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 — Engine Problems Seal Of Pretty Good 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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,361 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.

2009 Pontiac Vibe engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Pontiac Vibe Owner Comments

problem #11

Sep 282016


  • 154,000 miles


My 2009 Pontiac Vibe 2.4L engine had excessive oil burning and it went from bad to worse in a matter of days. I had it looked at and the piston rings were faulty, which then led to my engine seizing, and also my seat belt buckle which connects to the seat will not latch in the drivers side in the drivers chair and and also the drivers side passenger seat which is major safety hazard. My engine was maintained every 3000 miles with oil changes and it has 154,000 miles on it.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #10

Aug 142016


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the engine failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was approximately 128,000.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #9

Jun 152016


  • 55,000 miles
The check engine, stabilitrack, and vsc lights all came on at the same time. I have noticed several other postings on the internet about this problem. I have 55,000 miles on the vehicle.

- Greenville, IL, USA

problem #8

Feb 022016


  • 134,000 miles


Without warning oil consumption went from normal to over 1 quart per 1000 miles. This is a known defect whichtoyota notified its customers of, GM choose not to notify. This excessive consumption, not leaking resulted in a seized engine. GM is not accepting any responsibility and I believe they owe me either a full repair, or pre-event market value. While they originally offered to cover 2/3 of the repair they have backed away from that offer offering a $2500 customer loyalty on a purchase, both are unsatisfactory to me, as they were made aware of the problem and chose not to notify owners. Car with passenger was in the hoa lane when engine failed causing a 7 lane transition without power. Car was towed, no crash due to the experience of the driver.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #7

Oct 142015


  • miles
Excessive oil consumption with the 2.4 liter engine

- Utica, NY, USA

problem #6

Mar 152015


  • 61,474 miles
For the past year, the vehicle has exhibited excessive oil consumption requiring one quart of oil per every 1000 miles. Consumption is greater in the winter (closer to one quart every 800 miles). This vehicle is equipped with the 2.4 liter engine - the same as the Toyota matrix and corolla. Toyota has issued a warranty enhancement (ZE7) and tsb recognizing this defect - so far GM has not done anything. (I have been in contact with GM.) at a minimun, GM should match Toyota's actions. The estimated repair cost to replace the pistons/rings with a better design is >$4000.

- Bloomfield Township, MI, USA

problem #5

Sep 252013

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 77,497 miles


The dashboard warning lights came on. The lights did not provide enough warning time to allow my husband to pull off the interstate (and turn off the car) before the engine overheated and was destroyed because of a damaged water pump. The vehicle was serviced on the same day (transmission drain/fill and tire rotation) and there was no earlier warning that there was an issue with the water pump.

- Loveland, OH, USA

problem #4

Jul 162014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 30 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to restart. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Saint John , IN, USA

problem #3

Apr 152013

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Intermittent, but increasingly frequent engine stalls at highway speeds and slower speeds. Stalls may happen at cruising speed or when decelerating or accelerating. Occasionally, engine races or chokes. Usually requires turning the key to off and then restarting the engine in neutral or park. Similar problems as experienced by owners of 2005-08 Toyota matrix and Pontiac Vibes who had the ECM recalled. This ECM replaced under warranty on 6-3-14. Recall of 09 and newer models may be warranted to prevent dangerous crashes and rear-end accidents.

- Ferndale, MI, USA

problem #2

Feb 012014

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
The engine stopped at freeway speed. This was the sixth time that this happened over a period of about a year. Once off the freeway and stopped, the car does restart. I have taken it to a dealer, but they did not do an official inspection since there were no codes and the car was running fine. This was just after the car had dies on the freeway in December. That was about the fourth occurrence. They suggested cleaning the battery terminals which were a little corroded. I did this and installed a new battery. The stalling has happened twice since. I have been talking to GM customer service and their suggestion is that I pay to have diagnostics done at a dealership. This is a statement from their chat: However, we can see what assistance is available, however, given having over 100,000 miles does limit what we can do. Ok, so you're not allowing us an opportunity to look into this further. 12:32:34leaundre:I can document this concern in our system. The specialist will do nothing further unless I pay to have the diagnosis done on the car.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 072013


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning while driving 60 mph. The instrument panel lights illuminated after the failure occurred. The contact was able to coast onto the road shoulder, restart the engine and resume normally. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 89,000 and the current mileage was 90,200.

- Brookeville , MD, USA

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