Toyota to recall 2005-2008 Corolla and Matrix due to stalling risk *UPDATE*

Toyota is recalling the 2005-2008 Corolla and Matrix due to a stalling risk.

Update: General Motors has confirmed that the Pontiac Vibe, which shares its underpinnings with the Matrix, has also been affected. We’ve got GM’s press release after the jump with more info.

This issue has been under investigation since November 2009 by the NHTSA, and the we’ve known of the possibility of a recall since March 2010. Now the decision has been made, and Toyota will recall all 1.13 million affected cars.

Cars equipped with the 1ZZ-FE engine and two-wheel-drive are affected. Cracks can develop on the ECM’s circuit board. This can result in a check engine light, harsh shifting, or the engine will refuse to start. However, it can also cause the aforementioned stalling risk. Three unconfirmed accidents are linked to this recall, with one resulting in a minor injury.

Notifications will be mailed to owners beginning mid-September. A new ECM will be installed to fix the issue.

Press Release

Toyota Announces Voluntary Safety Recall on Certain Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix Models

TORRANCE, Calif., August 26, 2010 — Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 1.13 million 2005-2008 Model Year Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles sold in North America to address some Engine Control Modules (ECM) that may have been improperly manufactured. No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in this recall.
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.
There are three unconfirmed accidents alleged to be related to this condition, one of which reported a minor injury.
Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America, said, “This recall is an example of our commitment to standing by our products and being responsive to our customers. Our goal is to help ensure that Toyota drivers are completely confident in the safety and reliability of their vehicles.”
As part of the recall, the ECM on involved vehicles will be replaced at no charge to the owner. Beginning in mid-September 2010, Toyota will mail an interim notification to advise owners of this recall and the fact that they will receive a future notice when parts become available to complete the repairs. Owners who have previously paid for replacement of the ECM to address this specific condition should refer to the owner letter for reimbursement consideration instructions.
Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center 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.

Press Release (General Motors):

Toyota Recalls 2005-08 Pontiac Vibes for Stalling Condition


Toyota Motor Co. announced a safety recall Thursday for 200,163 Pontiac Vibe models from 2005-2008 because a faulty powertrain control.  As part of the same action, Toyota is recalling 1.13 million Toyota Corolla and Matrix models from the same model years.

The 2-wheel-drive Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix are sister vehicles built between April 2004 and January 2008 at the former New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. joint venture between GM and Toyota.  The vehicles were designed and engineered by Toyota.

On some of these vehicles, the PCM may have been improperly manufactured and include components that can fail prematurely.  In most cases, the engine warning lamp could be illuminated, harsh transmission shifting could result, the engine may stall or the engine may not start.  In limited instances, the engine could stall while the vehicle is being driven.

Vibe customers will receive preliminary recall letters in September and a follow-up letter when replacement ECMs are available for their vehicles. Since GM has wound down the Pontiac brand, owners will be instructed to take their vehicles to other GM dealerships for service, which will be performed free of charge.

Source: Toyota and General Motors

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