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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,598 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.

2009 Toyota Corolla electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 1 of 4)

problem #70

May 242016


  • 48,900 miles


Power window switch on driver side does not function. Glass window noisy when driving

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #69

Jun 282016


  • 105,000 miles
The car automatic transmissions shift very hard. The mechanic replaced pressure solenoid valve. I was informed that electronic control module is bad. The symptoms are similar to a volunteer safety recall A0J for 2007-2008 Corolla models equipped with 1zz-fe electronic control module. The ECM for certain 2005 through 2008 Toyota Corolla and Corolla matrix models equipped with the 1zz-fe engine and two-wheel drive may have been improperly manufactured. There is a possibility that a crack may develop at certain solder points or on varistors on the circuit board. In most cases, if a crack occurs at certain points or on certain varistors, the engine warning lamp could be illuminated*, harsh shifting could result, or theengine 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 which may increase the risk of a crash.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #68

Jul 142016


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. While driving 5 mph, smoke suddenly emitted from the driver side door panel. A police and fire report were filed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the power switch failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 67,000.

- Sufferm, NY, USA

problem #67

May 202016


  • 76,000 miles


Vehicle was stationary in park on level street. All three car door lock actuator failed in a row w/one week period. First drivers, front passengers, and passenger behind driver's door. Noticed issue when locking door with key fob "lock" button to activate car alarm. Car alarm would not activate. Walked back to vehicle to check if doors were locked. Doors were not locked and in the open "red" color position.

- Waipahu, HI, USA

problem #66

Mar 302016


  • 128,650 miles
My 2009 Corolla experienced issues identical to a prior recall circa 2010 for '05-'08 Corolla & matrix models regarding engine control modules (ECM) that may have been improperly manufactured. On 3/30/16, the check engine light turned on and my vehicle experienced harsh shifting and struggled for gas. Vehicle was in motion with over a 1/4 tank of gas on a residential street at the time. On 3/31/16, I had the vehicle towed to my local Toyota dealership. Diagnostics were run and ECM fault codes were identified. Service associates working on my Corolla addressed their concerns and were repeatedly denied requests for a replacement ECM. At one point, I was advised by Toyota dealership staff to personally order an ECM unit through the parts dept., insisting that the request coming directly from a customer would not be denied. I attempted to place an order with parts, and that request later was denied. After several re-tests and denied requests for a replacement ECM, my vehicle received a replacement tail light bulb (what I refer to as a "band-aid" fix) and was released back to me on 4/5/16. The very next morning (4/6/16), check engine light came back on and vehicle was brought in. Once again, codes tied to the ECM were identified. After another week of tests, denied ECM fix requests, and another band-aid repair, the vehicle was released back to me on 4/14/16. During this two-week ordeal, I incurred over $540 in rental car expenses and $186 in "band-aid" repairs, despite the fact that ECM issues were identified from the beginning. I have opened 2 cases with Toyota customer experience center to address this ECM issue with my 2009 Corolla, the prior 2010 recall, and have requested that my VIN be incorporated into the recall. So far, Toyota has denied any responsibility, insisting that their ecms don't fail, offering no assistance for issues they deem off-warranty/off-recall.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #65

Mar 242016


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. While driving 30 mph, the steering wheel seized and the windows failed to function. In addition, the instrument panel lights illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 81,000.

- Irvin, TX, USA

problem #64

Mar 052016


  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. Every time the vehicle was started, the SRS warning indicator remained illuminated. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign number: 14V168000 (steering column assembly). The dealer was charging to have the vehicle repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- Revere, MD, USA

problem #63

Jan 062016


  • 120,000 miles
I had spoken to mike from carson Toyota regarding this recall more than 6 months ago. I found out about this recall from my coworker who has the same model and year car as mine. Mike had told me that only a few Toyota were on recall and the last time I had gotten my oil changed there, he told me that my model was not in that recall.. but I did get a letter in the mail. I told him that my coworker told me about the electrical window on the right side. Mike had told me that it wouldn't be covered. I would have to pay about $400 plus for that window that got stuck. Mike did tell me that my VIN model was not counted for. I am real upset. This past December, I drove to san francisco when it is raining and windy, this is a real big hazard for a branch to have come inside my car without my daughter being able to close to the window and had poked her arm some how.

- Gardena, CA, USA

problem #62

Oct 112015


  • miles
I have a 2009 Toyota Corolla (le). I bought it almost exactly 3 years ago with about 12,300 miles on it. Currently, it does not have 50K. I have to drive downtown for nursing school, it takes roughly 20-30 minutes. The very terrifying and incredibly dangerous issue that I have been having is that I will be driving 65mph on the expressway and it will suddenly just drop down to 30/40mph. Due to this issue, I have almost been in a crash. I will change lanes thinking my car will accelerate to pass someone and it will just drop down to 30mph! also, while I am idle, it will shake and the RPM will be up close to 2; yet, I am idle! I have read of others experiencing similar issues. This is so dangerous and I do not understand why this has not been addressed sooner. The worst part is no one knows what is wrong. I took it and had a diagnostic test run, it said one of the ignition coils was faulty..on a 2009 Toyota with less than 50K miles...that doesn't sound, right huh. Well, I took it to a mechanic and they gave me a new battery, an oil change and ran another diagnostic test (after switching the ignition coil(B) to another (acord). It recorded nothing. I spent $500 it was fine for about an hour then the check engine light came back on and it started doing the same thing. I am very angry with Toyota for not addressing this issue, especially since others have experienced it and it is dangerous. My safety and the safety of others is at risk.

