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Matrix Transmission Problems



  • I take care of my car. The transmission was kept up. Defective bearings in the transmission broke down, causing the shift plates to grate against each other, ultimately destroying the transmission. This was not user error.

    When people google "Matrix transmission problems" this thread is one of the first things to pop up. It makes sense that this thread generates most if all of the complaints since another forum is not readily available to click on in google results.

    I hope that the knowledge that you changed your '88 Accord's oil every 30K miles brings you comfort when you are replacing your Matrix's transmission at 100K to 130K miles.

    There are a lot of very angry people on this forum who paid an exorbitant amount of money to replace a defective part on their Toyotas. We've all heard from Toyota that it must be our fault that the transmission broke, but most of us also heard from our mechanics what the real reason was. It is frustrating to read someone, with no knowledge of the individual circumstances everyone went through, try to suggest that it must be our own fault that the transmission broke down at 100K.

    Perhaps the reason that there aren't many complaints yet is that it typically takes about ten years for people to drive 100K miles and the '03 and '04 Matrices are just now hitting that mark... I haven't heard anything about the '06 Matrix, but you'll have to let us all know how that turns out for you.

    Enjoy your Matrix!
  • mbealesmbeales Posts: 6
    The manual transmission in my 2006 Matrix failed at about 65,000 miles, just out of warranty. If you look carefully you will notice that many of the posts here report failures at 100,000 km, not 100,000 miles, again just out of warranty. My Matrix was taken to the dealer for maintenance and all recommended procedures were performed. I do not believe that the failure was due to poor maintenance or abuse since the transmission in my 1996 Tacoma is still going strong after more than 240,000 miles

    If the posts on this forum represent all the failures in these transmissions that's really not a bad record considering the number of these cars sold. The transmission failure was not what I expected of my Toyota but I believe Toyota was reasonably fair in providing a new transmission for installation costs only. If the new transmission performs as my other Toyotas have I will have no qualms about buying Toyotas in the future. If it fails at <100,000 miles I will probably look elsewhere for my next car.

    If and when you hear "the noise" in your Matrix I suggest you have it towed to a dealer for diagnosis and repair. The dealer is in the best position to, and has the greatest interest in, providing some cost adjustment on the repair. It looks like many of those who posted here had their cars repaired by independent mechanics and then tried to get Toyota to cover the cost. Good luck with your Matrix!
  • circuitsmithcircuitsmith Posts: 117
    edited April 2010
    > I take care of my car. ... This was not user error.

    I didn't say it was. Don't put words in my mouth. My 'Scheduled Maintenance Guide' calls for no trans oil change in 120K miles, except under 'Special Operating Conditions'.

    > There are a lot of very angry people on this forum...

    Well, don't be angry at me. OK?

    > It is frustrating to read someone, with no knowledge of the individual circumstances everyone went through, try to suggest that it must be our own fault that the transmission broke down at 100K.

    Again, that's not what I said. I read pretty much this whole thread. I have some knowledge of what people went through. This conversation ends here. If I wanted to be browbeaten I would have gone to USENET.
  • I came off very rude and I apologize. I've re-read your post and I still infer that you were not too subtly implying a lack of maintenance as the reason behind the defective transmission. If that is not what you intended, then accept my apology. I am struggling to see what else you could have meant?

    Anyway, this is just an internet forum and should not be a day ruiner, so sorry for any strife.
  • lukeb1lukeb1 Posts: 2
    Add me to the list:

    Symptom: rattling when accelerating at low RPMs.
    Current mileage: 99262km

    Toyota on Front: "Sounds like it might be coming from the
    transmission, don't see anything else wrong. We can replace it for $3800."

    I have since found this forum.

    I plan to take it to an independent mechanic to have a look.

    In the meantime I am considering alternatives to advocate for our plight...
  • A few months ago, I call the APA (Association de Protection des Automobilistes, in Quebec) and explained my problems with my Matrix transmission (see posts by Simonotaylor). They have been in contact with Toyota Canada since then. And their work helped a lot: Toyota Canada finally offered me a refund for half the bill for my transmission repair, which I accepted.

    They think it has to do with recent Toyota difficulties that they decided to refund APA members that complained about their Matrix (I am not the only that has been refunded).

    That $750 refund was welcome and I think the company is heading the good direction.

