really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 5
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,681 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 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #31

Aug 302012

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles


Car was turned off and parked in a parking lot on a normal day, I came back to it turned the car on and smoke started coming out of the power window controls on the driver side, I turned of the car right away, the smoke got worse and then there were flames. I was picking up a friend from work at a car dealership and some people working in the body shop help me put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. The window controls, door handle and door to some extant melted and were destroyed.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #30

Jun 292012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that there was a fire inside of the driver's side door panel. The contact stated that while driving the vehicle, he smelled smoke. The contact then poured water down the door panel. The contact stated that the vehicle had not been inspected because the manufacturer planned on doing so, but had not yet done that. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 84,000.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #29

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 #28

Jun 082012

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles


I have automatic locks and have never had any problems with them until recently when my front passenger side door would not open from inside or out in the unlocked position. All other doors work normally. I tried using my key to unlock it and that also failed. I took it to the dealership and they said it was a problem with a broken cable which they repaired. It was not covered under warranty.

- Scranton , PA, USA

problem #27

Nov 282011

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 Toyota Corolla. Consumer states issues with screeching noise the consumer stated the noise would occur, when she started the vehicle, followed by the battery light illuminating. The battery light would eventually go off and then the vehicle would make the screeching noise again. The problem started intermittently in October and one day it completely drained the battery. The battery was replaced and the issue continued, becoming more frequent. When the consumer took the vehicle to the dealer, they informed her the problem was the drive belt, which was replaced. The noise continued and a hot burning smell appeared after the screeching noise. The consumer went to get a second opinion and was informed the problem was the clutch pulley in which a recall had been issued, but not for her model. The consumer then went back to the dealer with the new information and was told she needed a new alternator. The consumer also stated there was an issue with the vehicle idling in a strange manner. The vehicle randomly vibrated and idled very low when stopping at a red light or stop sign.

- Amherst, OH, USA

problem #26

Apr 042010


  • 6,000 miles
Batesville, in, 6 pm, dry, level ground started after 2 hr. Standing, exited lot to stop sign, braked; engine raced against brake, slowed when shifted D-N-D with brake applied. After two blocks, at red signal, did it again. Eight subsequent occurrences, most recent involving " redlining" of the tachometer and inability to retard by the means given above. Four of these have occurred in the past seven weeks. Present mileage 16,677.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #25

Aug 012009

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that the audio warning sensors would not sound when a warning was indicated. The dealer was contacted in regards to the failure, but stated that there was no failure with the vehicle. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. In addition, the passenger air bag warning light would illuminate sporadically. The dealer reset the air bag numerous times but the failure persisted. The failure mileage was 2 and the current mileage was 3,500. Updated 07/08/11

- Wheeling, WV, USA

problem #24

Sep 252010


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact was driving 60 mph when the vehicle began to lose power abnormally. The instrument panel gauges would fluctuate oddly and the power steering, power brakes and headlights all became inoperable. The dealer made two attempts to duplicate the failure and advised the contact to have the battery replaced and that the symptoms would be normal if the battery was the culprit of the failure. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who advised the contact to have the alternator replaced. The contact did not inform the manufacturer of the failure nor was the vehicle repaired. The current mileage was 52,000 and the failure mileage was 42,000.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #23

Jul 292009

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 9,364 miles
The vehicle would have an intermittent delay upon start up and intermittent power steering "lock up" when making sharp turns. During the power steering failure the vehicle would also lose radio and A/C as if the vehicle was powering down. I took the car to my dealership where I had purchased the vehicle less than a month before these issues. My first incident happened in a parking lot in front of another vehicle luckily, the other driver was paying attention and did not hit me. Another incident happened on an exit off ramp which was a very sharp circular portion of road, the power steering completely went out and I had to "muscle" through the turn, suddenly the power steering was working again which almost caused me to lose control of the vehicle due to me going from using all my might to turn back to the vehicle working properly. My service dealership recalibrated steering torque sensor and found tsb 0182-09 for hard start condition, reprogrammed engine computer and added fuel tank additive per bulletin instructions. I drove the vehicle a few days until once again my car had the exact same issue. Took my vehicle back to my dealership for service again. Service order states; inspect steering operation found eps will cut out and cause radio, headlights to cut out. Scan check record and flag events. Test and recharge battery pass. Open tech line case review data. Zero point and monitor again per tech assist failed after 3 turn. S/O power column assy. Replaced power steering column assembly and also found loose pwr supply wire nut causing voltage drop to system. Tightened nut and test drove. Vehicle total loss in single driver/vehicle accident. My 17 yr old son lost control and hit a tree. He suffered traumatic brain injury and cannot tell me the cause of the accident. I was disappointed to see the results of NHTSA power steering investigation. I know for certain my steering complaint was not due to bad driving, how could bad driving possibly cause power steering to lock up and your car to "power down"? if my issue was due to bad driving.

- Sequim , WA, USA

problem #22

Oct 122010

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 27,500 miles
The radio shuts down for seconds at a time - obvious power failure. When the power is restored (seconds later) radio returns to same station. When it happens radio light only goes off then comes back on. Usually happens after car is driven about 15 to 20 minutes, then it happens non stop even with the volume down. Sounds like a rock is hitting the windshield. It is a very loud, very startling noise.

- Westerly, RI, USA

problem #21

Jan 062011

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


2009 Corolla seems to float all over the road and can't keep it straight. Just today the electric power steering sensor light came on. Until now I thought it may have been the wind or my tires. I purchased new tires but still the same problem of wondering all over the road. I experience this at all speeds.

