Toyota Recalls 1.13 Million Corolla and Matrix Vehicles

It almost seems like Toyota is gradually recalling every vehicle it manufactured over the last decade. The latest — 1.13 million 2005-2008 Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles have been recalled to “address some Engine Control Modules (ECM) that may have been improperly manufactured.”

According to the Toyota recall statement:

On vehicles equipped with the 1ZZ-FE engine and two-wheel drive, there is a possibility that a crack may develop at certain solder points or on the electronic component used to protect circuits against excessive voltage (varistor), on the ECM’s circuit board. In most cases, if a crack occurs at certain solder points or on certain varistors, the check engine may illuminate, harsh shifting could result, or the engine may not start. In limited instances, if cracking occurs on particular solder points or varistors, the engine could stop while the vehicle is being driven.

The car company says they know of three unconfirmed accidents alleged to be related to this condition, one of which reported a minor injury.

To remedy the situation, Toyota will replace the ECM in all recalled vehicles for no charge. Starting in mid-September, owners of recalled vehicles will be notified by mail. A follow-up notice will be sent to them “when parts become available to complete the repairs.”

If you’ve already paid to have the ECM replaced because of this issue, the letter from Toyota will detail how to go about getting reimbursed.

For more information, there’s an FAQ on Toyota’s site or you can call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Saturday 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. PDT.

UPDATE: Yes, the Vibe is included. About 200,000 hatchbacks, says Bloomberg.

Toyota Announces Voluntary Safety Recall on Certain Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix Models [Recall Statement]


Edit Your Comment

  1. funnyface says:

    Anyone know if 2005 Pontiac Vibes (rebranded Matrix) are affected? Or am I gonna have to call Toyota and ask?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not sure what you mean by re-branded. Matrix and Vibe are literally the same car, made in the same factory, and the rights were leased to Pontiac. There are only tiny cosmetic differences between the two.

      You’ll probably have to contact Toyota.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        In other words, this recal involves the engine, so if the 2005 Matrix is being recalled the Vibe would surely have the same issue.

      • funnyface says:

        I contacted Toyota and they said they couldn’t help me because I drive a Pontiac. I was like “BUT YOU MADE IT!” They did not care. I called Pontiac and they were like, “recall? What recall? Why would we recall?” It was completely useless.

        • DarkChii says:

          The powertrain is Toyota, and therefore I would be in my local GM finding out what they are going to do about this and escalate it as needed. Make them work it out with Toyota is your best bet imo. You also might want to check the engine type listed on the block if you can see it to get a visual confirmation that it is one of the recalled ones.

  2. BrianneG says:

    Darn it, I thought my little Matrix had escaped the Toyota recalls.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I had seriously considering buying a used Matrix/Vibe, but in the end i had to go for something a little less expensive. Now I’m glad I did!

      Buy Korean!

  3. Remmy75 says:

    Hey this would cover my Matrix. So glad I bought a Toyota right before they started recalling them all!

  4. tbax929 says:

    They’re really having a bad year, aren’t they?

  5. umbriago says:

    According to the Detroit News, yes.

    My Vibe is an ’06 and has been an exemplary automobile, but it did already have its ECM replaced when it went wacky about three years ago (started shifting at all the wrong times).

    Guess I’ll watch my mail, because I won’t be hearing from the dealer I bought it from (closed) or the manufacturer (in Car Heaven, sitting around with the Packards and Ramblers).

  6. TasteyCat says:

    Still haven’t gotten to my car yet.

    “the engine could stop while the vehicle is being driven.”

    That should prevent uncontrolled acceleration (gee, I miss the daily national news coverage of white haired people stepping on the wrong pedal).

    • OnePumpChump says:

      This whole fracas would have been easier to resolve if more young people drove Toyotas. Then the tendency for it to be old people would have made the source of the problem obvious.

      That’s what they get for making cars as exciting as oatmeal.

  7. zandar says:

    Gee, overworking your employees to the point of exhaustion really hasn’t saved you much money in the long run, has it, Toyota?

