Notes: There must have been something in the water at the plant where they built the eighth generation Corollas, especially the 1998 and 1999 model years.

Outside of airbag problems being reported to NHTSA, this is about as dependable a car as you’ll find. But good luck finding one; owners say they want a new car, but can’t justify trading in their Corolla because the darn thing just keeps rolling.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,582 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.

1998 Toyota Corolla brakes problems

brakes problem

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1998 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 202002


  • 51,690 miles


When I applied the brake during a raining day, my car suddenly went to the side. This kind of scenario happened twice before ( on local streets while driving around 20 miles per hour). I felt that this car's brake system was different from that of the other cars I owned before. Shouldn't the anti-brake system help the car stay straight on the road? on 09-20-2002, it was raining, I drove this car on the highway at the speed around 50 miles per hour, on the first left lane. After I applied the brake in order to reduce the speed further, my car went to the right side, and then left side, and then crashed to the middle concrete. **dimsii IVOQ entry posted after 12/12/02 cut over to artemis**768012

- Ballwin, MO, USA

problem #5

Mar 222003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,800 miles
ABS locked up when I tapped on car seemed to accelerate making the car skid and fish tail sending me 4 lanes across the freeway into the cement barrier totaling my car.

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 241999


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Brakes squeaking and grinding, replace all four brakes

- Pico Rivera, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 152000


  • miles


Just minutes after driving in heavy dallas traffic, stopped at a grocery store and was pulling into an angled parking space with my foot on the brake and almost stopped, when car surged forward (repeat-with my foot on brake). The brake pedal went completely to the floor and would not stop vehicle. I hit the vehicle parked in front of me; very little damage as my car was almost stopped when it surged forward and brake failed. This was the second time this had happened. The first time was only a couple of months after I bought the car new. The same thing happened as I was pulling into my car port. The brake went to the floor and car surged forward. That time I couldn't believe what had happened and just thought my foot must have slipped. This time, I had two other people in the car and we all witnessed the surge and the brake pedal on the floor of the car (useless). As soon as the vehicle has stopped (by hitting something each time), the brake goes back to its usual position. I took the car to classic Toyota here in tyler the next day when I drove back here. They said they inspected it and could find nothing wrong. I was very upset and it was annotated on the job ticket. I contacted my insurance company and told them what had happened and left my name and phone number with the driver of the car I hit in the grocery store lot. If this had happened just minutes before as I stopped for the numerous red lights in dallas, my car would have been propelled out into the intersection and would have been hit. As far as I am concerned, this is a very dangerous problem, and the car is a potential death trap for me and my passengers or the vehicle I might hit because of the brake failure and surge problem. There was a two-year lapse between the two incidents, which is why the dealer couldn't test drive the vehicle and find the problem. They suggested my foot had slipped off the brake and hit the accelerator. This absolutely was not what happened.

- Tyler, TX, USA

problem #2

Oct 181999

(reported on)


  • miles
When traveling at low speeds on wet pavement, automobile goes into a skid when brakes are applied. Brakes completely failed on 10-13-99 at 11,802- low brake fluid level light came on. Reported loud noises from the brakes to th dealer at 5000 miles ( brake light came on then, as well). New brakes are needed now, at 11,802 miles. Note too that automoble sways at highway speeds( I.e., high speed and wind combination). And, braking at high speeds (55 miles per hour) cause the car to pull.

- Chevy Chase, MD, USA

problem #1

Jul 101999


  • miles
While making a normal stop the pedal went to the floor, causing, extended stopping distance. Dealer unable to determine the cause.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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