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Matrix Transmission Problems

jnr1jnr1 Posts: 1
I have a new 2006 Matrix (automatic) and 4 times the car has shifted from drive to 2nd gear on its own. Has anyone ever experienced this. The dealer thinks I'm nuts!


  • kimxkimx Posts: 2
    I was wondering if anyone else had this issue? I've found more than a few instances on the web about the clutch going in the Matrix at or around 30k... this proved to be true for my 05 XRS as well. Prior to my XRS, I had an 02 Celica GTS (Supposedly same clutch, engine, gear ratio...) but never had the issues in the Celica (Had just about 49k when I traded it in). I'm asking out of curiosity, because when I had my clutch replaced (Stage II ACT clutch put in) my mechanic said he had just done an XRS about a week before. I was also told to hang on to my receipt because it was a matter of time before a class action suit was filed. Anyone else have any experiences, thoughts...? Anything would be appreciated! :)
  • kwayne47kwayne47 Posts: 1
    What about your warranty?
  • kimxkimx Posts: 2
    Warranty is only until 30k for the clutch... I missed it by 3k! I was told by the dealer that I did not know what I was talking about when I said a clutch should not go at 33k miles... I guess it's because I'm female, I shouldn't know a thing about cars (HAH!). No help there... I didn't want to deal with the aggravation and I need my car (can't live without it!) so I went and had it replaced. But like I said in my previous post, I was told to hang onto my receipt because a class action suit against Toyota is "inevitable" (per my mechanic. What's your take on it?
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    There is something fishy about this story. To my knowledge, warranty is 36,000 miles or 36 months for all components and 60,000 miles or 60 months for engine, transmission, drive systems, etc. Based on what you are saying, the clutch should have been covered. Do you have documented proof that the dealer refused to repair/replace the clutch? I would call Toyota's customer service. This should be an open and shut case. This is not a class action suit. Good luck.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,667
    In general, clutches are not covered under any warranty, because people can either abuse them, or just do not know how to drive a stick properly.

    They are a wear and tear item. Check your warranty book that came with the owner's manual. It will state which components are covered, and what is not. With the clutch, it won't cover the disk or the pressure plate, and probably not the release bearing. No manufacturer covers clutches.

    Please do not take this the wrong way, I am not necessarily saying you caused the problem, but in most cases, it is the driver.
  • petlpetl Posts: 610
    What is the difference between a clutch and a clutch cover? The owners manual states that the clutch cover is covered (transmission and transaxle). The manual does indicate that clutch linings are a maintenance item. I am not very familiar with how it works. I guess clarification is required on what was defective or in need of repair (cover or lining). The problem I have is with kimx's statement concerning a 30,000 mile warranty (I wonder where that came from). If the dealer did not want to repair the clutch problem, we can only assume that it was the clutch lining and not the cover.
  • csmatrixcsmatrix Posts: 13
    I drive a 5 speed Matrix XR. Although its a reliable transmission, I found it to be down right unpleasent to drive at times. It dosen't seem to be geared for an engine with as little torque as the 1.8L has. To make things worse the throttle is horrible and makes it hard to drive smoothly. If anyone feel the same way please let me know. I'm thinking about trading it in for an 07 Mitsubishi Eclipse.
  • I bought a Matrix XRS in its first year of production. It had the 6 speed manual transmission. I found the shifting to be uncomfortable, also, and not smooth at all. When the clutch wore out at 29,000 miles or so, and Toyota told me that it was "normal wear", I went right over to Honda and traded it in on a Civic. I found that the Matrix defiinitely did not live up to Toyota's normal standards
  • heathyvtheathyvt Posts: 1
    I'm interested in buying a matrix after college, i'm big into the tuner scene. I'm interest in buying the AWD matrix but they only come in auto's as far as I i've seen. Is it posible to do the auto to standard sawp?
  • Hello - I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem. I have a 2003 toyota matrix, 5 speed, that has been properly maintained, etc. My manual transmission needs to be completely replaced due to a "fluke" in happenstance. I bought a toyota to last until at least 100K, and now I have to have a new transmission put in that will cost over $3000. I'm frustrated. Others with this problem, please let me know!
  • I have had an ongoing battle with Toyota Canada over my '03 Matrix after the manual transmission went at 108k (km) in Dec of 2005.

    A bearing needed replacing that cost me about $Cdn 1800 to repair, which was about $1500 labour. I failed to change the manual transmission fluid at 100K, which Toyota Canada said meant that the repair costs were all mine. They offered $300 to cover the parts as a Goodwill gesture. I told them to keep it. The fact is the US site and GM Canada site (Vibe; said powertrain) both say that the trans fluid only needs to be replaced if the vehicle is used to tow. I had the bearings subsequently dissected by a Materials lab and a report written identifying the problem as a defective bearing assembly (Japanese bearing parts out of tolerance) that did not fail due to any poor lubrication condition. Toyota Canada again denied any responsibility, and said that any future communications on this issue would not be addressed. The only joy I have had to date, is driving daily (work commute) by the plant where the car was made (Cambridge, Ont.) with a neon placard on the back window for all to see that tells my story:

    2003 Toyota Matrix
    Failed Manual Transmission 108K
    Me: $1800
    Toyota: $0
    Made in Cambridge

    I recently received a 2003 Matrix owner's customer satisfaction survey, which I sent back uncompleted to the president of Toyota Canada with a covering letter saying that he could fill it out on my behalf based on the enclosed copies of all of the correspondence.

    I would be interested in hearing about you experience.

