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:
174,891 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.

2006 Toyota Matrix drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 012016


  • 148,745 miles


1. had to change all automatic door locks at least twice at $400 a pop. 2. had to replace all 4 coils to engine at a cost of $810.53 3. had to have my transmission rebuilt do it failing while of I295 on my way home from work. At a cost of $3631.49 4. after transmission work had to have my transfer case internal sealed at a cost of $711.55 when we bought this car at Toyota in December 2005, we were led to believe that this car was built longevity or for the long haul with only having to do routine maintance which I have kept up on every 5000 miles as recommended by Toyota. My biggest concern is the transmission cost. Firestone stated that Toyota recommends a transmission service every 50,000 miles but my maintance book says only do that if you either tow, off roading, or dirt roads for long period of the time. I did neither, so Toyota says no need to do service. I did contact Toyota advocate after I had my trasmission done at cottman transmission and they could not help me cause I went to an outside vendor. My car had only 148,745 miles. Toyota says they would not pay for transmission unless there is a recall. For my search on the internet there is documentation that Toyota knew there was a problem with the transmissions failing but did not want to do a recall but would only compensate if there is a recall. I just want to be heard and possibly compensated for some of my repairs that should not have happened. I bought this car because I wanted to keep it a long time and now it is costing me more than it is work.

- Glassboro, NJ, USA

problem #11

May 132013


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Matrix. While driving at approximately 30 mph, the throttle hesitated to respond. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was informed that there was a recall related to the failure and recommended the vehicle to be diagnosed by a dealer. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000. The VIN was not available.

- Cornwall, NY, USA

problem #10

Nov 142014


  • 176,000 miles
Loud noise from motor compartment reduced speed drove car into garage now car wont back up and mechanic said its clutch and transmission. Possibly cost the value of car to replace.

- Albia, IA, USA

problem #9

Sep 102013


  • 137,000 miles


I was on a steep hill at a stop sign. I had let go of the brake to step on the gas because it was my turn to go and my car rolled backwards dramatically to the point where my tires where screeching for a few seconds till I was able to get off the steep hill. This is not the first time it has happened, I usually avoid streets that have a steep hill because this happens every time I'm on a steep hill. I've noticed this has happened for several years now.

- Pomona, CA, USA

problem #8

Dec 052012

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
Bearings in the differential/transmission are making noise. It is a 5-speed manual transmission. This is way too early for transmission failure. Estimated cost of repairs is $2,500.

- Sonora, CA, USA

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problem #7

Apr 122012

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
I was returning home last week on I-40 in tn. I was going up a grade with vehicles all around me when my transmission blew. I instantly lost power and went from 70 to 50 in the blink of an eye. Luckily I wasn't hit and was able to get the car off the road. After towing the car home I was disappointed to hear of many similar accounts from other matrix owners. Apparently there are faulty bearings to blame for countless transmission failures on cars with alarmingly low mileage. This is something that Toyota should reconcile with its customers and more importantly, fix before someone is injured or killed.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #6

Oct 062011

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 950,000 miles


The car would not shift beyond second gear (automatic transmission) and not go into reverse. Got it towed to my garage and they are in the process of replacing the entire transmission.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #5

Dec 282006


  • 116,849 miles
As I was driving to work on December 28, 6:50 am I gradually felt my car slowing down so I tried accelerating with no success! when I looked if I had forgotten to lower the safety brake, I checked my board and saw a check engine sign so I pulled of to the gas station (lucky there was one when this happened and no traffic). I called for a towing and turned of the car. When the towing guy came, he tried my vehicle and nothing seemed to be wrong except for the check engine sign that was still up... when I went to the garage, my car was scanned and the PO607 error was found in the computer's history! there obviously is a problem with the accelerator on my Toyota Matrix 2006 and there is no recall for that problem which is not normal either! this is a car I bought on August 2010 from a popular dealer so its second hand and I'm pretty sure this is not the first time such a problem occurs with it.

- Montreal, 00, USA

problem #4

Dec 012009


  • 70,000 miles
They need to issue a recall immediately -- my 2006 Toyota Matrix has been hard shifting with the check engine light on but I was unable to get it serviced because I'm unemployed. It has 90K and the dealer says I must pay out of pocket for the repair, $1000-$1300 because there is no recall on it yet. Had I known there was an issue with it I would have brought it in -- as it is I had to learn about this problem in the newspaper yesterday! I am afraid now to drive it that it may stall at a high speed as described in the newspaper!!

- Whitmore Lake, MI, USA

problem #3

Oct 032008


  • 30,093 miles
On October 3, 2008, while driving my 2006 Toyota Matrix I had to accelerate rapidly to merge onto a busy street. I immediately smelled a odor coming from my vents of burning wiring. My check engine light came on. I pulled over and made some calls to service stations and the Toyota dealership. Was advised to take it to the dealer. Did. After investigating the issue for several days they decided my ECM was bad and replaced it. With the recent Toyota recalls, I finally decided yesterday that I should check into if I am involved. My vehicle is Toyota certified and they do have record of the ECM failure to my vehicle. I also wanted to report it to you folks, just in case it is in fact the computers that are faulty. It is unknown to me whether the replacement computer they put in my car is a 2006, or what year ECM it is. My ECM failed immediately after rapid acceleration and my vehicle is not on the recall list.

- Gig Harbor, WA, USA

problem #2

Jan 152010


  • 113,000 miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Matrix and the vehicle started jerking when it shifted out of 1st gear. It jerked so hard that I had to be careful to not lose control of the vehicle. Also the vehicle would stall when I would be in heavy traffic. The shifting issue occurred every time I drove it after the problem started. The stalling issue occurred around 5-6 times when I was driving. I recently took it into the dealership and they replaced the ECM for a cost of over $700 since I was out of factory warranty. So far, the problem has been corrected however, I noticed a service bulletin in 2007 which I believe Toyota should have informed customer's. this was very scary when it occurred and luckily I didn't end up in an accident.

- Adrian, MO, USA

problem #1

Aug 252008


  • 10,000 miles
I purchased a new 2006 Toyota Matrix xr AWD on Feb. 2006. I'm going through a 'what seems to be' a common problem with all Matrix's "an ab-normal tire wear problem". the wear/chopping started at around 10K... it currently has 17K... I've rotated the tires 3 times already!!! the dealer is telling me it's a rear differential problem... they're replacing it under warranty... not sure if this will fix the problem"?" the tires are all choppy and worn now (at only 17 miles)... they must be replaced under warranty!!

- Whitinsville, MA, USA

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