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Toyota Matrix Tire/Wheel Questions



  • 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.

    ([email protected])
  • 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 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 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 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 what????
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    about this problem with tires. The first Matrix I had was an '03 XR FWD, and when I sold it there were about 25K miles on the clock. It had the Continentals, and at that mileage they had no problems of uneven wear. In fact, I think it likely they went to 40K or more for the next owner.

    As for my brand new Matrix, also an XR FWD, it is equipped with the Goodyear Eagles, and it sounds like 100% of the tire problems people have been having are with the Continentals, right?

    So I am curious: can we narrow this down by region or type of suspension? The AWD has a 4-wheel independent design where the alignment of the rear suspension would affect the front alignment settings. Are most of the problems with the AWDs?

    Also, the FWD models have torsion-beam rears with very little in the way of possible alignment adjustments at the rear, but the XRSs have more camber to account for much sportier driving, and you could expect the XRSs to wear the inside edge of their tires a lot more as a result. Are most of the tire problems with XRSs and AWDs?

    Another thing: how the vehicles are shipped and prepped would make a difference in suspension and alignment settings. Are all these problem cars Gulf States or Southeast Toyota cars?

    I will keep a closer eye on my tires thanks to this discussion, but I have a hard time believing I will have any more trouble this time than I had the first time around (which was NONE, no trouble with the tires at all). So I am intrigued to see if the problem is isolated by region or type of suspension.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I am not sure what my suspension is but, I have the XR, no 4WD. I live in eastern Tenn but, the car was located in Indiana...the dealer had it driven here 356 miles.
    I am still tempted to go to an independent tire shop for a second opinion to the align settings, etc. for this new set of tires, which the dealer paid for 3, I had to cover the 4th tire. They did try to say I ran the tires low in air. I know I did not.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Interesting, I wonder if yours was a Southeast Toyota car. And you had the Continentals? What are you running now?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • bargbarg Posts: 2
    2006 matrix awd 14,ooo miles all 4 tires wore excesively on inside edges extremly featered. this is my wifes car i rarely drive. drove 2-8-07 due to inclimate weather this thing is horrible in snow and ice.my2003 corolla much better if you can imagine that. on the way home same day roads were dry and when i got up to speed it sounded like a 1973 chevy k20 with 36" mudders on it and the vibration was out of this world.round trip was 100 miles used exactly a half of tank of gas.when i let off the gas at 60 mph the car decelerates extremely fast.i was shocked my wife never mentioned any of this to me.this car is unfit to be on the road in my opinion.bought car with 5 miles on it. it has never been wrecked the oil been changed 4 times and tires rotated once. i have it scheduled for warrnty work monday2-12-07
  • Not sure about AWD but, tires need to be rotated every 5K will tell you that, too. My tires got bad by 9K miles. They tried to say I ran then low on air and had not rotateds on time to which (and having proof of) I replied, "NOT!" I am not so irresponsible as to endanger/jepardize my life/ride with poor car care habits. Have always been extremely caring of all my rides. I take the time to "do it right". They backed up and replaced my tires...Continentals, again. I am taking car to independent shop for the proverbial "second opinion"...just like in health care. Call me car, my life. I want it taken of prperly. They get paid for it and quite well.
  • My 2006 Matrix FWD ate a set of front tires in about 13,000 miles. I neglected to ever rotate them, my fault. I moved them to the back and the ones I put on the front were in pretty good shape. I plan on buying 4 new Cooper tires for it in the Spring. Has anyone had experience with ditching the Continentals and getting different tires and keeping up with the rotation. If so, will I get considerably more miles out of my tires? I really like the car.
  • moosmoos Posts: 17
    It's not the tires it's the car...I LOVE my Matrix but like a bad relationship I have to learn to let go of this and get another car. I am now on my second set of tires on a 2006 Matrix the first were Continentals and the dealer blamed the tires, took it foa an independent 4 wheel alignment and it was outof wack. The dealer paid for 2 new tires and we paid for 2...the top of the line tires and after 3600 miles on the new tires the cupping on 3 of them has come much for rotating every 5,000 mile (as they tried to tell us was the problem). My only ace in the hole about this is my husband is a retired mechanic and so it's hard for them to wiggle with this. The sister to this, the Pontiac Vibe, has the same the forum on their tire problems and you'll see it's a design flaw. I've been waiting for a call back again, from the service manager of my dealer, to see what they will be doing but it doesn't really matter becaus I've gone through the Lemon law in the past with another problem car I know the road I will be taking....and I won't be driving their car there! :lemon:

