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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,780 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 #8

Feb 072009


  • miles


2009 Toyota Matrix. Consumer writes in regards to safety and operational issues with vehicle and seeks to return vehicle for refund of the purchase price. The consumer stated she has experienced several near accidents because of the inability to see oncoming vehicles approaching from the left and traffic (particularly pedestrian traffic) blocked completely from her view on the right by the large side mirrors. Additionally, backing up and detecting approaching vehicles from behind created an issue, because the pillars by the rear window blocked her view. In addition, the vehicle made a grinding sound while idling, and the under mount sounded as though there was a metal grinding on metal.

- Vista, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 172009


  • miles
Vehicle stalls unexpectedly in traffic. Multiple calls to service department have not solved problem. Vehicle has stalled on the interstate as well as in busy intersections. Serious accident is immanent.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #6

Sep 282009

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that while driving at any speed, the engine would make a very loud noise, similar to that of a diesel truck. Once the noise ceased, the check engine light would illuminate on the instrument panel and the vehicle would stall. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on numerous occasions, where the contact was informed that the crank sensor, front rotors, and computer all experienced failures. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 31,000 and the current mileage was 66,000. Updated 09/28/2011

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012010


  • 35,037 miles


2009 Toyota Matrix S stalled while still driving, sometimes at highway speeds. Been driving for about 30 minutes then suddenly stalls and is unable to restart. Dealer says they can't recreate or find problem. May be same problem with 2005-2008 Matrix.

- Westminster, CO, USA

problem #4

Jul 262010


  • 23,000 miles
My car is a Toyota Matrix S 2009, this vehicle has given me problems since the eight months it was purchased with a mileage of 8000 miles at the time of the incident, the check engine light, vsc off, 4WD and warning slip was seized without reason, and the engine made me a very loud noise, like a big truck engine, this has already been happening to me for 6 consecutive times lately I have this problem 3 times in a row in a month, each time I replaced the crank sensor and water pump, but the problem persists, I transported daily to my child in this car and I am appalled every day fearing an accident, do not want this car but now I'm in the process of arbitration return, do not I have confidence in the Toyota corporation, has had many concerns about security in their products.

- New Haven, CT, USA

problem #3

Jul 162009

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
The contact that the 2009 Toyota corolla Matrix stalls every time the contact stops at an enter section. And when the contact turns the car back the vehicle has no power. The caller has owned the vehicle for 5 months. This has also happened when the contact tries to pull off from the intersection. Problem started at 3000 miles current miles is 9000. Updated 12/30/09 the consumer stated the stalling would occur after pulling into an intersection after idling at a red light. The dealer stated they did not know how to address the problem, but they reset the engine control module, however the stalling continued. Updated 12/30/09.

- Lawrence, KS, USA

problem #2

Sep 282008


  • 10,000 miles
2009 Toyota Matrix with 1.8 L engine stalls at intersections. Dealer very resistant to admitting to the problem, but allegedly "reset" control module, resulting in less frequency of occurrence. Potentially very dangerous situation as not possible to predict when stall will occur and more likely in intersections. Stalling occurred numerous times, especially from 8000 to 10000 miles. Vehicle currently at approximately 19000 miles and has occasional stalls.

- Lawrence, KS, USA

problem #1

Nov 262008


  • 200 miles
I have a 2009 Toyota Matrix xr. It stall intermittently, more frequently in humid weather. Can not "recreate" situation, but happens at least 5 times per week now that we are in a more rainy season. I first noticed this problem in November but it cleared up during the cold months and now is back with the fury. I took it to the dealership in December--again could not recreate for dealer. Yesterday it happened twice in city traffic. I have dropped off car at dealer and they looked at it today and couldn't find anything wrong. The car had 60 miles on it when I purchased it in November and currently has 6,300 miles. I have serviced it according to schedule. I have driven a manual transmission exclusively for over 20 years with not similar problems. Dealer will look at it but will not provide me with loaner car.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

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