Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. Notes: The Toyota Matrix is the mechanical twin of the Pontiac Vibe.

Both models were a joint GM-Toyota venture, manufactured together at a NUMMI production facility in Fremont, CA. Only the heating & A/C systems are different.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
123,378 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Toyota Matrix seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #4

Jul 022008

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles


The dates and vehicle mileage stated above are only estimates. About 5-6 years ago the seat belt retractors stopped working. I checked with 2 dealers that told me I would have to pay around $500 to have them repaired. I wrote Toyota in torrance California and reported the problem. Their response was that the seat belts were not covered by warranty and that I would have to pay for the repair. Considering the ongoing problems that Toyota has had with seat belt assemblies on all of their cars, I would think that they would accept responsibility in my case, but no such luck.

- Mount Airy, MD, USA

problem #3

Jul 252012

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 98,514 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that the driver side seat belt exploded and fractured into pieces. The seat belt warning lights were illuminated and could not be turned off. In addition, the power windows would open independently and could not be operated manually. The dealer was notified who diagnosed the failure as the inside cylinder of the seat belt control being defective and offered no assistance. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure and the current mileage was 98,514. Updated 09/11/12 updated 09/13/2012

- Ciales, PR, USA

problem #2

Aug 172010


  • 175,000 miles
While I was sitting at a drive thru window at mcdonald's the teller was reaching me my order and all of a sudden she and I heard a loud popping sound she said what was that, I said I don't know she said it came from your car she said madam it came from inside your car, your car is smoking so I turned my head and noticed the seat belt over my shoulder was smoking and as I turned my head around the seat belt on the passenger side of the car popped open and it started smoking so I said what is going on with this car, and when I turned my head forward the airbag on the passenger side popped out so I said I don't know what is happening with this car but I need to get out of it. I noticed that there were cars behind me in the drive-thru so I pulled the car out from under the window to the middle of the parking lot so that the cars behind me would be able to get out and as I turned the wheel the driver side air bag popped out in from of me and hit me in the chest and bruised my left arm then the car started filling up with smoke so I didn't know if the car was catching on fire or what I just knew that I needed to get out of the car. I turned off the engine in the middle of the parking lot grabbed my purse and jumped out of the car. All the customers and workers at mcdonald's ran out when the car started smoking and no one could believe what was happening because all these things popped out and there was no other car there the manager at mcdonald's came to me and said he was calling the fire department since the car was smoking and we didn't know what was going to happen next. The fire dept. Came and said madam what happened I told them what happened and they asked if I had hit anything and I told them no I was just sitting at the drive-thru when all of these things just started popping out of my car. The windshield also shattered when the airbag hit it. The firemen told me to stand in front of mcdonald's and they opened the hood to check for fire and disabled to battery.

- Missouri City, TX, USA

problem #1

Mar 242010


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Matrix. The vehicle was parked when the contact noticed a bolt detached from the anchor inside of the front passenger side seat belt. The entire seat belt was attached with a wire and could be easily removed. There were no warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The authorized dealer was notified to schedule an appointment for a service repair. The VIN was unknown. The failure and current mileages were 150,000.

- Waynesville, OH, USA

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