cthomasparr wrote:. After some research was surprised to learn there are problems with these transmissions leading to somewhat early failures.
A number of us here were surprised when our 5-speeds failed. Toyota really played up their bullet proof reliability, and the fact that car was mostly Toyota was considered a significant advantage for a number of Vibe buyers. It has since really soured my opinion of Toyota. I was no fan boy before, but now I find myself quite anti-Toyota
There are some high mileage 5 speed Vibes with no tranny troubles. I suspect that in addition to the weak bearing issue, there is some driving style that somehow accelerates the weak bearing failure that unfortunately seems to be my driving style, but that's only conjecture.
Unfortunately, my advice would be to pass on the 5 speed, and instead find an automatic tranny Vibe. Manuals are more fun to drive (imho) but the auto tranny used in Vibes has been quite reliable, and the power/acceleration differences between auto and manual tranny vibes is token. Because of the different gear ratios, the 6 speed should be less efficient than the 5 speed, but I don[t remember seeing any documented numbers, especially ones that eliminate the unintended change to driving habits.
However, if the price on the bad tranny Vibe is too attractive to pass up, then try to find a replacement from the latest compatible model possible, even for a higher cost. I do trust the car-part.com site trb posted to provide accurate parts compatibility info.
unbearable, I am not sure the tranny reliability issue is really a recall worthy problem. Good luck to you on the recall petition, but I wouldn't be too optimistic.