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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,750 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.

2005 Toyota Matrix body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments

problem #2

May 052009


  • 25,200 miles


Failure of retention system for front right inner fender/shield. There is only one retention point at front (on bumper). When fails, shield/inner fender behind front bumper drags on ground. Hole for retention pin has only about 1/4 inch of material to rear of hole - the plastic splits. Did not split in response to hitting anything - car was sitting in driveway when failed. When took to dealer (still under warranty), offered choice of cable tie repair (free) or replacement of entire inner fender assembly ($211). Chose cable tie, although dealer also left rope repair I had installed to hold until getting to dealer. Dealer indicated rope should stay - hardly a real repair. Left side failed previously - had to personally replace retention pieces. Dealer service rep indicated that they see a number of Matrix xr and xrs models with same problem, due to ground effects installed on those models. Seems to strongly imply a design defect.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #1

Aug 152004

Matrix 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 300 miles
The clutch was difficult to depress/to engage the starter. The consumer stated that there was a problem when trying to work the clutch because there was not enough room in the floor area, and the wheel well made a hump in this area. Also, the vehicle was designed with a foot rest that the consumer had removed because it made it more difficult to drive. On several different occasions the vehicle stalled. Twice it put the consumer in dangerous situation although, there were no accidents. The first time was in August 2004. The second time was in September or October 2004. When the consumer took vehicle to a dealer they basically told him they could not find the stalling problem. When he contacted the manufacturer, they told him basically the same hing. The consumer stated he believed that the area problem was a design flaw.

- Charlottesville, VA, USA

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