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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,625 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2005 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments (Page 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Apr 162008


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that the air bag warning illuminated continuously. The vehicle was taken to a dealer the for diagnostic testing. The air bag sensor was disabled, but light continued to illuminate. The VIN was unavailable. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Fair Oaks , CA, USA

problem #36

Sep 152014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 94,200 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. While driving at an unknown speed, another vehicle crashed into the rear of the contact's vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The contact sustained whiplash and the passenger sustained head injuries from hitting the windshield and whiplash, but no medical attention was required. The air bags were inspected by an independent mechanic who deemed the vehicle fit to drive. The air bag lights intermittently illuminated for both the passenger and driver side air bags. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 94,200. Updated 01/12/15 updated 6/3/2015

- Quincy, MA, USA

problem #35

Aug 082013

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Air bag light comes on/off at different times. I called Toyota 1-800-331-4331 customer service on 8/8/13. Was told my air bag warranty was 5 yrs 60,000 miles. I then had 80,000 miles on the car. I now have 120,000 air bag light still comes on. I called my local Toyota dealer they said bring in would cost me 85 dollars to be diagnosed. I feel I shouldn't have to pay for the air bag I cannot control anything about it-there should be no 5 yr 60,000 miles warranty on something I cannot change. Also my clock if barely viewable on my dash. I refuse to pay. I was told no other complaints about this issue have been reported. But I see by this site that it has been reported numerous times.

- Owego, NY, USA

problem #34

Sep 012014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • miles


The airbag light comes on soon after starting and driving. It appears to come on when the clock quits working also.

- Greenwood, AR, USA

problem #33

Sep 182014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 120,826 miles
I was driving at highway speed and my air bag light came on. It stay on constantly.

- Mojave, CA, USA

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problem #32

Jun 152013


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Corolla matrix. The contact stated that after starting the vehicle, the SRS light illuminated. The problem recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The diagnosis was that the clock spring was cracked. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 78,000.

- Prospect Hills, NC, USA

problem #31

Jul 032014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


Air bag (SRS) started going on and off intermittently, then clock went on and off intermittently. Now clock rarely comes on. The ignition must be turned on and off several times to get the air bag light to go off. The vehicle was taken to a Toyota carmax dealer in laurel, md. The rep said there was probably something under the seat, and found an empty water bottle. When the car was turned on, the light was gone, and he pronounced the car fixed. Two days later it came on again and has continued to come on and off randomly. The item under the seat story is bogus and only works because the ignition is turned on and off, not because items are under the seat. This is an obvious safety issue that needs to be fixed by Toyota. I am now reading many many other people have the same problem and Toyota will not recognize the issue.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #30

Aug 012010

Matrix 4-cyl

  • miles
Driver-side air bag warning indicator is intermittent sometimes on, sometimes off. This seemed to start after the 3-yr warranty expired. Back then, I mentioned it to a dealer while in for a separate recall repair and the dealer suggested maybe I had stuff under or on the passenger side chair which could trigger the indicator. I never paid for them to check the car. Indicator goes on/off regardless of passenger/objects on the seat. Both front seats do not have stuff beneath them. More recently, clock illumination fades in and out, mostly out. This seemed to start no more than 3 yrs ago. Car has still has original airbags and clock. I'm afraid that my air bags won't deploy during an accident. I'm angry that my car wasn't included in the recent recalls.

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #29

Jan 132014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The Matrix began having various electrical problems, including engine warning lights turning off and on, airbag warnings, clock and headlights/brakelights turning off and on. We have brought it in to several mechanics for checks and various repairs, to no avail. Most recently, a dealer shop diagnosed that the ECM is likely failing, and in looking at the records from another dealer shop noticed that the ECM was on back order in 2011 to install a new one after a recall, but that a new one was never installed. However, my service records show that the first dealer shop told me (fraudulently?) that it was in fact installed. The car may not be safe to drive, but I have not been successful to this point in getting it repaired. The second shop informed me that the first dealer shop is responsible.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #28

May 012014


  • 37,000 miles
My vehicle is a 2005 Toyota Matrix xr. It has never been involved in a collision or impact in any way. At approx. 37000 miles, the SRS warning light activate and was diagnosed as a faulty spiral cable/clockspring. The spiral cable was replaced which did eliminate the SRS warning light. I now have 60500 miles on this vehicle and again the SRS light has activated, and has again been diagnosed with a faulty spiral cable, the repair cost has now been estimated by my local Toyota dealer as $440.71, and they have confirmed that the SRS system will not function until the repair is made. I now have my 2 sons, new drivers, that use this car. I fear that even if I get this problem fixed, again, that it will again fail at some point while in use and put them at risk. I have owned many vehicles that have had SRS systems, but this is the only time I've ever had a problem, let alone a repeat problem, with a specific component. In my research, it sounds like many other Toyota Matrix and other Toyota models in the same years of production are experiencing spiral cable/clockspring problems. This problem can effect the survivability of the occupants and truly concerns me. Thanks so much for considering my concerns.

