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Toyota Corolla Electric-Assist Power Steering (EPS)

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  • biffprestonbiffpreston Posts: 59
    edited October 2010
    Pretty easy for anyone to run back through this thread and see the truth about about that one. Im surprised even more people, and there have been a few already , have not voiced their suspicions. Theres been 4 or 5 on this thread who caught on to you.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Biff wrote - "Theres been 4 or 5 on this thread who caught on to you"

    And what do you mean by caught on to me? Are you accusing me of something? That's pretty childish don't you think. Why, because I like my new Corolla and like Toyotas in general ? ? ? If I said it once, I said it a hundred times, my car's EPS drives fine just as hundreds of thousands of other new Toyota Corollas do. Now I feel for you, because you have one of those that seems to have a problem, but if you continue to generalize and state that every new Corolla out there is faulty just because your is, I will continue to rebut it as an untruth, because it is. So bring it on, cuz I got news for you, I ain't going no where! For every Corolla bash you post, I'll be there as an honest Toyota Corolla buyer multiple times over to give it my honest opinion.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,850
    Last warning.

    Any more personally-directed comments, and we'll consider which members' permission to post in this discussion serves the best interest of our other members or not. At this point, reading the past ~20 messages, recent conversation has been little more than a personal debate.

    No one has been "caught." I already looked behind the curtain, and there's no one there, so knock it off.

    here's a hot tips:
    if your post contains the word "you," it might be a personally-directed post.
    if a post contains a pejorative adjective to describe another member, it is most definitely a personally-directed post.

    Conversation needs to:
    Stick to the issue, stick to the vehicle, stay away from each other.

    Thanks,
    Housekeeping staff with a brand new broom

    MODERATOR
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  • zekeman1zekeman1 Posts: 422
    Wow, I wondered if you were monitoring - I've been called down for a hell of a lot less!
    Z
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The S that has the same under-hood parts as the LE and XLE?
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    edited October 2010
    Exactly, so I guess the only other way to explain the problematic "S" model could possibly be the EPS specific tuning for this particular model ?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It's a trim-level. I didn't know it was tuned to be sporty in the same way that the Camry SE is tuned differently than the LE/XLE.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    I don't know, I'm just guessing. Any other ideas as to why the "S" seems to be mentioned more frequently when it comes to EPS problems?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,850
    While I'm sure you all bask in the awesomeness of my hosting presence, I don't possess the superpower of being able to monitor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. :)

    I'm sure we can all agree to move forward and stay on track!

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  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    While I'm sure you all bask in the awesomeness of my hosting presence, I don't possess the superpower of being able to monitor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    One day you'll aspire to pat's legacy... :)

    I swear, there was nothing that went missed in 30 minutes or less! :shades:
  • pekelvrpekelvr Posts: 61
    Hi Tercel Tom....I do apologize to the forum for the caps.....I let my anger towards a certain poster get the best of me I admit it. I just do not understand why anyone would continuously go to a thread to post negativity and bash those individuals who were experiencing difficulties with their Toyota or any other car for the matter. It doesnt make sense to go to a site and recite in thread after thread how much they despise a car manufacturer without expressing their testimony why they felt as such. I know the moderator posted that they were watching for this and they would remove or not post attacks on any individual but I feel and hope they would also remove threads that are non contributory. To simply go to a forum everyday and post how this brand of a car is this or that doesn't make sense. Obviously some of us are here to learn and share and validate our experiences, not to just say how "you" are wrong or "you" don't this or that blah blah blah. You know what I mean?

    Actually I had replied but for some reason it went on Facebook and not here. The 2008 had an optional EPS if you ordered it. At the time I had not ordered mine, but when I went to the dealer regarding the issue the manager said that the handling or feel of the car was reconciled by the "Vehicle Stability Control" feature and I replied it had not.

    Now for further news.....the pulling and meandering has been a quote "Phenomenon" that has been going in the Toyota brand. According to Automotive News.com....

