really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,426 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2009 Toyota Corolla:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2009 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Sep 302015


  • 41,996 miles


Engine has a knocking sound at start

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #28

Sep 052016


  • 68,000 miles
We were driving on a highway while we heard some noise came from the front of our car. We thought we hit some metal, so we slowed down and changed to the slow lane, then the car started slowing down by itself, and the steering wheel couldn't move freely. We pulled over, opened the front, and saw some smoke and some liquid fell down. We spent $300 for towing our car to the Toyota dealership where we bought our car from. And we were told that it is the water pump pulley failed that cause the drive belt broke and engine overheated...I was informed that the repair will cause about $4000 for a second-hand engine!! our 2009 Toyota Corolla was bought new in November, 2008 and only has 68000 miles on it. We just did the oil change at the dealership 5 days after this happen! now the car is sitting at the parking lot of the dealership, we contacted the service manager on the dealership as well as Toyota customer experience but have not receive a positive respond yet. They keep telling me that it pass the warranty, however, when I did the research online and found out that not only me has this problem, there are 35 more complain on record about the water pump failure. I believe Toyota should do a recall on the water pump and responsible for the repair.

- Kentwood, MI, USA

problem #27

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 #26

May 182016


  • miles


Vehicle is a 2009 Toyota Corolla. After parking the vehicle on a flat surface, left engine running, exited vehicle for about one minute to discard trash, reentered the vehicle, and went throught standard procedure to drive off, it would not come out of park. Vehicle was on a flat surface and the brake was being depressed.

- Warrenton, NC, USA

problem #25

Mar 292016


  • 59,798 miles
During a routine inspection at the Toyota dealership on 3-29-16, a cracked cv joint boot leaking grease was discovered (59K miles) this is the 2nd occurrence for me, the 1st on my 2010 Corolla just a few months prior. Loss of grease will eventually result in failure of the cv joint & disconnecting from the hub assembly resulting in loss of propulsion and pose a potential safety hazard. It would seem that such a critical component should not fail so early in the vehicle's lifespan.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #24

Jan 142015


  • miles
2 recalls that I have received through the mail. Im afraid driving on the freeway as they mention that when the light show on airbags 6 sections we can get into an accident due to airbags bursting out.

- Gardena, CA, USA

problem #23

Sep 072014


  • 75,000 miles


The transmission grinds as it shifts into 3rd gear with the clutch disengaged as a result of a defective synchro ring. After a quick search online, this appears to be a common problem with the particular transmission on my '09 Corolla S. the problem was first described in a 2010 Toyota technical service bulletin (T-sb-0282-10), but Toyota did not extend the warranty despite the fact that the synchro ring in my particular vehicle was apparently doomed to fail at some point unless the lock ball spring strength was increased to reduce stress on the 3rd gear synchro. For anyone who didn't show symptoms before their warranty expired (like me), they were just a ticking time bomb.

- Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #22

May 292015


  • 79,000 miles
H first time the car malfunction I was coming back from returning the rental truck, I was pulling out on the highway and at that time the steering wheel locked up, the battery indicator light come on, ABS brake light come on, and rest of the idiot lights on the panel come on. It was very hard to steer the car, will all my effort with two hands I can steer the wheel and control the car. The engine was running really rough and sounded like it was going to quit. This lasted for approximately 20 seconds it seemed like, and then the car started running right now and I was able to steer again and all the lights on the panel went out. I was very concerned about this thinking my car was failing and I knew that there is probably something the matter with it but when it started running right, I figured I just can't fix something that's not broke and really take no notice of it. How my daughter got a driver's license on August the 4th and then on August the 6 you wanted to use the car. So I let her use it. The car malfunction again on this day and and it took out the alternator when it did. So I change the alternator in the car and let my wife use the car for two days because she travels a short distance to work to see if it's ok. After two days of my wife driving and then I resume driving it to work. Didn't appear to be the car was working fine until August 13th, and that's when my daughter erica drove the car again and while backing out of the driveway the car malfunction, she couldn't steer the car the brakes won't work and naturally grown in reverse the emergency brake is not that effective in she ran off the road and damage the car.

- Orland Hills, IL, USA

problem #21

Aug 142014


  • 59,000 miles
A year after the warranty year period ended and less than 60,000 miles, the water pump and serpentine belt both failed. Under the hood, hot coolant was sprayed all over. The coolant level leaked dangerously low, and engine temperature rose without any check engine light on. The incident happened with no sound from the engine upon starting and driving.

- Waipahu, HI, USA

problem #20

Mar 012014


  • 5,000 miles
The transmission hits so hard that it feels like you have hit a speed bump. This happens when you try to accelerate to pass.

- Florence , KY, USA

problem #19

Aug 182014


  • 78,771 miles


I took my car for a Maryland state inspection. It was found by a licensed state inspector, that the left front axle shaft cv boot prematurely wore, and was split open and actively leaking grease.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #18

May 152014


  • 23,840 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated during routine maintenance the technician notified her that the drive shaft was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage were 23,840.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 152013


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated while driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle slipped out of gear and failed to go back into drive. The check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic. The technician diagnosed that it was a shift failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 86,000 and the current mileage was 112,000.

- Hyattsville, MD, USA

problem #16

Jan 022014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 58,150 miles
01/02/2014 at 7:15am: Vehicle idled normally for approx 15 minutes while I cleared snow from driveway. I entered vehicle, put my foot on the brake and shifted into reverse. Accelerator suddenly went to full throttle. I managed to shift back into park and the engine RPM increased to red-line level. I shut off the ignition and the engine stopped. I re-started the vehicle a minute later and everything seemed to be fine. I checked the floor mat which was not close to the accelerator pedal. At least 4" away. My foot never depressed the pedal. I am a mechanical designer and I am convinced that this was not a mechanical issue. I never experienced any accelerator issues previous to this event. I am scheduling an appointment with my local dealer to look into this.

