really awful
Crashes / Fires:
42 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
26 / 0
Average Mileage:
14,732 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2009 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 2 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #341

May 212014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 29,800 miles


Vehicle veered off road onto grass as if being pushed by a strong wind, however the air was calm. I believe it was defective steering responding improperly to uneven pavement. This is a known problem with this year, make and model.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #340

Apr 162014


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that the vehicle was traveling approximately 40 mph when the power steering suddenly malfunctioned, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a tree. The air bags did not deploy. The front passenger suffered neck and shoulder injuries and was treated at the hospital. A police report was taken at the scene. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 42,000.

- Ownings Mills, MD, USA

problem #339

Apr 162014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 118,400 miles
The car's steering got out of control. The car was stopped at red light and I tried to turn left at green light. It suddenly turned left sharply and went over the opposite lane. While I tried to steer the car straight without applying either gas or break, the car swung to right. It came back to control a moment later.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #338

Oct 032013


  • 23,000 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact was driving 40 mph over a bridge when another vehicle veered extremely close to the contact's vehicle. The contact crashed into the vehicle and the vehicle then abnormally accelerated. The contact abruptly applied the brakes however, they were unresponsive and the power steering assist then suddenly failed. The failure caused the contact to lose control of the vehicle and spin uncontrollably until the vehicle flipped twice and came to a halt. The vehicle was extremely close to falling off the edge of the bridge. The contact sustained severe bruising to the chest and a fractured left hip. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The vehicle was inspected by the contact's insurance company but they were unable to determine the cause of the failure. The manufacture was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 23,000.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #337

Jan 282012

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 25,975 miles
I bought this car used with 18,000 miles on it in July of 2010. And I have all service done at a Toyota dealer. At 25,975 miles, replaced the front brakes, machined rotors, brake fluid flush, cleaned and adjusted rear brakes(1/28/12). (brake pedal felt soft). At 37,966 miles, replaced the front brakes again(12/21/12). Pads lasted 11,991 miles! at 55,662 miles, replaced the front brakes, machined rotors again(2/20/2014). Pads lasted 17,696 miles! since I do mainly highway driving, I feel that there is a defect associated with the front brake abnormal wear. Also, at 50,548 replaced #2 steering shaft assembly. At, 50,691 replaced alternator. At 55,662 replaced water pump, coolant and drive belt.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #336

Dec 022013


  • 60,000 miles
Driving at highway speeds the car seems to jerk right or left without warning. Must keep hands on wheel firmly while on the freeway to correct when it happens. Sometimes I over correct or under correct seems like sometime there is no predicting what the steering will do. Just doesn't feel safe to drive, scary when it does it at freeway speeds.

- Caldwell, ID, USA

problem #335

Jan 122014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 54,000 miles


At approximately 11:00 a.M. on a beautiful sunny day, I was driving on the pa turnpike at the speed of 65 mph when the power steering in my 2009 Toyota Corolla failed. My car unintentionally veered left and right as if I was encountering hurricane-like strong wind gusts. The car bounced back and forth for approximately 5 seconds, while feeling as if it was floating/hydroplaning, as I attempted to regain control. My attempts at correcting the power steering issue were unsuccessful and ultimately the front right side of my car crashed into the right guardrail. Fortunately, I was unharmed in this frightening accident and the state troopers and tow trucks responded in a timely manner. No other individuals were hurt and there was only minor guardrail damage. My car, however is extensively damaged. I am confident that this was not a result of driver error or unforeseen weather conditions. One of the state troopers that reported to the scene even commented, "everyone out here is driving the same speed as you and no one else experienced any of these wind gusts. I am an experienced driver who has been driving this car since I purchased it in 2009, with no prior power steering concerns or issues. My car was well maintained and a week before the accident, I had it at the dealership for an inspection, alignment and new tires. I intend to file a claim with Toyota.

- Mckeesport, PA, USA

problem #334

Mar 052012

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Power steering stopped working suddenly, car veered to the right, became very difficult to steer; dashboard warning light went on. This has occurred up to 20 times, sometimes as soon as the car is turned on, sometimes on the freeway at high speed. If vehicle is in motion, loss of power steering causes vehicle to jump sideways. At times, loss of power steering is preceded by groaning sound. Owners' manual advises stopping the vehicle, waiting until warning light goes out, and taking car to dealer. I have taken car to Toyota dealers on three separate occasions. The computer memory shows the warning light going on, but there appears to be nothing wrong with electric power steering unit, and dealer can not duplicate occurrence on a test drive.

- Sacramento , CA, USA

problem #333

Oct 272013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 41,128 miles
I was driving down interstate 65 in Indiana on a windy day and was having trouble keeping my car in my lane. The car was all over the place and I had to constantly fight to keep it on the highway. I slowed down and it did not help. For a while I have heard a clunk noise in the passenger side front tire when hitting a bump. I thought the noise was a broken strut. I took my car to the shop today (midas) in hammond Indiana and they said the noise was probably from a loose tie rod. The mechanic showed me he could move the front wheel while the car was in the air 1 to 2 inches to either direction left or right without moving the steering wheel or front wheel on the other side of the car. The tie rod had over one inch of play going into the steering gear box. The car has never been in an accident and this should have never happened at 41,128 miles. I could have been killed. My car is now at my local Toyota dealer getting a brand new electric rack steering gear box and tie rod on the front passenger side.

- Highland, IN, USA

problem #332

Oct 212013


  • 31,890 miles
The power steering went out in a parking lot while turning in to a parking spot and almost hit someone. Had to have the car towed to the dealership. They told me it was working fine now and they could not find a problem. If it goes out again while driving at higher speed turn it could cause a deadly accident.