    By the way they also replace the whole rear end to try and solve this problem...guess that wasn't it! :lemon:
  • I have to take a closer look at the tires I recently moved from the rear to the front. I did not think they were in bad shape. I did the rotation in anticipation of driving the car in snow. The ones on the front with 13,000 miles were in poor condition.
  • I have a 2004 XR FWD on its second set of tires at 37,000 miles, and now these tires are wearing funny. I am scheduled for an alignment this week to see if the problem can be cured. One thing for sure, these cars are not coming off the assembly line with the wheels properly aligned.
  • krezmankrezman Posts: 1
    Well, I rotate my tires @4k miles because that was the second oil change at the dealer and he said I should rotate them every 5k.They were already noisy and this helped the noise alittle. I only put 7400mi. in my first year but the noise was right back and at 8k I rotated again.Now 18months into owner ship I have just under 12k on the tires and this time when I rotated them I could easily see the problem. The inside 3.5 inches of tread on each tire show serious wear.
    So, I immediately went to the dealership and told the service "greeter" how I had taken care of the tires,checked the pressure and rotated every 4k and that the car only has 11800 mi. on it. He wanted to schedule me in and I asked if an alignment was necessary was it covered. He says if the car was over 12 months old it was not covered. I told him that really sucks, and he says he was sorry I felt that way and walked away.
    Well, I'm just starting out. Just wanted to let you know.
  • moosmoos Posts: 17
    Check out the Attorney Generals office where you live for info on the Lemon Law and see if you fall in the range. There appears to be no "fix" for the rear wheel alignment or they wouldn't have put a new rear end in my car and the problem is still there... the last thing they wanted to do was put Michelins on the car and my husband told them they were nuts cause the tires won't affect the alignment. There is without a doubt a MAJOR design flaw in this design and that's why the Vibe has the same problem. I am in the process of going forward with the lemon law in NY and will let you guys know the the way I went through the Dispute Resolution that Toyota requires in NY prior to the Lemon Law and they rejected us because they said that the warranty calls for 12 months or 20k miles on alignments and they told me it was now at 23k so I didn't I told them that we first brought it in at 16k and they have yet figured out how to fix it...she still tried to tell me that they have only 1 repair on this and then your done...WHAT a bunch of S**T! yeah, 1 repair on alignment providing they CAN align it.... Can't wait til NY arbitrator hears this....I've been this route with the Ford Probe years ago and after so many problems with the Probe, Ford stopped making them, just like Toyota is probably phasing this out! That would explain the Toyota Blade that's coming out in '08 to replace the Matrix....I guess lightening does stike twice, 2 lemons in 1 lifetime....Good luck to all us Trix owners may we all stand STRONG and maybe they'll fix this crap.
  • brianb4brianb4 Posts: 6
    Just curious how widespread this problem is. Anyone out there gotten more than 40k from their tires? I've been reading this thread since I recently purchased an '07 Matrix. Albeit I only have 7k on the car, I have notices no unusual tire wear ... yet. :D
  • jaqfirejaqfire Posts: 9
    Your car Should be covered up to the 12K mile/1 year mark for Free, Front End Alignment...They lied to you.
    My tires got loud at about 8K miles...after meticulus care. They ended up putting a set at 14+++K miles...kept saying Nothing was wrong with car...must be the "way you drive" then, their ctatement that the Matrix is agressive on tires.
    Was it their R&D folks didn't/couldn't/incapable of doing their proper job assignment? The design should have caught any flaw(s) pertaining to anything as mundane as improper tire wear...especially with so few miles on any of them. The style/sass of the car, I love but, the rest of it...well, we won't say those words. The handling is not what you would expect from Toyota...again, back to the tire/suspension/whatever is So Wrong. The interior left a few thing to be desired. I appreciate I can haul "stuff" in it amd not look like a delivery vehicle.

