NHTSA — Electrical System: Instrument Panel Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

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

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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,557 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 Pontiac Vibe accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Pontiac Vibe Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 012003

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 900 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Vibe. While driving during the daytime, the contact could not read the instrument panel display. The lighting was adjusted to the highest setting. The dealer diagnosed that the instrument cluster needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 900. Updated 6/3/15

- Midland, MI, USA

problem #6

Nov 012013


  • miles
2003 Pontiac Vibe. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle odometer defect. The consumer stated the speedometer froze at 299,999 miles. When the consumer contacted GM, he was instructed to take the vehicle to the dealer. The dealer had a service bulletin, which stated they were aware of the problem, and the cost to fix it, was $830 and GM would not take responsibility for any of the cost. The fix, was to replace the instrument cluster and put a door plaque on that stated the actual mileage.

- Oconomowoc, WI, USA

problem #5

Nov 172010


  • 299,999 miles
I bought a new 2003 Pontiac Vibe from a local Pontiac dealer back in March of 2003. I use the car as a service vehicle for the company I work for and have kept the maintenance up on it for the past 8 years with great dependability. On 11/17/10 around noon my odometer finally reached the 299,999 mile mark and I waited for it to change over to 300,000 but it never did. I went on line to see if there were any complaints about the issue and found that there was. The only solutions I found were to either have the odometer set back to zero, or pay several hundred dollars to have it replaced. My concern is breaking any odometer fraud laws if I were to sell or trade it in. It should be the manufacturer's responsibility to fix the problem at no cost to me, I feel. I plan on driving the car as long as it lasts. Thanks for your site.

- South Pittsburg, TN, USA

problem #4

Jun 012003


  • miles


The smoked glass covering the instrument panel makes it very difficult to read the vital information such as speed, etc., on bright sunny days. This poses a severe safety problem for the driver as he tries to read the vital information while driving in any traffic condition. This is an ongoing problem since I bought the car new in 2003. Both General Motors in detroit and my local dealer say there is nothing they can do about correcting this fault. The incident date I listed below is when I first notice this design fault after buying the car new from the dealer.

- Lansing, IL, USA

problem #3

Jul 282006

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that the check engine light illuminated five times. The vehicle was repaired. The contact only paid for one repair because the rest were under warranty. The engine size was unknown. The current mileage is 70,000 and failure mileage was 65,000.

- El Grove, CA, USA

problem #2

Feb 082007

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The 2003 Pontiac Vibe has the worst dashboard lighting of any car I have ever owned. On a sunny day it is difficult, if not impossible to read the speedometer, and odometer due to the faulty lighting. It is a dangerous situation as the driver has to take extra time to try and read the poorly lighted instruments. As to the incident date below, it happens every time I drive when bright sunshine washes out the dashboard information. I personally have not had any accidents, but the design certainly increases the chance for a driving mishap. I spoke to Pontiac officials at my local dealership. They just shrug their shoulders and say that's the way the car was designed. I have spoken to other Vibe owners, who voice the same complaint, as well as owners of the Toyota matrix, which has the same unsatisfactory dash lighting.

- Lansing, IL, USA

problem #1

Jul 172006

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
My 2003 Pontiac Vibe engine was ruined because it ran low on oil. The oil level warning light never came on (and no other warning light came on either). Since I was 3 weeks past the end of the warranty I had no recourse with GM.

- New Kensington, PA, USA

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