Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
28 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
13 / 3
Average Mileage:
44,295 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Toyota Corolla engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #17

Dec 052009


  • 80,800 miles


Frightening incident that was reported on my 2004 Toyota Corolla le/sd 4 dr. Parking my vehicle in a driveway (on a slight incline), dry conditions, and only 1 foot from a parked cargo van. About to place foot on brake to stop completely to turn car off and full acceleration took place. Gas pedal went full throttle and hit the cargo van. Tires were spinning, left tire tracks. My car pinned between a cargo van and pulling to the left -- six inches from hitting a Subaru owned by sister. Acceleration went for about two minutes as I was applying the brakes, no results. I looked down to see if my car mat was in the way and the answer is no. Three people came outside the home to see what the loud impact was and why the car was accelerating in that manner-- thinking the engine had blown. I was able to put the car in neutral, then park and shut it off while applying the brake. Contacted Toyota corporate office who then referred me out to customer experience center on Monday 12/7 to inform them of my ordeal. They arranged for my car to be serviced by a technician on 12/15/2009 at the Toyota dealer in greer, SC. I was told to pick the car up after 1 1/2 hours. I had car towed to and from car dealer. In January 2010, I picked up a certified letter from the post office that was dated December 23, 2009. It stated that "based on our findings provided above, we respectfully decline any further assistance in this matter." The inspection was - providing a road test and the brakes, held vehicle speed at 10 mph, no leakage with brakes, and acceleration did not stick. They sent me on my way and closed the case and thanked me for my business and being a loyal Toyota customer! I only had my car for two years. It is the first time it happened. I ultimately had to get another vehicle to get around in. It was my only vehicle. There is a serious safety issue with more vehicles than they are stating. Mine is a 2004.

- Greer, SC, USA

problem #16

Jan 312010


  • 60,000 miles
When pulling into a parking space, the vehicle accelerated on its own. Depressed brake to limited avail. Vehicle partially jumped parking curb when it was shifted into park. The vehicle has not yet been inspected so, as yet, nothing has been done to repair this problem. This is the second occurrence. This appears to be similar to many other complaints on this model along with other models.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #15

Sep 112007


  • 35,000 miles
2004 Toyota Corolla was total on 9/11/07 in an accident where it accelerated in reverse in a parking lot and smashed into a tractor trailer. My former was driving it and said it just took off on her. (we fired her shortly after this incident and she left the usa)

- Maplewood, NJ, USA

problem #14

Sep 012009


  • miles


Regarding sudden acceleration in the Toyota Corolla: Although this problem has recently been widely reported on the news in other models I have experienced dozens of events in the Toyota Corolla for an entirely different reason. The spacing between the brake pedal and the accelerator is so close that anyone who has big feet such as me ( I wear a men's 12 wide shoe) can easily hit the accelerator at the same time the brake is hit. This problem became such an issue for me since my elderly mother owns 2 different Toyota Corolla that I avoid using her cars whenever possible. However because she is so old and cannot easily get into cars that are low to the ground because of their small wheel diameters I do take her in her car at times. There is hardly a single instance in which I drive the car that I do not experience problems. I also tried about 5 years ago to buy my own Toyota Corolla but being aware of the problem I asked the dealer if he could move the brake pedal and he told me there was nothing that could be done. This car is very dangerous for anyone with feet larger than the normal. I expect that in Japan they must have small feet for creating such a stupid blunder. This vehicle should be removed from the road. I experienced the problem in more than one model year. My mother owns two different model years. The car I test drove on the dealers lot was another model year. So at least 3 different model years after 2004 have the problem. It can easily be seen just by looking at the pedal spacing. This blunder in design is hard to believe since it is so stupid.

- Danvers, MA, USA

problem #13

Apr 242006


  • 22,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated on its own. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they kept it overnight. They found no failures with the vehicle. The failure recurred and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer. Once again, no failures were found. On one occasion, the vehicle accelerated and struck another vehicle. The occupants in the other vehicle were injured and the contact sustained chest pain from the seat belt. A police report was filed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they made repairs. The contact did not feel safe driving the vehicle; therefore, it was replaced with a 2006 Corolla. Currently, the 2006 Corolla is experiencing the same failures as the 2004 model. The dealer stated that she could bring in the vehicle and pay $98 per hour for a diagnostic. The contact is afraid to drive the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were 22,000. Updated 7/1/09 updated 07/07/09.

- Simi Valley, CA, USA

problem #12

Oct 202007

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Date 10/20/2007 this Saturday morning at 9:05 am, after mass at the miami archdioceses, I had a most unpleasant experience with my 2004 Toyota Corolla. When I moved to reverse my car from my parking place, I experienced a sudden dramatic increase from the car's idle and a release of the acceleration, causing the vehicle to move backward very fast. I immediately put the car in neutral, but did not stop and then, in a few seconds to forward to avoid hitting any persons or vehicles in my back in the church parking lot. In total about 45 feet backward and forward, perhaps 30 seconds plus in total. I then crashed on the wall of St. Martha rectory. The car was uncontrollable and the front of my car's hood, front doors were badly damaged, (especially the right side, where my sick wife sat ) damages with a preliminary estimate of $ 5864. I have two concerns: A) sudden acceleration when car is started and inability to stop it. B) no air bag system deployment in spite of the strength of the impact and having the entire front bumper of the car destroyed. 2) I have lost my trust in my present Toyota Corolla car (I have had one before and a Camry, and their performance was satisfactory). I would like to have a very careful inspection of our vehicle, its capacity for sudden uncontrollable acceleration, lack of air bag protection, and the like.

