really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,853 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 Yaris electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Toyota Yaris Owner Comments

problem #17

Dec 072015


  • miles


The air bag light stay on / ac knob not working.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #16

May 162015


  • miles
When I tried to roll the window down, by clicking on the button, there was a small fire that caused smoke inside the car. I would also like to verify my breaks and airbags. I would like to make an appointment to bring my car in either Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #15

Jan 132010


  • 6,200 miles
The car has shut off several time while sitting at a traffic light. The car has shut down several times while driving. Thankfully no one was injured or hurt. Another issues: My current 2008 Yaris has only 23,382 miles on it, so the car does not have high mileage. I have installed a total of 2 different aftermarket alarms on the car both by professional businesses one being best buy. The car is currently in the shop because of various electrical components on the car not working. I have read on several websites that this is an issue with the 2008 Yaris. I've had to remove the first alarm after 3 months of purchase because I was told the alarm was the issue. The second alarm replacement causes the same problem. Is there an issue with installing aftermarket alarms on the 2008 Yaris and what can be done about it?

- Camp Springs, MD, USA

problem #14

Aug 082013

Yaris 4-cyl

  • 80,907 miles


Our daughter was driving on highway 44 in Missouri at or near grey summit Missouri with the cruise control set on, when our 2008 Toyota Yaris started to accelerate on it's own. Our daughter had to swerve to miss hitting other vehicle on the highway. She attempted to stop and the cruise control did not disengage. To avoid hitting another vehicle she steered the vehicle off the highway and crashed head on into trees. Toyota hired Bosch to have the "black box" analyzed. The company and Bosch claim no malfunction of the vehicle. Our daughter continues to dispute their claims and we have lost the vehicle in an insurance claim to aaa of Missouri. In additional we have lost value in the vehicle, we are paying insurance accident penalties and lost $1000 in deductibles. We continue to dispute Toyota and Bosch's claim that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. Since our accident there has been additional evidence of "tin whiskers" as potential cause of electronic failure. We believe we have been the unfortunate victims of Toyota negligence and need to request assistance in fighting this issue with Toyota.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #13

Oct 062014


  • 216,465 miles
The keys can be removed from the ignition with the engine running. Possibility of the keys falling out in an accident and unable to turn off engine.

- Modesto, CA, USA

problem #12

May 162014


  • 94,401 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Yaris. While driving various speeds, the contact stated that the vehicle stalled intermittently and without warning. Immediately following the failure, the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnostic test which confirmed that the wiring harness needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 94,401.

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

problem #11

Feb 032014


  • 80,000 miles


Periodically my ABS brake light will come on during winter weather and then it will just go away when it is dry. On snow roads my brakes sometimes will not work. One day driving I drove through a red light because my brakes would not stop even though I was going around 30 and braked while in advance. Lucky, for me other drivers stopped. My mechanic confirmed that my ABS wiring has to be replaced and the hub. This is a common issue for Yaris and Toyota admitted they know this is an issue but they do not have a recall. This could have easily cost my life or my 18 month old son's life.

- Orem, UT, USA

problem #10

Oct 232013

Yaris 4-cyl

  • 26,000 miles
Since I buy the car sometimes when I turn ignition on it makes the noise that is starting all lights on the dashboard turn on for a almost a 20 to 30 sec. Then sometimes when I'm driving the speed gear drops with out me braking also when I turn right signal on sometimes the reverse light on dashboard also turn on. One time all lights on dashboard were blinking went I turn signal on. I took it to the dealer the person there told me they don't have any recalls and no complain then can't do anything if they don't see the problem. I have a video this. Now when I hit the brake the right signal canes on. Second time I took the car to the dealer the ignition call had a failure they replace coil 3 and dashboard lights diagnostic came normal and vehicle lights still do the samething. And ignition still does the samething and if I go back to the dealer to do another diagnostic they will charge me 124 dollars if nothing is found wrong. The problem is there but they can't find it I show the video to the guy in the dealer and still nothing.

- Roselle, NJ, USA

problem #9

Mar 262013

Yaris 4-cyl

  • 67,500 miles
While driving the car at approximately 10 mph the ABS and brake lights came on. At the same time the ABS felt like they engaged. After researching the problem online I found out that many users in the us and Canada are having the same problem due to faulty ABS wheel speed sensors on the wheel hub. Due to the salt on the roads during the winter months, salt can enter the sensor and corrode the terminals. This is due to a poor seal between the connector and the wiring harness. When salt water enters the terminals it causes the ABS to act up. This is true for 2007 and 2008 models according to other Yaris users. It seems that the problem has been taken care of in 2009 models. But for owners of 2008 and 2007 models problem exists even after replacing the sensor and wiring harness with new ones. This is a major safety concern since the ABS system can engage at any time possibly causing an accident and/or injury to the driver and passengers.

- Stephens City, VA, USA

problem #8

Feb 092013


  • 56,000 miles
Vehicles emergency brake light and ABS light continued to come on. Vehicle was taken to the Toyota dealer and we were told that the rear wiring harness and sensors had completed eroded and that until this problem was repaired the vehicle had no working ABS system or traction stability control. We were advised that Toyota is aware of the problem but has still not done a recall. This to me is definitely a safety issued that should be addressed. The dealer did state that the reason the wiring harness had eroded was because the actual harness is open on the bottom allowing moisture to get into the harness area. The cost for this repair is over $750.