    "In all, the complaints cite a total of six accidents and ten injuries due to the phenomenon, which is described as a strong pulling to the side, like being buffeted by crosswinds, requiring two hands on the wheel to maintain a straight path.

    Beginning with the 2009 model year, Toyota replaced the previous hydraulic power steering unit in the Corolla with an electric one. Newer electric power steering systems typically include logic to correct for environmental variables like the crown of the road as well as crosswinds, although we're not sure if the system in the Corolla does.

    The Corolla from those model years is already covered by both of Toyota's two major accelerator-related recalls—for pedal entrapment (floor mats) and for an issue with a sticky pedal mechanism.

    The review stage might presage a formal investigation, which then might eventually prompt a safety recall."

    http://autoguide.nascar.com/blog/1042430_toyota-corolla-being-reviewed-for-poten- tial-steering-issue

    and in further news in the article aforementioned....

    "The 2009 and 2010 Toyota Matrix hatchback is closely related to the Corolla and thus might also be affected, as might the Pontiac Vibe. Both remain covered by the other two accelerator-related recalls.

    According to Ward's, the supplier JTEKT Corp. produces electric power steering units for the Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, and Venza, along with the Lexus RX 350 and Pontiac Vibe. Previously, Toyota sources have confirmed to TheCarConnection.com that its EPS units follow a similar design across applications."
  • pekelvrpekelvr Posts: 61
    According to the Detroit Free Press, "Toyota reports indicated that "the problem" [steering problem] is not a safety defect and thus doesn’t warrant a recall. Instead, the automaker will provide a free fix to customers who claim to have an issue." :confuse:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,691
    It could be a perception/expectation thing, i.e. those getting the "S" trim expect crisper handling?
  • pekelvrpekelvr Posts: 61
    I cant believe what is being reported...."not a safety issue" I'm flabbergasted. :mad: Does Toyota not realize that we are being pushed and pulled into other lanes where we are continuously having to avoid crashing into neighboring cars? or even in some cases into on coming traffic!!! :mad: argh!!! As per usual they only put up a street red light after enough accidents or deaths occur for the same reason!!! Its the usual....argh! Oh someone please calm me down and tell me a joke!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Oh someone please calm me down and tell me a joke!

    Did you hear about the guy who had his whole left side cut off in an accident? You didn't? Well, he's all right now.

    :)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,850
    That's appalling. I think we need to update our Membership Agreement to include a clause that permits us to restrict posting privileges based on corniness.

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  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    If it was that bad, just shuck it. :shades:

    I wasn't on morning weather at my local ABC affiliate for nothing... I stopped short of the bow-tie though.
  • gerryagerrya Posts: 9
    So, I posted my concerns and experience with EPS on here quite some time ago. Made some progress - kinda.
    Been running this car pretty constantly for work, got 125,000 km on it in 20 months. I was reluctantly just living with the vague steering on the highway because everything else on the car is just fine, but decided to have another go at it since I had to get the 2nd phase of the accel pedal recall done anyway. So, I got the same story from the dealer as I have the last 2 times - nobody else has ever complained, I'm the only one who has a problem, etc etc. They wrote right on the work order to check steering at highway speeds, but when I got the car back it had gone precisely 4.3 km - not enough distance to even get to the highway, let alone drive to the next exit. Some highway speed road test that was.... The tech then produced a tech service bulletin that he said they just found out about. He read from but wouldn't let me have it - it refers to "some customers having complaints about the steering feel". The fix recommended is to replace the EPS computer and do an alignment. The tech made a big deal about how this might not fix the issue. The cost to do this: a mere $817.00. I told him that for that cost, I'll just live with it a bit longer till I can dump the car on a trade-in, and it'll be for a non-Toyota product - made me feel better to vent, but he didn't particularly care. Obviously this particular dealer (Milton Toyota) has no intention of helping me out, so I'm going to try and escalate it through Canadian head office. I dunno, maybe the Canadian response is lagging the US response on this issue - as I remember, they lagged on the accel pedal recall issue.

