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Toyota Corolla Electric-Assist Power Steering (EPS)

amg1099amg1099 Posts: 14
I have a 2009 Corolla and I have been having problems with the steering. On highway speed, I feel that the steering wheel suddenly pulls to the right or left but more so to the right and it scares the heck out of me. I have taken it to the car dealership and the mechanic said that there's nothing wrong with it. How can he say there's nothing wrong with it when he only drove it for 7 miles back and forth? I have seen several complaints on the nhtsa.gov website and they all say the same thing. What is going on? I don't feel safe driving the car and I only have it for about 3 weeks now. Please help.
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Comments

  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    There has been many post on other threads concerning this phenominum. Rather than me going into a detailed explanation may I suggest visiting some of the other 2009 Corolla threads and you will find more than a sufficient amount of information to digest. There are some new Corolla owners like yourself that seem to feel this is a problem with the new electronic power steering. And then there are those that say it's just a matter of getting used to the new EPS. And then there are the majority, like myself, that actually find the new EPS a great new feature to the car and don't find the new EPS a problem at all. Just a note though, your car will naturally want to pull slightly to the side of the highway you on or lane your driving in due to the natural grading of the road. To explain, the road is not flat as most will think. To allow for drainage all roads are actually crowned shape to allow for the water to roll to each side. So if on the right side or right lane your car will want to pull slightly to the right because it's lower then the center or left wheel. And if your on the left side or left lane your car will want to pull slightly to the left because it's lower then the center or right wheel. This could be more evident with a car like the new Corolla with the very ease of the new EPS steering. Next time you on the highway see if this is how your car is reacting to the specific lane or side your driving on.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I think with all the interest in the EPS, it's fine to have a separate topic for it. Let's invite others here to discuss it.
  • denvecsrdenvecsr Posts: 40
    My 2009 Corolla has almost 12,000 miles. Some will tell you it's something you have to get used to. Not true at all. With my 38 years of driving experience I can truly tell you it's a major problem that Toyota must address soon or there will be accidents because of their EPS. Hopefully not too many casualties but large law suits that Toyota will have to pay and they will have to make changes to the EPS. Big corporations like Toyota only react to one thing, MONEY. I have driven almost every kind of vehicle made. I have been a New York City (Manhattan) yellow cab driver, sanitation worker, tracter-trailer operator, school bus driver, limo driver, auto body shop driver. You name it, I have driven it. The EPS is fine for very short distances. Try to stay straight for more than a few miles on the highway you're in trouble. You are all over the road. This has been my second round trip ride from NY to Southwest, Florida. 1350 miles one way. Very tedious and tiresome to hold the wheel straight. Many times getting to close to other vehicles in nearby lanes. Of course like many of you, bringing it back to Toyota only to be told there is nothing wrong. How many accidents or causalities (God for bid) will it take so Toyota will act on this problem they have.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    And then there are those that say it's just a matter of getting used to the new EPS.

    Personally, I don't feel like I should have to adjust to get used to something that is drastically different (in a way that is a step BACKWARDS from Corollas past) from most other vehicles on the road, considering it is at least as expensive as its competitors, and often-times costs more when comparably equipped. If it was improved in handling and people were getting used to having more feel or sharper steering that'd be one thing, but this is reduced feel, reduced accuracy, and reduced confidence on the road. With such light steering, it has apparently become much more likely to get caught in road grooves or be pulled by the grade of the pavement to the left or right, and doesn't track as confidently as the previous model, or its competitors.


    Just a note though, your car will naturally want to pull slightly to the side of the highway you on or lane your driving in due to the natural grading of the road. To explain, the road is not flat as most will think. To allow for drainage all roads are actually crowned shape to allow for the water to roll to each side. So if on the right side or right lane your car will want to pull slightly to the right because it's lower then the center or left wheel. And if your on the left side or left lane your car will want to pull slightly to the left because it's lower then the center or right wheel. This could be more evident with a car like the new Corolla with the very ease of the new EPS steering. Next time you on the highway see if this is how your car is reacting to the specific lane or side your driving on.


    Sounds like someone's making excuses for Toyota. All the other systems out there manage to be light enough for gentle parking lot maneuvers (my 74 year old grandmother drives a Civic to the beauty shop weekly, so its certainly plenty light), but have feel, accuracy, and manage not to be thrown around the road like so many owners are complaining about. Sure, you can steer it with your pinky finger (assuming you aren't having to correct for the pull of the road), but then again, I don't consider that "driving." :) That's being a passenger in your own car.

