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:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 1
Average Mileage:
29,385 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 #16

May 062015


  • 202,912 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. While driving 5 mph, the accelerator pedal automatically depressed and the engine rpms increased. The contact had to depress the brake pedal to the floorboard in order to stop the vehicle. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 202,912.

- Cinebar, WA, USA

problem #15

Jul 232011


  • 58,573 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated the check engine light illuminated and the vehicle would not accelerate. The contact performed a diagnostic test and noticed the accelerator pedal position sensor failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current miles were 58,573.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #14

Jan 022005


  • 4,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact was driving in reverse and as he stopped and shifted into drive, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. In order to stop the vehicle he engaged both feet on the brake pedal and shifted the vehicle into park. The failure occurred three times. After the first failure, the contact stated that he mentioned the failure to the dealer.the dealer advised him that he was not aware of that type of failure. The vehicle was not inspected for the failure nor was it repaired. The failure mileage was 4,000 and the current mileage was 83,200.

- Whittier, CA, USA

problem #13

May 192009


  • 5,000 miles


2005 Toyota Matrix inexplicably accelerated resulting in driver and car crashing into grocery store and hitting a gas utility line. Car was completely totaled with no deaths.

- Leawood, KS, USA

problem #12

Dec 072008

Matrix 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Toyota Matrix. Consumer states unintended acceleration. The consumer stated as he was approaching a red traffic signal to a local shopping center, the vehicle started to accelerate. Since he was nearing a red light, he already had his foot on the brake pedal. The consumer stated it was obvious something was wrong, so he immediately placed the transmission in neutral. The RPM of the vehicle's tachometer raced between 3,000 and 4,000. When the traffic light turned green, he placed the gear in drive, kept his foot firmly on the brake and maneuvered the vehicle into the parking lot and into a parking space. He placed the gear into park, but the engine continued to rev between 3,000 and 4,000. He kicked the accelerator pedal in an attempt to possibly lower the RPM, but to no avail. The consumer turned off the engine, exited the vehicle and proceeded to inspect the accelerator pedal area for possible signs of obstruction on the floor, in the carpet area or on the floor map. There was none. He opened the hood of the car and looked in the engine compartment for possible signs of debris, but there was none. The consumer stated it is obvious there is an electronic/computer glitch and not a problem with a sticking gas pedal.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

May 122009


  • 0 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph with an unexpected increase of acceleration. The vehicle continued to travel with difficulty in slowing down, and crashed into a vehicle. The driver sustained injury to the arm; the front seat passenger sustained back injuries. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer with front end damages. The vehicle was repaired for the body damages. The technician was unable to locate a problem and stated that the vehicle operated normally. The acceleration failure recurred on a separate occasion. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was 52,000.

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 202007


  • 20,000 miles
My wife experience an acceleration of our 2005 Toyota Matrix about 3 years ago. We did not think much of it at the time, but with the current recalls we thought it would be included. It was not, Toyota will not look at it or replace it. They said it must be done at our own expense. I filed a complaint with Toyota, the case number is 1003113923. I feel that Toyota is not looking further in more problems, and is still not addressing the issues at hand. The dealer or customer service did not really care.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 172006


  • 19,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that whenever she came to a complete stop the vehicle acted as if it wanted to accelerate although her foot was on the brake pedal. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they were unable to diagnose the failure. They test drove the vehicle and were unable to duplicate the failure since it occurred intermittently and stated that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The Toyota manufacturer was called several times but no claim was file. The failure mileage was 19,000.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #7

Apr 192007

Matrix 4-cyl

  • miles
2005 Toyota Matrix. Our son was driving at a high speed, he ran a red light and swerved to avoid a car and crashed without slowing at all. He was killed. He was a cautious driver and was fearful of high speeds. Updated 05/10/10 updated 10/14/10 update 9/21/2011

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #6

Oct 292009


  • 1,000 miles


I own a 2005 Toyota Matrix. On 10/29/09 they had to replace the whole computer system. Mechanic said that they had trouble with alot of the Matrixs and corollas. Cost me about $1000 to replace. My clock has been coming on every so often, but mostly stays off.the doors are not suppose to lock if key is in ignition or running. Three times it has locked me out. The dash board lights are medded up only half light up, this has been this way for well over a year. When I took it to the dealer when I had the work done they never fixed it. I think that someone should look into this matter because if they had to replace the computer on so many cars they should have a recall. Also, my pedal got stuck and caused me to run into a snow bank and mess up my front fender.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #5

Dec 162009

Matrix 4WD

  • 25,000 miles
At several places (all slight upgrades, constant speed, constant throttle), about 5-10% of the time, throttle sticks. Releases after 3 - 5 seconds if I do not brake, about 2 seconds after braking if I do. Has been happening for over 70,000 miles, dealer service manager said it was a gas-saving feature. I now anticipate it happening, so have had no accident, but a few close calls early on. 2005 Toyota Matrix 4WD, now with 95,000 miles.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #4

Oct 122009


  • 39,000 miles
While driving my 2005 Toyota Matrix with 40,000 miles, I was pulling into a parking space, car was not even going 1 mile an hour, had taken my foot off of the gas pedal, did not even have a chance to put my foot on the brakes, when the car suddenly accelerated, made a noise, jumped the curb and smashed into a building. The car had $3,000 worth in damages leaving a crack in the brick wall of the building causing structural damage. The sudden, unintended acceleration had nothing to do with the floor mat. Nothing has been done to correct the failure as Toyota would not address the issue at all, saying that the Matrix was not part of the recall. Toyota has not accommodated me at all with this incident. I am terrified when I drive now that it will happen again, not to mention the worth of the car because of the accident. Due to this I am looking for another vehicle.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #3

May 152006


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. While driving 15 mph and making a right turn he experienced unintended vehicle acceleration. He was able to resume normal operation after repeated braking attempts. He experienced identical failure on three occasions. The failure mileage was 40,000 and the current mileage was 65,000.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #2

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 #1

May 222006

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,179 miles
: the contact stated while attempting to apply pressure to the accelerator pedal the vehicle lurched forward. The dealership determined it was the lack of lubrication to the accelerator pedal that caused the problem. The manufacturer was not alerted. Updated 7/13/2006 -

- West End, NC, USA

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