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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,584 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.

2008 Toyota Matrix brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #4

Mar 022009

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


With the last incident being 2 days ago, I finally had a chance to take my car to the shop today. They said they could find no problem. I have had about 5 incidents over the last 4 years of unintended acceleration when my foot was on the brake. One time recently it happened on a flat road as I was approaching a very busy intersection. Luckily I was able to turn into the flow of traffic, cutting some one off but no collision took place. Two days ago it happened again when my car should have been stopped on a hill facing down the hill. When I pressed on the brake it did not brake the car, instead I could hear the engine rev up and pull forward. This is how it happened also on the previous 3 times. I don't know what to do now. I am single and disabled and just finished paying off this car. I don't want to sell the car and have someone die because I sold it to them. I certainly don't have the money to just go out and buy a new car but I am scared to drive this car now. Please advise me as to what course I should take. Thank you.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 162010


  • 6,000 miles
Sudden acceleration in 2008 Matrix automatic: First known failure. Car brought new in September 2007; odometer: 6000 miles. While driving approximately 35 mph on even straight smooth roadway, there was a sudden acceleration to greater than 70 mph. When brakes were applied, they depressed to floor without any effect. Car continued to accelerate rapidly. Shifted to neutral without success. Car slowed after being placed in reverse. Coasted to a stop. Placed gear in 2 and drove slowly home - approximately 1/2 mile. Floor mats were not near either pedal and were kept stationary by hooks designed to keep mats from shifting. Called Toyota service department: Told that floor mats were the problem; talked to service managers who stated that the sequence of events described were impossible, no problems were known to exist for Matrix and greater than 99% of sudden acceleration problems were due to driver error. After a discussion, the car was evaluated by the service department. The following was reported: Floor mats held in proper place no objects on floor normal brake pedal operation normal accelerator pedal operation health check - powertrain, chassis, electrical, network systems - ok computer codes - no abnormalities found normal throttle body inspection tires with normal wear & function problem was not duplicated on test drive. Was told that the car is functioning normally in all areas and has no problems. Implied that my experience was a misperception or misrepresentation. Assessment: There was a significant malfunction in the Matrix which could have led to critical injuries or loss of life. Only due to the traffic flow at precisely that moment, no one was injured. The Toyota service departments denied that the problem exists. Recommendation: Sudden unexpected acceleration should be investigated until an answer /solution is found. The findings should be shared with the public. The cost for repairs should be paid by Toyota.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #2

Dec 092009


  • 38,218 miles
I have had my Toyota Matrix for almost a year when it started having problems. The issue for me was coming to a stop light and the car wouldn't stop even though I was braking hard. It kept rolling forward. You could hear the acceleration. Putting it in neutral was not an option when you are sitting in traffic at a light. I could either rear end the car ahead of me or get rear ended by the car behind me. I had to stop the car by putting it in park. The car "bucked." It stopped the car and for that I was grateful because it just kept moving. I was on a cell phone call when it happened another time going into a garage. The car wouldn't stop again. My friend could hear the acceleration of the car through the cell phone. I couldn't stop the car with my brake. Again I had to put it into park and it bucked again. I reported it to the Toyota dealership on 12/9/09. I called the service manager after that date and he told me to bring the car back and I did on 2/19/10. The pedal was replaced on 3/4/10 and on week of 3/8/10 I experienced the same issue of the car not stopping and the accelerator sticking 3 times in one week. That's after the pedal was replaced. The dealership checked my car out on each occasion. I have documentation for all these visits and opened it looks like 2 accounts with Toyota of America #[xxx] and #[xxx]. they have repeatedly told me that they could find nothing wrong even after driving the car for 4 miles. The problem is intermittent and driving 4 miles is ludicrous in order to see if they can experience the problem. They have told me they have done extensive diagnostic workups on the car. They will not check the computer or electronics as they say it is not the problem. Help. I am in traffic everyday. I don't know when the failure will pop up on me. I now have to get rid of this car and I can't sell it to someone privately as I would be responsible for anything happening to that person. Please help. Thank you.

- Olney, MD, USA

problem #1

Jan 302010


  • 32,120 miles
The brakes on my 2008 Toyota Matrix failed again January 30, 2010. The brake pedal will not depress for a moment and then once the pressure is taken off and reapplied it will engage. It has been an intermittent problem that started Sept. 2009. I have taken the car to the original dealer on multiple occasions and the technicians could not find anything wrong. The case went to arbitration and was found in favor of Toyota. I took the car back to Toyota several times after arbitration. They kept it for several days and put 4 miles on the vehicle. They scheduled a "lead" technician to look at the vehicle and canceled the appointment the day before. Unfortunately I felt that no matter how many times I took the vehicle back to Toyota it was not going to be treated as a serious matter.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

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