ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,333 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.

2008 Toyota Matrix brakes problems

brakes problem

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2008 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #3

Mar 262013

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


While driving on the highway at a speed of 45-50 mph, my car engine shut off, almost causing me to crash. I I was at a complete stop on a busy highway when I clearly saw my engine light on. I could not restart my car. I waited 5 minutes and I was able to start the car but only drive another mile at speed of 45-50 mph before my car engine again shut off. I then had to have my car towed to a local mechanic who was unable to look at my car until the morning. In the morning I received a call from my mechanic that it is the ECM and Toyota had a recall on my make/model and year. Toyota and my mechanic conversed about the issue and again I had to pay for my car to be towed to Toyota dealership. I then had appointment with Toyota at 1pm. From 2pm-430pm, I called Toyota to speak with anyone about my car, they kept telling me they would call me back. Finally the same person that spoke to my mechanic told me there was no recall on my make/model and year and they have not looked at my car yet...4 hours after my appointment. It is on Toyota website, "Toyota motor sales (tms), U.S.a., Inc., today announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 1.13 million 2005-2008 model year Toyota corolla and corolla Matrix vehicles sold in the United States to address some engine control modules (ECM) that may have been improperly manufactured. No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in this recall." "on vehicles equipped with the 1zz-fe engine and two-wheel drive". my car is a 2008 Toyota Matrix with a 1zz-fe engine, and after calling Toyota dealership and Toyota national, they are refusing to honor my recall. Even when the website states "as part of the recall, the ECM on involved vehicles will be replaced at no charge to the owner."

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #2

Nov 012010

Matrix 4-cyl

  • miles
Safety recall letter received November 2010, part available March 2011 made appointment with dealer March 5th 2011 dealer said I need the replacement part for the ECM but no part available will call when part is available. No contact since. Received yet another recall letter August 15, 2011 starting the process all over again. I have complied but wasted my time already with no results. It is now August 2011.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #1

Jul 162010


  • 6,000 miles
Sudden acceleration in 2008 Matrix automatic: First known failure. Car brought new in September 2007; odometer: 6000 miles. While driving approximately 35 mph on even straight smooth roadway, there was a sudden acceleration to greater than 70 mph. When brakes were applied, they depressed to floor without any effect. Car continued to accelerate rapidly. Shifted to neutral without success. Car slowed after being placed in reverse. Coasted to a stop. Placed gear in 2 and drove slowly home - approximately 1/2 mile. Floor mats were not near either pedal and were kept stationary by hooks designed to keep mats from shifting. Called Toyota service department: Told that floor mats were the problem; talked to service managers who stated that the sequence of events described were impossible, no problems were known to exist for Matrix and greater than 99% of sudden acceleration problems were due to driver error. After a discussion, the car was evaluated by the service department. The following was reported: Floor mats held in proper place no objects on floor normal brake pedal operation normal accelerator pedal operation health check - powertrain, chassis, electrical, network systems - ok computer codes - no abnormalities found normal throttle body inspection tires with normal wear & function problem was not duplicated on test drive. Was told that the car is functioning normally in all areas and has no problems. Implied that my experience was a misperception or misrepresentation. Assessment: There was a significant malfunction in the Matrix which could have led to critical injuries or loss of life. Only due to the traffic flow at precisely that moment, no one was injured. The Toyota service departments denied that the problem exists. Recommendation: Sudden unexpected acceleration should be investigated until an answer /solution is found. The findings should be shared with the public. The cost for repairs should be paid by Toyota.

- Tampa, FL, USA

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