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 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
115,951 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #8

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 #7

Jan 222016


  • 140,000 miles
The engine is stalling. I noticed this at least a month ago. It has happened at least 5 or 6 times in the last month. It first occurred when I started the vehicle in the parking lot at school. I drove maybe 5 or 6 feet less than 10 mph then the engine shut off in the middle of a turn. I had to put the car in park and restart the engine in the middle of driving. It did restart, but it jerked once or twice and kept going. The next day, I was able to start car and drive a little further, maybe a mile at about 30 mph. When I entered an entrance ramp on the freeway, the vehicle stalled in the middle of acceleration. I had to veer to the shoulder. I put the car in park, then restarted the engine. I was able to drive a few miles. Then, I had to slow down to exit on a ramp when it stalled again. I exited freeway. The vehicle completely stopped in the middle of the road. I pulled into a parking lot to compose myself because the cars behind me were honking and drivers upset that vehicle stalled without notice. The vehicle did cut off at a higher speed as well. I was driving on the freeway at about 50 mph when it turned off, but immediately turned back on within seconds. I was very concerned for safety with kids in the car.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #6

Oct 212015


  • 124,000 miles
My vehicle caught on fire in my driveway approximately 5-10 minutes after I returned home from from my job, which is 12 miles from my home. It was dark, and the only unusual thing I noticed was one of my headlights was out and the other seemed dim. I mentioned it to my husband and he said he'd replace the bulbs. Within minutes I heard sirens, but I wasn't in a room that faced the driveway and the fire department was already on scene when I realized the front end of my car was fully engulfed. The fire took approximately 20 minutes to fully extinguish and the heat damaged an adjacent vehicle. No one was injured and my home was not damaged. The car was stationary, parked and unoccupied when the fire broke out. The fire department determined the cause as mechanical and their report is pending. A police officer responded but did not file a report after ruling out criminal activity. I do not know what specifically caused the fire but the attached photos show the damage, including to the adjacent car.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #5

Jul 272015


  • 52,600 miles


Backed out of a parking space at a shopping center. Went about 50 yards and the engine revved like it was going 100 mph and then jumped forward. Slammed on the brakes and put the car in neutral and it went back to normal idling.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #4

Jul 142015


  • 175,262 miles
I purchased a used 2006 Toyota Matrix as is no warranty from a dealer in boise, Idaho. The dealer told me, my daughter and her friend that although the car had 175,262 miles on it, he had replaced the engine with a 55,000 mile engine he bought from Florida. Apparently the old engine had seized up with the previous owner. The dealer assured me that the car would last me a long time. However, after only six weeks of driving the car the engine quit and stranded me in traffic. I had the car towed to my trustworthy mechanics, who ran the diagnostic tests on the car. I took their repair estimate to the dealer. He towed the car, with my permission, to his mechanic. I have been researching recalls, and found that Toyota Matrix cars manufactured between 2005-2008 have been recalled for engine problems. I don't know if my car was ever recalled, or the problems fixed. My car has the exact same engine as the one in the recalls. Now I'm concerned that if the car does get fixed, it might malfunction again with me driving it, and cause an accident.the dealer won't pay for the repairs as Idaho has no used car 'lemon' law. I am a senior citizen on a fixed income. I can make the car payments, but certainly can't pay to have the car repaired every time it breaks down, plus I feel there is a safety issue which concerns me since I live alone and have no one else to depend on for help.

- Boise, ID, USA

problem #3

May 122015


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Matrix. While depressing the brake pedal, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was able to restart after several attempts. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The vehicle was not included NHTSA campaign number: 10V384000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 98,000.

- Auburn, MA, USA

problem #2

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 #1

Jun 042012


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Corolla matrix. The contact stated that the vehicle would lose power and stall without warning while driving at any speed. The check engine light illuminated after the failure occurred. The failure was experienced several times. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 52,000 and the approximate current mileage was 52,100.

- Seattle , WA, USA

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