What Problems Do Toyota Corolla Have? [Answered]

According to reports, the Toyota Corolla has been the best-selling car in history since 1966, with over 44 million units sold as of the end of the year 2016 (although some people will argue that the Corolla is available in several different models, and therefore they shouldn’t all be counted together).

It has been successful in establishing a reputation as a cheap automobile that can be relied on for many years to come.

What Problems Do Toyota Corolla Have
What Problems Do Toyota Corolla Have

And despite the fact that it lives up to this reputation, the model does not lack any problems whatsoever. While some years have experienced more than their fair share of problems, other years have maintained a far cleaner service record.

To know what problems do Toyota corolla have, keep reading!


The Toyota Corolla is a line of automobiles that have been created and manufactured by Toyota since its initial launch in 1966.

These automobiles range in size from subcompact to compact.

The Toyota Corolla was the world’s best-selling automobile back in the day, and in 1997, the model of the car was awarded the title of best-selling marque in the entire globe.

Twenty years later, Toyota has accomplished a remarkable landmark by passing the 44 million mark for total Corolla sales across 12 versions.

Vehicles with rear-wheel drive were standard on earlier models, while front-wheel drive has become standard on more current and contemporary vehicles.

There is also the possibility of purchasing a four-wheel drive model, which has been manufactured throughout the generations of this automobile and has become a direct competitor to models such as the Nissan Sunny and the Honda Civic.

Toyota Corolla Common Problems

Before we go through the issues with the Corolla one year at a time, we are going to conduct a general summary of the primary issues that have been present in each generation or category of Corollas that have been manufactured.

You can find out the most common issues and how to address the problems you can run into as a new automobile owner if you limit down the problems by generation.

This will allow you to narrow down the problems by generation.

The most recent and advanced generations are the ones with the fewest problems overall, and their problems are often of the least significant nature.

2000-2005 Generation

Piston Rings That Have Become Worn One of the most common issues that arise with the Toyota Corolla is piston rings that have become worn.

This can result in an excessive amount of oil consumption as well as a potential breakdown of the engine, which can be extremely costly. The accumulation of oil sludge and low oil levels are two symptoms of piston rings that have worn out.

Failure of the Airbag Control Module Some owners of Corollas manufactured between 2003 and 2004 have reported that their front and side airbags have gone off suddenly, rather than during the times when they were supposed to be used.

The problems with the airbags were caused by excessive noise causing the circuits in the vehicles to get overloaded and short circuit, which caused the airbags to deploy erratically.

2002 Toyota Corolla Problems

Toyota Engine
Toyota Engine

The first generation of the Toyota Corolla had very few troubles, and the problems didn’t really start to crop up until after the 2000 model year.

The Toyota Corolla had more problems than the previous generations, and the first generation had relatively few issues.

The engine is the primary area of concern for the model year 2002, while the NHTSA also received a significant number of complaints regarding the seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features.

Concerning the problems with the engine, the most common complaints from customers were about the engine consuming an excessive amount of oil, the engine breaking down, the tapping noise that came from the engine, and the buzzing noise that occurred when the vehicle was accelerating.

When an engine reaches approximately 97,000 miles, the normal repair cost is approximately $2,600, and it takes place because the engine used an excessive amount of oil.

2003 Toyota Corolla Problems

Toyota Airbag
Toyota Airbag

The transmission is the primary area of concern for the Toyota Corolla model year 2003.

Users have the most complaints about this system, and the NHTSA receives the most complaints about the seatbelts and airbags.

The most common problems that owners have involved the transmission failing, both the transmission and the differential failing, the noisy transaxle at the transmission, and grinding noises taking place.

Failure of the transmission happens at approximately 116,000 miles, at which point the cost to repair it is approximately $2,830.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received almost 300 complaints regarding the category of seat belts and airbags.

These problems were the cause of 42 accidents and 44 injuries, and they occurred at an average distance of approximately 72,000 miles.

Users have reported that the airbag warning signal remains lit, that the automobile airbags do not activate in the event of a collision, and that the airbag light flickers on and off while the vehicle is being driven.

2004 Toyota Corolla Problems

In terms of the model year after that of the Corolla, the engine is the category with the highest number of issues, followed by the interior accessories.

Users have reported that the most common types of engine problems include a ticking noise coming from under the engine, sludge building up over time, clicking noise coming from under the hood, the engine not slowing down while braking, the engine light coming on, the engine light stalling while driving, excessive oil consumption, and a stuck starter pinion.

These problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including excessive oil consumption and a stuck starter pinion.

Concerns regarding the interior accessories center on the door lock actuators that have broken, the center console door hinge that has broken off, the rearview mirror and visor that have collided, and the spring and hinge on the storage compartment that have deteriorated over time.