- Acton, 00, USA

problem #20

Oct 162010


  • 57,600 miles
My 16 year old daughter was driving my 2009 Toyota Corolla when the power steering went out of the vehicle. She had to steer the car out of traffic and park the car. The alternator on the car had quit working and caused her to loose control of the car. Thankfully she was able to get out of traffic without a collision. The reason we bought a new car was to try not to have problems usually associated with older more worn vehicles.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #19

Jun 052010


  • 33,000 miles
Turned on my 2009 Corolla after work and battery light was on. I went to test it at auto zone and they said the battery is no good. I called keys Toyota and they said bring it up and they will replace it. I made it about 3 blocks from auto zone and power steering went out and brake light come on and car started to chug. I took this car to the nearest Toyota dealership where they informed me that its a bad alternator, power steering, and water pump w battery charging issues. This happened all in like a half hour. Battery light never came on before that day. This could have been very dangerous if this would have happened on freeway. Toyota wake up. What happened to quality" my Corolla is not even 2 years old and has just over 30,000 miles and this? the dealership did pay for my rental and is fixing this issue free of charge but 4 things wrong in less than 1/2 hour"

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #18

May 172009


  • 14,003 miles
A year ago under rainy weather, driving my Toyota Corolla S/09 when approaching the highway exit I lost control of the car before turning out to the main way. I crashed with the highway bar and the left side of the car got damage, no airbags came out, however I drive it like that to the dealer where they assist for the whole reparation and deal with the insurance. My deductible was $1000 among the reparation. Weeks later they called me to pick up the car, noticing the lights from the board didn't turn on. Getting back to garage.then 6 months later the harness was reported as non properly repair when an engine light turns on and I got back to the dealer. They did reparation back with the insurance as part of the accident reparation. They were all sending each other and no one gave any answer about was going on with the car. Later, I decide to sell the car by owner or trade for another, noticing that all the mechanics I'd visited including other dealers are telling me that the care is unsafe to drive due to a frame damage that was never reported to me after the entire reparation, and is not in the papers. I did all the recalls suggested by Toyota this year, but I'm still driving a car that should be reported as a total lost due to the damage suffered at the accident. Adjuster said there was nothing wrong at reparation and that people from the dealer couldn't say the car wasn't properly repaired. I'm still paying for the car, the increment of the insurance, and nobody at Toyota cares about the frame damage issue. At the last reparation due to the harness, they didn't gave any work paper saying they get rid of printer paper. Things shouldn't be like this when safety is first thing when driving a car.

- Weston, FL, USA

problem #17

Apr 262010


  • 27,000 miles
Date: May 4, 2009-I just purchased a 2009 Toyota Corolla le and have had it for 7 days before having to return it to the dealer where it was purchased due to a wandering feeling in the steering and movement of the car while on the highway. This happened to me on 3 different occasions during the 7 days I had it very scary and unsafe! I thought maybe it was the road, a flat tire, or the wind blowing my car but after 3 separate and different conditions I know it is not just me it is the car and after researching the problem I see many other complaints as well!!!!

- Petersburg, VA, USA

problem #16

Mar 062010

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2009 Toyota Corolla with unintended acceleration. The consumer stated he had not experienced any sudden acceleration problems with the vehicle. However, he did receive a recall notice in the mail and complied by taking the vehicle to the dealer to have the repairs done on February 17, 2010. However, on March 6, 2010, the consumer made a right turn on a street that was curvy and was relatively steep descending toward an intersection. He gently applied the brakes 2-3 times during the descent to maintain a speed of 15-20 mph. At no time did he depress the accelerator during the descent and the engine was idling as the vehicle coasted to the bottom of the hill. When he approached a four-way stop sign at the bottom of the hill, he depressed the brake pedal normally to come to a full stop. Instantly, the engine raced and roared. The consumer immediately shifted the automatic transmission into neutral and turned the engine off. He restarted the engine with his foot on the brake pedal and the gear selector in neutral and it started with the same roar. He turned it off again and waited a couple of minutes. He decided to try one more time and the vehicle operated in normal mode. The consumer also stated since the vehicle was garaged, the doors were barely kept locked. Over the last 6-9 months about once a month when the consumer entered the garage, he discovered the doors were locked. The consumer believed the electronic door locking system was being randomly activated.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #15

Apr 052010

(reported on)


  • miles
2009 Toyota Corolla with unintended acceleration. Consumer states that she and her husband are not happy with the corrections. The consumer stated the vehicle accelerated while attempting to park. After the vehicle was returned, the word check appeared on the dashboard, then it went out and the SRS light illuminated.

- Secaucus, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jan 132009


  • 8,000 miles
Gas pedal problems in a 2009 toyoto corollo. Stated car up increase in idle speed remained longer than normal. 8 March 2010 driving at low speed than for no reason car speeded up.

- Hinton, WV, USA

problem #13

Mar 232010

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
2009 Toyota Corolla. Consumer states vehicle may have electrical problems. The consumer stated the left speaker shorted out, the power steering and brake lights illuminated.

- Norwood, MA, USA

problem #12

Mar 082010

(reported on)


  • miles
2009 Toyota Corolla car suddenly lurched the consumer stated while pulling into a vacant parking space, the vehicle suddenly lurched forward at full throttle pushing him back into the seat from the sudden acceleration. Even though, he tried to react quickly, the vehicle hit a curb then went over the curb and traveled 3 feet beyond before he was able to stop the vehicle by putting the gear into neutral and hard braking. The consumer exited the vehicle to check for damage, but there wasn't any. He noticed that the revved engine was idling at a normal speed. The consumer didn't believe what he experienced was an accelerator issue, rather a problem with the mpu and control circuit for the fuel and air mixture.

- Mount Plymouth, FL, USA

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