Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

NHTSA — Interior Lighting Problems Seal Of This Might Hurt Notes: The Pontiac Vibe is the mechanical twin of the Toyota Matrix.

Both models were a joint GM-Toyota venture, manufactured together at a NUMMI production facility in Fremont, CA. Only the heating & A/C systems are different.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
4,475 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Pontiac Vibe accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Pontiac Vibe Owner Comments

problem #4

Jan 102004


  • 200 miles


An overly sensitive ambient light sensor turns on the headlights and dims the instrument cluster display on a bright sunshine day if the shadow from the A-pillar falls across the sensor. The dimming of the instrument cluster display leads to an inability to read the instruments on a bright sunshine day, thus creating a potential safety hazard. From my research on this problem, this seems to be a problem with both the 2003 Pontiac Vibe and its sister car, the 2003 Toyota matrix. Toyota has a tsb addressing the problem (EL007-02), GM does not have one for the Vibe.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #3

Aug 302003

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I own a 2003 Pontiac Vibe GT. There is a constant problem with the visibility of the instrument panel, during sunny times wearing sunglasses and during morning and evening hours when the light sensor turns on the headlights and dims the panel lights. I should not have to struggle to read readily available information such as speed! I can't avoid driving my car in certain lightning conditions.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #2

May 302006

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a Pontiac Vibe, purchased new in 2003. Shortly after purchase I noticed how difficult it was to read the red lighted instrument panel on sunny days. The speedometer numbers and odometer readings are sometimes washed out on sunny days. I recently took a four thousand mile trip through the southwest, and was very concerned over my inability at times to read how fast I was going on the speedometer, and how far I was from my destination due to the difficulty reading the odometer. Trying to read this information going at speeds up to 75 miles an hour was very nerve-wracking and dangerous. The service personnel at my local Pontiac dealer said there is nothing they can do to increase the lighting on the instrument panel, adding, nobody else has complained about this. I have seen, however on one website, several complaints about this troublesome dashboard design. I am currently stuck with the vehicle and am still making payments on it. It is a nice car, but Pontiac need to redesign this instrument panel before someone is seriously injured or killed. It is the most unusual, and unsatisfactory instrumentation I have seen on a car, and I have been driving for over 56 years. By the way, I pass my Illinois driver's license vision test without the need of glasses. Thanks for reading this. Sincerely:

- Lansing, IL, USA

problem #1

Jan 182006

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 17,700 miles
: the consumer stated the dashboard lights were not bright enough during bright sunny days. The gauges were digital and unable to be read. The dealership and manufacturer determined there was no repair available since this is how the vehicle was manufactured. Updated 2/28/2006 -

- Ringwood, NJ, USA

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