NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling Problems

2005 Pontiac Vibe (Page 1 of 2)

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:
73,134 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.

2005 Pontiac Vibe engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Pontiac Vibe Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

May 132014


  • 197,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to restart after stalling. The vehicle would only restart after being turned off for over an hour. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. NHTSA recall campaign id number 10V387000 (engine and engine cooling) was related to the failure; however, the VIN was not included. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 197,000.

- Linden, KS, USA

problem #22

Nov 202013

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 173,470 miles
I was driving on the highway going approximately 65 mph and the car just started to slow down in the middle of the freeway. I pulled over safely and waited for tow service because the car would not start. Over the next few days I repeatedly tried to start the car and it would not start. The consumer stated the recall that was performed on the vehicle failed, as the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle started to idle harshly. When the consumer called the dealer, about the vehicle being repaired, she was informed any additional repairs would not be covered under the recall, even though she was experiencing problems directly related to the recall. The consumer took the vehicle to a local mechanic, where she was informed a code of P0440 and P0441, were related to the PCM, which he believed was the fuel pump causing the readings. Shortly thereafter, the light illuminated again, and the consumer was advised it was the same codes. Over the past two years, the PCM was reprogrammed, when it should have been replaced. Updated 01/13/14

- Pearland, TX, USA

problem #21

Jun 212010

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 131,423 miles
2005 Pontiac Vibe. Consumer states transmission stalling problem the consumer stated he sent his receipts to Pontiac regarding a transmission and stalling problem he experienced with his vehicle, which was in response to a recall notice he received. There has been no response from Pontiac to date. The consumer stated he spent over $2200 to correct the problem.

- Alpine, CA, USA

problem #20

Oct 312011

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 91,255 miles


While driving on the freeway during moderate traffic my 2005 Pontiac Vibe completely stalled and would not restart. After barely making it to the side of the road I called a tow truck to tow me to the dealership. I had went online while waiting for the tow and found that there was a recall for the engine control module that caused the same symptoms as I had. The dealership confirmed the VIN and ordered the recall item. The next day they called me and informed me that they had installed the new control module and the car would still not start and they would need to dig further to find the cause. After digging more into it they called the next day (day 3) and told me that the exhaust camshaft was broken and recommended a new engine due to the amount of sludge and unknown factors with the current engine. The estimate of repair was $6100. I called my mechanic and he said that he could look and see if the camshaft could be replaced or if the engine did indeed need replaced. I had it towed to my mechanic (day 4) when I picked up the car at the dealership I was given a broken bolt that the mechanic said had been the problem. He said it had gotten lodged in a way that caused the camshaft to break., something he had never seen before. When I got it to my mechanic he said the same thing, "that bolt should never have broken and caused the camshaft to jam. I've never seen anything like this." When I ask what could have caused the bolt to break he said "manufacturer's defect. That's it, nothing else would cause a bolt in that position to ever break". he acquired a refurbished engine with about 30K miles on it and replace the entire engine (the cam/bolt had damaged the valves) for about $2600 and it runs fantastic. I was very lucky that when the engine stalled I could get through traffic and make it to the side without getting hit or causing more of a traffic jam.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #19

Feb 222007

Vibe 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,608 miles
2005 Pontiac Vibe. Consumer writes in regards to several vehicle repairs and request repair the consumer stated on February 22, 2007 the vehicle was first diagnosed with a failed power control module. On March 9, 2007 a new PCM was installed under warranty. On March 23, 2007, the oxygen sensor and exhaust were replaced. On October 22, 2009 the PCM failed again and the computer was reflashed. In Sept. 2010 the consumer received a recall notice regarding the PCM. The consumer faxed over all the necessary paperwork for reimbursement. However, the consumer received a letter from GM stating they had not received all of the required documentation to process his reimbursement.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #18

Apr 012011

Vibe 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Pontiac Vibe. Consumer writes in to express discontent with recall repair the consumer stated her vehicle was running perfect before she took it to the dealer for a recall. The consumer stated when the vehicle was returned to her, it was idling badly. The next day, the vehicle would not start. The consumer returned to the dealer and upon diagnosis, it was determined the recall part that was installed was faulty.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #17

Mar 242011

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 10V387000 (engine and engine cooling) and the vehicle was taken to the dealer for repairs. The contact stated that the dealer replaced the power train control module instead of the ECM as stated in the recall. After repairs, the vehicle would shutter and shake abnormally and often times, would stall when shifting from reverse to drive with the illumination of the entire instrument panel. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where the contact was advised that the transmission would need replacing. The contact spoke with the manufacturer and was informed that they could make one repair under the recall and any further repairs would be at his expense. The contact stated that he believed that the initial repair performed on the vehicle was not the repair that should have been completed under the recall. The failure and current mileage was 150,000. Updated 5/9/11 updated 05/16/11

- Frenchville, IN, USA

problem #16

Mar 012011


  • miles
2005 Pontiac Vibe. Consumer states that after a new powertrain control module was installed per the recall, the car began to shift very hard and consumer states hearing a high pitched whining sound when she accelerated the consumer was advised by an independent mechanic the vehicle was not safe to drive due to the damage that was caused to the transmission. The consumer believed the PCM was installed incorrectly.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #15

Feb 082011


  • miles
Timeframe of 2005 Pontiac Vibe recall of PCM/ECM unit - exactly how long are owners expected to wait for the replacement part for this recall that was submitted over 5 months ago?

