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 4 of 19)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #301

Feb 232011


  • miles


This is my first complaint I've ever filed with the NHTSA, and it is because I believe now that our car is incredibly dangerous to drive unless substantial changes are made to the electric power steering. We recently purchased our 2009 Toyota Corolla, and at highway speeds (60-75 mph) the car is pushed around by wind constantly. Even if it isn't windy though, the car still will not track straight, and feels as though wind is pushing it from side to side. A few days ago, on a fairly windy day, I had to hold the steering wheel to the right to keep going straight and prevent the car from being pushed into the left lane on the highway. As soon as a short break in the wind happened though the car would then shoot over the line to the right (where the steering wheel was pointed to counteract the force of the wind pushing the vehicle to the left). Although on calm days it is sometimes only an annoyance, on windy days (even in light winds) it can become extremely dangerous at 70mph. I have owned many different vehicles over my years, and this is by far the worst handling car on a highway that I have ever driven.

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #300

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 #299

Feb 212011

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
The steering goes to the left or to the right... I have to really hold on with both hand to control the steering. When I go fast on the highway the car seems to lose control.. it will not go straight. I get real nervous everytime I drive on a highway. I just do not feel safe.

- Mascotte, FL, USA

problem #298

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 #297

Dec 152010

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 29,000 miles
I was driving along the freeway at a normal speed of about 55-65mph, when suddenly my car start swerving right and left, and I have no way of stopping the car but to hold the steering wheel all the way to the left so it would hit the dividing wall of the freeway to stop it moving.

- Covina, CA, USA

problem #296

Nov 292010


  • 48,500 miles
I drive a 2009 Toyota Corolla S. starting today I refueled my car and when I started the car again the steering was extremely hard to move. I tried restarting it three times before the steering was back to the way it normally turns. Later that day I started my car again and heard a buzzing from the steering column and the power steering went away again. I restarted the car and power steering was back. Again that day I started my car and proceeded to back up when the power steering went and the wheel locked up turning left as I was backing up. I almost hit a wall in a parking garage and had to restart my car until power steering was regained. I made it back to my office and will drive my car straight to the selling dealership after work.

- Groton, MA, USA

problem #295

Oct 192010


  • 14,651 miles


The car was purchased on 10\19\2010 in a town about 3 hours from where I live. My wife drove the car home. Tire pressures were checked and were at 30 psi per the vehicle's manufacturer's label. I then drove the car (for the first time on a highway) and noticed that the car was indeed unsteady in curves. It wondered left and right and the power steering seemed loose or was adding power steering boost when not necessary. On 11/01/2010 I brought the car to an alignment shop that bighorn Toyota uses. They said the alignment was not within specs. Afterwards and on my way home (about 1 1/2 hour drive down interstate and two lane roads) I now noticed that the vehicle, when in left curves, continued to have this slack or loose feeling at highway speeds and would not correct itself or straighten out coming out of the curves. One would have to keep your hands on the steering wheel to compensate for the looseness. Right corners or curves were not loose and the vehicle would correct itself once you came out of the curve. Thinking that the alignment was not done correctly I went to another shop (big O) in craig, co. They said the alignment was perfect (I have both print outs to confirm). At this time I decided (after discussion with the store manager) replace the tires with a higher quality tire. The same problem still existed afterwards. I contacted a Toyota service manager, they are aware of the issue but have no fix for the problem as of this date. This may not be a big problem on dry roads but on icy, snow packed or wet roads, this car will be a handful to keep it under control.

- Meeker, CO, USA

problem #294

Oct 222010


  • 29,600 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that another driver was operating the vehicle 55 mph when the steering suddenly malfunctioned. The vehicle began swerving in and out of traffic as the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle began to spin out of control and landed sideways before coming to a stop. The driver was uninjured. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer but was not repaired. The manufacturer stated that they would send a representative to inspect the vehicle for the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileage was approximately 29,600.

- Salisburg, MA, USA

problem #293

Oct 112010


  • 5,000 miles
My 2009 Corolla le has been having front end alignment / steering problems since new. It started shortly after buying it, I took it in for it's first oil change and asked the dealer to look into the alignment since the steering wheel was off center. This happened again 2-3 times afterwards, then I finally had brakes serviced and had it aligned. 2-3 days later after alignment I noticed the wheel off center again. I am a busy person so I decided to take it for due oil change and have them take a look at the steering once again because now is getting worse, is pulling to the right and the other day I over compensated taking a left turn and hit the curb which caused to bend the lip of a wheel, lucky for me no air got out of the tire. Now I have to buy a new wheel, that one would never balance. Please help, there is something wrong with the front end of this car, maybe a recall should be made.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #292

Sep 242010


  • miles
My 2009 Toyota Corolla continues to be all over the road at highway speeds. I have to make constant corrections in steering to keep in within the lane. The eps is way too sensitive. Very dangerous and produces driver fatigue and potential for overcorrections. I have read in consumer reports that Toyota has addressed this and is offering a fix, only to those customers who complain, to replace the eps control module. I contacted my dealer on 9/24/2010 and the service manager stated he knew nothing about this fix. The dealers were supposed to know about this in June 2010 from a service bulletin from Toyota corporate. Please require Toyota to issue a recall to replace the eps control module as the dealers are reluctant to fix upon request from the customer.

