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:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,820 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jan 182009


  • miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated the car independently accelerated causing the contact to be dragged over a cliff. The contact stated she the vehicle was repaired at her expense. The vehicle was replaced after it was repaired. A year later the contact found out the car was included in a recall for which she is expecting to be reimbursed for regarding the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000. Updated 11/20/14 updated 4/30/2015

- Princeton, VA, USA

problem #20

Mar 042011


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Matrix. While driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact attempted to apply the brakes but the brakes would not respond. The contact then depressed the accelerator pedal and the pedal fell to the floorboard abnormally. The contact then struck the curb and crashed into a concrete barrier as the vehicle went airborne and crashed into a second barrier causing the wheels to fracture from the vehicle before coming to a stop. The air bags did not deploy. The contact sustained severe headaches as a result. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where she was advised that the vehicle could be repaired. The contact stated after the crash she received a recall notice under NHTSA campaign id number: 10V384000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was not contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000.

- Grants Pass, OR, USA

problem #19

Oct 212010


  • 37,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that while driving 5 mph, the brakes were applied but the brake pedal and accelerator pedal were too close and the contact accidentally depressed the accelerator pedal causing the vehicle to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the brake pedal was adjusted to be even with the accelerator pedal. The contact believed that the brake pedal needed to be adjusted again. The dealer stated that there was no remedy for the problem. The failure mileage was approximately 37,000.

- Tinole, CA, USA

problem #18

Jul 162010


  • 120,000 miles


2006 Toyota Matrix: Engine stalled and check engine plus oil light came on while approaching highway onramp. Pulled off. Checked for loose wires. Tried to start engine, engine started and was able to drive 100 miles home without a problem except that the check engine light stayed on. Next morning, engine started but accelerator would not respond. Engine simply idled. Turned it off, called tow. Tow truck driver was able to start engine and reverse out driveway. Engine stalled again but luckily in the street. Towed to mechanic. Dtc code PO607. Mechanic said failed ECM and only Toyota can fix due to reprogramming parameters. Towed to dealer. Dealer confirmed failed ECM. Over $900 to fix.

- Cameron Park, CA, USA

problem #17

Apr 122010

Matrix 4-cyl

  • miles
2006 Toyota Matrix. Consumer states brake failure the consumer stated when he attempted to apply the brake, the vehicle failed to slow down. The consumer veered to the right, but consequently he rear ended another vehicle. The vehicle continued its course, even though the consumer was applying the brake. Finally, the vehicle came to a stop after continuing on for a half block.

- Palm Harbor, FL, USA

problem #16

May 112010


  • 73,452 miles
At 10:30 am on a sunny day, I exited the I-880 northbound 23rd ave exit. Coming up to a line of cars stopped at the E11th St signal light, I began pressing down on the service brake to slow down. As I was coming up to the BMW ahead of me, I pressed more on the service brake to stop my car. Things went wrong when I felt and heard the accelerator revving up, causing me to instinctively press even harder on the service brake. As the acceleration increased, my Toyota Matrix's brakes began slipping causing my car to inch closer to the BMW. Realizing that the service brake was not holding, I pulled up on the emergency brake and shifted the car into neutral, all the while still pressing down on the service brake. Since the engine was still accelerating faster, I managed to turn the ignition key off, successfully shutting down the engine and stopping the acceleration. After a brief 15 seconds, I restarted the car with the engine in park, and the emergency and service brakes on. The engine immediately revved up as before and I once again turned off the ignition key to shut down the engine. Realizing I had a major problem, I kept the engine off and put the car in neutral so I could push the car to a safer part on the side of the road. Upon inspection, I found that my floor mat was securely locked into place, and that the accelerator pedal was in the up position, a few inches off the floor. I am the original owner with 75000 accident and incident free miles on the car, and this is the first thing that has ever gone wrong with the vehicle. I had aaa tow the car to one Toyota in oakland, and they are doing diagnostics with the vehicle. They gave me a rental car free of charge until they determine what went wrong. The service dealer told me that it is the 2007 and later Matrix's that have the acceleration problem, and that for my 2006 Matrix to have this problem is uncommon. Hopefully Toyota will find and correct the problem to prevent this from happening to others.

