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CarComplaints.com 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.

5.0

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,283 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 clutch problems

clutch problem

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2003 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #20

Jan 182008

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 56,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2003 Toyota Matrix the vehicle odometer currently shows 57,108 miles. On January 24th, the clutch went out and would not shift into gear. The car was towed ($45) to our mechanic at polly's shell in nashville and we paid the following amount to have the clutch replaced: Clutch set: $268 additional parts: 42 tow: 45 labor: 455 oil: 38 the total bill with other items came to more than $900. A copy of the original receipt is enclosed. When we examined the clutch, the pressure plate disc had broken into four equal parts. In addition to our regular mechanic, other mechanics at polly's commented that the fact the mechanism broke equally into four parts is obviously the result of a manufacturer's defect since this type fracture had nothing to do with the way the vehicle was driven.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #19

Jul 302007

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 105,000 miles
I own a 2003 Toyota Matrix that on July 30, 2007, had a little over 105,000 miles on it. Driving either in town or on the highway a clinkiing sound was noticed by drivers and passengers along with an intermittent increased difficulty in shifting gears. On July 30, 2007, driving on the highway the clinking noise become more pronounced. I parked my vehicle to do some errands and came back the car would start, but would not enter into any gear. The car was locked in a gear that was not neutral. I was stranded about 30 miles from my home and had to call a towing company to come and tow the vehicle to the Iowa city Toyota company. From there, Toyota inspected my 2003 Toyota matix and found that the gear teeth in the manual transmission has completely eroded and broke off. Toyota had to replace the full transmission and clutch costing close to $3000.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

problem #18

Apr 082008

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 36,800 miles
Original '03 toy. Matrix xrs mfg. Clutch burnt out @ 37K mi of normal (not racing) driving. Clutch assembly had to be replaced. No burning smell - just higher revving, no power. I have been driving sticks for 18+ yrs (mostly Toyota - this is not normal)!

- Gonzales, LA, USA

problem #17

Nov 112007

Matrix

  • Manual transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I bought a used 2003 Matrix in may of 2007. In November (90K miles), I started noticing that the transmission was slipping. When I took it to the dealer where I bought it, they said that I needed a new clutch ($1200). I was shocked because I have driven stick shifts for over 15 years now & have never had to replace a clutch. Found another mechanic to install the new clutch for $800. He informed me that this is not the first time the clutch had been replaced in this car. Apparently the clutch in the 2003 Matrix is made to burn out every 50K miles! Toyota are supposed to have a better reputation than this !@#$%!

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #16

Jul 252007

Matrix

  • miles
Clutch failed within the 36 thousand warranty period. Dealer and Toyota say that it is a wear item and not covered. Many of the same reports of owners with same vehicle and same issue.

- Houston, TX, USA

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problem #15

Oct 192003

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,500 miles
Clutch on the 2003 Toyota Matrix xrs smokes and slips and has since 3500 miles.

- Nottingham, NH, USA

problem #14

Jun 222006

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Been having problems with my clutch - on hills, you can smell it burning. The breaking point has gradually been getting further and further out. I learned how to drive on a clutch and have been driving one for almost 20 years. This should not be happening at 30K miles.

- Bremerton, WA, USA

problem #13

Mar 312006

Matrix

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
2003 Toyota Matrix - clutch burns too easily. I learned how to drive on a std, have driven them for 15 year and never had this burning problem. This is one that needs to be addressed by Toyota.

- Bremerton, WA, USA

problem #12

Oct 152003

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,500 miles
Driving under normal conditions you can smell the burning coming from the clutch which is normal after a couple days of driving whe it started to turn out to months it became skeptical....the clutch began to slip a lot takes long to catch on..nothing was done to correct problem for now until clutch goes out.....the burning smell still continues

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 302005

Matrix

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I have an 2003 Toyota Matrix xrs. Clutch started slipping and you can smell it most of the time. Has 53,000 miles. I have driven many standards over the years and never had this much trouble with a manual transmission. The last clutch I had to replace was on a 1991 Suzuki swift that had over 220,000 miles. Toyota used to be a good vehicle. They really need to fix this issue. Have read lots of problems from other people on www. matrixowners.com.

