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NHTSA — Vehicle Speed Control Problems

2009 Pontiac Vibe (Page 1 of 2) 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:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,689 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Jul 062016


  • 51,000 miles


Sometimes when accelerating, it's slow to move, then a sudden jerk happens if I put pressure on the gas pedal. This happens when driving at lower speeds, I can be entering my garage or accelerating after a stop light or sign. Can be scary when it jerks during acceleration. The steering column is beginning to rattle and shake at about 45 miles sometime at lower speeds as well, a very rough ride on smooth pavement, feels like it's falling apart. The third issue has to do with the airbag indicator light staying on in both drivers and passenger sides while driving. When I went to dealer for an appointment it didn't happen but getting a diagnostic tomorrow for that. Bought the car used last year with about 37,000 miles, always serviced at the dealer where I purchased it. I now have a little over 53,000 miles on it at this time, just local diving.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #30

May 222015


  • 86,392 miles
Leaving a stop light in alpena Michigan, the gas pedal began to go down and sped up the car by itself. I immediately turned off the key and let it slow down. Then turned the key on and it sped up by itself again!. this time I put it in neutral and the engine sped up rapidly to 4 to 5 thousand RPM. Once again I turned off the key and then on again and it seemed normal after that. The cruise control was off. The only thing that would cause this type of defect is a faulty cruise control!! no, the floor mat was not involved!! I purchased this auto from schafer Chevy of pinnconing Michigan on 1/22/15. I feel these cars should be recalled immediately, as to how dangerous they really are. If my wife had been driving this car, I am sure she would have panicked and I hate to think of the result!!. I am stuck with this car, and will be the only driver since I know what to do if it happens again. I refuse to sell to someone else. With ABS braking, they will not stop regardless how hard you push, therefore I have disconnected the ABS system. I am from the old school and know how to "pump" my own brakes. I sure hope you people would do something, instead of passing the buck and blaming something else! but as usual, I don't expect anything speedy from our so called government.

- Comins, MI, USA

problem #29

Feb 272015

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I was driving home from work this evening, which is about 25 minutes away from home, when my vsc, engine, and battery light came on. I was at a red light and was going to pull into to a grocery store lot. My car would not go into gear. I tried several times with no result. I was stuck in the turning lane of the intersection. I shut off the car and restarted it. I was able to turn into the parking lot and went around to turn back to my work parking lot, as soon as I stopped for a couple seconds, the car would not go into gear once again. I had to leave it in the lot overnight. When my friend came to tow it, he was able to put the car into gear with no issue. He took it to a local auto parts store and they ran the diagnostic codes. The codes stated that it was the transmission solenoid. I had that changed out and then on the day I got it back, the battery light came on, it would come on and then go off. On the way home after running errands, the light came back on, when I parked the car at home, the light was on. I turned the car off and tried to restart it and nothing. I let it set for a few minutes and tried to restart it. It started back up, I checked the alternator belt to make certain it did not come off, and shut off the car again. I tried to restart it and nothing.

- Fairmont, WV, USA

problem #28

Apr 172012


  • miles


The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. While driving various speeds, the accelerator pedal was depressed and the vehicle accelerated excessively. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The technician repaired the vehicle under NHTSA campaign numbers: 10V024000 (vehicle speed control) and 10V018000 (vehicle speed control); however, the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to multiple independent mechanics, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 5/29/15

- Lapeer, MI, USA

problem #27

Sep 262014

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
My 2009 Pontiac Vibe base 1.4L has serious manufacturer's defect steering issues that make it feel very unsafe to drive. At low speeds there is a rattle that comes from the steering motor and intermediate shaft (2 separate issues which are expensive to fix and no longer covered under warranty) which makes the car feel like it's broken and falling apart. At highway speeds the steering is unpredictable, it overcorrects and fishtails back and forth. This car feels like a death trap, I completely regret my purchase and feel as though it is unsafe for the long term. These issues are directly related to the Toyota matrix as they were made in the same plant with the same parts.

- Ypsilanti, MI, USA

problem #26

Jan 012013


  • 20,000 miles
Various lights come on in the dashboard, I forget now exactly which lights, but I think it was the ABS light, the vsc light, and the traction control light. This happens only for a few minutes in a month or so. When it happens, the abc, vsc, and traction control do not work (I tested it in a snowy parking lot). I went to salentine Pontiac a couple years ago, and they said that since it is so intermittent, they are not really likely to be able to find the source of the problem, nor know if they would have fixed it. I contacted Pontiac via E-mail and phone, and was told they have no idea what the problem is, and have never even heard of such a thing. Looking on the internet, I found several other people with the same problem. Now I see there is a recall involving exactly this issue, but it is apparently only for the Pontiac G6. It seems unlikely that the Vibe problem is not related. I would hate to see G.M. go broke, but the things they have been doing are unconscionable.

