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:
57,017 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 steering problems

steering problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Toyota Matrix:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #4

Mar 052012


  • 55,318 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that there was an internal electrical short that progressed intermittently for three years. In addition, the instrument cluster flickered, various internal and external lights randomly illuminated, and the power steering failed, which caused the steering wheel to be extremely tight. The contact also indicated that the vehicle stalled multiple times without warning. The first dealer diagnosed that the battery would not hold a charge. The dealer replaced the battery and the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the first dealer who then flushed the engine assembly, replaced the drive belt, and inspected the ECU for an internal failure. The first dealer replaced the ECU and restructured the main control plug on the body control module, but the vehicle continued to randomly stall without warning. The vehicle was towed to a second dealer where it was diagnosed that the junction control failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 55,318.

- Lithonia, GA, USA

problem #3

Apr 012015


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph and attempting to accelerate, the accelerator pedal failed to respond. The contact attempted to pull over and discovered that the steering wheel was difficult to turn after the engine and power steering fluid warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was powered off and back on, the warning indicators were no longer illuminated and the vehicle was able to be driven. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the engine control module was faulty and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was then taken to a dealer and was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and stated that the VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 10V384000 (engine and engine cooling). The approximate failure mileage was 114,000.

- Boyds, MD, USA

problem #2

Jun 152009


  • 48,000 miles
Several months ago I drove through a puddle of water in our parking lot at work. It was storming with the wind blowing as well. When I drove through the puddle, my battery light came on and I lost steering. Then engine never stopped. Once I traveled a few yards, the steering started working and the battery light went off. It happened another 3 more times before I ever left my work facility. I was able to drive to a Toyota dealership for them to check it out. They found nothing wrong with the car. I told them something makes me lose steering associated with water. The gentleman at Toyota told me not to drive through puddles. I did not think it was funny. It has happened a few more times with my husband driving. We live in Louisiana and it rains. I can not avoid going through water when it rains. I need help.

- Pearl River, LA, USA

problem #1

Sep 152008


  • 10,750 miles
2008 Toyota Matrix drifts severely to the left at highway speeds...especially when in the left lane. I realize there is a crown to every road, but our other vehicles do not do this on the same stretch of highway in any lanes. To give an indication of the severity, at 65+mph, the car would be in the median within 2-3 seconds without the constant rightward pressure on the steering wheel. I did not notice the drift on the test drive at the dealer. For what it's worth, the new roadway near the dealer is nearly perfectly flat. Also, the car does not seem to drift as much with two adults in the car as was the case during the test drive. I noticed it immediately upon driving the car a longer distance on other major highways with only myself in the car. I notified the salesman right away. I have not yet had an accident, but must maintain constant rightward pressure on the steering wheel...especially any time I Venture into the left lane. It doesn't take much of a distraction to imagine a scenario where the car drifts into the oncoming lane, or worse, an oncoming car. I have taken it to dealer three times with no success. Now I am getting the run-around (dealer from which I purchased the car is trying to push me off on another Toyota dealer who did the first "warranty" alignment which did not resolve the issue.

- Edwardsville, IL, USA

Not what you are looking for?