    I understand Toyota is in the business of selling cars, and it is selling Corollas just fine. Toyota also understand what its customers want (to be as isolated and coddled as possible). Every Toyota model emphasizes that by having little road feel, light steering, generally mushy brakes, and overly-lethargic throttle tip-in. To me, they've gone to far with this one though. The 03-08 Corolla rode nicely, had numb but better-weighted steering, and at least it didn't wander down the highway.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    I never had to get used to the steering, I liked it and never found it to be, or referred to it as a problem like some others do. Could it be that your used to driving older heavier vehicles as you describe and finding adjusting to the new technology difficult? Where in the world are you getting statistics that say this EPS is causing accidents or casualties? Please forward those statistics. I can however believe that it is tiring driving 1350 miles at a shot and trying to keep the vehicle straight while doing so. I would certainly find that a road hazard with any vehicle with or without EPS.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Personally, I don't feel like I should have to adjust to get used to something that is drastically different
    Only some Corolla owners might need to adjust to this new technology, others will not and neither will non-Corolla owners, right?

    reduced accuracy, and reduced confidence on the road.
    totally disagree, the steering of the new Corolla is more accurate then ever before. There are many ladies that post here that find themselves very confident with their new Corolla.

    With such light steering, it has apparently become much more likely to get caught in road grooves or be pulled by the grade of the pavement to the left or right
    Now when I said that it will pull to the grade in the road you said I was just making excuses for Toyota, all cars with quality, light feel steering will pull to the grade of the road.

    Every Toyota model emphasizes that by having little road feel, light steering, generally mushy brakes, and overly-lethargic throttle tip-in.
    Totally untrue, Toyota never emphasized they had any of the above. Why would they, that would be like cutting their own throats. Toyota quality and reliability speaks for itself and sells itself. That's why they're consistently in the top two in sales with their Corolla.
  • amg1099amg1099 Posts: 14
    Hey tercelton, do you happen to work for Toyota? I don't mean to insinuate but you sound like you do. But anyways, yes, I don't think I should get used to the feeling of being dragged from left or right no matter where I am on the road. My old car never had a problem about this, even though it didn't have EPS. It was a honda civic. I mean I had power steering in that car but never had this problem. With it being 2009, it should drive better than the other cars. I really don't understand the fact that people have voiced in their concerns about this issue yet Toyota has done nothing to ease or alleviate these people's concerns, including mine. I have emailed the toyota corporation and have forwarded the complaints from the nhtsa.gov and a case manager will contact me on Friday, hoping that they have something for me to offer, hopefully to fix it. Sure you like your car with the EPS but you are not physically riding my car nor these people who have these complaints...no offense. If only I could have you drive my car and feel for yourself, that would be dandy. And when the dealership/mechanic tested my car, he only drove for 7 miles? I mean come on, how can you test and diagnose the problem when you only drove the car that far? These dragging feeling doesn't occur every so often...it happens gradually, on the course of driving on the road for a good 45 to 1 hour. I dont know, but there has to be some way for Toyota to make this steering a little bit less sensitive. I've seen from the other post that someone had theirs fixed by saying, "The EPS Power Steering just had to be centered (via reloading data in the steering wheel). What do you think about this? Others have said that they got it fix, "Some others just put a switch to turn of power steering at speeds over 60 mph." What are these? Care to explain further? Why can't Toyota check it more carefully?

    If anyone ever got theirs fixed, please let me know ASAP.

    Thanks.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Could it be that your used to driving older heavier vehicles as you describe and finding adjusting to the new technology difficult?

    Older, yes. Heavier? Nope. Depending on the model, some version of the Corolla actually weigh more than my daily-driver Accord. The Corolla is the heavier one.

    And, you've used the new technology bit pretty often. In my driveway is a 2006 Accord which has DBW technology, technologically advanced engine mounts, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and a large number of electronic devices and advances over older models. None of them take away from the driving experiences though. I've put 46k miles on it, and haven't had to "adjust" to anything. It was made so as not to make people question the way it drove, meaning it actually HAD some steering feel, and wasn't overly light and disconnected feeling.