2005 Toyota Corolla Problems

Both the 2005 and 2006 model years of automobiles have the same number of issues reported by customers.

The primary areas of worry for the 2005 model year relate to the vehicle’s body and paint, whereas the primary areas of concern for the 2006 model year relate to the automobile’s engine.

When it comes to the earlier model, the most common issues with the body and paint are the paint flaking off, water getting into the cabin, paint flaking off, and the trunk not being able to open.

Repairing any of these paint problems often costs close to $540 and is necessary after the vehicle has traveled close to 115,000 miles.

2006-2011 Generation

Failure of the Passenger Airbag to Deploy Properly When the passenger airbag deploys prematurely in the event of a probable collision, there is the danger that the airbag could rupture, resulting in metal shards that will cause injury to the occupants of the vehicle.

This is due to the fact that the propellant degrades with time as a result of fluctuating temperatures and extremely high levels of humidity.

Broken Engine Control Module – The printed circuit board that is housed within the engine control module of the current generation of Toyota Corollas is more prone to cracking than previous generations.

This can result in the transmission shifting harshly or the engine not starting at all.

2006 Toyota Corolla Problems

Engine issues were the source of the greatest number of customer complaints for vehicles of the 2006 model year. The most common complaints from vehicle owners concerning the engine lurching forward while the vehicle is stopped, the vehicle suddenly accelerating without the driver’s input, the engine stalling out while driving, the engine breaking down, the vehicle having a low idle speed, and the dashboard warning light for the check engine indicator turning on.

2009 Toyota Corolla Problems

After two years with relatively few issues, the 2009 model year had the highest number of complaints from both customers and the NHTSA.

The majority of customer complaints concerned the vehicle’s engine, while the NHTSA received 555 reports of issues with the vehicle’s seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features.

Users have reported issues with the engine, including excessive oil consumption, loud noises coming from the engine, the check engine light turning on, the car surging, the car being unable to start, unexpected power loss and the accelerator being stuck on the car.

The high use of oil results in a total repair cost of around $4,570 and happens after approximately 100,000 miles of driving.

Complaints received by the NHTSA regarding seat belts and airbags primarily center on the frontal airbags, the side and window airbags, the rear seat belts, and the buckle assembly.

These problems have resulted in 48 accidents, one fire, forty injuries, and one fatality and have occurred at a distance of about 16,000 miles.

2010 Toyota Corolla Problems

Following the worst year on record for Corolla, which was 2009, the 2010 model year had a very high number of complaints from the NHTSA for two categories: the steering system, and the seatbelts and airbags.

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The majority of customers’ complaints centered on the car’s body and paint, which was a major source of frustration for them.

Complaints about the steering system centered on the fact that the vehicle made a clunking sound while turning, that the steering was tight, that the vehicle pulled to one side, and that the steering was loose.

Users have reported that the steering wheel can fail and become unable to move to either side after around 14,000 miles of use.

This issue has been the cause of 18 accidents and 13 injuries. It occurs at approximately this mileage.

Concerns about the seatbelts and airbags center on the fact that the airbags have been recalled, that some of the airbags do not deploy, and that the seatbelts and airbags do not function properly in the event of an accident.

Users have reported that the airbags did not deploy in the event of an accident when they were riding in a 2011 Toyota Corolla.

This issue has been linked to 41 accidents and 35 injuries and seems to manifest itself at approximately 15,000 miles.

2012-2015 Generation

Electric Power Steering System That Is Excessively Sensitive – Many automobiles produced during this particular generation are equipped with an electric power steering system that is excessively sensitive.

This causes the steering wheel to drift to the side without the appropriate input from the driver, resulting in a problem with the wheel alignment.

2012-2013 Toyota Corolla Problems

The number of difficulties that have been reported with the Corolla continues to decrease substantially over the next several years, with very few NHTSA and user complaints in any category throughout those three years.

The brakes were the primary area of concern for the 2012 model year, whereas the interior accessories were the primary area of concern for the 2013 model year.

When attempting to come to a halt, the 2012 Corolla drivers have reported issues with their brakes including squeaking, vibrating, and a pedal that goes all the way to the ground.

The 2013 Toyota Corolla has received a number of customer complaints regarding interior accessories.

These complaints include the radio turning off multiple times while the vehicle is in motion, broken dash mounts for the cabin filter, a dashboard that is melting, rattling that occurs around the steering wheel, and seats that become uncomfortable over time.

2018-Present Generation

It was the first year of the 12th generation of the Corolla, which began production in 2018, demonstrating the vehicle’s dependability and safety in the market today. Despite the fact that there have been some minor issues with Corolla over its more than 50 years of manufacturing, the vehicle has gained a significant amount of consumer favor.