- Hurst, TX, USA

problem #10

Dec 292004

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 32,500 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The clutch on my 2003 Matrix failed at 32,000 miles. I've owned manual transmission cars all my life and have never had this happen until at least 65,000 to 85,000 miles were put on the vehicle. Toyota refuses to replace the clutch blaming me for improper driving technique and or abuse. It's nice to see that im not the only one with this problem. Hopefully in the near future Toyota will be held responsible for the defective clutch.

- Reno, NV, USA

problem #9

Jun 092004

Matrix

  • Manual transmission
  • 100 miles
I have had problems with my clutch since I bought my car new in Aug 2002. It is hard to get it to go into reverse and first gear at times. I have taken it to the dealership and they cant make it happen so they cant fix it. The clutch pedal had developed a squeak that they were able to correct. The clutch in this car is not right. It sometimes smells horribly as well. I have read several complaints from other people at www.matrixowners.com.

- Sheridan, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 042004

Matrix

  • miles
Premature clutch failure, the clutch start slipping around 15000 miles, the dealer said will not replace clutch due to wear and tear. Have another 92 corolla for 6 years with clutch never had a problem. Others are complaining about that Matrix xrs clutch too, not just only me. Feels like Toyota betrayed their customers.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #7

Feb 202004

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 34,000 miles
At 34,000 miles the clutch began slipping. Toyota stated that it was from misuse, that my wife was driving it improperly. My wife, age 57, has been driving clutch cars all her life and averages 100,000 miles per clutch. The tires are still good and worn evenly, which shows lack of abuse. Toyota has not stood by their vehicle on this one, we're apparently on our own for the repair. So much for the 60,000 mile warranty.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #6

Jan 272004

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 28,000 miles
My clutch went out at 29K miles. This is not acceptable. I have been drving a stnd for years now and never had this problem. The clutch on the 2003 Toyota Matrix xrs is a design error and should be recalled. Too many people have had this problem for it to be drving habits. Toyota should take care of it's customers and rectify this situation!

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #5

Jun 302003

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 33,500 miles
Annoying squeak when clutch is disengaged. This as occurred since purchase date. Clutch slave cylinder has been replaced, lubed approximately 7 times, clutch set replaced. Still squeaking!

- Canal Winchester, OH, USA

problem #4

Oct 222003

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 11,262 miles
I own a 2003 Toyota Matrix xrs and the engine intermittently shuts off when I push in the clutch. This happens on city streets when I am going slow. Today it happened twice when I was slowing to make a right turn. It has happened many many times since I bought the car last November. I have been unable to get it to happen with anyone from the selling Toyota dealer or from the Toyota region in my car. I do have at least 4 witnesses who have been in my car when it happened. I know of another Matrix owner in southern calif with the same problem. Another Matrix owner in Kansas had the same exact problem in 2002 and he got Toyota to replace the throttle body and the problem has not resurfaced. I am at my wits end as to how to get my car fixed. It is dangerous and I am going to cause an accident one of these days. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 072003

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 13,000 miles
Toyota Matrix 2003 xrs on 2nd transmision and still having problems. Clutch is also nasty. Many others with same car having simmilar problems. www.matrixowners.com has a forum with at least 30 people with probelms alone.

- Friendswood, TX, USA

problem #2

May 062003

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,000 miles
Premature clutch wear caused by heavier vehicle.original clutch was intended for the Toyota Celica gts 2 door. The same clutch is now being used for the Matrix xrs 4 door wagon wich is approx. 200+ pounds heavier than the Celica. www.matrixowners.com has several posts from owners all over the us and Canada reporting the same issue. The clutch is starting to show failure at 15,000 miles and dealers are refusing to cover this under warranty.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #1

Apr 202003

Matrix

  • Manual transmission
  • 6,500 miles
Manual clutch failed at 6500 miles. Dealership states this is due to my driving habits, even though I have been driving stick-shifts for 10 years, and even though I have never worn down a clutch in 150K miles of driving them. Cost me $1277, which was a *discounted* price!!

- Medford, NY, USA

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