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Toyota Matrix Tire/Wheel Questions

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  • I noticed that the inside of the front right tire was wearing more than the rest of the tire during the last rotation at 15K+ miles in September. The tire was also visibly feathered with the tread angling towards the inside of the tire. I put off getting it checked out because I was busy with house chores (stupid me).

    Well, I started noticing a "wobble" noise a few weeks ago and decided to get it checked out. I took my car to an independent repair shop because most of the local Toyota dealerships did not get good ratings from www.checkbook.org. The independent repair shop said that the right rear wheel was misaligned and they could fix it, but it would cost $200+ because they would have to remove the rear hub assembly and shim the wheels to align them. They suggested taking it to a Toyota dealer because it should still be under warranty. They think the alignment issue came that way from the factory.

    I took my Matrix to the same dealership where I purchased it and they stated that the alignment was fine. They said that the Continental tires were the issue and to contact Continental. They said there is an issue with Continental tires wearing the way I described. I thought it was bull and told the service writer so.

    Now after reading all of these other posts about the same issue, I'm a bit worried. I can't afford to just get rid of this car and I don't want to be buying new tires every 20K miles or so. I'm not sure what to do at this point or if anything can even be done. The alignment warranty expires in about 1400 miles/5 weeks.
  • FYI: Tire wear (Matrix) humbug,
    Update on 2005 Matrix Tire Wear.
    Toyota blamed Continential Tires on our car too. Toyota replaced tires at approximately 7,000 miles W/ Goodyear Brand. Now we're at 14,000 plus miles and seems like we are having same trouble again. Not as bad yet but will have to wait for more wear to make up our mind for sure.
    These tires are starting to give off a slight rumble like before! Seems like problem is ONLY W/front tires. Alignment checks OK per Toyota Dealer. WHAT TO DO?????
    BIG QUESTION????? Mr and Mrs humbug
  • Initiate warranty claims ASAP for the Alignment problem. The tires Continental sold to Toyota for installation are labled as the highes warranty - so the tire story from Toyota is bunk - Your personal mechanic is correct - the car was manufactured with an alignment malady. It is not uncommon for front tires to get out of alignment under aggressive driving conditions or hitting bumps, oil patches, or other conditions that cause strain of the system when in a turn. But rear wheel alignment should never be a problem or a recurring problem on a new car.

    You need to have documented three attempts/requests for the dealer/manufacture to fix the same recurring problem. after the third unsatisfactory attempt as the Manufacturer for the Lemmon Law Paperwork for them to buy the car back. Tell the dealership in advance this is what you intend - the dealership will not buy the car back but they must support you in your Lemmon Law pursuit (remember who they work for) this is why they are telling you everything is fine. Don't worry about pushing them - you will have too. When you get your car back each time - read the invoice and make sure they made the notations of the service you requested. My guys kept leaving it off the first couple of times.

    My wife was so disgusted by the car (New Matrix) she really wanted that she lost patience in the process and traded it in on a used 2002 Volvo AWD Wagon XC-70 with 40K on it for the same payments and a lower insurance cost. She loves here new(er) car now.
  • my matrix had 14,800. I took my car to sears they would not rotate the tires because one tire was at 2/32 and another tire was completely worn on the inside tread. The other 2 had 3/32 and 4/32. After about a wekk of discussing this problem with the dealer and toyota. Toyota offered to put same continental tires, I said i want a dofferent brand. I wanted Michelin mxv4. The dealership paid excess of $112.00 per tire and got michelin. I don't think the problem will go away, so the service manager agreed with me and we will check the tores every 5,000 miles for wear problems. Further more my tires were rotated every 5,000 mile and the alignment was in MFR specifications. I wonder when toyota will realize there is a problem and fix the real problem
  • moosmoos Posts: 18
    Having just gotten the run around from the dealer and the same tire story all of you hve gotten, my husband took the car with him on a 600 mile trip on the brand new tires paid for in half by the toyota dealer. While away he brought it to a friend who owns an alignment shop...put it on their lift and checked the alignment on their computer and low and behold the rear alignment is out of whack. This after toyota told him that the problem was the tires...PS hubby has been a mechanic for 30 years and told toyota that the only reason that you get tread wear on the inside edge is when the alignment is off...Got home with 600+ miles on the new tires and !!!they are already wearing on the inside ...which toyota said wouldn't happen because the problem was the Continental tires...only 16,000 miles on the car. One or two more trips to toyota and :lemon: we're done! Have an appointment tomorrow and let's see what they say now! Other than the tires...love the car! By the way, the rumbling you guys are hearing is the uneven wear of the tires..we thought it was a wheel bearing too but, problem is the rear wheel assembly, alignment, etc.. Toyota needs to make good on this design flaw. PS just a plain old Matrix not the AWD version
  • mtx06mtx06 Posts: 1
    The front left tire on my 2006 Matrix XR needs to be replaced at 13,500 miles because of uneven wear on the inside part of the tread. I had the tires rotated on schedule and the dealer said my alignment was fine so they sent me to an authorized Continental dealer for an adjustment. They balked and pointed out to me that all four of my tires are showing the same wear pattern. Seems unlikely that I got four bad tires, huh? My main concern is that this represents a defect in the manufacture of the vehicle and that my only recourse is now to get rid of it, so I won't have to but tires every year. I've read all the posts here and have consulted my local lemon laws as some have suggested. Any other suggestions? I'm trying to gather as much information as possible before I go back at the dealer.
  • The manufacturer is the entity that is forced to buy the car back under the law. The dealership must cooperate with you but will naturally be reluctant so you have to read your reciepts carefully after you take the car for visits in documenting their attempts to repair the alignment defect. i.e. you ask them to check the alignment when rotating tires or at oil change - make sure the workorder reciept you get back documents their action "checked alignment - no action required or defect noted".