  8. pixiestix says:

    So far my Camry is a about two years too old to be recalled….but Mr. Toyoda would you like to buy it so I can go buy a Honda? kthxbai.

  9. Don_Thate says:

    Any news on whether or not this impacts models sold in Canada, as well? I have an ’06 Corolla CE, which was manufactured while the engine was still made in Cambridge (about twenty minutes away from me). From what I can see, both the American- and Canadian-made engines could be impacted, but I can’t see whether or not my Canadian-purchased car is.

    • funnyface says:

      If you call Toyota and give them your VIN number, they can tell you whether your specific vehicle is affected or not.

  10. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    My dad is having a fun time with his Prius. It is only 4 years old and it basically just up and totally died on him. The dealership is completely baffled and Toyota HQ said “new battery, plox”. So.

  11. magus_melchior says:

    Useless fact of the day: Toyoda looks poker-faced in that photo because it’s an official photograph– nearly every Japanese will try to look as expressionless as possible in official photos like yearbooks and company photos, because the “Smile! You want people to know you’re not torturing yourself!” aspect of photography was never encouraged in the culture.

  12. jefeloco says:

    Yay! I finally have the chance to get dirty with a recall on my 05 Corolla! It is a manual, so entirely unaffected by UA, so hasn’t been included to the party up until now :(

    I feel included!

  13. Duckula22 says:

    I was a Toyota consumer all the way, until they started screwing up. Now, should I buy a new car, I’d go for the Audi TT, that car’s f’n beautiful, I test drove one reacently, it purrs.

    • TasteyCat says:

      Lexus is hands down the most reliable in the class and has been since its inception, whereas Audi is average at best. Better off with Acura or Infiniti.

  14. riguitargod says:

    Nice article after the check engine light came on in my 07 corolla today…

    (I’m sure it’s not related to this)

  15. plumbob says:

    I had this exact thing happen to an ’06 Carolla I owned. One day just driving along all of a sudden the car (an automatic) jsut started absolutely slamming through gear shifts, like squeal tires, knock your fillings out shocks.

    Took it to the dealer (i was only a few blocks away) warranty kicked it problem solved an about an hour.

  16. TxBelle says:

    Watch what they replace those ECUs with. I’ve got an 03 Matrix and have had repeated problems with the check engine light saying the cat was bad. After replacing the CAT a couple of times I took it to the dealership. They were going to flash the ECU beacause it was programmed to read the exhaust in too marrow of a range which triggered the code. Guess what? They couldn’t flash it because it had no port to flash the ECU! Who the hell installs a computer with no port? If they install a ECU in yhour car make sure they can flash it at a later date. If not pitch a damned fit until they find a ECU that’s flashable.

  17. Calgal says:

    I called my dealer about my 2007 Corolla. I was told the notices will go out in September, but the parts won’t start coming in until November. So I have to wait an extra three months wondering if my car is going to quit on the highway? Swell.

  18. Ustonz2000 says:

    Ah well. Finally hit by a recall (05 Corolla)… but… my ECM failed entirely 2 years ago. Car entirely cut out and would not re-start. Luckily, it happened on a Saturday morning just down the street from me (no traffic). I had it towed to the local Toyota dealer. They replaced the ECM – covered under warranty, including the tow. I was out of a car that day, but they shuttled me home & back.

    My question would be – is the replacement ECM recalled, or would any replaced ECMs be okay?

  19. TouchMyMonkey says:

    And these ECMs were made by Delphi, a US company. If you all want my opinion, I think if Toyota wants to avoid future fuckups, they should pack up, move back to Japan and make all their cars there. Honda, Nissan, all of them. It’s all these US-based subcontractors that are getting them in all this trouble. If you get a car that was actually Made In Japan, you don’t have these problems. At all.

    • TouchMyMonkey says:

      Or at least stop making them in these backassward Southern states. They go down there for the right-to-work laws (also known as “screw-the-workers”), but if you’re only paying $12/hr., you get what you pay for.

  20. bumblefoot2004 says:

    Thank God Toyota doesn’t make tires. They don’t make tires, right?