  • My Transmission had a bearing failure at about 62K. Replacement cost about $1100.00. I asked Toyota nicely for some accomodation (split part of the cost? Give a coupon for something?) Their answer was that they would do nothing. The mechanic said the failure had nothing to do with maintainence or use. It was simply a bad part. Please reply with similar experiences (Now there are at least two of us)

    By the way the clutch wnet out at about 30K, but Toyota id fix that.
  • I have a 2004 matrix XRS with only 113,000 kms and just replaced the clutch and am told my transmission is trashed. This is unacceptable for a Toyota product! I am looking into warranties and replacements but feel this needs to be addressed by Toyota Canada, and if not by them, then Toyota Japan. I have only driven Toyota and this is the worst car I have ever owned - even my Toyota Tercel was better quality than my Matrix.
  • tuxristotuxristo Posts: 5

    A bearing went in my 2003 Toyota Matrix XR 5-speed transmission about a week ago at 108K (km) !!

    (I was in the middle of nowhwere 250km from the nearest dealer, 40km from the nearest town at 1am BTW)

    When I read your post, I could think only one thing, defective batch?!
    Anyway my Matrix was made in Cambridge, April 2003 and bought June 2003 in Calgary.

    Transmission fluid was changed by Toyota last year.

    I am trying to find more people that this has happened to
    If the bearings in that transmission were faulty,
    then I am guessing that sooner or later they will all go
    and since the average driver may not have hit 108K km yet
    more of this will probably crop up.

  • My dad is a heavy duty mechanic and has been a loyal Toyota customer for as long as I can remember. He said the same thing about the bearings in the transmission. I have not replaced my transmission, he told me to drive it until it dies..:(....and why would I replace my transmission with another Matrix transmission that could be faulty??? Makes no sense does it? When I went to a local Toyota dealer I brought up the fact that there has been problems with the Matrix transmission, he acknowledged that they had come across a few...

    I believe this is happening to more people than we know of and am prepared to do whatever it takes to find them!! I am a frequent visitor to Japan and just returned at the end of February. I can tell you the Japanese take GREAT pride in everything they do and everything they make and probably have no idea of the problems of the Matrix - in fact the Matrix is not made in Japan, it is made in Canada....AND.....I don't believe that Toyota Japan even sells the am willing to pursue this at whatever level is needed. I feel Toyota Canada needs to acknowledge the problem and do a recall...let me know if you are interested....ds
  • ron99ron99 Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 Matrix and I just had the manual transmission replaced at 63,000 miles. I luckily bought a Toyota certified used vehicle and it comes with a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. I did elect to change the clutch while it was out because it was only $300.00 to do it. I also bought a Toyota to have it last a long time and am dissapointed.
  • Here is another one for you ... 102,000 kms on a 2003 matrix 5sp and the tranny bearing exploded taking out the works.
    I have been waiting for Toyota Canada to stand up and help me out here , but I should have not been suprised when they have offered next to nothing . If any or all of you can send in your serial # , kms , and a detailed description on how this happened and what there response was , I would be very interested .If you find any other people with the same problem , ask them to do the same. It sounds to me like this is a concern that needs to be moved to a different level. I have driven a lot of toyotas and this has put a real sour taste in my mouth....
    I honestly believe that Toyota is one of the few companies with values and if this can be sent in the right direction action will be taken to rectify our concerns.
  • pattihpattih Posts: 1
    I have 2003 5 speed Matrix XR bought in May of 2002. At a little over 95,000 I requested they check everything thoroughly just in case something looked questionable and I could get it covered before the warranty expired. I was told everything was great. (90% of my miles are highway miles, so clutch and everything else appeared to be in great shape.) Yesterday at 108,000 miles they informed me my transmission was bad due to a bad bearing. My options: by a used transmission, new transmission or dump the car for a trade in value of $5,000. I was told they could only put a 2003 transmission in the car because they made changes to the 2004 and newer transmissions making them incompatible with the 2003 Matrix. Consumer report shows the transmissions for the 2003 Matrix rated in the middle (newer models were rated high-but maybe that's because they don't have that many miles on them yet). This is the first Toyota I ever bought because of the stellar reputation for longevity i.e. I was told I could count on it without major problems for 200,000 miles if I did the required maintenance. I'm wondering what's the point of paying $2,300 to install a new transmission (that already has 50,000 miles on it - it's all they could find) and have the same problem? Or what's the point of paying almost $3,500 and having the same problem. If they're defective then the problem will be there again. Is this only an issue for manual transmissions? Is it primarily an issue for 2003s? I love the car otherwise and would like another, but don't trust the tran problem. Nobody from Toyota will acknowledge it's a defect and stand behind it.
  • robins0910robins0910 Posts: 1
    I have a 04 Matrix XR I purchased it 06/03 and just had the transmission replaced at just over 46k miles. I was told by the dealer that the differential came apart inside the trans. No out of pocket expense for me since they cover the trans for 60k miles but I can't say I would buy another Toyota after this experience, I'll probably go back to Honda.
  • I'll add to the 2003 Matrix woes. I just had to have the transmission worked on because the bearings were totally shot. I was told it was a "fluke" as well. Do they get that in training? Only 5 months ago I had to replace the water pump and have the brakes worked on. I've done all of the work at the dealership and have been very good with maintenance throughout the life of the car. So in the past 5 months my Matrix has cost me almost $4,000. It was $1,700 for the water pump and brakes and $2,000 for the transmission (they are putting in a new clutch while they're at it). I did not expect to have to sink this much money into what is basically a Corolla wagon. So buyer beware regarding the 2003 Toyota Matrix.
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