Cruise Control: The cruise control feature of the 2018 and 2019 Toyota Corolla is responsible for the majority of the vehicle’s reported issues.

The transmission will downshift when the vehicle is coasting on a highway; however, in this model, the throttle does not restrict itself sufficiently, which will lead the vehicle to speed somewhat.

Toyota Corolla Reliability

The reliability of the 2020 Toyota Corolla is dependent on the positives and negatives of this vehicle.

Despite having an excellent predicted reliability rating, the Corolla finishes in the bottom half of the rankings for compact cars.

This is primarily due to Corolla’s lackluster performance and cramped interior.

The Toyota Corolla has a class-leading reliability rating, an excellent fuel economy and miles per gallon, and advanced active safety systems. These are the advantages of the Toyota Corolla.

The sluggish and poor performance of the engine base, the uneven operation of the transmission, and the cramped rear seat for extended rides are some of the drawbacks of this particular Corolla.

In spite of these drawbacks and the reliability issues that have been reported with the Toyota Corolla, the vehicle achieved a ranking of #8 in the Compact Cars category, #10 in the Hatchbacks category, and #12 in the Small Cars category.

In addition to that, it was one of the cars that competed for the title of “Best Compact Car for the Money” in the year 2020.

The US News Scorecard received an impressive 8.5 out of 10 for its overall rating, with the critics’ rating earning a 7.5 out of 10, the performance rating averaging 7.1, the interior coming out to 7.0, the safety rating equaling 9.8 out of 10, and the JD Power ranking receiving an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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Toyota Corolla vs. Mazda 3

Mazda 3
Mazda 3

When compared to the Corolla, the Mazda 3 is a more powerful and performance-oriented alternative to the Corolla.

The engine in the Mazda is powerful, responsive, nimble, and quick. It also engages and disengages cleanly and rapidly.

The interior, in addition to the performance, is of a high-end and elegant standard.

Although these automobiles can be purchased as either sedans or hatchbacks, the passenger space offered by neither model is particularly impressive.

The higher anticipated reliability rating of the Corolla along with its driver aid features make the choice of that vehicle more appealing.

Toyota Corolla vs. Honda Civic

Honda Civic
Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is a well-rounded compact car that narrowly trumps the Toyota Corolla in terms of its overall superiority.

You have a selection of body styles and engines from which to choose thanks to the fact that the Civic is available in a variety of configurations, including the sedan, the coupe, and the hatchback.

The Corolla comes equipped with an entertainment and infotainment system as standard, whilst the Civic only offers an optional system that comes at an additional cost.

On the other hand, there is a possibility that some people will say that the Honda is a more exciting and enjoyable car to drive than the Corolla is.

In addition, the Honda Civic has a finer and more opulent inside, making it look more expensive, and it offers more interior room in the backseat than the Toyota Corolla has.

FAQ on What Problems Do Toyota Corolla Have

Is the Toyota Camry prone to a great deal of trouble?

Reliability rating of four out of five for the 2018-2019 Toyota Camry
Nevertheless, they are not up to the standards we’d expect from Toyota, which is widely regarded as one of the most dependable brands of automobiles. The 2018 and 2019 models of the unreliable Camry struggled the most with difficulties involving the fuel system, brake troubles, and in-car technology.

Which model year of the Camry suffers transmission issues?

Simply put, the 2007 model year of the Toyota Camry should be avoided at all costs due to the fact that it has the greatest number of faults. According to RepairPal, problems with automatic transmission are one of the most common and significant types of customer complaints.

Is it true that the Toyota Camry is a dependable automobile?

The reliability rating for the Toyota Camry is 4.0 out of 5.0, which places it third out of 24 in the category of midsize automobiles. The vehicle has excellent overall ownership costs because the annual average cost of repairs is only $388. The Toyota Camry is one of the more reliable automobiles on the road since it requires repairs that are both less severe and less frequent than the typical car.

Which year of the Camry should not be purchased?

There are three model years that you should stay away from, and there are also two colors that you should never purchase. There are three model years of the pre-owned Toyota Camry that you must avoid buying at all costs. They are Camrys from the model years 2007, 2008, and 2009 respectively. These automobiles are notorious for having problematic engines, so you definitely don’t want to buy one.

What is the finest year for the Camry?

2012-2017 Toyota Camry
Particularly noteworthy is the low price of the 2015 Toyota Camry. According to Consumer Reports, these particular Camry models are some of the best-used automobiles available overall. This current cycle of model years has resulted in the Camry’s most successful generation to yet.

Writer at Discover Seldric | + posts

Meet Jojiela Magsisi, a fervent car lover and gifted writer whose love affair with automobiles goes beyond the rev of an engine and the gleam of chrome. With a unique perspective and a talent for storytelling, Jojiela brings a fresh voice to the world of automotive journalism.

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