- Miami Shores, FL, USA

problem #11

May 022007


  • miles


I had a rapid acceleration problem with my 2005 Toyota Corolla yesterday. The engine RPM went to about 50,00rpm. Before any damage occurred I shut the vehicle off. When starting up again there seemed to be no problem. I immediately called the dealer and after checking out the vehicle they could not find a problem.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #10

Apr 022007

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
- the contact stated that while driving the 2004 Toyota Corolla with 31000 failure mileage at 15 mph with foot on the gas pedalthe vehicle raced up to 35 mph, and the rpms raced between 4 and 5 on the gauge. The contact immediately applied the brake as hard as he could, and put the vehicle into neutral. He also applied the gas, allowing the vehicle to stop idling. The vehicle was at the dealer being looked at concerning this problem. The current mileage was 32,000. Updated 04/30/07.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #9

Mar 262006

Corolla 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
: the contact stated while placing the engine into drive, the engine revved high and the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The brake pedal was depressed when the vehicle crashed into a brick garage with no prior warning. The vehicle sustained damage to the front with additional damage to the garage. The police were not contacted since this happened on private property. The vehicle remains at the scene of the incident and has not been inspected.

- Merriam, KS, USA

problem #8

Mar 032006


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Drove car to work on day of accident with no incidents. Parked vehicle for about 5 hours then drove it again for about 1 half hour then park. At 5:00 P.M. left the office to go home. On the way home I made tow stops, one at the post office and another at my sister's house. Upon leaving my sister's, I proceed to go up hill. When I got to the top of the hill with my foot on the brake pedal I proceeded to put the vehicle in low gear as I am accoustomed to when going down a hill which I was about to do. As I put the vehicle in gear, it accelerated to top speed going down the hill. I looked down to make sure my foot was on the brake was. The vehicle began racing down hill. I applied the emergency brakes but it did not hold. I decided to try to steady the vehicle with both hands on the steering wheel as I lost control of the vehicle to no avail. I crashed into a parked vehicle bounced from side to side then hit a bump in the road and become airborne. The vehicle dropped in a ditch bounced again then crashed into a dirt embankment on the other side of the street at which time both the driver's and passenger's airbags deployed. On January 6, 2006 I took the vehicle to the Toyota dealer here on island for full service. The front brakes were changed as indicated on my work order and the back brakes were cleaned and adjusted. On March 6, 2006, I went in to the service department to report the accident describing what happened. I was told that the brakes were not the problem. When I asked what would cause the vehicle to do something like that, they told me they did not know and that they would have a specialist from puerto rico fly in to look at the vehicle. I am waiting to hear from them.

- St. Thomas, VI, USA

problem #7

Dec 222005

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,800 miles


When parking the car the car attempted to accelerate on its own. I looked down to make sure my foot was not on the gas - my foot was planted on the brake. I had to brake as hard as a I could to keep the car from rear ending the vehicle in front as the engine all on its own dragged the car forward. The car was moving at about two miles an hour when this took place. The engine revved up to 4000 rpms without any pressure on the gas and simply dragged the car forward.

- Watertown, MA, USA

problem #6

Jun 302005

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
I was braking for a stoplight. After coming to a complete stop the engine began to race with the rpms rising above 4000 before I turned off the ignition. I had to press down on the brake pedal as hard as I could and was barely able to hold the car at the intersection. This was the second time this had happened. The first time occurred approximately 2 months earlier. During that incident, the engine raced to over 6,000 rpms before I shut off the ignition. After both incidents, I took the car to lithia Toyota in redding, ca. Both times they said that no error codes were set and since the car engine did not race during the test drives, there was nothing wrong with it. They stated tha they had never heard of any other Toyota vehicles behaving in this manner, yet I found 25 similar complaints regarding the 2004 Camry on this website, and 21 such complaints for 2002 through 2005 model year Corollas.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 262004

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,500 miles
While idling at a stop light vehicle surged. Vehicle has had 600 RPM surges while in park and while at idle for no reason. The manufacturer appeared to be aware of the problem with the Camry models but has received no reports of problems with the Corolla.

- Taftsville, VT, USA

problem #4

Mar 312004

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,782 miles
I own a 2004 Toyota Corolla with about 13,000 miles. Last week I was driving on a flat city street, going about 30 mph, when I had to slow down for a red light. I came to a complete stop with my foot securely down on the brake pad when the engine began to rev and the car lurched forward. There was enough space between me and the car in front of me to avoid an accident. Nonetheless, this concerned me because I have detected the same problem once or twice before while stopped on an incline. The assistant service manager at my Toyota dealership said he's not aware of these problems, but I found something similar on the web concerning the Camry. I am getting the car checked out this weekend.

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 122004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Intermittently while driving at low speed vehicle suddenly accelerated.

- North East, MD, USA

problem #2

Dec 252003


  • miles
2004 Toyota Corolla suddenly accelerates against the will and conduct of the operator of the vehicle on several occasions - Toyota motor company ignores issue repeatedly. ODI cases 1431208 and 10051102 are invited to contact me (sean) at 646-263-4970 to discuss similar experience.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #1

May 292003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 334 miles
I bought a brand new 2004 Toyota Corolla in may this year. A few days later I was driving on the free way and the new car accelerated by itself. I tried to step on the brake to slow down, it became uncontrollable. I was driving at 60 miles per hour. Finally I have to exit the free way and the car hit the divider and got totally crashed.

- Cerritos, CA, USA

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