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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,000 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2008 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #2

Apr 212016


  • miles


Takata recall Toyota send me a safety recall notice (interim notice) re front passenger airbag initiator module. They had the audacity to say that "until the remedy becomes available in your location, we recommend that you do not operate the vehicle with an occupant in the front passenger seat"!!! that is unacceptable, especially since we live in an area that receives lots of humidity (Toyota says they are prioritizing part replacements in geographic locations that are subject to consistently high absolute humidity, but they do not list which areas they think this applies to. Where we live certainly meets the high moisture criteria). Our complaint is that Toyota should replace the parts now!!), please insist they rectify their defective airbags now for our car in this high-humidity locale. On another note, this Toyota vehicle has been nothing but trouble: Water pump replaced not long after purchase (when car was basically still brand new), hub caps that fall off constantly, and most frustrating of all, a vibration/noise from the front end that the dealer refused to fix. The dealer misdiagnosed the noise/vibration by replacing the wrong front wheel bearing. When we told them the noise persisted, the Toyota dealer said the warranty was over & would not fix their previous error!! now Toyota unscrupulously sends an interim notice of a defect that could kill a passenger in our car. As before, please make Toyota fix the airbag now so we can use the car safely now!

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #1

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

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