    Sorry we have to "do" their testing for them.
  • I have a 2006 AWD Matrix that I purchased in May 2006. I just took my car in last week to complain about the noisy ride. They said my tires were chopping. I only have 19,000 miles on the car and the problem is in both the front and rear tires. They said they couldn't do anything about the tires --that I would have to contact the tire company directly. They said that they might have been able to help me if I had bought my car from them but wouldn't because I had purchased the car from another dealer. This after having done business with them for over 20 years and after having purchased 2 previous cars from them! In addition to this, they had to replace the rear brake rotors at 10,000 miles and I've had to bring them in 2 times since to have them adjusted because they are making noise. What can I do? Do I have a lemon? What are the lemon laws like in Virginia? I'm afraid to drive the car after reading about the accident someone had.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I had a Matrix before, WITH the Continentals, and it had no uneven tire wear or alignment issues at 23K miles when I sold it.

    Long story, I have a new Matrix now, at 1500 miles so far, no funny signs yet but this time I got the Eagles.

    These tires aren't the greatest anyway, I doubt you would see much more than 40K miles from them regardless.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • jenny541jenny541 Posts: 4
    I'm wondering this too! I am looking into buying the 2007 Matrix, but I'd like to know if anyone is having problems with them :confuse:
  • Grrrr. :mad: Last time I took my Matrix in for scheduled service, I asked about the tires. I got the runaround by the service "writer/typer" about "rotating" and "normal wear". I guess he thought I was some dumb girl who didn't know anything about cars! I was about to research tires and figure out what to buy when I found this site! My "trix" is due for service I'm at 24K miles, with really bad tires, and getting ticked off that they let me drive away with faulty tires!!!

    So, you wizened "trix" owners...How can I go and get free new tires, and an alignment at the dealer???

    Thanks! Jill
  • gasman1gasman1 Posts: 321
    If only I were the wizened wizard... Hopefully, someone else will have the answer to your question. IMO it's to late for free tires/alignment unless Toyota were to issue a TSB or recall. I'm not in the car or tire business.

    However, I do have advice for all in purchasing their next new vehicle. It's rare for most manufacturers to place premium tires on their vehicles. They build vehicles with the cheapest tires they can get away with. Therefore, I recommend replacement of OEM tires within the first 100 miles of new car ownership. You can get the safest, most responsive, longest lasting tires for your vehicle.

    Most tire dealers will provide a trade-in allowance of $25 to $50 per tire (depends on the tire quality). When doing this, take the life-time rotation, balance, and road hazard which normally cost around $10 to $15 per tire. Go with name brand premium tires. Tire Rack has super information to determine which tires are best for any given vehicle.

    My personal suggestion is the Goodyear Triple Tread line. I have them on our Highlander, my daughter's Pontiac G6, and may also get them for our Matrix. They are a much better tire than the Michelin HydroEdge tires that replaced the Matrix OEM tires.

    Good luck on finding a wizard to answer that question. Welcome to the board! You're sure to find our that you've already found the BEST site for vehicle information and people.
  • moosmoos Posts: 17
    Just a not...look back on my posts then go to the pontiac vibe section.This is NOT a tire problem it is a design flaw. They can't align the rear and that is what is happening I have had 4 sets of tires...the Continentals it came with , a se of Yokohomas then they put in a new rear beam, then another set of Yokohama's and then my snows. ALL 4 sets are wearing on the inside tread. They then told us that we should put on Michelins because they have a special additive that makes them not wear like this...yeah and I speak BS too when necessary!!! Anyway I have 3 different rear whell alignment shop printouts and Toyota's and none of them are in alignment. the toe and the camber is out on the rear which the last place said is something they've seen a lot of with this car. They just can't seem to either fix the jig that makes the rear beam or they aren't welding it properly but it is NOT the tires or the fact that you didn't rotate them's the car , that's why the Vibe has the same problem , it's the same chassis. I am going to Arbitration with them next week and then on to the lemon law, should we not reach an agreement about them taking back this problem child! By the way when they put the car on the lift for the last alignment check (not Toyota but the alignment shop) they found the transfer case was leaking too.....I have 25k mi on it! What a mess. Good luck to all of us (it's a shame because I get 34 mpg nd it actually is fun to drive if it didn't keep blowing through tires and pulling to the right all the time) They have been trying to jerk us around since the problem came to our attention at 16k miles. :lemon: :mad: :lemon:
  • natasha2natasha2 Posts: 3
    I also have a 2005 Matrix XR FWD, with 30k and very bad tire wear (cupping). Dealer told me that there is nothing that can be done and offered to sell me some new tires. Please let me know what happens with your arbitration!
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