    Further info:
    1. No, I'm not imagining it. This is the 12th vehicle our family has had, and the only one that's driven like this. Our Dodge van drives better on the highway!
    2. What I didn't realize was how much I'd gotten used to it. Had one of my kids driving on the highway, and he was constantly correcting left/right/left.
    3. As other posters have said, yes the Corolla is a mildmannered soft handling car and yes I agree that the EPS is light and effortless in city driving and parking, and yes the Corolla is still a very good car compared to a lot of the competition. The only significant complaint I have about this thing is the highway steering effect. If I can somehow get that fixed, I fully intend to run this car till it dies, same as I did with my last two Corollas.
    4. Advice to others: Buy a Corolla if you want to but do not buy one 09 or newer unless you personally test drive the exact car you're going to buy on the highway for an extended period at full cruising speed!! In hindsight, this is probably where I made the fatal mistake. I test drove a Corolla CE demonstrator, liked it, had no issues with the handling that I recall. I thought about it for a week or so, then when my old one started to make those death-rattle sounds I went back and bought one off the lot, but not the one I'd driven. Won't do that ever again.

    Gerry A
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    edited October 2010
    I would definetly push Toyota on this issue. You mentioned that you told them twice before about the steering. I'm assuming that was before the warranty expired. If you made the initial claim before the warranty expired, and before the TSB and "the fix" actually came about, wouldn't they have to fix your car under the warranty? After all, you did bring this to their attention back then? Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
  • gerryagerrya Posts: 9
    Good point. I'll have to dig out my old work orders and see what's actually recorded on them - if it's not documented then I'm probably screwed. I know I had the alignment re-done last October to try and fix the problem, but the car might have already been out of warranty by then. Thanks for the reminder though.

    I'm really peeved at this steering issue and the dealer's response to it. But just so nobody thinks I'm bashing for the sake of bashing - I still think these are darn good cars for the money. Other than one alignment that I paid for, and tires, and the regular oil changes, I have spent precisely $0.00 in mechanical repairs on this car to date. No brakes, no windshield wipers, nothing.
  • Hello all!

    I too, have a 2010 Corolla S, and have this same steering issue. Totally fine below 50mph, and then when I get above that on the freeway, I start feeling like there are high winds! But the trees aren't moving! Iv'e been driving it for a year feeling like the steering is more just annoying feeling than anything...kind of rationalizing myself out of it, because this is the only new car Iv'e ever had!

    It feels like it wants to drift out of it's lane constantly. It takes very little effort to correct, but I am making constant tiny corrections as I drive, which I have never had to do in any other car. I read the discussion about the car sensing the "crown of the road", which makes perfect sense, but I do most of my driving on 4 or 5 lane FLAT southern CA highways, so that doesn't really seem to apply. There is also a lot of graded pavement on these roads, but the odd thing is it feels pretty much the same on graded or finished pavement. It can make driving a harrowing experience every now and then, but I have never really had an experience where I feel i have legitimately lost control, it's more just a vague feeling(oh what a feeling? haha!) that I might lose control. Which can be tiring.

    However, the kicker was that my significant other borrowed the car for the first time today and he told me that it "swerved". Now that my suspicions have been validated, I'd like to take action on this because this is the ONLY thing I don't like about my car. I have been doing sporadic online searches on this issue over the last year, and this forum was the only place Ive found a valid sounding solution to this problem.

    Also, I have driven a LOT of different cars...most of them older, even 60's beetles..and my new Corolla has the absolute worst handling of ANY of them, including my battleworn 1993 Toyota pickup with no power steering! I have driven cars of all different makes and years and believe you me...something is wrong here. I just had to convince MYSELF.

    So now I think I am just hoping for suggestions of how to handle this at the dealership when I take it in. Anyone have any? :D
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    edited November 2010
    Simply tell the dealer your having this problem and describe it as you did on your post. Tell them that you researched this problem and let them know that you read that there is a "computer fix" for this problem. Ask them to check their TSB's as there is one out there for this problem (see post #522). If you don't get any satisfaction from the dealer, get in touch with the Toyota regional rep.
  • Thanks terceltom!

