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:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,356 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Toyota Matrix Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

May 022016


  • miles


Takata recall. The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact stated that the air bag warning indicator illuminated and the clock failed to work. The contact later received a recall notice concerning the air bags. The dealer scheduled the recall repair, but the remedy failed. After the repair, the air bag indicator illuminated again and the clock continued not to function. There were also various warning indicators that flashed on the instrument cluster after the repair. The dealer was notified and indicated that they were been unable to replicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was not available. Updated 11/01/16

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #27

Oct 012015


  • miles
How can I verify that the safety recall A0J phase 1 on my 2005 Toyota Matrix was rep[aced by a good ECU? I took it to the dealer and they said the ECU was bad. I think they are not being completely honest and did not look up any type of warranty information on it because they did not even mention the recent air bag issues in certain states.I bought this vehicle used and I believe the vehicle has never been properly fixed by the original recalls / warranties.

- Junction City, KS, USA

problem #26

Dec 032015


  • miles
I had to replace my engine control module (ECM) because the engine would loose power and cut off while driving on street. This became noticeable after a rain storm. I was told because my vehicle was a matrix xrs, it was not included in a recall for the other matrix models; therefore I spent approx. $1000 in having the ECM replaced. I had all of the same cited symptoms. Please include my engine in the recall so I may be reimbursed. Thanks you.

- Moore, SC, USA

problem #25

Jan 012015


  • miles


My matrix will shut off while im driving everything oints to the ECM being bad. My VIN # is not part of the recall but I feel it should be. It is very dangerous.

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

problem #24

Nov 152014


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Corolla matrix. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled and the entire instrument panel illuminated. The vehicle could be restarted. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the engine control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 145,000.

- Fall River, MA, USA

problem #23

Dec 122015


  • 114,000 miles
Clock, HVAC switches blink on and off intermittently regardless of vehicle movement. Power locks work intermittently including when vehicle is put in gear. It almost seems like a electrical short but it comes and goes. This problem resembles the multitude of complaints regarding this make and model. There is also a vibration in the steering wheel at highway speeds which also resembles a multitude of complaints regarding this make and model. I am surprised after reading the numerous electrical complaints that Toyota has not offered a remedy or recall.

- Hilton Head Island, SC, USA

problem #22

Jun 012015


  • miles


Takata recall: In June 2015 I received this notice of a safety recall due to the airbag inflators possibly being manufactured in such a way as to where they could retain moisture which could rupture and cause serious injury or death.I am advised to not let anyone sit in the passenger seat till it is fixed. It has been six months! this is way way beyond a reasonable amount of time to have this fixed. Horrible customer service Toyota! I am the care taker of my elderly parents and drive them on errands and to appts ect. I also care for my grand daughter. And carpool to school. This has been a hugh burden on me. For the record my air bag light is always on, and my clock and stereo keep resetting. The passenger airbag constantly blinks and the no seat belt sign blinks and beeps as if someone was sitting there with out a seatbelt. You are unprepared to fix this situation, and I find this unacceptable. Everytime I get in my car, I am worried they could deflate and injure or kill myself or my parents or granddaughter. Unfortunately I have no choice but to use my vehicle as it is the only one I have. You may contact me asap regarding a rental car until this is resolved. I am no longer putting my life at risk because you are unprepared ! I will be filing a complaint with the BBB as soon as I am done with this, and will contact an attorney if need be. Awaiting your prompt reply regards, linda

- Hesperia, CA, USA

problem #21

Aug 052013


  • 100,000 miles
I do not know the exact date or mileage because I just discovered this site but my dealer would know. My airbag sensor light randomly comes on and stays on for several days to a week. I had dealer look at it and they said there was no problem....just a faulty light or something and nothing needed to be fixed. Also, clock now works off and on. I am concerned because after reading information at other sites, the information says that the airbags will not work if the sensor light is on. I have also read that the airbag sensor light and the clock are connected. I do not want to spend over $400 to replace a clock but it's a whole other story if my airbags will not work without a functioning clock that doesn't mess up the airbag sensor. I don't even know who to ask since the dealer doesn't seems to realize this either.

- Newburgh, IN, USA

problem #20

May 182015


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 15V286000 (air bags). However, the part needed to do the repair was not made available. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time to provide the repair. In addition, the contact stated that the passenger air bag light stayed off when a passenger was seated in the front passenger seat. In addition, the air bag light stayed on when no one was seated in the front passenger seat and the electronic clock failed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 150,000.

- Pittsford, NY, USA

problem #19

Jun 212015


  • 55,500 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Matrix. While driving 35 mph, the clock and radio failed to function. In addition, the doors failed to lock automatically and the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V286000 (air bags). The failure mileage was 55,500.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #18

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 #17

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 #16

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 #15

Nov 182013

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
Clock has been fading in & out mostly out since purchased.

- York, PA, USA

problem #14

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 #13

Mar 222014

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 97,355 miles
Had just picked up car from lynch Toyota and $1,000 worth of repairs including 02 sensor B/C check engine & TPMS lights were on. While driving 65 M.P.H. on highway vehicle began accelerating on its' own up to 80 M.P.H. I depressed brake and slowed speed but upon removing foot from brake car began accelerating to 80 M.P.H. a second time, so I made sure my foot was not on gas pedal and depressed brake again which slowed speed but car accelerated a third time to 80 M.P.H. and my foot was not on gas pedal but when I tried to depress brake it resisted and would not engage no matter how hard I pressed, so I jammed down on gas pedal a few times and it "revved" as if in park- doing this seemed to kick the car out of phantom driving mode and allowed me to depress the brake and drive straight back to lynch Toyota. Toyota had my car for over a day and said they sent the test results to ca but "could not confirm condition" and it was "operating according to design"- that possible cause was aftermarket floor mat or "pedal mis-application" but the floor mat doesn't reach the brake pedal and this occurred three (3) times over a short time span and I deliberately lifted my foot off the gas pedal so it couldn't be mis-application. There are many reported issues with the 2005 matrix and other years, too as well as other Toyota models but each incident ends with Toyota failing to confirm any issues but clearly, there are acceleration, pedal or electronic problems.

- Wethersfield, CT, USA

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

May 012012


  • 60,000 miles
Our driver side SRS airbag warning light has been intermittently on for over a year. Sometimes it doesn't go out when the car is started and stays on while driving; other times it goes out like normal a few seconds after the car is started, but spontaneously comes on and stays on later while driving. Once it's on, I have to pull over and turn the ignition off, wait a few seconds, and then restart the car to get it to turn off. This is not always successful. The Toyota dealer was no help at all - couldn't find anything wrong, and said that I'd need to bring the car back when the light was actually on. Since the problem is inconsistent, I haven't been able to do that. I'm very afraid that someone in my family may be injured should we get in a collision, because I understand that if the light is on, the airbag is inoperable.

- Burlington, VT, USA

problem #9

Dec 022012

Matrix 4-cyl

  • 174,000 miles
Recently my air bag light started coming on intermittently. After searching Toyota/matrix forums, I have found the 2003-2008 Toyota matrix has had numerous complaints regarding the air bag system. It is common for the clock to stop working, which cases the air bags to stop functioning properly. This also seems to be a common problem with the 2003-2008 corolla. I don't mind that my clock doesn't work; however, it is a safety issue if it is the cause of the air bag malfunction and Toyota should rectify the problem.

- Garner, NC, USA

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