- Medford, MA, USA

problem #15

Jul 242013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 76,100 miles
I noticed last month a "brief engine knock/rattle noise at cold startup. It has happened every cold start since last month. I did research on the internet, and found a tsb-0087-09 issue regarding this problem. Toyota has since corrected this problems on their 2010 models - but did nothing for the current owners of the 2009 models. With a engine any thing could happen regarding safety!!! I believe it is selfishness on the part of Toyota, for what I call a safety issue. The gear in the intake or exhaust is bad in the engine. Not knowing what it could lead too for elderly that love to drive these vehicles?!!! it is covered under power train warranty - 3 yr/60K. But this is a known problem defect on Toyota manufacturing end - it should be covered no matter what. More people have this issue, and probably do not complain to this Agency. Probably never think to - that is why you may not have more complaints regarding this issue (tsb-0087-09). I wish you would address this Toyota over in Japan. Please keep me posted if any thing will come available for the unfortunate consumer!! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Tonawanda, NY, USA

problem #14

May 042013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 23,913 miles
When the car was put into drive from neutral after coming out of a car wash the car started to accelerate out of control, the car hit several curbs went across a lawn and hit a concrete wall where the air bags deployed. The minute that the went into gear the engine started to race as though the accelerator was stuck down.

- Fort Washington, PA, USA

problem #13

May 022012

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
I have a loud knock/rattle noise on cold startup on my 2009 Corolla. I thought it was the belt. But, after replacing belts on schedule maintenance, problem still persist. On several occasions, the engine would start but running in abnormal sound with constant big vibrations. Looking up online to see if this is a common problem for the 2009 Corolla, I am surprised this is wide spread problem and that Toyota knows about it and even issued the repair the bulletin. According to the bulletin, this noise was caused by the defective camshaft timing gear assembly, which affect 2009-2010 Corolla and matrix. I don't know how any other owner will have the same problems, and that someday it might cause big accident when the assembly failed while driving on the freeway. I could not understand why Toyota did not issue a recall when they knew there is this problem on the parts. I sincerely hope NHTSA will investigate this issue.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #12

Mar 202013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
Toyota Corolla S 2009 transmission/clutch issue / electric steering wheel on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 at 86000 mi. Experienced same lack of acceleration transmission problem after I purchased in 40 month at 79,000 mi. Right after I started the engine, no acceleration / no shift. Terminated the driving immediately. Restart the engine, it accelerate normal. However, an engine light came out. I drove more than 80 miles to willsonville Toyota in or where I had a full diagnosis in early March this month (changed transmission fluid/first they denied that it is transmission maintenance free). Service manager witnessed engine light but refused to diagnosis right a way even though I had addressed this transmission problem last December to Toyota Japan, us and willsonvill Toyota. Service mgr failed to check the code for engine light which they could have find the cause. Engine light disappeared in a day. Called Toyota executive office twice. No respond for last 3 days. NHTSA advice Toyota customer to call Toyota headquarter. Steering wheel issue also remains. It locks, difficult to turn the wheel.. last.5 min -1 min. Then return to normal. Steering wheel issue continues. Dealer requests to bring in over nights to duplicate. However, steering locks after engine start for less than several seconds. How they are going to diagnosis is it only last several seconds? by the time they put in the shop for diagnosis, it is already normal. NHTSA is advising to Toyota customer to call Toyota. Past history on transmission issue at 79000 mi: Engine light came out but lasted one day. Fail to accelerate more than 10 - 15 miles /hr. Never shift it up to and go faster. Stopped engine. Restart engine again after 10min. Low speed of 10-15 miles. Restart engine again, and picked up the speed to normal. Engine light disappear in a day. I was concerned and it happened again. Toyota ignored.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #11

May 312012

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
I was driving on ca hwy 101 at 7:30pm when I smelled, then saw smoke and flames coming from the driver-side door. Luckily, I had a gallon of drinking water within reach. I poured it on the fire while swerving to the margin so as to avoid collision. I extinguished the fire and disconnected the windows-switch panel. Apparently, a short-circuit in the window switches ignited the sound-insulation material that should have been fire-proof to begin with. The fire melted most of the driver-side plastic door cover and partially fried the switches and associated wiring. I found the article ¿burning Toyota Camry/rav4 window switches prompt NHTSA investigation and many others that explained everything I needed to know about the cause of the fire. The next day I went to my Toyota dealer who inspected the car. I asked the dealer to repair the car at no cost to me because, obviously, the fire resulted from an inherent defect. The dealer said he won't repair the car for free. Toyota customer service and legal counsel did not take any responsibility either, and, basically, kept on harassing me over the following 3 weeks with many phone calls requesting that I bring my car here and there at their whim. Incidentally, this harassment caused me to lose my job. I reported that much and more to Toyota on their form. Here is what I requested: 1.repair my car and give me a loaner at no cost to me. 2.compensate me monetarily, with $10,000, for the extreme ¿inconvenience you have been causing me over the last three (3) weeks. 3.congratulate me for surviving a very-close call. Miraculously, no one was hurt or killed.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #10

Nov 012011

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
Bought used 2009 Toyota Corolla (5 speed manual clutch) vehicle in mid 2011. Noticed that the gas pedal, brake and clutch are oddly very close, and gas pedal seems to stick, which seems to cause error in shifting/ acceleration/ de-acceleration, especially when using in between gears. Not sure what that is all about, or whether or not there has been a prior complaint about this or recall, but I think it should be brought to the attention and fixed by Toyota for safety reasons.

- Riverside, CA, USA

Read the next 9 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?