NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission 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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,895 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Pontiac Vibe Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 242010

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Vibe. The contact was driving approximately 50 mph when the transmission began to slip out of gear. The vehicle was able to continue driving at a low speed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the contact was informed that the transmission would need replacing. The contact was awaiting repairs. The failure and current mileage was 75,000. Updated 12/01/10. Updated 12/13/10

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #6

May 102010


  • 49,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Vibe. While stopped at a traffic light, the contact noticed a rattling sound from under the vehicle. Seconds later, the contact attempted to accelerate but the vehicle would not move forward. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who informed the contact that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 49,000.

- Delton, MA, USA

problem #5

Jan 052010


  • 110,000 miles
2003 Pontiac Vibe. Has a Toyota engine and transmission. My wife and child were traveling down the road when the transmission suddenly quit pulling in the middle of the roadway, with no warning. The complete failure left them stranded in a heavy traffic flow location where a collision was probable. Neither were injured and a collision was avoided. After research on the web I found a lot of similar stories reported in regard to this problem with the Toyota transmissions.

- Goodwater, AL, USA

problem #4

Jan 172010


  • 130,000 miles


Had a code P0770 show up. Needs new shifter solenoid. Cost is variable but upwards of $2,000. Have done research on internet, lots of others with same problems on the '03 Vibe.

- Munford, TN, USA

problem #3

Oct 162009


  • 114,263 miles
Transmission failure. Vehicle just stopped running in middle of road. By searching the web there appears to be a substantial amount of these transmission failures 2003 Pontiac Vibe, AWD.

- Belgrade, ME, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Jun 102004

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
The car has a horrible rattling sound when backing up or at a low idle.

- Psl, FL, USA

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