- Chesterton, IN, USA

problem #291

Jul 262009


  • 150 miles


My 2009 Corolla seems to have unsafe steering at highway speeds. It takes a lot of correcting and feels like I have alignment issues in the front or something out of alignment in the rear. It is like the steering is to sensitive and there is absolutely no feedback as to what the car is doing.

- Irasburg, VT, USA

problem #290

Aug 302010


  • 0 miles
2009 Toyota Corolla with steering issues. Car always pulls to the right. Already needing to replace tires, with only 24,000 miles on it. Dealership not covering anything.

- Landing, NJ, USA

problem #289

Aug 062010


  • 36,000 miles
It was raining on 441 and I was doing 45mph, all of the sudden the steering wheel started drifting a lot switching me from one lane to another. I completely hydroplanned. I started spinning, almost hitting a big wooden pole, and I ended up falling into a big ditch full of water. It was the most scary feeling I've ever had.thanks god there weren't any more cars, so I didn't hit anyone. After that incident I got the car checked by a friend. They told me the dealer was so irresponsible for selling me the car with 2 rear tires that were almost worn out. I thought that could've been the reason why I hydroplanned, so I changed the 2 rear tires for new ones after that. After driving it again, over a bridge, the steering drifted again. I didn't spin, but it pulled me to the right, enough to got me scared again, and it wasn't even raining. After that other incident I drove it many more times on the highway, and everytime under highway speeds or when I passed by a big truck or anything that made the wind push the car, I kept feeling the steering wheel drifting. I just got this Toyota Corolla '09 like 3 weeks ago and I can definitely say this vehicle is so prone to drifting, specially at highway speeds, and I think people should be aware of this defect to either get their cars fixed or to not buy any of these year model car, because it goes against your own safety and other people's.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #288

Aug 122010


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The contact was driving 60 mph when a vehicle ahead of her abruptly stopped. The contact attempted to steer to avoid crashing into the vehicle and lost control. The steering wheel excessively went from left to right and the contact crashed into a cement median. The contact sustained minor injuries to her neck. The vehicle was towed from the scene by her insurance company who deemed the vehicle as destroyed. The dealer was not contacted. The failure and current mileage was 24,000.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #287

Apr 242009


  • 27 miles
My 2009 Corolla will not go exactly straight at highway speeds. Close, but not exactly straight. Steering must have a very minor correction about every 3-5 seconds to keep the car in or near the center of the lane. This is a safety hazard. 1. if the driver fails to do the constant correction the keep the car in the lane, the car would veer out of the lane - increased possibility of a crash. 2. the concentration required to do the constant minor steering correction keeps the driver from observing surroundings and other traffic - increased possibility of a crash. 3. on a long trip the concentration required correcting the vehicle increases driver fatigue - increased possibility of a crash. I read in the news that "spokesman brian lyons said Toyota believes most of the complaints involved wandering from the center steering position that didn't amount to a safety problem." And "on June 3, Toyota issued a bulletin to dealers telling them to address complaints by checking the tire pressure and alignment. If those steps are insufficient, the bulletin told dealers they could replace the computer that governs the electric power steering with a new unit, which Toyota said had been "re-tuned" with an "alternative steering feel."". as of Aug 18, 2010, my local dealer says he knows of no problem with Corolla steering and can not find a service bulletin about 2009-20010 Corolla steering.

- Waco, TX, USA

problem #286

Aug 122010


  • 0 miles
2009 Toyota Corolla steering issue. Car sways or "wanders" at highway speeds. Dealer replaced the power steering computer with a "returned" one and the problem only became worse. Im terrified to drive my car down the highway because I cant keep the car straight even with a deathgrip on the steering wheel.

- Coventry, RI, USA

problem #285

Jul 272010


  • 23,000 miles
Steering not straight, have to constantly adjust the steering to keep car in the lanes.

- Lodi, CA, USA

problem #284

May 222009


  • 50 miles
My complaint is regarding the electric assisted power steering of my Corolla xrs 2009, at an approximate speed of 60kmh is very unstable at the wheel maneuvering, starts to move unexpectedly or jerking feel towards the left hand side or right.

- Chihuahua, Mexico, 00, USA

problem #283

Jul 272010


  • miles
I have a 2009 Toyota Corolla. Since day one I noticed that the steering felt loose. It feels like the wind is blowing the car around and it is difficult to keep it going straight. I need to constantly keep both hands on the wheel. The car is currently at the Toyota dealer for repair. At first they said they would not do anything because there is not a recall for this problem. When I explained to them that I had seen an article on the internet that said Toyota issued a technical service bulletin that would allow dealers to do the repair if the customer complained, they investigated and are saying now they will fix it.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #282

Jul 212010

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 7,600 miles
I have a 2009 Toyota Corolla with approx. 7600 miles. I was driving down a residential street approximately 30 mph, when the car suddenly pulled to the right and hit a parked car. This happened so fast I did not have time to react. There was extensive damage to my car and it had to taken off on a flatbed. I was very lucky that I was on a residential street and not a highway. The only injury was to my left shoulder from the seat belt.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

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