    Second - expect them to offer some good will gesture such as replacing the tires - at this point they are going to take those tires (oops no more evidence of defect) so photograph them before you bring them in. If and when they do change the tires (most likely with Michelin) invest $3 in a tire tread gage. Measure and record the tread depths and keep a log every 250 miles. The michelin tires have a harder compound and will take longer to wear - they are also very expensive. If you had to buy these every 2-3 years it would also defeat the purpose of purchasing this car for it's fuel economy (normally those tires should run 60-80K miles. The reason you have to do this to: 1 keep the car running at their expense on new tires. 2 support your evidence of an alignment defect (the problem won't go away - the wear pattern will continue but will not be as visual - the noise however will still indicate it is there -so measurements are the most solid proof. Remember they have 3 chances to fix it and ultimately one final one after you file documentation.

    Good Luck
  • I had the same problem. For a couple of weeks or so I could feel a bit of a wobble, thought maybe I had a soft tire. Had the pressure checked, it was fine but was told the tires were worn badly (less than 19,000 miles). This was Thanksgiving day. I planned to take it in on the following Monday for new tires but my 17 yr old son borrowed it on Saturday and although he was not speeding, (going 55mph) a tire went on a small curve sending him out of control and he rolled the car. Now my Matrix is totaled. I am convinced it was a problem with the car or tires and not just a wreckless teenager like the kind (NOT) officier on the scene said. To look at the car, it is a wonder my son only suffered some bumps and bruises. So don't wait before it happens to one of you or your loved ones with an even worse outcome.
  • 05 Matrix with 25000 miles. Last fall right before taking a 1200 mile trip I noticed abnormal wear on rear tires. I rotated them just before the trip and by the time I got home the back tires were feathered and now it sounds like I have snow tires on the car. I took it to the dealer I purchased from and they did an alignment saying the front was toed in a little. I told them it was the back wearing the tires out and they didn't believe me, even came up with probably bad tires. Now my car drives like junk since they toed it out and I have to turn the radio up. Does the car have to be under warranty to pursue lemon law buy back? :(
  • The answer to your question is basically "yes"; you must intiate request(s) to have a warranty condition corrected while it is under warranty.

    The rectification process may carry through the warranty expireation.
  • Toyota paid for part then dealership paid for the the rest. My dealership is very concerned with the problem and asked me to bring the car back every 1000miles to check the tires for abnormal wear. My advice to you is to work with the service manager at the dealership where you purchased the car and email the hell out of toyota main office concerning the alignmnet specs about the car. Call them as well. get theier 800 mumber off the internet and file a complaint with the NHTSA as well,especially the person wherer thier son had the roll over. I even went as far as asling them if the pontiac vibe and the matrix have the the same alignment specs. I haven't heard of this problem with the vibe, but be persistant and get the the distric service manager for toyota involved in your problem. and be very explicitm tell them everything even what other mechanics have told you. good luck. Iam going to the dealership again today ti have my tires check as well as the alignment.
  • I have just over 13K miles on 06 Matrix XR was one yr old 11/29/06....have rotated 2x and then a 3rd time...rear tires are wearing on inside tread row....was told after alignment that "it's because they are low-profile tires and they'll do that". Bah humbug to that! At 12K miles, they had re-rotated after I asked about vibration in steering from 2nd rotation. I have a louder tire noise now from abnormal wear issue on rear tires.
    How do I go about getting dealership to replace tires, repair or make Proper alignment of rear end (that's where the tires are wearing so bad).
    When I ordered vehicle, I asked for Michelins...they said no or I would have to pay the difference in cost of tires. Would it even matter what tire was on car if they cannot remedy the situation of rear tire wear? A better tire would just take longer to start the same process-showing the same signs.
  • Hi Dfriedman,
    I'm glad to hear you got a dealer to at least express interest in the problem. I've been to mine (150 miles from home) twice now, both times they checked alignment and said "you don't have a problem UNLESS WE SAY you have a problem, and the alignment check was OK, therefore you do not have a problem".