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #331

Jul 312013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles


Loss of steering at a right bend in the street, think the power went out to the electronic power assist, car went straight into a sign pole with a large cement base, major damage to front end, airbag didn't deploy, seat belt didn't work and there was no power at all to the car even though the battery was not damaged. Car was recently at Toyota dealership for recall to repair to electrical power window problem to prevent electrical fire, oil change and service done at same time, the car has been well maintained. New tires and brakes. Opened a claim with Toyota, so far met with apathy and resistance.

- Salinas, CA, USA

problem #330

Feb 292008


  • miles
When slowing down from 65 mph the whole car shakes out of controll. This does not happen every time but pretty consistent now my check engine and traction controll light stays lit while the ESC light blinks. This has happened now three times over past 6 months.

- Chesterfield , VA, USA

problem #329

Aug 022013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
Sporadically the car would give the driver the sensation of severe wind buffeting (car would wiggle side to side). This occurred in both od and 3rd (no other gears tested), with all electronics on, then off (radio, cruise, vent, ac, etc.) and both on and off the nys thruway. Occurrences did not cause the driver to lose control of vehicle though it made it difficult to keep the car within the lane markings. This condition was not noticed on 55mph more rural roads in which frequent or semi frequent stops were encountered. Our plan is to secure a hero cam in an attempt to record actual steering wheel's (front tires) motion apart from operator's physical steering wheel within passenger compartment. Although no loss of control was encountered each occurrence was not always the same in severity so no assertions are being made as to whether or not this condition could yield a catastrophic failure at highway speeds thus producing a severe accident harming vehicles occupants or other vehicle's occupants sharing the same roadway.

- Tupper Lake, NY, USA

problem #328

May 182013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 35,200 miles
Unable to gradually and safely correct vehicle path. When attempting to correct path (stay in the center of my lane), a minute movement of the steering wheel over-corrects and much too quickly moves the vehicle in the direction you are attempting to steer. I have practiced making my steering movements even slighter, but this is much too tedious and one could very easily steer into oncoming traffic. Please note: This is not an issue at speeds below 45 mph, but is dangerous at speeds above 60 mph.

- Chincoteague, VA, USA

problem #327

Apr 252013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
I am unable to drive at a safe speed on the interstate due to instability with the steering mechanism. The car pulls to the left and at times my wheels goes over into the other lane. At times it feels I have no control over the car and must apply the brakes to keep the car from steering in whatever direction it wants to go. My rear tires feel like they want to bypass the front of my car on the left hand side. Taking an exit with a sharp curve to the right, I had to slam on my brakes to keep the vehicle from steering off the road especially with another vehicle behind me. I had my tires changed and a front wheel alignment, still the problem continues. The mechanic test drove my car after I took it back to the shop. The mechanic wrote on my sales slip, "vehicle sways at hwy speeds. Rechecked suspension, felt no play on both front wheels, vehicle drives straight when it feels like its swaying side to side. Steering wheel itself feels loose." I consider my vehicle unsafe to drive on the highway because I could lose control of the steering within a matter of seconds or if I need to change lanes at a much slower speed than most others are going in order to maintain control of the vehicle. With the average person driving 10 miles over the speed limit and some up to 90 miles weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off, basically being rude; it makes for a dangerous situation not only for myself but others on the road. I can only pray that I make it home safely to work and home each day before I'm able to shell out a large amount of money for more repair work on my car. Thanks Toyota!

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #326

Apr 282011

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Driving North on an urban interstate highway at about 60 mph the car experienced random movement similar to a strong crosswind or low tire pressure. Tire pressure sensors did indicate low pressure and next morning tire pressure was checked with a gauge and were at the recommended pressure. There was a moderate to strong wind from the West but the car movement even occurred when driving in a depressed roadway with no observable wind. My wife mentioned that this had happened to her recently. After a few miles the car returned to normal. Later that evening when going South, this same symptoms occurred on and off over a 20 + mile period. An hour or so later, when driving East on a rural interstate the motion began again with the wind behind us. At all times when dropping the speed tp below 50 mph the problem ceased. On May 2, my wife stated that this squirrelly problem recurred driving South on a Suburban interstate. Tire sensors indicated no tire pressure issue. Light wind from the East. There has been very little freeway driving since March. After discussing this occurrence, I recalled another Corolla owner mentioning a steering problem. I went online a found numerous descriptions of similar incidents.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #325

Apr 092013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 72,493 miles
I purchased an 09 Toyota Corolla X-ray on March 28 2013 I took for an alignment on 4-9-13 because it was pulling and didn't want to stay straight. Then I find out that there is a flaw in the rear toe and Toyota is not doing anything. This is not safe and needs to be addressed now.

- Utica, NY, USA

problem #324

Feb 012013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 124,700 miles
Steering eps module is down. Toyota did replace the computer for the eps on some of the 2009 and early 2010S. But did not recall.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #323

Mar 012013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 36,800 miles
Steering needs to be constantly corrected. Vehicle drifts as though your driving through a wind storm. Very difficult to keep vehicle strait at highway speeds. I had steering checked at dealership and was told no problems were found with calibration. I called Toyota and they stated that there were no recalls on steering and if I had concerns I should have it checked at the dealership. This issue needs to be investigated as soon as possible before someone gets killed. I noticed that there have been many complaints to NHTSA with the same steering problems I am having with the 2009 Corolla.

- Sebring, FL, USA

problem #322

Mar 012013


  • 70,000 miles
Vehicle lost power steering on freeway, all electronic components shut down and I was stranded on the side of the freeway. The car would not start, after $3200 in repairs, the mechanic said the pistons looked like they were from a 30 year old car. Regular oil changes, well maintained, this car is not reliable!

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

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