- Butler, PA, USA

problem #27

Apr 212014


  • 146,000 miles


SRS warning light began to go on and off intermittently. Toyota dealer fixes by installing new clock assembly. Total cost $465. This assembly is an important part of the airbag system and is failing at a very high rate in these cars. I believe it is defective and should be part of a recall. Supposedly if the light is on the airbag is not functional.

- Grottoes, VA, USA

problem #26

Mar 272014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 61,993 miles
The air bag warning light remains on while the car is on. I was told the air bag would not function properly while the warning light is on. The Toyota dealer said the air bag wiring is shorting in the clock mechanism and clock parts need to be replaced for the air bag to work. Why do I need to fix the clock for this air bag to work?

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #25

Dec 012012

Matrix 4-cyl

  • miles
Today Toyota announced a recall for various models due to wearing of a spiral cable assembly in the steering wheel that connects to the driver's airbag module. For the Matrix, the years are limited to 2009-10. I have a 2005 Matrix, and a couple of years ago I had to spend hundreds of dollars to replace the spiral cable assembly due to wearing, so my complaint is that today's recall should be expanded to additional years.

- La Canada Flintridge, CA, USA

problem #24

Mar 242014


  • 98,000 miles
SRS airbag light comes on and off intermittently. Clock also goes in and out. Was told the clock and the SRS system are linked, and that when the light is on the airbag may not deploy. From doing research this is a very common problem in this car, and it is dangerous. Toyota couldn't diagnose problem, suggested replacing clock assembly.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #23

Mar 312014


  • 79,999 miles
The airbag light is always on in the 2005 Toyota Matrix. This is due to the spiral cable malfunction and there is no recall for this issue from Toyota. With this lights on the airbag wont get deployed if there is a front end collision and its a security issue.

- Troy, MI, USA

problem #22

Feb 152014


  • 203,500 miles
Air bag spiral cable is damaged. After researching online, this seems to be a very common problem in Toyota Matrix, but no recall has been put into effect.

- Orange Beach, AL, USA

problem #21

Dec 112013


  • 80,000 miles
SRS airbag warning light is going on and off, so is the clock. This has happened many times and I find that other owners of this vehicle are having the same problem. There seems to be a connection between the clock and the airbag system being tied together.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #20

Mar 082012


  • 45,000 miles
About a year and a half ago the airbag warning light started to come on and off intermittently. I checked with the dealer and was offered to pay for a diagnostic. I decided to do research first and found a whole lot of other owners have this issue. Some have taken the car in for services including complete replacement of the airbag system and clock (which happens to have faulty circuit that can result in the warning light coming on and off intermittently.) some have paid over $1K in service fees. I contacted Toyota about it. They are not looking to own up to this quality defect. It's not a wear and tear (vehicle age) issue. The culprit appears to be a component that cracks off the pcb on the clock. Someone has reported having re-soldered this component to eliminate the intermittent airbag light issue. When will Toyota recall?

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #19

Nov 182013

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I already turned in an incident but did not get an E-mail or any reply back so am doing it again to make sure. My air bag light has been going on intermittently for 1.5 years. I was told by Toyota that it would cost $180 to diagnose the problem and was never told that when my air bag light was on that my air bag would not go off. I recently found this out so had it checked out. Turns out it is a faulty clock. Toyota has the clock as an integral part of their air bags. I can't believe that they put my family at risk because of a clock. It cost me $560 to fix as well. There was never any assistance on Toyota's part to assist me, lower the cost. My clock by the way works perfectly fine and it took them 1.5 hours to diagnose the problem.

- Plymouth, MN, USA

problem #18

Sep 102012


  • miles
Drivers side airbag warning light intermittently stays on since Sept. 2012, but now stays on most of the time since August 2013. This light means the air bag will not deploy in a collision. Waiting for a recall letter from Toyota. No recall yet for 2005 model and newer. This is also an issue with Toyota Matrix and corollas before 2005.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

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