    Horsefeathers... there is no possible tire defect that can cause this kind of wear. (My first Continental died at 16,792 miles -- won't hold air.)

    Though they insist nothing is "wrong", I did get a mechanic at the dealership, and the Customer Relations Rep (dealership), to say that they "have observed this problem with this tire" on some vehicles. To me, that ALMOST sounds like Toyota acknowledging a problem with original equipment they are putting on cars. (Most of us believe they are wrong to blame Continental, but getting them to say they HAVE seen this problem seemed significant, since they initially wanted me to think I'm the only Matrix owner having the experience. For what it's worth, my independent mechanic said Scions are having the same problem. Another uh-oh for Toyota.)

    I've been in contact with Toyota NA several times now; last time, they "escalated it to the regional manager level", for what that is worth. If the call I just got from the dealer's CR Rep was the result of that, it meant nothing.

    I know Toyota makes a lot of really good cars, but if this isn't resolved, this is my last Toyota. This is ridiculous and sad.

    Skruffy1
    (MatrixLemon@aol.com)
  • I want to see the problem fixed as tires are not cheap...thereby, you loose decent gas mileage to go along with the tire terror. My dealer in west Knoxville, Tn. probably does not want me to show up again with any complaints but, it's inevitable as we all know. They should listen to us as it appears it isn't isolated to one or 2 cars/tires. R&D did not do their work but, got paid anyway. I really like my Matrix but, I don't need to be squeezed by a lemon :)
    I am off next wk and plan to schedule an appt for the car...eg: tire wear pattern. I'll let ya know about it.
  • Same - Read Skruffy1's post - this is how we worked it. Multiple trips to the dealership - oil change, tire rotation, something bonafide along with request to check the alignment (make sure the request and results are documented on your reciept). They will usually leave off the alignment check and results comment - get it in writing. At the same time (as Skruffy1 did) - we escalated the issue with Toyota initially via e-mail then the follow-up phone calls (they can(hint hint) avoid you by calling your home number during the day when you are not home and will leave you a message (oops another day gone).
  • Some will think I have rocks in my head for how I "resolved" the problem (abnormal tire wear requiring tire replacement at less than 20,000 miles), but I had to put the problem behind me -- I don't have room in my life for the negativity involved in further arguing with Toyota.

    After getting much runaround from Toyota, and totally unsatisfactory service from Kendall Toyota (Miami), my wife and I yesterday traded the Matrix (Lemon) in on a Prius, which is the car we wished we could have bought in the first place. We bought it from another dealer.

    We are out about $4,000 (first year's depreciation) plus the cost of the two tires I bought out of pocket. If a class action lawsuit eventually arises (and it should, as it appears the Matrix, at least some years' models, has a fatal design flaw), I'll gladly be a part of it.

    I'm telling everybody I know not to buy a Matrix, and not to buy ANYTHING from Kendall Toyota of Miami. Matrix will probably turn out to be Toyota's Corvair or Pinto. Too bad, because they make (mostly) very good vehicles, and also too bad because other than this fatal flaw, Matrix is seemed to be a pretty cool little car.
  • I got a full set of new tires the other day....a full front rear alignment, as well. They seem to be trying to keep me pleased...as any dealer should. I will stay in touch with them on a weekly basis, let them know that yes, this customer was right.
    Sorry to hear yours did not turn out as well.
  • pdog1pdog1 Posts: 1
    I just starting reading this forum today after my mechanic told after routine oil change that I had lots of cupping on inside edge of all tires (10,500 miles on car; original Continentals).

    I was getting depressed quickly. I talked to the service mgr at dealership and when asked if Matrix was going thru tires he said "we have seen this problem with some of these cars" or something to that effect. For the guy to say that I took it as an admission of a problem. I've got an appt with them Monday and maybe it's premature but I'm researching Maine lemon law.

    Is there any hope of Toyota doing a recall or fixing whatever the problem is ? :mad:
  • My Matrix had barely 9K miles on it when I noticed the trouble w/ the tires...Continentals....noise, rough handling, etc. By 14K, it was ridiculous the amount of wear on them...cupping, etc. I now have a new set of tires...one of which, I had to pay for. Again, Continentals...and that's after they said I could have Firestones...which they do Not even sell. I plan to take the car to an independent tire shop and have the alignment checked on front and rear. I love the car but, this is Ridiculous, at best.
  • Yup. I leased an 06 Matrix in March of last year and have been diligent with my maintenance - oil changes, tire rotations, etc. I took the car in today for what I thought would be a routine oil change and found out that all four of my tires - continentals - have inside treadwear - chopping is what they called it at this dealership. The service guy and service manager said tires are not covered by warranty. I, unlike some others on this post, have not noticed any vibrations or sounds, but maybe wasn't looking out for them...I did not bow down and buy all new tires today and was thinking I'd go to the toyota dealer that did my last maintenace and tire rotation, but only after researching this online - and lo and behold, I'm not alone...now what????
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