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. Notes: The Toyota Matrix is the mechanical twin of the Pontiac Vibe.

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:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,777 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 Toyota Matrix brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #7

Sep 062011


  • 24,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Matrix. The contact was driving 40 mph when the brakes were applied and the vehicle spun around four times. The contact stated that the ground was dry and there were no road hazards. The contact merged onto the shoulder for about twenty minutes and then drove home. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The manufacturer was notified and a claim was filed. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 24,000. Updated 09/27/11 the consumer stated she applied the brake very lightly and the vehicle went out of control. It appeared either the brake locked or the accelerator locked. Updated 09/30/11

- Bristow, VA, USA

problem #6

Oct 092010


  • 60,000 miles
I have replaced the master cylinder on my 2003 Toyota Matrix twice already and it's bad again. The brakes slip when I try to stop short and it's very dangerous. This car only has 60,000 miles on it.

- St Louis, MO, USA

problem #5

Oct 222009


  • 88,208 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Matrix. While driving approximately 65 mph, the brakes were applied and the vehicle failed to stop which resulted in a crash. The air bags did not deploy upon impact. The contact sustained unknown injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to by the insurance company. A representative with the manufacturer also inspected the vehicle and was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure and current mileages were 88,208.

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #4

Oct 162006


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Matrix. While the vehicle was traveling approximately 25 mph with the cruise control engaged the contact had applied the brakes and noticed that the vehicle would not stop moving causing the contact to crash into the vehicle in front of him. No one was injured and a police report was filed for the incident. The vehicle was towed to the dealership for body damage repairs. The failure and current mileages were not available.

- Frisco, CO, USA

problem #3

Apr 042009


  • 41,230 miles
Front brake caliper / piston locked up under pressure. With 5miles and under highway speeds it created intense and immediate vibration and smoke. Sudden failure.

- Glen Rock, PA, USA

problem #2

Feb 162009


  • 44,000 miles
Driving car and it had unintended acceleration, 2 times. First time it did not stop when brakes were applied. Second time brakes were hit and car quite accelerating.

- Renton, WA, USA

problem #1

May 272003

(reported on)


  • miles
Problems with parking brake. Driver could drive the vehicle for miles with the parking brake engaged without a noticeable drag.

- Seabeck, WA, USA

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