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Reference Collection – Sudden Unintended Steering
in the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Corolla
and the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Corolla Matrix


Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Motor Current vs. Steering Wheel Torque in a 2010 Toyota Corolla.

Preliminary Evaluation (PE10-008) opening resume, February 18, 2010.

Click to download Preliminary Evaluation (PE10-008) opening resume.


NHTSA'S information request letter to Toyota Motor North America, Inc,
March 19, 2010.

NHTSA'S information request letter to Toyota Motor North America, Inc.


Recalls, Investigations, Service Bulletins, and Consumer Complaints to NHTSA Concerning 2009 Toyota Corollas

Recalls, Investigations, Service Bulletins, and Consumer Complaints to NHTSA Concerning 2009 Toyota Corollas


Recalls, Investigations, Service Bulletins, and Consumer Complaints to NHTSA Concerning 2010 Toyota Corollas

Recalls, Investigations, Service Bulletins, and Consumer Complaints to NHTSA Concerning 2010 Toyota Corollas


The opening resume of the investigation refers to alleged "experiences with the steering becoming unresponsive or loose while driving at highway speeds in model year (MY) 2009 through 2010 Toyota Corolla and Matrix vehicles equipped with electric power steering." Remarkably, the closing resume re-characterizes the problem as "Drivers complain of poor steering on-center feel, often described as wander or drift.

It is of particular interest that the following complaints to NHTSA involving crashes were deliberately excluded from consideration in the agency's investigation of Corolla and Matrix steering issues:
Consumer Complaints Excluded from Investigation PE10-008 - Group 1
Consumer Complaints Excluded from Investigation PE10-008 - Group 2

See also:
Preliminary Evaluation Closing Report


Memorandum - FINAL REPORT: PE10-008 "2009-2010 Toyota Corolla Electric Power Steering"

Memorandum - FINAL REPORT:  PE10-008 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla Electric Power Steering


NHTSA Docket (Complete) - PE10-008

Click to see docket.

Docket highlights:

Dealership Product Reports, Field Technical Reports, Lawsuits, Claims (240 pages)

Dealership Product Reports, Field Technical Reports (240 pages)

Claims (232 pages)

May 7, 2010 Letter from Toyota Motor North America, Inc.

August 9, 2010 Letter from Toyota Motor North America, Inc.


What Owners Say...

Complaints of crashes involving sudden, unintended steering as well as reported braking issues deserve particular attention. The following crash-related complaints were downloaded from NHTSA's ftp site on April 14, 2010 (ftp://ftp.nhtsa.dot.gov/Consumer_Complaints/) (Currently, http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/downloads/folders/Complaints/FLAT_CMPL.zip). Except where indicated, our editing was limited to obvious typographical errors and capitalization. Each complaint is preceded by the ODINO keyfield in the original data. Note that although these consumer complaints come from NHTSA's on-line database, they have not been verified.


10317905: On March 7, 2010 around 6:30PM, going on the highway, without any warning, the 2009 Toyota Corolla Model LE, went totally out of control. I was on the far right lane, heading from Toa Baja to Mayaguez on PR-22. Reaching Arecibo, by Highway Mark (KM74.2) the car's steering went totally to the left and in fractious of seconds my car invaded the left lane doing a 180 degree turn. [I] had cars coming my way and just [then] I thought the other car was going to hit me. The steering on the car went completely the opposite direction and the car rolled again and I was going over the [median] crazy fast. No control, spinning again over the [median], heading right into the opposite side of the highway, cars coming at 65 MPH or more. Then the car hit a street sign that changed the car's trajectory and then came to a stop on the [median]. The car ended all covered [with] grass, mud and impacted by the street sign that possibly prevented my car from invading the lanes on the opposite direction on the highway after the Toyota Corolla steered violently and [uncontrollably] seconds before. I have to say, this was an extreme situation that for who knows [what] reason. [It] all happened in a split second without warning and all the violent extreme movements happened without my car impacting other cars on the highway, but clearly I was very lucky. At the moment of the incident, a passenger was with me in the car and [can confirm the] experience we endured.


10321825: Trying to make a u-turn out of a parking lot, [the] car straightened itself out and sped up. [The] brakes did not work and we went over a curb and down an embankment and hit a tree. This only occurred once. We had over $4,000 in damages on a car with less than 200 miles on the [odometer].


