Last post on Oct 07, 2013 at 1:21 PM
You are in the Toyota Matrix
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Toyota Matrix, Transmission, Wagon
#86 of 573 2004 Matrix ManualTransmission = DEAD @ 64K
Nov 06, 2007 (10:20 am)
Bought this car brand new in in May 2003.
In August, on a trip Upstate, I noticed a noise coming from the engine compartment of my car. I had about 61,000 miles on the car at that time. I this I first noticed this rattling noise because we had the windows up and the a/c on. Never noticed it before.
The car shifted fine, just had this annoying noise that reminded me of a extended ping. Didn't imagine in my wildest dreams that this noise, which was inaudible with the windows down and the radio on, would be such a serious problem!
Two weeks ago, I called the shop about looking into the noise and he mechanic asked me to check to see if I heard it when I stopped. No noise at a stop, but I did notice that when driving, if I pushed the clutch in the noise went away.
When I brought the car into the shop last Monday 10/30/07, my mechanic said the noise was coming from the transmission. Drove the car approximately 100 miles since then, local driving. Called Toyota after reading the posts here and they said "no reported problems, nothing they can do." Case closed. Case #200710020501.
En-route to Toyota Dealer to have the transmission looked at last night, the car died. I noticed that when I got onto the highway the rattling noise disappeared, and instead made high-pitched whirring noise. Weird, I thought,... got off the highway and took local route to the dealer.
As I drove I heard all kinds of other intermittent noises: growls, squeals, squeaks and then the final noise which sounded like the transmission actually dropped out. I was surprised when I looked under the car to see that it hadn't. Luckily I was on the highway service road and not on the main section, or I would have been killed.
I have driven every kind of manual car, rattle-traps included, and never have had a problem with a manual transmission.
It's very convenient that Toyota claims they have no service bulletins on this issue, and that all of us are left with the bill for fixing what is obviously a defective transmission. I am ready scream! I will NEVER buy another Toyota again, but I am also not finished fighting.
One person posted that "Unfortunately unless there is a safety issue, I don't think we are going to get lucky with a recall." There is most certainly a safety issue here when the powertrain of the car breaks down. I am going to report this to the National Transportation Safety Board, and I suggest everyone else do so as well.
Their website is:
#87 of 573 Re: I Called Toyota [tbrane]
Nov 06, 2007 (10:40 am)
Good suggestion. The U.S. # is 1-800-331-4331.
#88 of 573 Re: 2004 Matrix ManualTransmission = DEAD @ 64K [dlugoker]
Nov 06, 2007 (10:46 am)
And the agreed to warranty on the transmission is how many miles? It's probably safe to assume that you didn't purchase the extended warranty package, correct?
I think everyone has an expectation that it's going to run for 100's of thousands of miles, but legally Toyota appears covered. Whether they do anything out of 'good will', is a different subject.
#89 of 573 Re: 2004 Matrix ManualTransmission = DEAD @ 64K [dlugoker]
Nov 06, 2007 (11:19 am)
Your noise descriptions are EXACTLY like mine. The initial rattling my friends I decided was probably a hole in the exhaust system. THen on the highway, suddenly changed to high pitched whine until we pulled off the highway and shifted down and the horrible clunking of metal started. Managed to make it to the next exit at Houlton and got it towed from there. I don't know how to get something to happen with all this. Clearly a problem that Toyota will not admit to. Many have complained even though they lie that no one has. Call the dealer you bought it from to try to get something through 'good will'. They will do it in an attempt to try to avoid losing customers - though I will unlikely buy another one. Going to Honda or Subaru next.
#90 of 573 Re: 2004 Matrix ManualTransmission = DEAD @ 64K [kiawah]
Nov 06, 2007 (11:19 am)
I guess I should be so lucky that my transmission lasted until 135,000 km's. or about 84,000 miles. I agree that this could be a safety issue.