- Lathrop, CA, USA

problem #15

Apr 272010


  • 49,000 miles


I own a Toyota Matrix, 2006, with 49K miles. The car suddenly decelerates and does not respond to the gas pedal to pick up speed again. So far, I've been able to pull off the road. I stop and then restart the car, and it drives fine. Also, the cruise control suddenly goes into deceleration, which is very dangerous while cruising on the freeway. Both these problems have occurred several times so far. The dealer says my vehicle is not on a recall list, and also claims to know nothing about this problem with the Matrix. I know that Toyota finally succumbed to pressure recalled about 50,000 sequoia sport utility vehicles for a deceleration problem. Is the same problem with the Matrix also being covered up" what should I do"

- Portola Valley, CA, USA

problem #14

Mar 132007


  • 14,000 miles
My son bought the 2006 Toyota Matrix in 2006. In 2007 my son was driving very slow and hit the car infront of him. He never has had an accident and no tickets. His car was damage, a total of $6,429.41 was fix at ron's autobody & paint Inc. 1314 N. closner, edinburg, tx 78539 because he found out he didn't have full coverage, he only had liability and knew the dealership would charge more. We never took the time to find out if the car had acceleration or brakes problems. The car has acceleration& brake problems because my son said the brakes didn't response & car kept on going, and he says the brakes still don't response quickly and I myself drove the car last year and I press the brakes and car just kept on going and I was going slow to stop on a yellow light and received a ticket by mail, I had a clean record. I did call frank smith Toyota and I was told we would be charge to look at it and afraid they will charge us too much money. Our son is still driving the car. He does drive very slow to go to work. He has 3 childrens that he has as passengers. Don't know what to do. Hope it doesn't happen again. I think the dealership should look at it without charging.

- Mercedes, TX, USA

problem #13

Feb 242010


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Matrix. While driving at approximately 10 mph and attempting to slow down, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The vehicle crashed into another vehicle although the brake pedal was depressed. The contact stated that there was not enough time to shift into neutral gear; once the vehicle crashed, it spun around in a 180 degree turn and then the engine stopped. There were two people injured and both went to the hospital. There was a police report filed. The vehicle was totaled. The contact had not called the manufacturer or the dealer at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 10,000.

- Wheat Ridge, CO, USA

problem #12

Mar 252006


  • 1,722 miles
My complaint was first filed on 3/25/2006 (ODI # 10153679). This is the 2nd complaint about the defective Toyota Matrix that I drove in 2006. I was driving a 2006 Toyota Matrix and lost total control over the vehicle. I was driving on rt 2 West bound out of boston during evening rush hour. I was trying to change lane to my right and found there was a car approaching and honked at me. I had not left my lane yet and tried to pull my car straight back. The car reacted by shifting too much to the left and I tried only to adjust it, keeping in mind that was a power-steered system, to keep it straight. There was a 1-2 seconds afterwards the car seemed to be on track and I was driving fine. After that 2 seconds, the car accelerated all of a sudden, gas pedal was down to the floor, the car veered toward the left on it's own. I tried to maintain it straight but in vain and completely lost control over it. The wheel was so solid and it was impossible to steer the car even just a little bit. It spun counterclockwise over 3 lanes toward my left and hit the central guardrail and stopped. The vehicle was totaled. The police issued me a ticket on the spot. Other than complaint ODI # 10153679 filed at this website after the incident, I also filed a complaint at Toyota's website on the same day (3/25/2006). The Matrix model was stopped in 2007 and continued in 2008 with an advertisement that it was a complete new design. I later checked the internet and found a very similar accident happened in New York state on 10/9/2005. A woman named [xxx], 55 of West harverstraw was driving a Matrix. Her car spun off route 287 in harding and she was hospitalized afterwards. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Pittsburgh, MA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Jan 152010


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Matrix. While traveling at a speed of 20 mph the vehicle had suddenly accelerated without warning causing the contact to crash into another vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact was informed that the VIN was not related to any recalls. The approximate failure mileage was 40000 and the current mileage was 41000.

- Weston, FL, USA

problem #9

Jan 162010


  • 25,000 miles
My car is a Toyota 2006 Matrix AWD; I was pulling into my driveway to park in front of my garage, and took my feet of the accelerator pedal, but before I had any chance to react the car just continued to accelerate up my drive way and crashed through my garage door, causing damage to my car, the garage door, and some dents to my other car parked inside; I have always parked my car outside on the drive way, since there isn't space to park 2 cars in my garage; I am fairly safe and cautious driver; I took my car to the dealer to have them to take a look, my 2006 Toyota Matrix is not in the recall list, and the servicing guys didn't find anything wrong with my gas pedal; I am still concerned that there may still be a lurking issue with the pedal or the electronic system that caused the unintended acceleration.

