Notes: Beware of the NHTSA complaint data for the 2008 Corolla. It is almost certainly misleading.

The problem with NHTSA data for the 2008 Corolla is that for months on end, the news media repeatedly told the public that several Toyota models have an unintended acceleration defect, & to go to (the NHTSA's website) to file a complaint.

So, the NHTSA received a disproportionate number of complaints about Toyota unintended acceleration issues because of the national news media attention, to the point where now the NHTSA data is unreliable taken in context with any other vehicle that did not receive national news attention. typically receives more complaints per day about vehicles than the NHTSA does, but the news media did not repeatedly say "go to to report your Toyota acceleration problems" like they did about the NHTSA -- so although we have less complaint data than the NHTSA for the 2008 Corolla, our data for the Corolla is a far more statistically accurate representation of the Corolla's reliability than what the NHTSA data shows.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
29 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
16 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,724 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.

2008 Toyota Corolla engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

Nov 222010


  • 25,438 miles


On November 22, 2010 I was pulling into a parking space between two parked cars on the roof of a parking garage. The space was straight ahead of me and as I started to pull in and applied the brake, my 2008 Toyota Corolla accelerated to top speed causing me to crash into the concrete wall approximately 18.5 feet in front of me. The car jumped the concrete parking block and hit the 3ft. Concrete wall. My air bag deployed and the seat belt extended to its limit but did not retract. I was bruised and sore from the impact. The estimate to repair my car is in excess of $7,500. I called my dealer and was told that there are no acceleration problems with the 2008 Corollas (contrary to what I see on the website) but they will look at it if I bring it in after it is fixed. It was obvious the car was accelerating on its own and I had no control. It was a very scary experience and I don't think I will be comfortable driving my car again.

- Topeka, KS, USA

problem #31

May 112010


  • 18,133 miles
Vehicle experienced an uncommanded acceleration. We were approaching the exit from the dental school parking and had to slow for another car waiting to turn. When the brake was applied the vehicle suddenly went into full acceleration causing us to swipe the waiting car and forcing extreme evasive action. Situation was witnessed by traffic officer directing traffic. Vehicle was taken to body shop where it was investigated by the manufacturer's representative. No fault was found. Vehicle was traded in and is in dealers possession - for potential resale. There is no doubt that there was a fault because there was clearly no contact with the accelerator during the event. We refused to drive the car again!

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #30

Mar 252010


  • 29,167 miles
On 1-30-10 I took my car for its first "free" lube etc.and I mentioned a "surge" when accelerating and also an intermittent clunk sound when braking. They found no problem. On 1-30-10 I was driving into my garage slowly to reach a cone I have placed to "stop". about a foot from the cone the accelerator surged into the cone, and a cabinet and table behind the cone were damaged, plus $4653.76 damage to my car.

- Santa Rosa,, CA, USA

problem #29

May 222010


  • 75,000 miles


This is an update to complaint # 10314227 I have had two more sua's. one was in may when I was parked at a fast food restaurant on a slight upward slant. The car was slightly warm. It was a dry, cool day. When I shifted into reverse and began to roll backward, I put my foot on the brake to pause to look for traffic. Then the motor began to race as if someone had floored the accelerator and was holding it there. As my foot remained on the brake, which fortunately held, I looked around to see if anyone was witnessing the event so I would have someone to back me up, but no one was near. It stopped racing after a few seconds, then abruptly starting racing again for a few seconds. All this time I was in reverse and had my foot on the brake. Then it suddenly stopped. I put it into park for a while to see what it was going to do, but when nothing happened I went into reverse again and the engine did not race. The second occurrence was in the first part of June when I had just gone about 1/8 of a mile and the car was still cold. It was a warm, dry day. I was sitting at a light waiting to get on the beltline when I heard what sounded like a motorcycle nearby racing its engine. My radio was on playing music. I heard it for a few seconds and then it stopped. I looked around for the motorcycle. Then it started again. By this time I realized that it was my engine that was racing. By the time I cut the radio off, it had again stopped. So this was the second time the sua happened when the engine was relatively cold and with two short episodes of the racing engine. I did not think to look at the tachometer. It was too quick. Again, my foot never left the brake. When the light changed I drove on through the traffic without further incident. Please reference this complaint number to my other complaint. Thank you.

- Watertown, WI, USA

problem #28

Nov 192008

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
S10 comeback-letter to the secretary from re Toyota unintended acceleration 2008 Toyota Corolla. The consumer stated when she applied the brake at less than 5 mph to execute a left turn into a parking space, the vehicle suddenly and for no apparent reason surged at a high rate of speed. The consumer stated she removed her foot from the brake and her vehicle crashed into a parked vehicle. Updated 07/27/10 added VIN. Updated 07/29/10 updated 12/30/10. Updated 01/07/11. Updated 03/02/11 updated 06/28/11. Three voqs on same VIN: 10256808,10335955,10266580 *smch

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #27

May 112010


  • 18,133 miles
While applying brake, car suddenly surged forward (hard acceleration). Minor accident ensued, several police officers observed accident.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #26

