2005 Toyota Matrix - issues Toyota says are not part of a recall

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 14th, 2016 1:42 pm
Mar 1, 2012
1 posts

2005 Toyota Matrix - issues Toyota says are not part of a recall

I'm an avid reader of this forum, but I haven't posted before. Since I know there's a lot of wisdom to be found here I thought I'd give it a try to see what RFD thinks.

I've had a number of issues with my 2005 Matrix recently. I get that it's an older car but what I don't get is why some of the things that have gone wrong aren't covered by Toyota when I find many other owners online complaining of the same problems. How are recalls decided? How are some MYs excluded? The two biggest issues currently are:

A) AIRBAG LIGHT: the airbag light comes on intermittently. I paid the dealership a diagnostic fee, they said it was a calibration issue so they reset it. The next day the light came on again. Brought it back, they had it for an hour or two and decided that I would need to leave it with them for a day so they could go over the wiring (because that's super-convenient for me). From what I have seen online there is a widespread problem with some spiral cable which costs several hundred dollars to fix. If it's a known issue affecting a safety component of the car, why is Toyota not covering it? The dealership claims the light being on is NOT related to the airbag module recall (which I've been waiting for them to complete for over a year) and so it's at my expense.

B) MASTER WINDOW SWITCH ASSEMBLY: During the airbag visit, I asked them to look at my driver's side window, which suddenly quit. Wouldn't go back up after putting it down (all the other windows are fine). They got the window up and diagnosed the problem as being the master window switch assembly and wanted $752 to fix it. Based on this diagnosis, I bought a new assembly from Standard Auto Wreckers and took it to my mechanic. Turns out not only did Standard supply one that was from a Corolla (won't fit, grrr, and they don't do refunds), it didn't even work (mechanic says the problem is not the switch, it's the motor). Anyhow, in researching the switch issue I found that Toyota had a recall for 2009-2011 model years for the Matrix IN CANADA for this exact issue. In US and Australia, the 2005 was included.

I called Toyota's customer service line. They say neither issue is a recall item, so I have to work it out with my dealership. Dealership just wants to charge for the repairs (and a ridiculous amount, at that). I don't understand why a clearly widespread problem that is addressed in other model years for free is going to cost me so much to fix? What else can I do to address this? How does one escalate these issues? Toyota just is not responding to my concerns and had no suggestions.