Transmissions fail unexpectantly. There is a faulty main bearing. Toyota is aware of the problem and currently has an update kit for the transmission but has failed to let consumers know. It is unknown whether the failure of this bearing could result in a catastrophic failure that may result in injuries to passengers?
#91 of 573 Re: 2004 Matrix ManualTransmission = DEAD @ 64K [jamesimcb]
Nov 06, 2007 (11:28 am)
certainly getting stuck in the middle of nowhere Maine without cell coverage is not too safe on the side of a highway.
#92 of 573 Re: 2004 Matrix ManualTransmission = DEAD @ 64K [jamesimcb]
Nov 06, 2007 (11:30 am)
As much as I understand the reason to try and stretch the logic as to what is 'safety', my opinion is that is an argument that is going nowhere. If you think about it, there are more obvious items that would be a far worse safety exposure, that occur much sooner than an engine or transmission failure.
- Tires wearing bald at 20-30K miles......why shouldn't a dealer have to maintain those? They certainly are a safety hazard if they get bald and explode. That's not covered by warranty.
- Brake linings wearing down to nothing and cutting into the rotors, leaving no stopping capability. Certainly a safety hazard. That's not covered by warranty either.
Don't get me wrong, I'd be trying every logic angle I could to try and get Toyota to repair it and avoid a 3K repair bill. It's just that they aren't legally required to do anything, and I'd be going after the "I'm a loyal repeat customer over the years with all service done at the dealer and please cut me a break" angle.
#93 of 573 Re: 2004 Matrix ManualTransmission = DEAD @ 64K [kiawah]
Nov 06, 2007 (12:55 pm)
Agreed that my comment was a stretch and perhaps out of context. Just Venting!
Worn tires and brakes are known maintenance and are easily visibly identified. And you are correct in that the Neon which was known to wear brakes and tires prematurely was not recalled to my knowledge?
Hopefully the transmission casing on the matrix is strong enough should there be such a catastrophic event as described above. With the whole whopping 126 HP that the matrix produces a scatter shield is unnecessary and a failure this bad is probably not likely but possible.
Toyota is flexing their reliability muscle and would never admit to a problem of this nature. When you purchase a bad toyota you are pretty much screwed.
Its no different than toyota avoiding their previous oil "sludge" problem in their older cars.
The bottom line is that Toyota is very good at turning a blind eye.
The key to this problem is don't buy a Toyota. And if you do, do not expect them to stand behind their cars when there is an unexpected defect!
Most Toyota's are good. Some are bad. And if you get a bad one, you are probably better off with any other manufacturer but Toyota because as far as Toyota is concerned their cars don't have problems.
#94 of 573 Re: 2004 Matrix ManualTransmission = DEAD @ 64K [jamesimcb]
Nov 06, 2007 (1:18 pm)
I was seriously considering a Matrix as a next potential vehicle, but have ruled it out primarily because of this transmission issue.
Still thinks it's form factor is perfect for my daughters need, though.
#95 of 573 Re: 2004 Matrix ManualTransmission = DEAD @ 64K [kiawah]
Nov 06, 2007 (1:33 pm)
I don't know that ALL matrix's have this problem. It seems like the first few years do. We bought our 2004 in 2003, not being a car designer, I don't know what those differences would include. I didn't see any such posts on 2005 and forward.
I must say that the car was great in all other respects...we actually were able to get an apartment sized refrigerator in the thing, so flexible in terms of usage, but that little problem with Toyota not admitting to what seems to be a problem is the issue here.
I can honestly say that the way people drive on Long Island, had I been on the highway side of the divider that I would have been creamed. Even the man who towed my vehicle said the same. Breaking down in a lane when everyone is doing 70+ miles an hour will at least put you in the position of being rear-ended and then who knows what!
And, when I called Toyota last week, the rep on the phone said that a failing powertrain would be considered a safety hazard.
All said, I don't think I will buy another Toyota, even though they have always served me well. As with most companies, I think there is a definite de-evolution of quality as they get larger. Think Enron, Xerox, and GM.