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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,253 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 #13

Jan 062011


  • 80,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact started the ignition and the engine failed to start. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who stated to the contact that the malfunction was related to the ECM, which would need to be replaced. The vehicle was being repaired at the dealer. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Olney , MD, USA

problem #12

Sep 012011

Matrix 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Toyota Corolla matrix. Consumer writes in regards to recall notice and repairs the dealer informed the consumer, the current computer indicated the oxygen sensor needed to be replaced before the recall could be performed.

- Bloomington, IN, USA

problem #11

Jan 162011


  • 83,200 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 10V384000 (engine and engine cooling). The contact was unable to have the vehicle repaired under the recall due to a lack or available parts. The contact stated that he had been attempting to have the vehicle repaired for over four months to no avail. The dealer informed the contact that only two engine control modules were delivered per month meaning only two vehicles per month could be repaired under the recall. The contact had not called the manufacturer. The contact stated that the failure was a serious safety issue that could cause a crash and he no longer felt safe driving the vehicle. The failure mileage was 83,200.

- Henderson, NV, USA

problem #10

Mar 302011


  • 275,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 10V384000 (engine and engine cooling). The repair was performed and within 30 miles of driving, the engine warning light was illuminated and the engine stalled sporadically. The vehicle was towed to a second dealer where the contact was informed that the transmission had failed. The manufacturer agreed to further inspect the vehicle and advised that there possibly could be more failures within the vehicle other that the transmission. The contact was awaiting a response from the dealer and manufacturer to determine the cause of failure. The failure and current mileage was 275,000.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 262011


  • 76,839 miles
My car died while I was driving on a Saturday. I called the dealership and told them, they confirmed it was due to the recall on the ECM [1zz-fe], yet I had to pay to have the car towed in. They said they would run test to confirm that was the problem then fix it. 3 hours later they called and said that changing the computer part that was recalled could fix the problem, but they didn't have any - I asked for a loner car since it was not my fault I would be without a car, they said they were not responsible for that. They would do an emergency order and the part would be in on Tuesday - they would call me in the morning. On Tuesday they didn't call I had to call, I had to call multiple times to reach anyone, and they didn't have the part, it was back-ordered and could be up to a few weeks. I again pushed for a loner car, they said they would see if they could authorize it and call me in the morning. In the morning they had somehow managed to find a part, put it in, I was then told that the fuel system needed to be replaced. My car was in perfect condition before this, there is no way the fuel system miraculously went bad at the exact same time that the recalled part went out - it had to be caused by the computer failure. Besides that I was told that the computer part was the only thing wrong with my car. Then they tried to overcharge my by $600 for the fuel system, all the while still not giving me a loner car. In summary my car died on my in the middle of the road, I had to pay for my towing, miss hours of work, be careless for 6 days and pay for a new fuel system all thanks to the recalled part. I should not have to pay for the parts that were damaged by the recall problems.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 022010


  • 114,300 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact was driving 55 mph when the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact was able to pull over to the side of the road and the vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of the failure yet the engine was replaced. The failure did not recur. The failure mileage was 114,300.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #7

Jun 012010


  • 67,000 miles


Engine stalled on Toyota matrix 2005. Took to dealership and charged me a bunch to fix. They replaced the computer, but talked me into doing a bunch of other stuff they said would fix it.

- Orange, CA, USA

problem #6

May 112010


  • 92,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that the vehicle would intermittently stall when driving at any speed. Most recently, the contact was unable to restart the vehicle after stalling. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where they advised that the ECM would need replacing. The vehicle was repaired at the contact's expense. The failure mileage was approximately 92,000 and the current mileage was approximately 99,000.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #5

Mar 262010


  • 80,744 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated while traveling at speeds of 55mph, the vehicle stalled and the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact was able to maneuver the vehicle off the roadway. The dealer advised the vehicles computer had malfunctioned and a technical service bulletin was available describing the failure (NHTSA item number 10019673: Engine and engine cooling: Engine). There were no recalls. The manufacture advised the contact that the vehicle was out of warranty and any repairs made to the vehicle would be at the owners expense. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 80,744.

- Cloverdale , CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 142010


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Letter from senator on behalf of constituent. Re difficulties with her 2005 Toyota Matrix. The consumer stated the brakes were defective due to the rotor getting caught in the brake pad. The problem continued after the second brake repair. The brakes made an audible squeaking noise when depressed. There was a loud noise every time the vehicle was started and the gears were engaged. The ABS did not work on an irregular surface. A defective rear axle caused damage to the tires. The lights would go out by themselves when it was dark.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #3

Aug 232006

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 16,500 miles


: the contact stated while accelerating from a stop, the vehicle stalled intermittently. The vehicle restarted each time. The dealership was unable to duplicate the problem. The vehicle is a 2005 Toyota Matrix. Updated 12/26/2006 - the consumer felt that the cruise control was not working properly but the dealer indicated that it was working as designed. The consumer noticed a long crank time while attempting to start the vehicle. The consumer noticed a vibration in the steering wheel. The consumer indicated that the vehicle needed a new engine mount to alleviate the vibration.

- Manchester, NY, USA

problem #2

Aug 292005

Matrix 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,600 miles
I was halted in the left turn lane of a 6 lane highway behind another car also waiting to turn. My car(1,600 miles) was idling in drive. Suddenly the engine began racing and by virtually standing on the brake I prevented forward movement and after a few seconds I slipped it into neutral. When I did that, the engine seemed to race all the more - virtually screaming. I finally thought to turn the ignition off. The car promptly restarted and the problem did not recur again. The potential for a serious accident from this problem is huge.

- Hillsborough, NC, USA

problem #1

May 122005

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
I purchased my 2005 Toyota Matrix 5/7/05. 1 week after I purchased my vehicle I experienced a intermittent starting problem. Even after 4 attempts by Toyota to fix the problem it is still current. It usually happens more often when the engine is warm. It usually cranks 5-10 seconds before starting. Sometimes the vehicle will not start at all and I have to turn the key back and retry to start the vehicle. The dealership where I purchased the vehicle claims they cannot get the problem to duplicate when they have the vehicle in their possession but when I last had my car there the car took about 7 seconds to start and the service manager claims that is normal for the Matrix engine to crank. I find this hard to believe with a brand new vehicle.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

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