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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,633 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 Toyota Matrix engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 082010

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles


The contact owned a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that while driving at speeds of 65 mph, the vehicle accelerated without warning. The vehicle decreased in speed as the contact removed his foot from the accelerator pedal. The dealer could not duplicate the failure. The contact confirmed that the vehicle had been taken to the dealer on nine separate occasions with concerns of unintended acceleration. The dealer could not determine the cause of failure. The vehicle was left in possession of the dealer. The contact would not drive the vehicle any longer due to concerns for his safety while operating the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 25,000 and the current mileage was 25,000. Updated 5/12/10 the consumer stated when the speed was set at 55 mph, the speed would fluctuate from 51 mph uphill to 59-60 mph downhill. When starting from a stop, the engine would either stall or spin the wheels. At times, the engine would not respond when trying to increase speed. During very cold winter days, the engine would stumble and at times buck like a Bronco with the gas pedal to the floor until the engine was warmed up. Updated 06/18/10

- Manchester, NY, USA

problem #5

Sep 062009


  • 80,500 miles
ECM failure on 2005 Toyota Matrix. Caused lurching, acceleration changes during automatic gear shifting., causing unsafe driving by driver. Dealer said vehicle out of warranty and mileage too high (80,500) for them to replace at their cost.

- Beaumont, TX, USA

problem #4

Nov 072008


  • 82,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. While driving approximately 65 mph on normal road conditions, pressure was applied to the accelerator pedal followed by harsh shifting and excessive vibration. The check engine warning indicator illuminated intermittently on the instrument panel. The vehicle has not been repaired. The contact is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure and current mileages were 82,000.

- Rocky River, OH, USA

problem #3

Oct 132006

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles


Took car to dealership in July, 2006, because the A/C was blowing hot, a check engine light had come on, and it wasn't always starting, and/or sputtering while driving. They replaced the fuel pump, a new A/C control switch, and a sensor in the engine because the check engine light would not go off and they could find nothing else wrong. Repairs occurred over a two week period with me having to return the car to the same dealership for service for the same three complaints a total of three times- A/C blowing hot, check engine light on, and sputtering when driving/hesitation when starting. I also have a fourth complaint of a popping noise in the engine which to date has never been resolved. I also had a 30K mile service done at this time. Problems began to reoccur the first week of October 2006, and I made another appointment with a different dealership. Took the car in, they had the car for three days and could not duplicate any of the problems I was complaining about. I was dissatisfied by the lack of service both on the car and customer related. Picked the car up with no diagnosis or repairs having been made. Within four days, the car began acting up again and shut down completely on the Florida turnpike resulting in a tow 35 miles back to my house and then another 15 or so miles to the dealership. Determined the problem to be "engine sludge" and as it stands right now I am being told that the entire engine needs to be replaced at my expense. My problem has not reached a final resolution/decision with Toyota but I am disgusted beyond belief about the entire experience.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 302006

Matrix 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Started car to go to work and engine caught fire. Fire dept came and put the fire out but the fire burned the engine and burned into the driver side of the car burning through the floor board and dash.

- Petaluma, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 152004

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 300 miles
The clutch was difficult to depress/to engage the starter. The consumer stated that there was a problem when trying to work the clutch because there was not enough room in the floor area, and the wheel well made a hump in this area. Also, the vehicle was designed with a foot rest that the consumer had removed because it made it more difficult to drive. On several different occasions the vehicle stalled. Twice it put the consumer in dangerous situation although, there were no accidents. The first time was in August 2004. The second time was in September or October 2004. When the consumer took vehicle to a dealer they basically told him they could not find the stalling problem. When he contacted the manufacturer, they told him basically the same hing. The consumer stated he believed that the area problem was a design flaw.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

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