Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Airbag problem on 2006 Toyota Matrix

I really need you guys’ help. I have a 2006 Toyota Matrix, 80,000+ miles, and the airbag light came on recently. I took it in to the dealership recently to find out whether it was a recall item (my particular car has never had anything recalled on it, I believe it was actually manufactured in Canada if that matters). They ran some diagnostics and read the computer, which said that the airbag itself had failed, and that everything else in the system was OK. The following is the email message the service team leader sent to me:

“The air bag for the passenger side dash will require dash removal, est $1297.47 parts and labor.
The seat safing (sp?) sensor passed tests however there is discussion about changing the sensor with a new bag. I do not find this to be a must but if for some reason I am wrong the seat sensor is $899 parts and labor… I have discounted everything down as best I can at this point. The car would be down 2 days.”

Originally he told me about $2800, but I told him I was unemployed and generally bawled, batted my eyelashes, tossed my red hair, and stamped my foot. Does the whole dashboard need to be replaced??? $1300 to $2200 is a lot of money for me right now and replacing the whole dashboard seems like overkill to me.

Damsel in Distress

Look for a second opinion from a good independent non-chain shop.