2009 Pontiac Vibe drivetrain NHTSA complaints: Power Train

NHTSA — Power Train Problems

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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:
58,482 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.

2009 Pontiac Vibe drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2009 Pontiac Vibe Owner Comments

problem #5

Dec 102015


  • 120,000 miles


Repeated front brake repairs to stop heavy vibration when applying brakes. Vibration is extreme in the steering column and the stick shift, and sometimes throughout the car. Repairs were done 3 times in 18 months, and it keeps coming back within a month after repairs. I never brake hard to cause this. Transmission repeatedly pops out of 5th gear during acceleration, reportedly caused by defective or broken synchronizer. Had to replace transmission.

- Descanso, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 072013


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Pontiac Vibe. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled without warning while driving 60 mph. The instrument panel lights illuminated after the failure occurred. The contact was able to coast onto the road shoulder, restart the engine and resume normally. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 89,000 and the current mileage was 90,200.

- Brookeville , MD, USA

problem #3

Aug 012011

Vibe 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
When coming to a stop, occasionally the vehicle will lunge forward. I have noticed this on many, many occasions since purchasing the car in July 11. When coming to a fast stop (such as when someone pulls out in front of you or someone suddenly stops in front of you -- ABS is not being used as these are not panic stops) the brakes will work as they should until the car is almost stopped and then the car will lunge forward and I suddenly need to apply more force to the brakes to make the car stop. I suspect that the computer in the car is using engine braking to assist in slowing down the car and when the car hits a certain speed (or some other variable) the engine braking is turned off which causes the amount of pressure that I need to apply to the brakes to suddenly increase which gives the impression that the car is lunging forward. Regardless of what is causing this issue to occur, it is a safety issue. I have grown used to this issue and now can compensate for it, but it is still distressing when it occurs. I have talked to other Vibe/matrix owners and they all state that they have the same issue. I believe that this is a significant safety issue as it could easily lead to an accident.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #2

Aug 312010


  • 14,908 miles
On tues. Morning, Aug. 31, 2010, at 6:51 a.M. (per receipt), I was stopped at the precinct line & hwy 183 starbucks drive-through window. My 2009 Pontiac vive was in drive & my right foot was on the brake as it would be at a stop light. As my transaction proceeded, I heard a terrific, loud racing of an engine that sounded like a race car & then felt my car begin to move forward. I thought it was the car behind me doing something weird or being somehow out of control. I pushed harder on my brake to protect myself, but my vive started to surge forward. I then realized that this was the "Toyota problem" happening to me & I, therefore, put the car in park & turned the engine off. As I put the vive in park, the engine raced wildly & I noticed the tachometer bouncing crazily up the scale. I exclaimed to the workers that my car was doing the "Toyota thing." They just stared at me with wide eyes. I tried turning the car on again, this time with both of my feet on the brake; the engine raced wildly once again, & the tachometer bounced wildly. My feet remained extremely firm on the brake pedal. The brake pedal felt strangely weak, as though I was able to push it further to the floor than normal. I turned the vive off a second time & told the starbucks workers that I didn't know what to do, in that I was in their drive-through lane & I was afraid to turn the engine on to try to move away. I was panicked; they remained wide-eyed and speechless at the noise and spectacle. I decided to try a third time; this time the engine acted "normally" but sounded and acted weak. I was very scared as I drove away & was unsure of what the car would do next. I called my husband to meet me at work a few miles away to pick up the car that I no longer trust to drive. The starbucks manager and drive-through window barista who witnessed this event gave their names & phone numbers to us & are willing to confirm the event. Recall 10038 was performed 6 days prior to this occurrence.

- Hurst, TX, USA

problem #1

Jan 152010


  • 20,000 miles
Car has the accelerator problem and the brake problem the odometer reads that the car is traveling 50 mph and the car is really doing 42 mph, the passenger seatbelt turns off with passenger.

- Woodside, NY, USA

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