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #25

Jan 022013

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 18,000 miles


Periodically (once or twice per month) the anti-lock brakes, traction control, and vehicle stability control will stop working for a few minutes. When it happens, the warning lights all go on. I tested the function in a slippery parking lot, so know the various features stop working when these lights go on. I looked in the internet and found several people have the same issue. They have been told it is everything from a bad gas cap to a connector on the brake sensor to a cracked computer circuit board. I asked my dealer at the time about it, and they said realistically if it only happens for a couple minutes and then might not happen for a month, they don't know what's causing it nor even if they would have fixed it. I called Pontiac and they said they never heard of the problem and told me to take it to a dealer and let them look at it. I don't want to run up hundreds or even a thousand dollars looking for a problem that only occurs a few times per year. But if several people on the internet have the same problem, I think it should be addressed. It obviously is a safety problem when brakes and vsc don't work properly, even for a minute or so per month. The dealer where I purchased the car (salentine) went out of business. I mentioned the problem to the dealer I now visit ([xxx])and they say they have not heard of the problem. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- New Berlin, WI, USA

problem #24

May 062013

Vibe 4WD 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 Pontiac Vibe. Consumer writes in regards to potential floor mat interference with accelerator pedal and power window master switch recall notices. The consumer stated she attempted to get the recall resolved on two separate occasions, only to be informed, the parts were not available.

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #23

Feb 272012


  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that while at a complete stop, the RPM increased and the vehicle erroneously accelerated while the brake was being depressed. The vehicle crashed into curb and into a concrete barrier. There were no injuries. The contact stated that the failure recurred approximately four times and was taken to the dealer three times where the accelerator pedal was replaced each time. The manufacturer was notified who stated they will have a representative call the contact within the next couple of days. The failure mileage was 29,000 and the current mileage was 34,500.

- Lockport, NY, USA

problem #22

Apr 142012

Vibe 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,500 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph, the vehicle unexpectedly accelerated when she removed her foot from the accelerator pedal. The contact was able to slow the vehicle down by shifting into neutral. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and they were unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 33,500. Updated 5/16/12 the dealer was unable to find anything wrong. Updated 05/23/12

- Burke , VA, USA

problem #21

Jan 252012

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 21,105 miles


I own a 2009 Vibe. Recall has been completed re: Sudden acceleration. They removed drivers floor mat over a year ago. I had first episode today. Fortunately it was at about 10mph. When I engaged the brake the engine revved and the brake pulsated like the anti-lock feature had been activated. The engine revved for 3 to 4 seconds the car accelerated. When the engine revving stopped the brake engaged properly and the car stopped. Fortunately I was on a street where the speed limit was 25 mph and I had coasted down to about 10-15 mph approaching the stop sign. Had this been a high speed or emergency stop the results could have been deadly. Please contact me about this as this vehicle is not safe to drive. I will also be contacting the NHTSA. The above is a copy of information I sent to General Motors via their Pontiac web site.

- Tarboro, NC, USA

problem #20

Mar 092010


  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, an unexpected increase in the acceleration occurred without warning. The contact engaged the brake pedal; however the vehicle failed to stop and crashed into the rear of another vehicle. In addition, the air bags did not deploy. There were no personal injuries. A police report was filed in regards to the incident. The vehicle sustained severe damages and was towed to an authorized dealer for body repair. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of failure. Also, the vehicle was repaired for two recalls associated with NHTSA campaign id numbers 10V018000 (vehicle speed control: Accelerator pedal) and 10V024000 (vehicle speed control: Accelerator pedal). After the recall remedy repairs were performed, the unintended acceleration malfunction recurred on two different occasions. The vehicle was taken back to a dealer where they could not diagnose the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Herminie, PA, USA

problem #19

Jul 092010


  • 29,630 miles
My fiance… and I have experienced the sudden acceleration problem in her 2009 Pontiac Vibe both before and after the factory retrofit a shim in the throttle. Both times we were going slowly (<20 mph) as we approached a stop sign and releasing pressure on the throttle did not cause the engine to slow. Each time the problem persisted for 2-3 seconds. Case I: clear day in February 2010 with good road conditions on level ground. The engine did not throttle back when linda took her foot off the gas and put it on the brake. For perhaps 2 seconds the engine raced. I had time to look at the tachometer and saw it was about 2500 RPM, with the gas pedal released and her foot firmly on the brake. Perhaps two seconds after she released pressure from the gas pedal and applied the brake, the RPM dropped and the car came to a speedy halt. This pushed the car about 3 feet past the white intersection demarcation line before it stopped. The day before this happened, linda and I had removed the driver side floor mat. Linda promptly took the car to her dealer and had the warranty repair to the throttle mechanism completed within a few days. Case II: Friday July 9, 2010, was a clear day in July, much warmer, with excellent road conditions on a newly paved road. This time the transmission did not "gear down" as one would expect under normal operation, which I believe, kept the engine from racing. Again as in the first case, for perhaps 2-3 seconds after linda had taken her foot off the gas and applied the brake, the vehicle resisted her attempt to make it slow smoothly. Then the engine sound diminished suddenly, as the transmission executed a "hard shift" down and the vehicle came to a controlled stop, also several feet past the intersection demarcation line, but not really out into the intersection. Last week, Pontiac replaced the throttle assembly.