Aug 222008


  • 5,570 miles


On Aug. 1, 2008 I bought a certified used 2008 Toyota Corolla with 5,420 miles on it from manhattan beach Toyota, in manhattan beach, ca. After driving it for several weeks, I realized there was something troubling about the accelerator. Whenever I depressed the accelerator to make a standing start -- when a traffic signal turned green, for example -- the car would often lurch forward in an uncontrollable manner. I soon traced the problem to the position of my foot on the accelerator. If my foot was in just the right position -- low to midway on the pedal, with my heel closest to the floor -- I had complete control. But if I miscalculated and placed my foot ever so slightly higher on the pedal, the car would lurch forward even when I applied the same pressure. I could regain control only by quickly taking my foot off the accelerator and/or hitting the brakes. The Toyota dealership that maintains my car repeatedly said I should not worry -- that as the car's computer got used to my driving habits, it would eventually adjust the action of the accelerator to my touch. But nothing changed. Now I take extra care to try and get my foot in just the right spot before accelerating from a standing start. Sometimes I am successful, other times not. In anticipation of trouble, I make it a point to leave plenty of extra space between me and the car ahead of me, so I won't rear end it if the accelerator sends me lurching forward. I have become resigned to the problem, because I am a Toyota fan and like everything else about the car. I never thought to complain about this until a New York times story indicated that other Toyota owners have had the same problem, and (I believe) had notified your Agency. (pls ignore the dates I entered below; the problem persists to this day, but your form would not allow me to so indicate.)

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #25

Apr 252010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,938 miles
My Toyota Corolla ce sedan automatic, yr: 2008. Mileage 69938. Warranty is out. 04/25/10 while my car was parked I started engine, gas pedal did not accelerate., engine had low tone & slowly went off. I tried 4-5 times, pressing on gas pedal while engine was on, same result. Finally. I started engine, without depressing gas pedal, I backed up, then, I put gear in drive & moved the car forward, after abt 2 minutes I depressed gas pedal, engine accelerated & drove on. It has been normal ever since. I had previous 2 similar cases but engine accelerated on 2nd try. 4/26/10, I reported it, as manufacturing defect, to Toyota dealer & asked fixing it without charge to me. Dealer had car checked by a technician, he could not diagnose the cause & said I should leave it for complete inspection at $98/hr. I told customer relations mgr I could not pay it. He had the car inspected again, this time by head mechanic at workshop abt 20 minutes. He said car was ok & could not diagnose the cause. 4/28/10 I faxed all in detail to Toyota motor sales usa Inc, torrance, ca, dept WC11 (customer experience center). 04/29/10, they emailed "due to high contact volume, we are unable to respond to your inquiry in a timely manner and it may take several weeks to receive a response to your inquiry". 4/27/10, I emailed "Toyota owners member registration" & registered myself as Toyota member. Then, I reported my problem. 05/04/10 Toyota called, a lady asked me to recount my story, again & again, obviously trying to worn me out. She said she had not seen my original report, so I faxed her copy of my fax 5/04/10 & asked her help. 05/04/10, she emailed: I should contact dealership. "if the dealership discovers a warranty concern, all fees will be covered, otherwise you would be responsible for all costs related to the inspection....." my question to you (NHTSA-dot"= have similar cases been reported to you. What shall I do next ?

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #24

Sep 012009

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
2008 Toyota Corolla acceleration issue the consumer stated when his wife attempted to stop at a stop sign, the vehicle continued to accelerate. She was able to bring the vehicle under control. The consumer stated the incident happened again two months later where his wife was unable to stop the vehicle as she approached a 4-way stop sign. She had to use both of her feet to step on the brake, in order to get the vehicle to stop. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated the problem was with the floor mat. The consumer stated neither the floor mat nor the gas pedal caused the problem. The consumer believed there was an electronic issue with the vehicle. The service manager at the dealership examined the vehicle and verified that the floor mat was secure an stated the brake and gas pedal were too close to each other causing the probability that both could have been stepped on at the same time causing driver-error. Updated 06/16/10. The consumer has since traded the vehicle. Updated 04/30/13

- Tolland, CT, USA

problem #23

Sep 302009


  • miles
2008 Toyota Corolla. Letter from senator demint on behalf of constituent re Toyota unintended acceleration the consumer stated as his wife was attempting to park the vehicle, it accelerated on its own. The vehicle went up and over a concrete curb which resulted in damage to the under carriage of the vehicle, one tire exploded and the alignment of the front end was thrown out of specification. In October 2009, the vehicle was taken to the dealership for routine service and the consumers wife informed the dealer about the previous incident, however the dealer stated the vehicle was not included in the recall.

- York, SC, USA

problem #22

Apr 232010


  • 36,000 miles


I was traveling less than 30 mph and stopped at a stoplight. The moment the light turned green, my car stalled. The engine light and battery light went on. After I restarted, it drove all right for another 10 minutes. It stalled out again at another stoplight. Scared to go on the highway, I pulled into a hotel parking lot. The car made jerky vibrations and would go no faster than 10 mph regardless of the pressure on the gas pedal. I took it to the Toyota dealership, and they said the electronic control module was bad. It was still under warranty, and I was not charged for the replacement (thankfully!).

