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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
148,250 miles
Total Complaints:
2 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. have rebuilt...replaced (2 reports)
2003 Toyota Matrix transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 212016

Matrix XRS

  • Manual transmission
  • 196,000 miles


I don't know the technical terms but, I can relate to some of the stories I read on here. It was hard to shift into 1st gear. There was a terrible sound like things inside clanking, ripping, and the it just locked and I turned it off. The mechanic showed me the cracks on the transmission or gear box. I will take pictures and post tomorrow. More problems to report on same car.

- , Glendale, CA, USA

problem #1

Feb 242011

Matrix XRS 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 100,500 miles

At the time I bought this car I was driving a Volkswagen GTI which I loved to death, but was not good for my family or keeping the car under the speed limit. After looking on Autotrader I found this car with only 26,000 miles on it for about $14,000 and thought a Toyota would be a good investment. The gentleman I bought the car from had told me Toyota had replaced the transmission at 17,000 miles but I thought maybe it was just a fluke. At around 60,000 miles the clutch had to be replaced, then again at 80,000 miles. I have drove this car with respect and not raced it in anyway, I needed it to last. At 70,000 miles I had lost 3rd gear but being a six speed and not having money for a repair I would just skip that gear and go into 4th. Now I am looking into replacing the transmission which could run between $2400 and $3000. I am taking it tomorrow to see the costs on having it rebuilt. I did call Toyota but they did not help in anyway, which has made me very upset. I have also talked with many people who have told me the transmission used in mar car was also put in the Ford Focus, and Mini Cooper and have had the same problems. I will repost new info as soon as it is fixed.

Update from Mar 16, 2011: Went to a transmission shop today only to find out the cost to fix it would be between $1100.00 and $1800.00 At this point I am having second thoughts about keeping the car. I would love to know if anyone else has the same problem owning this make and model.

- , Sturgis, MI, USA

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