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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,271 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.

2003 Toyota Corolla steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 012013


  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, there was a sudden loss of power steering assist. The steering wheel became difficult to turn even though force was engaged. The vehicle was driven to side of the road where the engine was turned off. The contact noticed that the power steering fluid reservoir was empty and he added additional fluid. The contact resumed with the power steering malfunction and the failure was recurring. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic, who was unable to diagnose the problem. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #6

Mar 092012


  • 153,000 miles
The contact owned a 2003 Toyota Corolla S. the contact was in a crash. The contact stated that while attempting to stop the vehicle, after driving approximately 30 mph, the brake pedal and steering wheel seized. The contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the vehicle in front. A police report was filed. There were no injuries. The vehicle was destroyed. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer were notified of the failure. The failure and current mileages were 153,000.

- Statesboro, GA, USA

problem #5

Jul 172010

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
I have a 2003 Toyota Corolla and have noticed a constant problem with the car veering while driving on the highway at speeds over 50 - 60 mph. I am a careful driver so it's not me! it's especially bad when going around a curve or when a semi truck passes me, especially when it's raining. I just had the tires re-balanced, rotated, and the brake rotors re-surfaced, all of which the Toyota dealership in cleveland tn claimed would fix the problem, but it did not. I took a trip from cleveland tn to atlanta ga on Saturday and the car was veering all over the place at certain parts of the highway. I sort of wonder if it's because of the body design that Toyota started using in this model of car because it sits higher up off of the road than previous Corollas, and even higher than a Honda Accord which is a bigger car. It's either just faulty body design or a steering problem.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #4

Mar 052007


  • 80,000 miles


Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) purchased 2003, Toyota, Corolla, VIN: [xxx] with daughter. Veh was purchased from Toyota of orange in ca. Two days later a hit and run driver forced veh to skid across five lanes on interstate 10 in Ontario, ca, and landed atop center divider. The vehicle was sent to repair shop and "repaired" after approximately 5-8 months. However, the car was never properly repaired, and I complained to both Toyota, and to the insurance company, allstate, but Toyota adamantly stated the veh was without problems. The car was continually in the shop for the brakes. Eventually the carpet caused the accelerator to become stuck and the car went out of control. I was forced to reach down while the car moving and pull the carpet with both hands to release the accelerator. Stepping on the brakes did not help. Neither Toyota repair nor allstate would help resolve our complaints since 2003, we were simply told that the veh was fine. Additionally I believe the frame is bent, lack of interlocking brakes causing skids, brakes are soft and drop to floor, and poor steering column. This car is dangerous and is impossible to drive without involving near miss accident episodes. The car skids if going as little as 5-10 miles per hour. I offered to give the car away to anyone who was willing to investigate my complaints, all to no avail. I just recently learned that one of the problems I heard in the brand new car was a hole in the exhaust system. Toyota continually denied this for 5-6 years, then by accident a very young newly employed staff at Toyota of orange, informed us that our complaint about loud air sounding noise was a hole in the exhaust, which had been continually making the noise, and burning of eyes (migraines). The brakes were repaired every 2-4 months or less until I just reported less frequently. The car is now no longer under warranty. Currently it needs some brakes, rotors, drums, calipers, and shocks as always.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 082009


  • 80,000 miles
My daughter has a 2003 Toyota Corolla that we got her a year ago. Since she has had it she has mentioned several times to her father and me the steering seems to be difficult at times. We took it in to our mechanics when it was in for and oil change and tire rotating but they could not simulate the problem. However, now we see that it is a problem for the 2009 and 2010 Corollas it makes me wonder if the same defect could be causing her steering problem.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #2

Nov 302005


  • miles
I currently own a 2003 Toyota Corolla. Since I purchased the car in 2005, I noticed while driving on highways, at certain times it is difficult to stay in the lane because of the steering. It is almost as if the car is being pushed by wind, even if there is no wind. I noticed an article about this complaint in 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla's however, I have noticed it for years with my 2003 Toyota Corolla.

- White Plains, NY, USA

problem #1

Dec 092008


  • 39,900 miles
The bolt holding the pulley for the belts snapped and wedged in the engine - so far 2 1/2 days by the dealer and they still cannot remove the bolt. I think there is a defect in the bolt.

- Metuchen, NJ, USA

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