- Memphis, TN, USA

problem #61

Oct 052015


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. During inclement weather, the vehicle would not start. The contact constantly had to wait for the weather conditions to improve in order for the key to turn over to start the vehicle. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not available. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 118,000.

- Hickory, NC, USA

problem #60

Oct 212015


  • 78,000 miles


After replacing the alternator in my 2009 Corolla in July 2015. My timing chains and water pump malfunctioned while driving on the highway. I was unaware and so was the mechanic that the timing belts were damaged until after the water pump and serpentine belt was replaced. Due to timing issues from the previous malfunctions, I am now in need of a new motor. My vehicle has all required repairs or maintenance completed as scheduled and my vehicle has not even made it to 80,000 miles.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #59

Nov 092015


  • 60,500 miles
7.5Y old Corolla le with 61,000 miles of gentle driving/excellent maintenance, all of a sudden, the alternator failed and the car steering wheel is locked, throwing me into panic. I managed to pull into a bank parking lot at chase bank on 161 w spring creek pkwy, plano. My previous car was 1995 Corolla, had same experience. I would never feel safe in these vehicles. I feel these denso alternators may be defective at such low mileage and gentle use. Anyone else have similar issue with denso alternator [model 104210-5480]?

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #58

Oct 202015


  • 62,000 miles
Driver side power window switch started smoking and I had to take it out to prevent a fire. One of the switches would not operate freely and seemed to get stuck. Thought I was going to have a fire and when I removed it I found components melted. Cannot operate window and it is in open position. Vehicle was moving at the time and I had to return to home and park since switch was smoking.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #57

Oct 082008


  • 1,275 miles
Dangerous car to drive. Vehicle drifts hard left when driving in a straight line. Problem is made worse when driving next to a large trailer truck with crosswinds. Car steering has a large loose, dead center feel disconnected to the road. When turning, the power steering does not move the steering wheel to the center. The driver has to manually correct the wheel every time. I purchased the car "new" from the dealer. I still own it today, and the steering is just as bad. In bad weather, the problem is absolutely terrible. The dealer has no solution.

- Waipahu, HI, USA

problem #56

Aug 072015


  • miles
Driver's door lock does not lock/unlock when pressing the lock/unlock button on the key fob and pressing the lock/unlock button on the driver's door and passengers door.

- Waipahu, HI, USA

problem #55

Jul 082014


  • 27,000 miles
I am the original owner of a 2009 Toyota Corolla which I purchased new from a local Toyota dealership. I have always had them do recommended service, etc. And have taken great care of this vehicle. In July 2014 my car was making a rattling sound and I took it in for service. At that time it barely turned over and started, although I had replaced the battery in 2013. The car had a faulty alternator and when they were doing service they also discovered a broken water pump. The car only had apprx. 27,000 miles at that time. On 8-9-15 the car barely started and as I backed out the battery light came on and I lost my power steering. I had to have the car towed to the dealership and the problem was another defective alternator! the car only has less than 32,000 miles and another alternator. Although the part was just out of warranty, the dealership covered the part, but I had to pay $132 labor and go without a vehicle for 2 days. My family and I always own Toyota and have excellent service from the cars. This one, not so much! now I'm wondering what will go next. I think this will be my last Toyota.

- No. Charleston, SC, USA

problem #54

Aug 032015


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that while traveling on a hill, the alternator assembly warning light illuminated and the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was merged to the side of the road, where the vehicle failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the alternator needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #53

Jun 012015


  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. While driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle suddenly shut off. After restarting the engine, the vehicle operated normally. The contact indicated that the failure occurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable to determine the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 126,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #52

Jun 232015


  • 87,700 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. While driving approximately 40 mph, the ABS and battery warning indicators illuminated. The odometer, blinkers, and front windshield wipers failed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the computer failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 87,700.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #51

May 092015


  • 10 miles
The high beams on the headlights come on without the control being touched. This began when I first bought the car & still does. At first it would happen at any time of the day but now it happens only when it is dark or getting dark. This could impair the vision of the driver of an oncoming vehicle. It is most dangerous on narrow streets. There are other electrical problems that occur from time to time such as the cruise control, power mirrors, air conditioner, driving & dash lights not working. Also the dome light has remained on causing the battery to run down.these latter problems do not seem to pose the threat that the headlights do but they seem to be connected & they are a distraction that could cause problems. I have taken my car to the dealer many times but they never corrected the problem.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

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