    All "new technology" isn't necessarily good, especially when implemented and tuned in a way which I deem unsatisfactory. As I've stated, Toyota isn't the only company using EPS, but it sure has the absolute worst example of it I've experienced.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    To all that care, no I don't work for Toyota. I just can't stand some people that come on here to continually swear how much they can't stand the new Toyota Corolla when they don't even own a Toyota. How can they be such a critic? Then when those of us that say how much we like the new car AND it's new steering we are said to be Toyota employees. That's so funny! Perhaps the Toyota dealer and those of us that like the steering and car are telling you the truth and maybe it is indeed supposed to be that easy to steer and maybe you do need to just get adjusted to it? You know there are hundreds of thousands of new 2009 Toyota Corolla owners out there do LIKE it as it is and that is why we purchased the car. Maybe the rest of you didn't take the time to test drive your car long enough to see if you liked the drive of it.
    Anyway, some are saying that they can go into the computer and do something that would do away with the EPS or at the very least make it so you can turn it off and on. Maybe somebody can give you some more info. on this. I do think it was mentioned on another Toyota thread. I hope you get your car to work the way you want it to. Good Luck with your purchase. Nobody should be as unhappy as when they have spent almost 20 K on a new car and are now disappointed with it.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    To all that care, no I don't work for Toyota. I just can't stand some people that come on here to continually swear how much they can't stand the new Toyota Corolla when they don't even own a Toyota. How can they be such a critic?

    One test drive is plenty for me to know I shouldn't buy the car. Most people never make it to signing on the dotted line for something that they hate driving. Has that not crossed your mind?
  • amg1099amg1099 Posts: 14
    I have contacted the Toyota corporation..everyone who is having problems with this should contact them. I hope they can help me...perhaps I will try to drive a different car and see if it has the same problem.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    What was the Toyota reps. response?
  • amg1099amg1099 Posts: 14
    Well, when I took it to the 2nd car dealership (service), he said that they didn't find anything wrong with the car. The mechanic coudln't duplicate what I experienced driving the car due to the fact that he (due to regulations) can't drive my car for more than 60 MPH. Kinda sucks because that's when I experience this drift. The case manager I have from the toyota corp will try to get in touch with me sometime Tuesday to discuss some further actions. She will contact Team Toyota to do more testings, i.e, wheel alignment or try to use a different car and see if I experience the same thing. I hope she can help me with this.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Good luck, I hope everything works out for you. Keep us posted.
  • jcogarjcogar Posts: 5
    I like the feel of the steering. But, I like the safety feature the most . With the mech. steering during a accident avoidance where you have to drive sharp to the right and then back to the left. The old style steering had a power steering pump delay... this can cause drivers to over drive the accident avoidance. The vehicle would cross the roadway and hit oncoming vehicles because of this delay. With the new EPS you won't over steer an accident avoidance incident and hit other vehicle. This is a great step in the right direction relating to steering safety to avoid other vehicle. EPS should be standard on all vehicles.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I agree that EPS is a neat feature, one that is found on many cars today. Unfortunately, not all the systems manage to have the natural steering feel afforded by mechanical systems, Ford's Fusion recently came under fire for having numbed-down steering thanks to its new EPS. Before, the steering of the Fusion was near top of the class.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Why is the old mechanical steering considered "natural" by you? Was it because it was pre EPS? You can't get more "natural" steering then the new Toyota Corolla ! Perhaps Ford should take note from Toyota on how to make a great EPS steering and maybe they wouldn't be in the shape their in. Besides, who really cares about Ford anyway?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Natural steering, in its purest form, offers feel, feedback, and weight. Video game systems are the furthest from natural - you don't have a sense of pressure building up as you corner (with higher effort required the faster you are going, to give a sense of where the limits of the car are), no feedback to let you know what the tires are doing... nothing. It's like permanently hydroplaning. You steer, and you'll turn eventually, but you have no sense of the car actually being on the road.

    You can't get more "natural" steering then the new Toyota Corolla!

    That's quite possibly the funniest thing I've heard today, boss. :shades:

    Ford should take note from Toyota on how to make a great EPS steering and maybe they wouldn't be in the shape their in.

    Wait... nope. THAT'S the funniest.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    I own a car with EPS and it has a great steering feel. It's very light when stopped (e.g. parallel parking) but firms up nicely on the road, providing ample feel and control. It doesn't feel as "direct" as some manual systems I've used, but it does have a pleasingly solid feel that I like. I have a lot of confidence driving the car around corners or whereever.

    BTW, it's not a Corolla.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    You know what, "Feel, feedback, and weight" is something I expect to get from my wife but not my car ! Least amount of effort is what I want in my car.
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