- Valparaiso, IN, USA

problem #7

Feb 082012

Yaris 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles


Our car door panel caught on fire 12/7/2011. Toyota did and investigation and found the door control switch was at fault, they replace it at no cost to us.the car filled with smoke ??

- Wingate, IN, USA

problem #6

Aug 162011

Yaris 4-cyl

  • 57,600 miles
My vehicle has intermittently exhibited a failure to accelerate once a day or once every other day for a couple of months. The check engine light would come on and the vehicle would not accelerate until the ignition is turned off and restarted. My mechanic told me the problem might be related to the throttle body which he replaced with no improvement in performance. He also told me that Toyota has issued a tsb related to the fault recorded in the engine computer. P0121 is one of the codes mentioned in the tsb which was also the code recoded in my engine computer, however the tsb does not mention the failure to accelerate. I took my vehicle to the local Toyota dealer for further diagnosis. They told me the engine wiring harness needed to be replaced as per the tsb and that the cost would not be covered by Toyota because the vehicle has over 58000 miles on it and it was no longer under warranty. I was shocked that Toyota would not cover this repair considering the potentially dangerous circumstance one could find themselves in when a vehicle cannot accelerate. To my dismay this repair cost me 1000 dollars and its hard to believe that a 2008 model vehicle would need to have the engine wiring harness replaced.

- Fleetwood, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 012011

Yaris 4-cyl

  • 64,200 miles
We drive a 2008 Yaris. Because we got it used and the previous driver drove so much, its 3 year/36,000 mile warranty no longer applied, but we got an extended power train warranty. This year, the engine wiring harness broke, and we found out that Toyota knew about the faulty harnesses. (the tsb on it mentions replacing it with an "improved" harness.) while Toyota describes this as not being a safety issue, we feel otherwise, as the symptom is an immediate loss of power and inability to accelerate, which could be dangerous on the highway. Needless to say, since this part is not being recalled, since in a dbw car, this is not part of the powertrain, and hence, we are not under warranty, Toyota required us to pay $1000 to fix this.

- Jamaica Plain, MA, USA

problem #4

Mar 202011

Yaris 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The ABS brake sensor connector on the rear wheels hubs is not sealed and allows water and road salts to corrode the electrical connection, which causes the ABS system to be deactivated.the vehicle still has brakes but no ABS brakes. When I took the car into Toyota for diagnostics they said that it has been a problem and that there was no permanant fix as of yet. They also said that it would be $600 per wheel to fix the problem and that it could happen again the next winter. It seems to me that if Toyota knows about the problem they should be required to fix it.

- Shelley, ID, USA

problem #3

Mar 012011


  • 39,500 miles
I was driving my Yaris and attempted to pass another vehicle on a 4-lane road. I pressed on the accelerator pedal as I entered the left lane and nothing happened. The pedal went halfway down, but the engine did not respond. As I quickly tried to decide what to do as a car in the left lane behind me came up fast, the engine responded unexpectedly and I surged forward. The next time I depressed the pedal, it responded normally at the top of its travel. However, it happened again about 3 weeks later when I was stopped at a red light. The light changed and I pressed on the accelerator. Again, no response. This happened on and off until last week when it started to become more common than the normal response. Since I didn't want to pay Toyota for an expensive fix only a few thousand miles after my warranty ran out, I resolved to get used to it. I adjusted my actions so I didn't expect an immediate response from the car until the pedal got part way down to the floor and, though I'm sure it affected my gas mileage, I could deal with it. Then yesterday, as I pulled into my garage, the pedal response suddenly went back to normal and I almost went through the back of the garage. I bought this car (and one for my wife as well) because of Toyota's reputation for reliability and its fuel economy. Now I don't know what to expect. I have read that Lexus owners have reported the same problem. This is annoying, reduces gas mileage, and could be very dangerous.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #2

Dec 212009


  • 30,231 miles
12/21/09 - ABS light and brake light came on. Car difficult to brake and making sprung "spring" type noises. Rear wheel sensor and wire harness had gone bad - replaced and went out again on 1/25/11. 6/8/10 car making funny whirling noises under hood. Alternator went bad.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #1

Jul 092010


  • 12,500 miles
I drive a Toyota 2008 Yaris (Toyota vios here in D philppines)with a little more than 20,000 kms(20,014kms) on D odometer. I noticed an intermittent noise on D front end suspension passenger side. I brought to D dealer for an assessment of the problem, after their assessment Toyota told me that there was a problem with the shock absorber and they would replace it. They also said that there was also a problem with the alternator saying that the voltage "isn't up to standard." After a few days I got my vehicle back from Toyota. They told me that they replaced the front right shock absorber. I asked them why only one shock absorber was replaced as the usual procedure was that both front shock absorbers should be replaced, the service adviser told that Toyota is becoming more strict with warranty policies and the only part that they will replace is the defective part. Furthermore the dealer service advisor said if it was up to them they normally always replace both shock absorbers but because of Toyota's strict warranty policy they could only replace one shock absorber. This seems to be another instance of Toyota cutting corners to save cost at the expense of car safety. I live in manila, philippines and I know that this case of mine isn't in your jurisdiction, I only submit my case to you because I'm concerned that there may yarises there in the us that may have similar problems. Thank you for your time in reading my incident report.

- Manila, 00, USA

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