Hi all, new guy here.
So my 2003 Vibe's hood latch corroded due to Honolulu's salt air and the secondary latch refused to engage. Since the last thing I needed was to have my hood fly up while driving on the freeway and shatter my windshield, I decided to search this forum for some advice. I was encouraged when I read that the Matrix hood latch would be compatible with the Vibe, and picked up a brand new OEM Toyota Matrix unit for $95 off FleaBay.
When I placed the two units side-by side, I could tell there was a problem:
Yep, the release levers were angled differently, apparently due to the fact that the Matrix's grille (unlike the Vibe's) is attached to the leading edge of the hood, requiring the lower positioning of the lever for that application. The two latch assemblies are otherwise IDENTICAL, mounting exactly the same way using the same 3 10mm bolts and the release cable attaches exactly the same way as well. Instead of bending and possibly damaging the release lever, I Dremeled out a couple of grille elements so I could access the lever in its current lower position with my finger.
Works like a charm! Nothing quite so satisfying as the smooth, positive operation of a brand-new hood latch. And the hole is barely noticeable!
Learn from my pain.
Buy the OEM Pontiac unit unless you enjoy cutting holes in your Vibe's grille. Fortunately, my Vibe is an island beater and while mechanically sound, it won't exactly win any car shows.