    I've never done this before, so that's a great help! I've read a lot of posts from people taking their Corolla in over the last year and being told there was no problem, or that they were imagining the problem, or trying a bunch of fixes I don't feel I have time for, so I'm expecting that might be what would happen to me...but maybe by now it's a known issue. I will give that a try and post my results! might not be this weekend but next. ;)
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    edited November 2010
    I understand how you feel and hopes it goes well for you. Perhaps taking someone along might make it less intimidating for you. You should feel 100% satisfied with your car; your steering is something that should be taken care of for your comfort as well as your safety.
  • Thanks again! I believe I will be recruiting some moral support!

    I have read almost all 500+ posts in this thread out of curiosity. I noticed that I drive the same sections of freeway on the 405 as another poster... I wonder if I see this other Corolla daily, LOL! But who knows, there are SO MANY Corollas on the road it :)

    Something I'm wondering now is if this issue is more prevalent in either manual or automatic transmission Corolla S, I read an interesting discussion elsewhere on how the geometry of the cars is slightly different, although I'm not sure if the discussion was relevant..

    The only reason I got the S is because I prefer a manual transmission.
  • Both of my Corollas were Automatics and they both were S models and both had steering issues.
  • You should complain to the General Manager and the Repair Manager at the Dealership you purchased the car from. Then call Toyota's Customer Experience hotline and tell them A) that your scared to drive the car on the highway B) that you know other Toyota owners that have had their EPS computer boxes replaced C) that you wish to have yours replaced D) that you feel like if the steering issue is not addressed and you have an accident or injure another human being you have informed your attorney to sue Toyota for damages E) Above all else do not take no for an answer and do not back down on the phone!!!! you make sure they hear you and understand you and that you will take legal action if they do not make this car safe for you and your passengers!! When they tell you they are going to help you then you can do the whole "I'd like to stay a loyal Toyota customer....blah blah blah
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Don't really think all of those threats are necessary at this point in time. By now I believe the Toyota dealers are well aware of the problems with the EPS on some 2009 and 2010 Corollas as well as the EPS TSB out on some of these Corollas. I believe if you just show them that you are educated on the problem they will repair as necessary. I like to think if you stay respectful you'll usually get a lot further with the dealer.
  • I am fully aware that it's an apples to oranges comparison, and can no way to be on the same scale. But, since these are the two cars I drive regularly, here's my impression on the EPS issue.

    The 2007 Santa Fe 4WD I drive for work, long distance usually, has a classic power steering. It is quite "stiff", needs force to be steered, and you feel the road very intimately. The upside is that you don't veer in the lane. The downside is that your arms get tired pretty quickly as little corrections due to road pattern change require significant force, and non-smooth road surface keeps vibrating the hands severely.

    By comparison, the 2010 Corolla that I bought for personal use about a month ago, and which i drive 3-4 days a week medium distance has a "light" steering. The upside is that I can effortlessly steer the car using nearly zero force, and little corrections on the road take no energy at all. I hardly feel the road through the steering, no matter how rough it is, and I like it this way. The downside is that even little tugs on the steering moves th ecar, and I dare not drive it using one hand even on a long straight road, as I comfortably do with the Santa Fe.

    Here is my *guess* about what's happening. The motor controlled Corolla EPS is meant to make driving physically effortless. But no matter how steady hands you have, you inadvertently keep turning the steering a little with minimal force, and then need to correct for that, and out of habit from old car feel, you'd over-correct by using too much force.

    Now, while I like the Santa Fe's stability, I love that the Corolla does not leave my hand sore after every ride longer than 10 miles. While it is true that the Corolla EPS does not feel natural, I am loving the ease of driving it. In my personal opinion, the hydrolic to full-electric switch is a progress. But Toyota will do better to offer the hydrolic steering as an option, so that those who want old-style steering can get it.

    Or may be, the car can have an easy to use "tuner", using which each driver can pick how stiff they want their steering to be? It seems that all future hybrids / electric cars are going to come with a engine volume control, to choose how loud they want to make the engine noise. Then why for a steering stiffness control as well?
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