10285394: [EDITOR'S NOTE: THE TEXT IS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE CONSUMER'S LETTER, RATHER THAN THE ODI SUMMARY.] Subject: Accident in 2009 Corolla in August '09. This correspondence comes to inform you about a devastating accident I experienced on August 4th while driving a 2009 Toyota Corolla. The situation: Approximately 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4th while driving home I made a right turn off Lake Bend Drive onto Country Club Drive (401 South ALT), Fayetteville, NC. Once I made the right turn the car continued to veer on its own to the right. I tried feverishly to correct the vehicle, but the steering wheel appeared to lock on its own. Immediately, I applied the brakes, but they did not engage. I was only traveling approximately 15-20 miles per hour when the car went down a cliff approximately 25-30 feet deep, hitting a tree and a fence before the vehicle came to a complete stop. My two passengers were my grand-daughters, ages 7 & 8, who were not only extremely frightened, but were also injured as well as myself. We are still under doctors' care. This was the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me in my life as well as my grandchildren! I now have so much fear that it's stressful to drive. To have ended up down in that cliff is still psychologically upsetting. As a result, I've been suffering with nightmares as well. I pray that this letter and my account will get someone's attention before someone ends up seriously hurt or even killed. I recently learned that the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Corollas have been recalled because of moisture build-up in the brakes and problems. I must note, the day of my unfortunate accident it was very sunny and dry when the accident occurred. I strongly believe something was wrong with the car when I purchased it 11 months ago. I am requesting that the car be checked out by an engineer...


10319283: I was going to work when my brakes stopped working, steering wheel locked, and car accelerated straight into a fence. Both my mother and I were injured. I got a Toyota specialist to look at the car. It took them three and a half weeks after the accident to send that specialist to look at the car. He then said the car was safe to drive. After I got my car back from the body shop, I took the car to the Toyota dealership where I got it to get the brakes fixed and the accelerator pedal fixed. I have gone twice already and my brakes still [aren't] fixed and are giving me problems.


2009 Toyota Corolla


10268987: We bought a 2009 Toyota Corolla in Oct of 2008. Noticed the touchy steering, but was told that was normal by the Toyota dealership. My daughter was driving it on a side street in Huntington, WV, when she hit a pot hole or a manhole traveling at about 15 to 20 MPH. The steering locked up and she hit a parked car. It broke the ABS wiring harness and caused $10,994.79 damage to the car. We then found out that the tires were bald at 15,000 miles and the brakes were very thin. Toyota had just serviced the car at 13,000 miles and did not tell me the tires or the brakes were bad. We do not know exactly what caused the steering to lock up. The repair shop could not tell us either due to the extensive damage.


10243319: I was driving straight on the Mass Pike in Framingham, MA, and my car began to lose control. I neither hit anything nor did I lose control of the car. The brakes stopped working and I could not turn the steering wheel. This resulted in my car swerving out of control, hitting the barrier and flipping over. My car landed directly on top of 2 of the 6 airbags I have in my car, and not one airbag deployed after barrel rolling my car. My car is now totaled and I am undergoing physical therapy for severe whiplash to my back and neck. My insurance company has considered the accident a human error, yet I did nothing to cause the accident. My friend who has been a car mechanic for over 20 years feels that it was a mechanical flaw on the vehicle, and does not see how the accident could have been caused by me. I would like to talk to someone regarding a possible manufacturer's error on my new but totaled 09 Toyota Corolla.


10318213: I was driving in a parking lot on the main driveway leading out of [the] parking lot. I was struck by a truck in the rear passenger side. The other driver's truck struck my back wheel, taking most of the impact. [The] wheel physically looks straight and does not show any wobble when watching it drive. No airbags deployed, yet I could not steer or brake my vehicle. Almost as if everything froze when I was impacted. Vehicle's power was still on but nothing worked after impact. I ended up crashing into shopping carts and [a] curb after the impact because I could not stop. This could have been a disaster if I was not in a parking lot. I would be dead if this was on a highway.


10311669: I purchased a brand new 2010 Corolla at Toyota City, Mamaroneck, NY on 8/31/09. I felt vibration in the steering mechanism, a strange feeling in the brakes, heard a noise in [the] steering wheel, and a strange feeling in the way the car rode immediately when turning and brought the car back to the dealership on 10/5/09. I did not bring it back right away due to time constraints, and I felt maybe I needed to get used to the car. I had a 2003 Corolla before, and this car felt completely different in its ride. Not as tight a ride. On 10/5/09 the car was in the shop all day and they found it had warped rotors and needed new brakes. They told me the car's brakes maybe had gotten wet sitting in the rain, which caused the problem. I felt that was very odd on a brand new car, and with its predelivery inspecting this was missed. They covered the repair. I drove the car again and brought it back on 10/19/09. There was still the same problem, with a vibration in the steering wheel. This time they balanced the tires. Again, not clear why they did not do this before. I still heard a noise in the steering wheel and felt the car did not have a tight driving feel. They told me to live with the steering wheel problem. It was how the power assist system worked in the steering wheel. The steering feels completely different from my 2003 Toyota Corolla. I have felt the brakes do not respond well, and pulsate on engagement, and I feel the car still moves forward, when trying to stop. On 1/23/10 I hit a deer. I live in an area where there [are] a lot of deer and for 18 years have been able to stop and never hit one. Not sure what went wrong here. On 2/5/10, Green Tree Toyota in Danbury, CT test drove my car for the brakes. Said they were fine. I feel I do not have control of this vehicle like I did with other Toyotas and feel there is something very wrong with the brakes and steering.



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