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #14

Dec 102010

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
2005 Pontiac Vibe PCM failure. Engine light came on, and the transmission began shifting very hard. Engine code P2716. I have read numerous reports where people are told by dealerships to replace the transmission, and after doing so the symptoms still occur. After finally replacing the PCM, the issues were resolved. That means $4000 in wasted repairs. I have contacted GM with case 71-902887626. The car only shifts poorly when the engine light is on, so it seems logical that the issue is electrically related. (PCM) so far GM has denied that the PCM in this car is affected by the "current" recall. A monkey can put two and two together in this situation. I writing this for other Vibe owners who get the run around with GM and their dealership.

- Beatrice, NE, USA

problem #13

Dec 012010

Vibe 4-cyl

  • miles


2005 Pontiac Vibe. Consumer states the vehicle is involved in a recall for the powertrain control module (PCM). Components could fail prematurely or cause engine stall or failure to start. Consumer sent additional correspondence received 120210 the consumer stated he received a recall notice. The noticed also stated a follow-up letter would be mailed regarding parts distribution and repair. However, the consumer stated as of November 8, 2010 he still has not received the follow-up letter. Updated 01/05/11. Updated 02/10/11

- Denville, NJ, USA

problem #12

Dec 072010


  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated he was a certified mechanic and performed a diagnostic test on the vehicle. The diagnostic determined that the power control module would need to be re-flashed. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number: 10V387000 (engine and engine cooling) and stated that he was advised by the manufacturer that this VIN was included in the recall. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 79,000 and the current mileage was 79,950.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #11

Sep 162010


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that the check engine light was illuminated while parked. As the contact accelerated, the vehicle would not shift correctly and the rpms were fluctuating abnormally. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where they advised that there was a recall for the failure (NHTSA campaign number: 10V387000- engine and engine cooling) but the contacts vehicle was not included in the recall. The evaporative emission hose was replaced by the mechanic. The failure recurred after repairs. The vehicle was not further repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 96,000.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #10

Sep 292010

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Car began rough shifting and check engine light came on. Taken to a GM dealer for repair. Symptoms appear to be related to NHTSA campaign 10V-387 (GM ref number 10282). Initially, dealer denied that there was a recall related to the problems displayed by the car. After sending the dealer the recall information and the initial letter sent to me by GM, dealer admits that there is a recall, but no parts available to fix. The only solution offered was to continue to drive the car with the problem. Dealer will not escalate the issue through GM.

- Hillsboro, MO, USA

problem #9

Aug 242010


  • 91,000 miles
The engine warning lamp illuminated and harsh shifting resulted. The car was serviced at a GM dealer and found to have a faulty engine control module. GM is claiming this is not their problem.

- Lake Ridge, VA, USA

problem #8

May 062010


  • 94,490 miles
PCM for 2005 Pontiac Vibe failed. Symptoms of failure were 'check engine' light illuminated, transmission made hard and erratic shifts. Symptoms are similar to those described in NHTSA campaign id number: 10V387000. When GM help center was contacted, I was told my vehicle was not covered under recall. I requested that my vehicle be covered under the existing recall.

- Geneseo, IL, USA

problem #7

Sep 012010


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. While driving 20 mph the check engine light started to illuminate as the gears began shifting rough and causing the vehicle to lunge forward. The dealer was contacted and stated that the failure would cost $700 to be repaired since there were no related recalls. NHTSA recall#10V387000, engine and engine cooling; GM's safety recall#10282 yet her VIN was not included. The manufacturer was notified and informed her to contact NHTSA and file a complaint which had not given her any other favorable response. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Bedford, NH, USA

problem #6

Aug 242010


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that while the vehicle was stopped, she noticed that the check engine and emissions lights illuminated and she was unable to accelerate. She took a picture of the lights, turned off the vehicle and restarted it. When she restarted it, the lights were still illuminated but the contact was able to accelerate. After driving the vehicle home, the light turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that the ECM was defective. The contact called the manufacturer and was told that the vehicle was not included in recall 10V387000 (engine and engine cooling). The current mileage was 72,459. The failure mileage was approximately 72,000.

- Mount Olive, IL, USA

problem #5

Jul 192010

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 80,500 miles
My 2005 Pontiac Vibe stalled as I was driving on a residential street. I had to have the emission control module replaced and had to pay $571.71 for the repairs. The consumer stated the check engine light illuminated prior to the engine stalling. Several components were replaced, but the engine light would come back on. The consumer received a recall notice regarding a with the PCM. However, the part was not available. Updated 01/28/11

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #4

Jul 192010

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 80,500 miles
I was driving my 2005 Pontiac Vibe on a neighborhood street and it stalled.

- Columbus, OH, USA

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