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:
69,385 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #6

Oct 032010

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Took my car for check engine light, harsh shifting into reverse. I was told the ECM needed replacing. The ECM was replaced but the problems persist. When shifting into reverse the car lunges into gear after a few seconds. I am afraid of backing into someone in the parking lot.

- Loganville, GA, USA

problem #5

Nov 112010

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 23,060 miles
I owe a Toyota matrix 2005, which was purchased on 11/2004. The car currently has 23,280 miles and has been routinely serviced at westchester Toyota since its purchase. Before bringing my car in for service to westchester Toyota on 11/11/10, the ┐check engine light┐ had never come on and my car was not generating the current vibrating noise. I am not qualified to determine whether wt could have intentionally or inadvertently caused the damage to my car, but I consider the possibility that the damage to my car's transmission could have been caused by them. Based on what the service manager, Mr. William vesey, indicated during my meetings with him, the transmission may had been damaged /malfunctioning all along while the car was still under warranty but the damage/malfunction was never detected because the original ECM on the car may have not been able to detect the damage since the ECM was faulty itself. For this reason, when the ECM was replaced on 11/11/10 due to the recall, the new ECM was able to detect the problem with the transmission and generated the transmission error code. Since the ECM was recalled after my warranty had expired and its malfunctioning most likely prevented the detection of the transmission error, I belief Toyota should be responsible for replacing the transmission. In addition, the transmission also appears to be a faulty part which may be recalled in the future based on the technical service bulletin provided to me by Mr. Vesey. Westchester Toyota should be responsible for replacing the transmission, free of charge including any labor and parts charges. Toyota motor sales usa should authorize and cover the charges for the transmission replacement. The earlier recall of my car's engine control module (ECM) would have allowed for the detection of any transmission problems while my car was still under warranty.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 282010


  • 88,713 miles
2005 Toyota Matrix with automatic transmission had check engine light come and immediately start shifting hard. No prior symptoms. Called Toyota service they said it was a loose gas cap, I asked are you sure it has nothing to do with transmission because when the light is on it shifts harshly. No pretty sure it is gas cap if it comes back on you have to pay $110 to check it. After it came back on drove for a week to see if problem continued then took to transmission specialist who said it had pressure control solenoid out. Took it for second opinion to transmission repair shop and they said it is common problem with Toyota Matrix and corolla similar to rav4 problem that ECM is bad and causes transmission issues which in this case cause damage to transmission. Called Toyota and pointed out that Toyota service bulletin TC014-06 and tc-015-07 state that if the check engine light comes on and there is harsh shifting to change the ECM out with a different part number. They agreed that if my car had exhibited these symptoms at under 80,000 miles they would have replaced the ECM under warranty because it has been improved to not do this. They said the unit could be replace now at 88,000 miles at a cost to me and they would not help me with the cost of the defective unit or the transmission damage it caused.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 162010


  • 94,000 miles


Our car has developed very harsh shift of the gears and has a check engine light. Went to car shop and they said it was error code P2716 and a known problem but only covered upto 80000 miles or 96 months. Our vehicle is 2005 with 94,000 miles. The ECM needs to be replaced - cost ~ 900 $ - our complaint is that since this is a mechanical problem with the vehicle itself and not the driver, we should not need to pay for this and should be replaced by Toyota - please help us.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Oct 302005

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35 miles
The contact stated that transmission mad E a thumping noise when approaching a stop. He suspected it was the sound of the transmission changing gears. Also, there wa S vibration that followed the noise. This was an intermittent problem. He took the vehicle to a dealer. The dealer could not determine what was causing the noise. No repairs have been made at this time. Updated 09/16/09 updated 09/17/09.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

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