mazdas now, too. A shame as besides the body rusting issues I really do enjoy the cars. Taut ride, fun to drive, well designed. Rust, however, should not be an issue now. Most cars do not rust out so quickly. They do nothing for us, either. I got a quote to fix it: $900. The car may be worth $5k. Hardly worth it now. Good luck.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    Subie did right by me, too. At 51k miles I had a bad head gasket. Turns out many Subies, 02 model year, had same problem. Outback, 2.5 engine. No dealer here in town, so took it to a good garage. $1300 later all better. Subie sent me a check for the whole thang. I would have settled for 50%. I bought car off lease. I will definitely look @ another Subie, but will have reservations about another Mazda, to be sure!
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    I think I have seen a newer than 04 rusted P3.
    Did you mean a Mazda3? The last model year of the P5 was 2003.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    At local Lowe's store I saw an 04 Mazda 3 w rust, same places that it occurs w 02 & 03 Protege 5(s). I know it was an 04, as I asked the driver when he exited said vehicle. He said he bought it used. He did not seem nearly as perplexed as I am about it. Mine is really looking terrible on drivers' side rear wheel well. I am livid about it. Mazda needs to own up to this. Otherwise car is grand. Never had a sweeter engine or tranny in car. I am contemplating doing some emergency surgery on mine myself this summer if time. Will look better than it does now. Serious misgivings about another Mazda, believe you me.
  • zoom_oh_2002p5zoom_oh_2002p5 Member Posts: 17
    My P5 2002 was last production run before the 2003. I ghave 75,000 miles. Rust on both sides over rear wheels. Rust beginning below the front doors. I had some bodywork done two years ago. I'll probably get it done again. I feel the same way about the engine and tranny. I love every minute behind the wheel. Nothing comes close to the fun of driving the M3/P5. Mazda let their users down, no doubt. I talked to a factory rep about my rust at 36,000 miles. He reneged on a promise to split rust repairs 3 ways, me, dealer, and Mazda. I walked from the 50/50 deal the dealer offered because "his" body shop priced double what I could get somewhere else. Somewhere else did an excellent job that lasted two years. Some of the old rust came back, but lots of new stuff developed. I've been off car payments for four years. I figure it is worth fixing up cosmetically for such a great car. I'm in Ohio. Maybe someone in the sun belt has had better luck with their M3/P5 Mazda.
  • elyarne7elyarne7 Member Posts: 1
    I'm so relieved to hear all this. I have an 03 Protege that the rust started on last fall. This winter was really bad (I keep it in the garage all year long) and so the rust is now on the rear wheel wels, the botton of the front doors and starting on the rocker panels, as well as the partitions between the two panes of glass in both rear door windows. Mileage is 94,000 and I would love to keep driving it til 150,000 at least (it's alot of fun to drive) but I'm afraid it wont last that long.
    I've also had brake problems, rotors, sway bar links, calipers, etc etc replaced so it seems to be a money pit. It's a shame, but I won't ever buy another Mazda.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    had brake problems, rotors, sway bar links, calipers, etc etc replaced
    Could you provide more details about the problems? For example, did you replace the rotors? At what point (XX miles, XX years)? Do you think this is more than normal wear and tear?
  • carhunter2011carhunter2011 Member Posts: 4
    edited June 2011
    I've had the rotors replaced twice - I'm at 103K for a 2003 Mazda Protege5.
    I am starting to get the same rust in the rear wheel wells. If I just spray wd-40 in there, will that stop it? I also agree with one of the previous posters in that I have had the car for a long time, and I like not having a payment (going on 4 years since the 5 year financing finished up) but I will not buy a Mazda again. No way.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    Good luck w the WD40. If it works, let me know. I may try it, too! We only have 53k on our '02! It still runs very well & is fun to drive. It has also been paid off for a very long time. Used car prices are horribly high here. I am toying w having the rust fixed & keeping the car for a very long time. They have been t--ds on the rust issue, however. That in and of itself would probably preclude us from another Mazda. My Subie of the same year has no rust whatsoever. Best of luck.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    edited June 2011
    103K for a 2003 Mazda Protege5 ... rotors replaced twice
    I'm assuming that is 103K miles (or roughly 170K kilometres). To me, that does not sound bad although I am sure there are people out there that will say they have much better durability. Brakes are maintenance items; for example, they need to be cleaned regularly to extend their life.

