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

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:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,350 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.

2004 Toyota Matrix steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #8

Aug 042016


  • 149,280 miles


I was backing down my driveway when my car suddenly accelerated-the brakes and steering also went out-I crashed into a bank on one side of the road, then the car swung around and I ended up suspended over a ditch. I was finally able to switch gears and turn the car off

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #7

Sep 122015


  • 174,250 miles
My daughter said the steering totally locked while being driven. Her & her boyfriend could not get the steering wheel to turn at all. They were not speeding because it was on wet roads. They both suffered mild concussions & my daughter has a severe neck sprain. After seeing the car, it went off the road & rolled 2 or 3 times it's totaled, I'm surprised they're not in icu! I did some research & almost 1000 Matrix's have had this happen!! I don't know why there isn't a recall. It seems Toyota isn't all that safe & doesn't care about it's customers at all.

- Campton, KY, USA

problem #6

Oct 202012


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle began to drift off to the right. The contact tried to straighten up the steering wheel but it locked up and caused her to crash into a ditch. The vehicle was destroyed and the driver and the driver side rear passenger sustained minor injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who declared the vehicle destroyed. The contact stated that the vehicle was not inspected and the insurance company was going to send an agent to look at the vehicle. The cause of the failure was unknown. The manufacturer was notified and they stated that would send an investigator to the dealer to inspect the vehicle. The failure mileage was 120,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Elgin, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 012005

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Matrix. The contact noticed that the alignment was uneven, causing excessive wear on the tires. The contact replaced the tires three times. The contact did not inform the dealer nor the manufacturer. The vehicle was not repaired. The current mileage was approximately 54,000. The failure mileage was approximately 8,000. Updated 04/12/11 updated 04/13/11

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #4

Jul 072007

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2004 Matrix steering, the steering locked up. When I try to turn it, there is a harsh jerk it unlocked, causing the car to go from left to right then it did a 360 spin and went into the bushes, this all happened on 07/07/07 on the northern state parkway long island New York, my wife was driving the car at the time of the incident, the week before she told me about the steering not working well, so I told her that I would take it to the dealer but did not made it, she does not want to drive it any longer, she is very scared to drive it.

- Hicksville, NY, USA

problem #3

Oct 172005

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
Fiance and I were on the 210 freeway heading East. He said we should take the car to the dealer when I asked why he said the steering is acting funny. The second he finished his sentence, the car spun out of control. Car did 360 degree turns across freeway (from left lane to right lane) and over the edge, down a hill, over a fence, and into a ditch. Minor injuries. We were lucky not to have been killed. Car was totaled. Accident is still being investigated to determine if there was a mechanical defect.

- Chatsworth, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 162004


  • miles
2004 Toyota Matrix drifted to the left while driving resulting in the consumer losing control and the vehicle flipping over.** answer required*** as the consumer attempted once more to gain control of the steering, the vehicle veered off to the left, hit a ditch, went airborne and flipped. Toyota determined that there was steering problems.

- Easton, MD, USA

problem #1

Nov 112004

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 42,266 miles
2004 Toyota Matrix xr, the vehicle has a problem with the steering, there was a noise coming from the steering yoke, consumer states the steering did not feel right, the consumer had taken the vehicle to the dealer to be repaired, the dealer told the consumer that the problem was because the splash guard was dragging, the dealer put two pins in the splash guard, because the pins were missing, the consumer took the vehicle to the dealership again to be repaired, the dealer told the consumer that the problem is with the steering yoke, previously the transmission had went out on the vehicle, the transmission seemed to have a loud noise coming from it. The consumer took it to the dealer. There was damage to the case and the dealership replaced the transmission because the vehicle was still under warranty. The vehicle is currently at the dealership waiting for a yoke replacement. The dealership told the consumer that it is on back order, all these problems occurred during normal driving conditions. According to the dealer the steering was not still under warranty the first time the consumer took it to the dealer. The vehicle is no longer under warranty now, the vehicle was purchased in May 2003. The clicking noise is still present when turning the wheel.

- Pawling, NY, USA

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