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NHTSA — Vehicle Speed Control Problems 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,034 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.

2005 Pontiac Vibe engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Pontiac Vibe Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 172011

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 69,000 miles


Engine would not return to normal idle speed while driving. When placed in park or neutral, engine would idle at approximately 4000 RPM. Engine speed in gear was approximately 2000 RPM at a full stop. The accelerator appeared to function normally other than the high idle issue. The accelerator pedal was checked for obstructions, or any other issues that would hold it in a partially depressed position. None were found, and the pedal was unable to be raised more than it's resting position. The throttle body was inspected, and appeared to function normally. With the key in the "off" position, the throttle plate could be manipulated through it's entire range of motion by hand. A generic scan tool was attached with the key in the on position, engine not running. The vehicle showed no stored or pending codes. "absolute throttle position" read 20% without the accelerator depressed, and went up to 80% upon fully depressing the accelerator. A throttle learn was attempted. (with the key on/engine off, the accelerator was fully depressed for 5S, then the key turned off, then the accelerator released.) the throttle learn did not effect the behavior. The accelerator pedal position sensor was inspected for loose wiring; none was found. The throttle position sensor was lightly tapped approximately six times toward the centerline of the vehicle with a flashlight. Upon this action, "normal" throttle response returned. The suspect accelerator position sensor is still installed on the vehicle.

- Waterloo, IA, USA

problem #6

Feb 022010


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that at a stop light the vehicle accelerated while he was applying the brakes. The contact stated that his foot hit the throttle sensor when the brakes were applied because it sticks out from the accelerator towards the brake pedal. The owner was involved in a crash approximately 25 mph when the vehicle accelerated on it's own. He was taken to the hospital with 3 disc injuries to his back and also a broken bone in his lower back. The police responded to the scene and a police report was filed. The vehicle was damaged but it can be repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 96,000. The current mileage was 112,000.

- Goodwater, AL, USA

problem #5

Sep 012009

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. The contact was driving approximately 2 mph into his garage. The vehicle increased acceleration without warning. The vehicle was able to stop with force applied to the brake pedal. The identical failure occurred on a separate occasion while braking for a stop light. The failure mileage was 28,000. The current mileage was 30,000. Updated 04/20/2010. Updated 09/16/10

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #4

Jul 122008


  • miles


I put my cruise control on and got my speed up to 71 mph, pressed set and the next thing I know the car was going over 75 mph. Another time I had to brake and then pressed resume. My car should have went back up to 71 mph; instead was over 75mph. When using my cruise control, I have experienced at least four episodes of my car accelerating higher than what I set the cruise at. In the summer of 2008 I was using my cruise control more often, traveling home from college 1-2 weekends/month.... during that time I recall 3 episodes. The others occurred before. To stop the acceleration of the car with cruise on I would brake, but that did not always work, so I would turn the cruise off and brake. Turning cruise off and braking seemed to slow car down.

- Marcellus, NY, USA

problem #3

Feb 102008

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that in 2009, her vehicle suddenly accelerated and she almost crashed into a building. She had to depress the brake pedal with both feet to stop the vehicle. The failure occurred three times since 2008. The vehicle suddenly began to accelerate while she was in the driveway; however, she was able to engage the brake pedal and shut the engine off. She took the vehicle to the dealer in 2008 and was not informed what caused the failure. She has not called the manufacturer to-date. The current mileage is approximately 32750 the failure mileage was approximately 24,000 updated 03/19/2010. Updated evoq 05/28/10. Updated 09/02/10

- Bantam, CT, USA

problem #2

Jun 182008


  • 14,088 miles
I have owned my 2005 Pontiac Vibe (auto transmission)for 3+ years. During this time period, on 4 separate occasions, I have experienced a problem with the vehicle speed control similar to those of other consumers (see complaint # 10117784 for 2005 Vibe & #10207504 for 2006 Vibe). While applying the brakes and almost at a complete stop, the engine speed (RPM) of the vehicle suddenly and unexpectedly accelerated causing the car to lurch forward. This problem has occurred twice while I was stopping at a 4-way stop intersection and twice as I was entering my garage. Had I not shifted into park immediately during the garage incident that occurred yesterday, I believe I would have struck the back wall of the garage. If there had been cars proceeding through the intersection of the 4-way stop, I believe I would have had an accident. Initially, for the first 3 instances, I believed that since I wear a wide shoe that my foot may have pressed on both the brake and accelerator pedal at the same time. However, since the incident that occurred at the 4-way stop intersection about 7 months ago I have been extra cautious while braking, making sure my right foot only presses on the brake pedal while stopping. Since I experienced the problem again yesterday and knowing that I only pressed on the brake pedal, I believe that there is some other problem going on here with the engine/engine throttle system. It will undoubtedly be a difficult problem to diagnose since it is intermittent in nature. However, I believe it is a potentially serious problem with serious consequences to consumers. I will be taking my vehicle to my GM dealer service department next week for a complete vehicle inspection, but my gut feeling is that this is a "hidden" design problem that might not easily be found.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 122004

Vibe 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150 miles
While applying the brakes to stop vehicle suddenly and unexpectedly accelerated and lurched forward. Consumer had to slam on the brakes to get the vehicle to stop. Vehicle was taken to the dealer, who could not locate the cause of the problem.

- Rochester, NY, USA

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