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #8

Feb 092010


  • 32,497 miles
I was driving my 2006 Toyota Matrix I purchased one month ago. I was driving on a very wet road less than 20-25 mph. Approximately 9:00A.M. coming home from local gym. I slowed to stop for construction work on slick two lane road. Brakes did not grab as I tried to slow down. I pushed brakes down harder, and as they started to work, the accelerator began to accelerate on its own, car began to feel like it was revving up. I put car immediately in park, and tires burned rubber (enough to smell) and car stopped completely. It all happened incredibly fast, and scared me to death. I have not had this problem previously (I have owned vehicle for 1 month) and car is not on recall list (clearly should be). I have called Toyota customer service center, and will call dealer where I purchased car next.

- Inverness, CA, USA

problem #7

Nov 182008


  • 60,000 miles
I was parking our Toyota Matrix, 2006 and it "jumped" ahead and I hit the car in front of me. My accident report indicated a jump in the car. When I read about the Toyota accelerator problems, I am convinced our car suffers the same flaw and I hope that 2006 will be included in the recall. I have never had any other accident and I am over 50 years old.

- Nantucket, MA, USA

problem #6

Mar 012009

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 19,999 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Matrix hatch back. He stated that while approaching a stop light at speeds of less than 20 mph, he depressed the brake pedal but the vehicle would not stop or slow down. The contact shifted the vehicle into a lower gear and then to neutral. He then shut off the ignition and braked to a stop. The dealer was contacted and performed a safety test on the vehicle. The failure could not be duplicated. No repairs were made to the vehicle to date. The failure and current mileages were under 20,000. Uddated 03/09/10. The consumer stated when he applied the brake pedal, the vehicle continued to accelerate. He shifted to a lower gear then to neutral while continuing to apply the brake. The vehicle continued to accelerate until he pumped the brakes to stop. Updated 06/11/10

- Tuscon, AZ, USA

problem #5

Nov 012007


  • 40,000 miles
I own a 2006 Toyota matrix. At about 40K I began noticing when I pushed the gas pedal from a stop that it sometimes lagged, other times the pedal seemed very touchy and to take off excessively, causing passengers to notice the sudden acceleration. This occurs spontaneously but at least once every 14 days. It is always from a stop such as at a light or driveway, after the car has been driving even a few feet but it has never occurred on the initial press when the car is first cranked and moved, only after the wheels have moved. As a side note, the computer was replaced at about 77K and this did not correct the issue. I have the oem floor mats with the latch system that holds the mat in place. I have never had the pedal appear to even touch the mat. While I have never had the terrible experience of having the pedal stick and continue to accelerate, I am hoping that this information will help the cause of the issues come to light. There is definitely a problem with the gas pedal and the computer telling the throttle when and how much to open. Please do not let this fall solely on the floor mats. There is more to the story!

- Pace, FL, USA

problem #4

Oct 242009


  • 40,000 miles
On three separate occasions our 2006 Toyota Matrix has accelerated on its own without warning. On all three occasions we have been able to slip the transmission out of drive into neutral or slam the brakes on to stop the acceleration. The most recent time this occurred was last weekend. The most previous was three months ago.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #3

Sep 202007

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,450 miles
Vehicle completely stopped in a line of traffic. While waiting to move on, with my foot on the brake, the engine all of a sudden roared and the vehicle shot forward and hit the vehicle (approximately 5 to 7 feet) in front of my vehicle. The air bags did not open and the hit to the other vehicle was more like a punch. I tried to stop my forward thrust but the brakes would not hold the vehicle. Upon striking the other vehicle the engine roar stopped and everything seemingly returned to normal. Minor damage was done to both vehicles and no one was reportedly injured. The police were called to the scene and an accident report was filed. My Toyota dealer was called for assistance and advised me that they never had such an experience reported but suggested I bring the vehicle in for service.

- Denver, PA, USA

problem #2

Dec 212006

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
- the contact owns a 2006 Toyota Matrix. While driving on 12/21/06 in heavy traffic at 5 mph heard a knocking sound. The contact stopped the vehicle and observed that the tire failed and that the sidewall was damaged. The contact was certain that he didn't hit anything to cause the tire to fail. The contact placed a spare tire on the vehicle and drove it to the dealer. The dealer advised him to call the tire manufacturer and file a complaint. Sears informed the contact that the tire failure was due to road hazards. The contact stated that the road conditions were good.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

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