    So if your are in Quebec, contact APA, they may help you!
  • mbealesmbeales Posts: 6
    You don't say what year your Matrix is. Toyota told me something similar when I brought my 2006 in. I shopped around a bit and the independent mechanic I consulted didn't offer to do the job much cheaper. I decided to let Toyota go ahead and was pleasantly surprised when they installed a new transmission for the cost of labor only (about $1000). This was right around the time the big recall was announced. Good luck!
  • lukeb1lukeb1 Posts: 2
    it's a 2003.
    I doubt that my dealer will give me the part for free, they are always trying to get me to pay for a bunch of unneeded services when I go in for regular oil changes. Once they tried to get me to go for and "Engine Shampoo". No, really.
    I'm pretty sure they aren't going to spring for a $2000 tranny without a fight...
  • I have a 2003 Matrix 4wd XR. It's been making funny rattling noises for a year. I guess it's the bearings. Yesterday, it felt like the transmission was starting to slip. You know that jerking action when the car is having trouble shifting gears, but then doesn't shift? It took a few seconds, but finally shifted. I am at 103K miles. I am going in for service Wednesday. The check engine light came on at about 2 weeks ago. I'm concerned that the transmission might be bad... Is this the time to buy a new car?
  • cefynecefyne Posts: 3
    6 months after purchasing my new 2006 Matrix the transmission quit, period. Stopped while on the freeway. Toyota replaced the transmission with no argument. However, this year the car jumps while climbing hills. It jumps so badly it startles myself and/or any passengers. One Toyota dealer said they would look at it for about $174, no guarantee they could fix it. Another dealer took the vehicle ran it through the computer took it for a test drive and claimed there was no problem. The car still jumps. I have to stay very conscious of my accelerator to keep it from happening and am not always successful. If I take it out of Over Drive it does better but still no guarantee it will not jump. I'm not a happy camper.
  • hiddot84hiddot84 Posts: 10
    Good News! The attorney's have been contacted and are currently reviewing data as we speak. I thank everyone here for all your contributions ,time, and stories. I hope we hear something soon that will be of good news. I will keep posting as information is available upon release.
  • hillhumhillhum Posts: 6
    My rear Differential in my 2006 Toyota Martix XR 4WD was making a whining noise that increased in volume as speed increased. I took it to the dealership and was informed that it was the Rear Diff. and would cost $2300 to replace. Car has 68K. Powertrain Warr. is 5 yrs. or 60K. Dealer quoted me price of $2388 to fix?? I said it should not have gone out as I have done EVERY maintenance on this car. They then offered me a measly 10% as a whiner/consolation fee. I then called the "customer center" of Toyota and was eventually told that they would up the "offer" to $600, and that was their final offer. They then called me the next day and told me that it was actually the Transmission Coupling Assy, and that it would cost another $400. Toyota said they would cover the difference of $400 since it was misdiagnosed. I said they should cover all of it since it was clearly defective. They refused. Then I found a Toyota Technical Service Bulletin on the internet describing the EXACT problem, dated August 23, 2007. So they knew about the problem, and did not notify me. I know this must have happened over a long time, and I could have brought the car in to be inspected, well within its warranty, but Toyota did nothing. I think Toyota is NOT standing behind their product. $2417 later, Toyota would not acknowledge that this was a defective part, and forced me to pay for it. I shudder to think what might have happened had this part seized up on me at 65 mph in traffic, or on one of our icy mountain roads in the winter.
  • Who do we send information to? Is this in Canada or the US? Sorry, been out of the country and haven't stayed up to date on things. I am definitely in on this, just had a second clutch replaced along with my transmission, fly wheel and starter..
  • chia6000chia6000 Posts: 1
    THIS IS EXACTLY what happened to me starting today. Interesting. I took it to the dealer. seems ok now. (cross fingers)
  • hillhumhillhum Posts: 6
    This is what my 2006 XR 4WD was doing as well. it was diagnosed as needing the Transmission Coupling and Bearing assy. needing replacement at 68K, Toyota would not eat the cost as it was out of warranty. However, they knew about this very problem because I found a Toyota Technical Service Bulletin dated August 23, 2007 DL002-07. I would bet it it is the same issue... I complained to Toyota and eventually I got $1000 off for the job. But I still ended up paying $2400. Good luck!
  • hiddot84hiddot84 Posts: 10
    If you have the information from the Toyota Report please post a link on here I will fwd this on to my attorneys. This info. will be very helpful.
  • hillhumhillhum Posts: 6
    I don't have a link, I have the actual Technical Service Bulletin. I would be happy to fax it to you or something...
  • cefynecefyne Posts: 3
    Any chance I could send you scanned info my email? Don't have a fax machine.
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  • 03matrixissue03matrixissue Posts: 1
    edited May 2010
    I really can't believe it!, it looks like you can add me to the list of the 03 Matrix transmission issue! My car (with only 85000 KM!!) fully dealer serviced since day 1 (I'm first owner), is experiencing the same symptoms of a bearing failure, low grinding noise (consistent) like something is rubbing (sounds like a bad rotor rub) last night and then driving home something felt like it scrapped on the pavement (a louder grinding sound - inconsistent), I pushed the clutch in and all noises went away (until release again). I drove maybe 8 Km, the louder of the two sounds happened 3 more times until I parked it in my driveway. Seemed to switch in and out of gear fine, clutch seemed fine (didn't try 4th or 5th). In retrospect, the low grinding noise may have been going on for a week now as it did sound a little strange but I attributed it to the brake work I just had done, not sure, just noticed it last night with windows open and no music. I really am still in shock at the moment, I am having it towed to Toyota for them to look at but based on what I read here, another case of this bearing issue! I am so mad\upset right now, I have babied this car and made sure it was Toyota serviced since day 1 (looks like that doesn't matter, as it's a matter on time with this bearing). Now I will hold off other comments until I see what Toyota has to say here on the East coast of Canada. They have always seemed to treat me well, and me them by taking my car to them for all service, even after regular warranty (plus referrals)! So here is where the true test happens, will they stand by me with "goodwill" after all that and due to low KM, in my mind this is not coincidence but a defect! ...I will definitly respond when I know more! I like many others am very concerned about this. Normal wear and tear I'm fine with, this, I'm not. Not on a Toyota, I've have told countless ppl how reliable this car was!!!!! I see all the next steps after I find out what's going on,,,, local media...I will see what Toyota has to say now, I can't afford (like many others) thousands of dollars for this repair! Just can't believe it on a 85K Toyota! Internal bearings like that should be made to last!

    Ps - on the only positive note I can think of at this moment, I am glad I found this forum last night, if not I may have tried to drive on the highway (110KM/hour) to get it to the dealership (instead of towing) to have them check it but could have endangered my own life, my girlfriends, and who knows who else if I would have lost control at 110KM/hour on the highway if it would have locked up!, so thank you for your posts (even years later),....TBCont.....
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