Last post on Oct 07, 2013 at 1:21 PM
You are in the Toyota Matrix
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Toyota Matrix, Transmission, Wagon
#298 of 573 Re: Need some advice for the 2003 Toyota Matrix [jamborski]
Jun 23, 2009 (1:58 pm)
Thanks for the response, jamborski. Since the car is 2.5 hours away from me, I decided to just get the dealer to replace it for 2900. I was just passing through that town, so if it breaks down again I need to be able to take it somewhere local.
A note to other victims of this crackerjack transmission: I just got off the phone with Toyota's national customer service line. The woman I spoke with said that there is no documentation of a similar problem with the 2003 Toyota Matrix 5 speed, so there was nothing they could do to help me. I know that there is an acceptable amount of complaints that they will field before acknowledging the defect or issuing a recall, but she told me that it was confidential how many complaints there have been so far. Because I haven't taken the car to a dealer to be serviced (and pay twice as much), they were unwilling to offer any help through their "goodwill" program. I am in law school and told the woman that in two years I will be an attorney and have nothing better to do with my time than spend the next two years researching this and mounting a case. I was hoping that would have had a more dramatic effect, but she just cheerfully thanked me for calling Toyota. Oh well. I encourage everyone on this site to call Toyota and lodge their complaint. While there will likely not be any immediate relief, at least there will be a record. Maybe one day we can file a class action suit for the defective bearings. I am not imagining anything big or dramatic, but if there are enough people with the same problem, we could at least collect what we have paid on the part and the service. That number is 1-800-331-4331. In the meantime, everyone should keep a copy of all service records and detailed accounts of conversations with any Toyota employees and what they have said.
The other consideration is that if the transmissions are giving out at or around 100,000 miles, there may be a lot of Matrix owners who have yet to reach that mileage. So, this could just be the beginning of a huge problem for Toyota.
Good luck to everyone.
#299 of 573 Re: O4 Matrix Transmission problems [aa262]
Jun 24, 2009 (10:01 pm)
My standard 5-speed 03 Matrix suddenly shifted from 4th gear to neutral while I was driving on the highway this morning. While searching for anyone having had a similar experience, I found your posting, as well as the postings about Matrix transmission failures around 100K. My car has only 62K miles - I'm now worried about whether the "slipping to neutral" is a precursor for the failed transmissions discussed in the other postings. Have you found out anything more about the problem?
#300 of 573 transmissions on Matrix
Jun 24, 2009 (10:24 pm)
I am looking to purchase a new Matrix or Vibe, can anyone tell me if the transmission problems still exist and are the problems only with the manual transmissions?
#301 of 573 Re: O4 Matrix Transmission problems [jsal3]
Jun 25, 2009 (8:13 am)
I haven't found out anything else beyond what they told me initially. Once they get the old transmission out, I will put another post about what they said went wrong, specifically. I will tell you that starting about six months before this happened, I noticed that the car was driving differently. There seemed to be a lot of "road noise" and it seemed like the car was working a lot harder to keep up anything over fifty miles per hour. When the car actually broke down, I was pulling off the interstate and there was a loud clank and the stick felt very loose all of a sudden. Then there was a metal scraping sound (which I think was probably my shift plates scraping against each other?) The car would lurch suddenly every quarter mile or so. I kept driving a little further to an oil change place and the mechanic got in the car with me and immediately identified the problem as bad bearings in the transmission. I didn't have the option to stay where I was and he told me to drive back home and he thought I could make it. Thirty miles later, then the car knocked me out of fifth gear and went into neutral. I tried to get it back in and it went into fourth for about one minute and then the speedometer went to zero. It just completely broke down from there and I found myself on the side of the road in Alabama in a grove of trees with the ten commandments nailed to every tree. It was peculiar. I know this is a long and boring description, but maybe it can help you. I would say call Toyota and take it into the dealership for any problems you are having. Since you are at 62K, that is close enough to their original warranty that if something catastrophic happens you are covered. Raise holy hell if they try to say they won't cover it. EVERYBODY needs to call Toyota and make a record of the problems they are having or they will never issue the recall.
When I get my car back next week, I will post a follow up of what the mechanic said.
#302 of 573 Re: transmissions on Matrix [sms9758]
Jun 25, 2009 (8:20 am)
From my understanding, it is just in the manual transmission. Other than this whole mess, the Matrix has been great. The only other complaint is that the cheap plastic Toyota parts fall off all the time.
#303 of 573 Re: transmissions on Matrix [upyourstoyota]
Jun 25, 2009 (2:43 pm)
Sounds like the same thing that happened to me. But, it has happened to me twice already with 2 different transmissions. I think everyone with this transmission problem should contact toyota and they should be forced through a class action suit to recall these matrix's. Other than that I have had great success with my matrix. I just filled up the tank yesterday and got 43MPG!!!! with 165k miles on it.
Update when you can,
#304 of 573 Re: O4 Matrix Transmission problems [jsal3]
Jun 26, 2009 (11:13 am)
My 2003 standard 5-speed Matrix has been slipping out of 3rd gear. I have to hold the stick in 3rd gear position (with a pretty good amount of force) until I completely let off the clutch or it will slip into neutral. I brought it in this morning thinking maybe I would need an adjustment on my clutch since I just had a brand new transmission and clutch installed in January 2008. The technician called me and told me the transmission is bad and they recommend replacing it. Apparently the internal gear fork is warn pretty badly which is causing the slipping. I canít imagine putting another new transmission in after only a year and a half. I love the car. The transmission has been the only problem Iíve had with it. I just hate to dump another $2.5-$3K into it. I donít know if this is similar to your problem, but thought I would share my experience with you and any others experiencing similar problems.
#305 of 573 Re: O4 Matrix Transmission problems [tarakheid]
Jun 26, 2009 (2:22 pm)
I wish I could emphasize enough to everyone about calling Toyota and registering a complaint about this. I have the number listed in one of my earlier threads. With enough complaints, they will issue a recall.
#306 of 573 Re: O4 Matrix Transmission problems [tarakheid]
Jun 28, 2009 (5:37 pm)
did toyota replace your transmission the first time? I hope you have a warranty on it. I've got a one year warranty and I think I'll drive my matrix as much as I can to make sure it won't break
#307 of 573 Contacting the NHTSA
Jul 02, 2009 (1:20 pm)
I wrote a message a week or so ago, about having my 03 Matrix 5-speed suddenly shift all on its own from 4th to neutral on the highway. Thank you, those of you that responded to my posting.
I took my car in to the dealer the next day, but they were unable to get the problem to recur, and so just charged me for the test drive and sent me home with my car. They questioned whether I could have bumped the stick, or not had it completely in gear... The conclusion (for them) was that it was a "freak" occurrence. (I had made mention to the service person about having read about transmission problems on the net, and that I had found another person with the exact same problem. They didn't offer any response to that.)
I took my car on a 3 hour trip the following weekend, and the "spontaneous shifting" happened again (from 4th to neutral), twice in succession. I was going up an incline on the highway.
On my return, I checked out this site again, and read even further back in the postings. I came across one posting in which the NHTSA site was given. I went to that site and it looked as though this was the organization that investigated the power window regulator bolt problem on the Pontiac Vibe. I'm wondering if this is what led to the subsequent recall. I found no investigations on their site looking into the Matrix transmission problems or bad bearings. Has anyone submitted a request for an investigation yet?
I'm including the website here, again:
I'm heading back to the dealer again. We'll see what they say this time...