NHTSA — Vehicle Speed Control 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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,605 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Pontiac Vibe Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 282015


  • 114,217 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that while driving at 50 mph, the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably disabling the brakes. In addition, there was rubber burning from the tires. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 114,217.

- Jericho, VT, USA

problem #9

Sep 292014

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
I had been having problems with acceleration on my 2003 Pontiac Vibe and I was leaving my place of business a few days after the problem started and my rpms dropped to 0 while driving approximately 35mph and then it seemed to of "caught" and I drove to where I needed to go, I took my car to the shop and once it turned off it wouldn't restart. They seemed to think it was the fuel pump and recommended I take it back to where I originally got the vehicle 6 months ago since it was covered under warranty, so I did and they agreed it was the fuel pump they changed the fuel pump and was still having the same problem with not starting they took it to a dealer and after it sat there for 3 weeks leaving me without a car, I was then told it was the main computer for the car and will cost me $1100 to fix. However I still don't have my car back since I don't have the money to fix it. However I just received a recall notice for my car and one of the 3 recalls is for the ECM. Isn't that the same as the 'main computer' in the car and shouldn't the dealer fixed it at no charge and been made aware of this. So now I have been without a car for a month for what should of been fixed before I even bought the car.

- East Stroudsburg, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 282010


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently and crashed into a building. The driver sustained two broken tibias. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to a mechanic. A police report was filed of the incident. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 30,000.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #7

Sep 202010


  • 106,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Vibe. While driving 35 mph and making a turn the vehicle suddenly accelerated faster than usual. While the brakes were depressed the vehicle continued to accelerate causing it to crash into an embankment and roll over three times. A police report was filed. He sustained a broken tail bone and was taken to the hospital. He was not wearing his seat belt at the time of impact. The vehicle was destroyed and towed by the insurance company. The manufacturer was not called. The failure mileage was 106,000.

- Brockway, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 042005

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles
The consumer owns a 2003 Pontiac Vibe that experienced sudden acceleration when placed in reverse. The consumer placed the vehicle in reverse and it accelerated backwards into a tree. The consumer did not have her foot on the brake or the accelerator pedal at that time. This has happened again when placed in reverse without her foot on the brake and the vehicle accelerated backwards. A collision was prevented by turning off the engine. The vehicle was taken to a local dealership. The dealer said that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. No repairs or corrections were made. The consumer spoke with GM, who offered no explanation. GM has not returned the consumer's call at this time. The consumer felt that she could not drive the vehicle with confidence. No injuries reported. (12/01/05) the consumer expects reimbursement for the car rental.

- Naubinway, MI, USA

problem #5

Jan 302005

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,321 miles
The problem with my 2003 Pontiac Vibe started in late December. I exited a state highway and when I got to the bottom to the ramp and started to stop at the traffic light I had trouble getting the Vibe to stop. I ws pusing hard on the brake pedal and finally got it to stop and then realized that the engine was racing at high rpms. I quickly put the transmission in neutral and the tachometer showed that the engine was turring at 3500 rpms. It has happened 4 times since then and on 1/31/05 when it did it I was stopping at a stop sign at a busy intersection and this time when I put the transmission in neutral, the enigne was turning at 5,000 rpms. After a few seconds at this rpms the engine will return to its normal idle rpms. I have taken the Vibe to the local Pontiac dealership where it was purchased new. They attached their computer to the Vibe and no message codes appear. They had it for 2 other days and could find nothing wrong with it. I am only concerned that one of these days it willo act up and I will not have enough time to react and will have a collision with the car or person in front of me or when my wife is driving it. The dealership states that Pontiac motor co has not had any reports of the rpms increasing during braking like my Vibe is doing. I am concerned about the sately of my family and others with this serious problem.

- Moundsville, WV, USA

problem #4

Oct 032003

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,276 miles


When at a complete stop vehicle reaches high rpms and suddenly accelerates. The cause of the problem has not been determined. While parking, consumer shifted to neutral. While in neutral the engine suddenly revved up to 5000 RPM's or so and stayed at this full throttle position for 1/2 a minute. His foot was lightly on the brake when sudden acceleration occurred. Consumer removed his foot off the brake and had the passenger to verify the engine stayed at full throttle with foot on all pedals. Sudden acceleration occurred four times. After the third time, consumer had mechanic to clean/inspect the throttle body assembly and sensors, reprogrammed the power train control module, replace the acceleration cable and disconnect the cruise control. After the fourth incident, consumer had the mechanic to install a monitor to record the electrical conditions for the next incident. No diagnostic codes ever occurred for any of these sudden acceleration incidents.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 302003

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 300 miles
When the consumer applied the gas, the engine started to roar and increased speed excessively. There were three separate incidents that occurred. Once, the engine suddenly accelerated while at a complete stop. Second, when the brakes were applied to avoid rear ending a dump truck, the vehicle accelerated. The third incident occurred when the consumer paralleled parked and the engine went full throttle. As a result, the vehicle surged over the cement parking curb into the low retaining wall. The consumer shifted to neutral and took his foot off all pedals and turned off the ignition, which was the only way to stop the engine. $4298.96 in damage was done to the vehicle.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #2

Mar 102003

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 800 miles
While braking car will accelerate. Have to brake hard and but into neutral. Engine raced and I had to turn car off. This has happened 5 times. Took to dealer service, they could not find anything wrong.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 012003

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136 miles
Car was purchased day before. While driving on Mar 1st and coming to stop light with brakes applied, car attempted to accelerate. Only hard braking prevented crash. Two hours later with wife in car while braking for stopped car, engine roared violently, all dashboard lights flashed, smoke poured out of back of car from exhaust and rear tires spinning only hard braking, putting car in park and turning off engine prevented a collision. Car was trying to accelerate rapidly with brakes on.

- Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

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