    starting to get the same rust in the rear wheel wells. If I just spray wd-40 in there, will that stop it?
    I feel your pain but I'd be very surprised if WD-40 works effectively to inhibit rust on automobiles. As far as I know, the best rust prevention method is to have a rust inhibitor applied as early as possible to the vehicle and then to regularly (i.e. annually) have it inspected and reapplied as necessary. In my 2002 Protege5, I held back the rust by the annual application of the Krown from its first year. The car still looks good after 10 years. Honestly, there is rust on the car but it has been held in check to the point that it has not affected its mechanics or looks. I learned this the hard way on my previous car (a Toyota) which became a rust bucket after about 6 or 7 years.
  • wedge837wedge837 Member Posts: 1
    Ugh... my dad's (now mine) 2002 Protege 5 started rusting around 40,000 miles which come on, is ridiculous. Wrote several letters to the head of Mazda USA who ignored the problem. Oh, and he is a Ford retiree so he was even more po'ed at how Mazda handled the situation.

    The rear fender area near the wheels was rusted through to the point of having holes, which was covered in the warranty, and they refused to fix it. I am now buying my first new car and as much as I would LOVE a new Mazda 3, I am settling for a 2012 Ford focus hatch instead. I refuse to ever buy another Mazda because of how poorly they handled the rusting that was a result of a defect, not "outside conditions" as they called it. My protege 5 is SO fun to drive, I am really going to miss it... but now the rear brakes are shot, crack in the frame, hole in the rusted gas tank. So sad.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    They have not taken this issue seriously @ all. I feel your pain. I love most aspects of the car. It was expensive. I expected more from a car that listed @ close to $20k. I paid less on account of a cousin who worked for the Blue Oval @ the time. I am putting Mazda @ the very bottom of my list for future car purchases. They have dropped the ball on this one. Big time. We got all the options available @ the time, except the self dimming mirror. Bought it new. Very disappointing. I hope others read these posts. I wish Mazda would, too.
  • djsherribdjsherrib Member Posts: 2
    no matter how you say it.... no car should show any signs of rust anywhere after only 40,000 on it.... the car business is the biggest scam (I work in it I know) besides the medical field (cancer etc.) very sad this world... greed! :)
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    Have been on the lookout for more 02-03 MP5s w rust & each & everyone of them has the same rust pattern over the rear wheels and where the bumper meets the sheet metal. Otherwise good cars. Still on the road, being driven regularly. I have noticed this w all colors, too. Mazda, you should be ashamed of yourself. My wife says she will not even consider another Mazda, and we will probably be in the market soon. My 02 Subie has zero rust on it!
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    edited August 2011
    02-03 MP5s w rust & each & everyone of them has the same rust pattern over the rear wheels and where the bumper meets the sheet metal. Otherwise good cars.

    My 2002 Protege5 had rust in the places you note. In 2005 I had the rust removed and the affected areas repainted but not surprisingly the rust returned every subsequent year, so it was an ongoing battle. However, when I passed on the car this year to my nephew it actually did not look bad considering its age. My Corolla had a similar rust issue.

    My 02 Subie has zero rust on it!
    Kudos to Subaru!
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Member Posts: 168
    I have a '95 Protege LX. I bought it new in March '96. It has 230K+ miles. I have driven it hard with frequent 4x8 utility trailer pulling (firewood, ATV) and gravel/dirt road use. It has also been outside every day for 16 years. I do all of my own maintenance, and it was washed and waxed frequently during the first 10 years but maybe once or twice a year, as of late.

    Just in the last year I have had some rust spots popping the paint up on the rear fender wells. I noticed it several years ago, but it wasn't as obvious. I will take care of it myself, and I really don't fault Mazda that much considering the age of the car. This seems to be a weak spot with Honda sedans too.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    in the last year I have had some rust spots popping the paint up ... I really don't fault Mazda that much considering the age of the car.
    For a 16 year old car that is impressive.
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    If it's not broken, fix it. New Mazda ad campaign. Hello! Once it is out of warranty and it rusts away to nothing turn your back on the customer who shelled out $19k on the thing. Very ironic. We build Mazdas: See what drives us. Obviously chasing the quick buck and not providing any customer service once the warranty is over drives you. My last Mazda. Nice ad. Just walk the walk, too, sinverguenzas!
  • 02mazda02mazda Member Posts: 34
    You were fortunate. My Mazda started rusting at year 5. Not 16. It is garage kept, waxed 3x a year/at least. Washed in the winter. Only 55k miles on it. Now. Good on you, mate.
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