- Algonquin, IL, USA

problem #18

May 242010


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated while entering a parking space and depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The vehicle jumped a curb and crashed into a concrete telephone pole yet the driver was not injured. The vehicle sustained extensive front end damage and the police responded to the scene where a police report was filed accordingly. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop and the contacts insurance company had not yet confirmed if the vehicle was repairable. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was approximately 30,000.

- Espillfork, AL, USA

problem #17

Apr 282010


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. While attempting to shift into the drive gear the vehicle suddenly accelerated without warning, causing the contact to crash into a nearby pole. The contact suffered minor injuries yet a police report was not filed for the incident. The vehicle was not diagnosed and there were no prior warnings. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were 30,000.

- Niangua, MO, USA

problem #16

Apr 202010


  • 18,500 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. The contact was driving 2 mph when he applied the brakes and the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact was forced to drive the vehicle off of the road in order to slow it down. He shifted the vehicle into park and was able to stop the vehicle from accelerating. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. The dealer called the manufacturer who stated that they would send an investigator to inspect the vehicle; the investigator had not inspected the vehicle when the complaint was filed. The dealer stated that they could order a new accelerator pedal to repair the vehicle. The contact did not want to drive the vehicle due to the safety risk. The current and failure mileages were approximately 18,500. Updated 11/03/10.

- Lowber , PA, USA

problem #15

Mar 102010


  • 23,456 miles
Over sensitive accelerator pedal. Recall fix has made my accelerator pedal much too sensitive. It has become difficult to maintain a constant speed and to accelerate smoothly. The Toyota fix is totally unsatisfactory.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #14

Apr 222010


  • 3,062 miles
Today I had the "gas-pedal" recall performed on my 2009 Pontiac Vibe. I immediately noticed it requires much less effort to depress the pedal - so much less, in fact, that I consider it dangerous. I got out of my car and complained to a service manager about this. He said they had done the repair exactly as the instructions called for and there was nothing more they could do. I feel that Pontiac dealerships should replace the entire pedal assembly for those of us complaining about this, just as is being done by Toyota dealerships with the matrix. After all, it's essentially the same car.

- Swartz Creek, MI, USA

problem #13

Feb 262010


  • miles
Recall # 10038 floor mat interference and accelerator pedal I received this recall notice for my 2009 Pontiac Vibe back in February 2010. It instructs me to remove my floor mat until further notice due to the possibility of interfering with the accelerator pedal leading to crash, serious injury, or death. I have yet to be notified by G.M. of any remedy that is available. I would certainly like to be able to have the use of a driver side floor mat! when will this be resolved?

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #12

Mar 052010


  • 20,250 miles
We purchased a new 2009 Pontiac Vibe (Toyota, matrix platform) in April 2008. We drove it for nearly two years and accumulated a little over 20K miles. In early March, we returned from a six or seven hour trip and were going through a local car wash when suddenly and unexpectedly, the accelerator depressed under my foot and the engine increased in RPM's and the vehicle launched forward nearly hitting the vehicle ahead of us in the queue. In February, we had received the recall notices from GMC, but the local dealer had not received the repair kits yet and had postponed our repair until early March. We immediately took the vehicle into the dealer and on March 5, they made the repairs. When I asked what were the nature of the repairs and they explained that a shim was installed in the accelerator linkage and some floor matting was removed, I knew that the repairs would not solve the problem we experienced. (as a son of a used car dealer, and former mechanic myself, I knew the nature of the problem was not mechanical, and it was more likely either vacuum or electrical in nature.) therefore, in fear of some potentially disastrous future problem for my wife when she might be driving the vehicle, we immediately traded for a new 2010 Ford Fusion. I also wanted to trade the vehicle before it also became widely known publicly as a Toyota, matrix clone, and the resale value dropped out of the bottom. Sorry, but Toyota, has a ways to go before they will convince me that the problem is strictly floor mats and accelerator linkage shims.

- Greenwood, IN, USA

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