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:
64,519 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.

2009 Toyota Matrix engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #11

Sep 072016


  • miles


Excessive oil consumption. Red oil light comes on when you turn and stop vehicle before manufacturer change interval. Took to Toyota dealership for oil consumption test and the vehicle passed. Toyota fails to provide any technical information about the test such as what oil type used, amounted added, amount burned. This is the second tsb refused by Toyota for this vehicle to get out of safety recall and lawsuits. My first safety complaint was to get tbs for loose computer assisted steering. Toytota refused based on time passed and mileage of vehicle.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #10

Mar 062016


  • 60,000 miles
While driving, the car stalls. Everything turns off and I'm dead on the street, turnpike or highway. I have taken the car in twice, but Toyota has no idea what is happening. Sometimes it does not happen for a while, and then it will start stalling again. I have taken the car in again after stalling on the pa turnpike. This is a major safety issue. I am stalling on city roads, highways, turnpikes, and I risk an accident or being killed. This is a dangerous issue. I have informed the Toyota car dealership this will be their last time to find the problem and fix it.

- Jeffersonville, PA, USA

problem #9

Aug 112015


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Matrix. While driving at 40 mph and coming to a stop, the vehicle shook as if it would stall. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 112014


  • 125,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Matrix. While driving approximately 55 mph, the check engine warning light illuminated and the vehicle's speed decreased to 10 mph independently. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the engine needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 125,000.

- New Martinsville, WV, USA

problem #7

May 012014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
2009 Toyota Matrix first problem started stalling suddenly in traffic last year, but now very frequently stalls even on highways at high speeds. No warnings. When stalled all lights comes on in dash, including "check engine" light. Completely turn off ignition and restarting is the only way to fix this issue at that time. After restarting the check engine light goes out. Occurred several times in all sorts of weather, but more frequently in hot summer days. Yesterday stalled 4 times within 90 minutes drive. Restart cleared engine computer dealership had difficult time replicating failure. But, advised replacement of the engine control module at a cost of over $1000. Since this year model not recalled by Toyota yet. I do not know how or where to complain so that Toyota acknowledge that it is a safety issue and fix this at their expense.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #6

Dec 152014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
Multiple episodes of engine stall without warning. Instrument panel goes black and complete loss of power. A few times it sputtered and bucked before it stalled. Have had it in to Toyota twice now. The first time they were able to replicate the malfunction and said it was a loose fuse. I picked up the car and it stalled again while driving another 4 times. In the middle of a busy intersection with my toddler grandson in the back seat. Another time I was coming out of a dark tunnel with a blind turn doing approx 55mph and only by the grace of god did somebody not plow into the back of me. It could have been deadly. The car is back in the Toyota dealership and has been there for 4 weeks. The service department says they can't perform any repairs if they are unable to replicate the malfunction. I am left wondering if the 2005-2008 recalls for this very issues should indeed be expanded to include the 2009 as well.

- Las Vegas , NV, USA

problem #5

Nov 102014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 131,500 miles


On humid mornings, engine occasionally misses on start up then clears. Engine stalled with no warning and almost caused a rear end collision when it suddenly lost power on acceleration onto busy road. Next morning engine would not start until later in day after warming up. It started with extreme miss then cleared. The 08 matrix has an ECM recall for same reason however no notice was received for the 09 model manufactured on 5/08.

- Cropwell, AL, USA

problem #4

Apr 072014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 5 miles
Constantly stating it is need of oil for the engine. Have gone to Toyota dealer several times and replaced oil, filters and sensors with no success. Also no known leaks anywhere.

- Uniondale, NY, USA

problem #3

Nov 162012


  • 80,000 miles
Alternator needed to be replace.

- Minooka, IL, USA

problem #2

Jan 232013

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 83,200 miles
A noise started to come from the engine. As drove, noise got louder, car make a breaking noise, then coolant began to leak from the water pump area.

- Minooka, IL, USA

problem #1

Apr 202012


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, smoke started to emit from the engine compartment and all of the warning lamps illuminated. The brakes also failed to engage when depressed. The contact mentioned that she had to engage the emergency break in order to stop the vehicle. Three minutes later, the vehicle had become engulfed in flames. The fire department was contacted and no injuries were reported. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who decided to have the vehicle inspected by an engineer in order to determine what causes the fire. The failure and the current mileage was 25,000.

- Prosser, WA, USA

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