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #21

Apr 162010


  • 11,500 miles
I was decelerating with my right foot on the brake to stop at a red light. There was a car ahead of me at the light, and as I pulled up behind it, I put my right foot on the brake to come to a complete stop. When I hit brakes, I found that the car was not stopping and that the car was accelerating. I put both feet on the brake, and pulled the emergency brake but the car continued to accelerate until it ended up pushing on the car ahead of me. I did everything I could think of to stop the car, but was unable to do so until I turned the key off. As far as I know, there were no injuries, air bags didn't deploy, no tickets were issued and the bumpers of both cars were not dented, but had very deep scrapes on them. The mat was hooked at the time and was not involved and I didn't touch the gas. I had my husband follow me to my dealership, where I asked them to inspect the car and let me know if it was safe to drive. They refused to inspect it and referred me to my insurance company. I did that, but I also talked to Toyota's service line in California and they said the best they could do was arrange for an inspection with results in appx 74 days. My insurance company had an independent inspection, but all he told me was that my accelerator was not "cable". the Toyota company told me I could go ahead and have the body work done as long as the repairs did not have anything to do with the brake or the ignition. Police were called at the scene, but did not meet with us.

- Spokane Valley, WA, USA

problem #20

Apr 132010


  • 29,300 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that while shifting into the park position, the vehicle suddenly accelerated to 35 mph and crashed into the rear of a parked vehicle. The contact placed both feet on the accelerator pedal but could not gain control of the vehicle. There were no injuries but a police report was filed. The vehicle had not been taken to an authorized dealership for diagnosis at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 29,300.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #19

Mar 122010


  • 53,000 miles
My vehicle accelerated and I hit the vehicle ahead of me despite braking as hard as I could

- Chester, PA, USA

problem #18

Oct 302008


  • miles
2008 Corolla accelerates on it's own approximately once a week since purchasing the vehicle 10/2008. Always on highway, it feels like when the cruise resumes, the way the car just picks up speed as something is pushing it, but the cruise is not on. It does slow down when I take my foot off the gas pedal, so it doesn't feel like a pedal sticking. Since recalls of other vehicles I was told by the dealer I have my car serviced by that it is something electronically and is normal. I have asked everyone I know if their cars do this, no one has ever experienced this, even someone whose car has been recalled for the so called gas pedal sticking. I'm getting very scared to drive my car as I drive 80 miles round trip for work. Also, my brakes make this loud clunk sound 1/2 the time they are applied. Had them checked about a yr ago and they also said this is normal. Again no one I have talked to has this problem.

- Mascoutah, IL, USA

problem #17

Jan 022009


  • 8,900 miles
I was trying to park my 2009 Toyota Corolla + stepped on the brakes but the car sped up instead. This happened X 2. I hit the curb very hard and turned off the ignition. If the curb hadn't stopped my car it would have kept on going.

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #16

Aug 292008


  • 20,000 miles
On 8/29/08 I was slowly accelerating as I pulled onto the highway when I experienced what I have come to understand was an sua, a sudden unintended acceleration. With head-on traffic coming at me fast I had no choice but to turn sharply to get off the road. My rear axle was caught on a berm of dirt at the edge of a cornfield. Braking had no effect. As I sat there I realized the engine was racing wildly. There was no obstruction to the gas peddle, so I had to cut off the engine by turning the key off. My car is a 2008 Toyota Corolla. The road was dry, however, it was a damp morning and chilly. I have had no recurrences. I am a safety compliance officer with osha so I immediately began investigating the electronic throttle system. I do not feel the addition of the plate behind the gas pedal is the solution. Toyota told me at the time of the accident that it would do no good to replace the throttle sensor, so I realized that they had a defect problem. I am looking into adding a smart throttle software plug-in to provide an override to the throttle. Toyota refused to tell me who made the part or from whom they purchased it. Please provide me that information if possible. Please continue your investigation, and I would suggest widening it to include all drive-by-wire systems.

- Watertown, WI, USA

problem #15

Aug 232009


  • 22,000 miles
Vehicle continued to accelerate after releasing throttle. Unable to stop vehicle and had accident with vehicle ahead. Plenty of distance between cars to stop vehicle, but unable to bring vehicle to a stop in time. Apparent throttle problem.

- Dickinson, TX, USA

problem #14

Nov 192009


  • 22,000 miles
On four separate occasions the engine revved up to 6000rpm on my 2008 Toyota Corolla ce when I was stopped. My foot was off the accelerator and no floor mats were near the accelerator. I brought it to my dealer but they did not find anything wrong with it. I reported it to Toyota corporate but they have not responded other then to say that to tell me that my car was not covered by the recall.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #13

Feb 092010


  • 13,000 miles
I backed my 2008 Toyota Corolla out of my garage, with the steering wheel turned left. I used the remote control to close the garage door. I put my foot on the brake and put the car in drive, intending to pull forward and to the right up the drive. I gently gave the car some gas, but the car accelerated suddenly before I could turn the wheel. As a result, the unstoppable car shot off the driveway and down a slope where I crashed head on into a tree. The airbags failed to deploy.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

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