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2005-2008 Toyota Corolla/Matrix – Click above for high-res image gallery

toyota matrixToyota has been in the hot seat this year for its high-volume safety recalls, has issued yet another action that covers its 2005-2008 model year Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks. Approximately 1.13 million vehicles are affected by a problem which could cause the 1ZZ-FE 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine to stall. Three accidents have been reported thus far, though Toyota hasn't confirmed that these incidents were indeed caused by this engine stalling issue.

To fix this problem, Toyota will replace the engine control modules on the recalled vehicles starting in mid-September. Owners will be notified by mail in the coming weeks and the service will be provided at no charge.

This is not the first time this year that the Corolla and Matrix have been the subject of safety issues. In early 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated almost 750,000 2009 and 2010 model year vehicles for a potential steering issue, and Toyota provided a free fix for customers. An official recall was not issued, though, as Toyota maintains that this problem is not a safety concern.

Follow the jump to read Toyota's official press release.

*UPDATE: We mustn't forget that the Pontiac Vibe is built on the same architecture as the Corolla/Matrix, and General Motors has just issued a press release (available after the jump) stating that certain 2005-2008 model year Vibes are being recalled for this same issue.

[Sources: Toyota, AOL Autos, General Motors]
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From Toyota:

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

TORRANCE, Calif., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 www.toyota.com/recall 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.

From 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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had my ECM replaced under this recall about 5,000 km, ago. Since being replaced my car gets 10% less mileage. Has anybody else experienced this? Toyota says "it takes a while to learn your driving habits" however my understanidng is that it never takes this long.
      • 4 Years Ago

      "Toyota admitted that their car have ELECTRONIC defects."

      Technically, a crack in a circuit board at solder points is more of a physical defect.

      I'm not sayin', but I'm sayin'...
      • 4 Years Ago
      When it rains,it pours.
      • 4 Years Ago
      TOYO JUNK FTW!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does anyone think that car manufacturers factor in the money they might make from people coming in to get recalls and getting other service done too? I'm not saying that car manufacturers make money off recalls or that Toyota is faking the recalls (not saying that AT ALL), just wondering if they subtract that out of the total cost of recall.

      I guess it might be pretty hard to track that sort of data though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I would have a hard time understanding that logic. The cost in goodwill alone would outweigh any service sales (which benefit dealerships more than the manufacturer). For a company with a good reputation in regards to quality would want to avoid recalls. And a company with a bad reputation (but trying to improve) would also want to avoid recalls. Except for that stupid owner manual recall that affected Volvo. I doubt anybody cares about that one.

        Before this current fiasco (and my own experience), I had 5 Toyotas on my list of potentials for our next car. Now? One that's hanging by a thread.
        • 4 Years Ago
        All that "extra" service money would go to the Dealership owner, not Toyota.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I suppose you guys are right, it was just a though but obviously I was wrong.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Again, business as usual for Toyota... This time they admitted they had faulty engine control modules though, so thats a step forward. Obviously all the recalls they SHOULD have done the past couple of years, are currently being done since. It's just with this many recalls they are approaching the, "Wow you build junk" status pretty quickly...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Part of Toyota’s reluctance to act quickly in the past clearly relates to cultural issues that are unique to Japanese corporations:


        I think that senior management in Toyoda City realizes that they cannot afford to lose any more customer goodwill by delaying the inevitable recall.

        Timothy M Mojonnier
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why don't they just recall Toyota instead of this piece mail?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hate Toyota. :(
      • 4 Years Ago
      Replace the engine control modules? Aren't these like hundreds of dollars each? Then multiply that by 1.1 million. In addition to the previous recall, this is shaping up to be a very expensive one. Wonder how Toyota manages to keep its lights on while all of its extra money are going to recalls every other month.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ECU might cost you hundreds of dollars, it has about $20 worth of parts in it though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota did say (in their ads) they were spending $1M/hr on safety. So they just extended the period.
      • 4 Years Ago
      About time. Go on any corolla forum and you'll see this has been a problem for years. It Stretches as far back as 03 these complaints.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The ratio of product failure to product recall is getting a little silly, isn't it?
      • 4 Years Ago
      already had my ECU replaced. less than 40k miles and one day it felt like my transmission was going to drop everytime the gears shifted. the TSB has been out there for quite some time now..
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