2009 Toyota Corolla Problems and Repairs

waltchanwaltchan Member Posts: 124
Bought a new 2009 Toyota Corolla LE. Right after I drove it from the dealer lot, there are a lot of rattles at the front dashboard, even if there is a tiny bump on the road. It's really distracting. Anybody experiencing this problem? Will it get better in the future once it get through the break-in period? Hopefully, the 2009 Corolla will not end up like the 2007 Camry, which was full of hesitation and noise issues.


  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Rattles in the dash don't tend to go away by themselves over time, although they can be worse in cold weather with the plastic parts contracting. Better have them taken care of by the dealer now. I don't know about Toyota, but some manufacturers cover "adjustments" only for the first year or so.

    You've probably already checked this obvious thing, but make sure there's nothing rattling in the glovebox(es), center console, or sunglasses holder (if it has one).
  • waltchanwaltchan Member Posts: 124
    Took it for a 500 mile Sunday road trip, so I can get used to my new 2009 Corolla LE. I found three rattles so far in different locations. One is at the front dashboard, which I said earlier, another is somewhere at the rear left door, and last is at the glove compartment. Extrmely annoying to hear to relax me on Sunday. I would like to get them all fixed, but how can I let the technician hear all the rattles. He would need to drive it on the highway with slight bumps. My Corolla is one of the very few Japanese-made ones, and I am surprised they missed the three rattles from the final inspection. I thought I would be getting a perfect quality car because it's Made in Japan. What's going on here?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,709
    From my experience, made in Japan vs. US or Canada does not mean much. Had a Rav4 that was made in Japan that had lots of annoying rattles and squeaky brakes. All were completely fixed and never caused me any real problems (other than annoying), but to me that said that Japan assembly does not mean much.

    I would bet that the Corolla built in CA or Canada will have the same problems. I would wait for a few months to get the bugs worked out.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    I thought I would be getting a perfect quality car because it's Made in Japan. What's going on here?

    If there is reliable evidence that made in japan is better or worse than made in USA or Canada or UK then I have not seen it.

    Notify your dealer of the problem with rattles. There may be broken dash clips or something else that may be fixed and make your ownership experience satisfactory.
  • beantownbeantown Member Posts: 228
    ....so much for the "re-commitment to quality control" that was supposed to be implemented by Toyota, starting with the new Highlander. I thought these were precisely the kinds of things they were trying to fix before they got in the purchaser's hands?
  • waltchanwaltchan Member Posts: 124
    Well, I left my 2009 Corolla LE out in the hot sun the whole day to see whether the front dashboard heals all the rattles. We'll see how it goes.

    Besides the rattles, it drives and rides very nicely, engine is quiet, transmission shifts smoothly, great fuel economy on my first tank (40 MPG average). No problems, hesitations, or strange noises coming from the engine at all so far. There are more Made in Japan parts under the hood than the Made in USA Corolla I saw in the dealer lot.
  • waltchanwaltchan Member Posts: 124
    Drove my 2009 Corolla LE today again, and I am shocked to hear a new rattle that is the most annoying of all. It's somewhere inside the driver's seat belt pillars, ringing like a doorbell. Push it in slightly, I can hear a lot of rattling noise. Will get them all fixed on Saturday. So far, I now face 5 different rattles? Is my car in trouble for long-term quality? Anybody experiencing any rattle issues so far? I never wanted a 2009 Corolla in the first place, and I wish I never bought it, but it was an impulse purchase by me because it's Made in Japan. How stupid of me to fall into this trap. I should have waited for the orange-color 2009 Matrix XRS that the dealer ordered for me, and it breaks my heart to see that I was forced to cancel my $500 deposit with them.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,709
    Hang in there. Had lots of rattles on a Japan produced Rav4, but they were all fixed, and never came back. No other problems with the car, just these "cosmetic" issues.

    I notice that lots of the new cars have rattles, not just Toyota (Honda too). I think that they all have made a decision to cut costs in the interiors, while adding safety equipment and really not adding much to the selling price.
  • lostwrenchlostwrench Member Posts: 288
    Why does there exist the common misconception of buying something made in Japan is buying perfection?
  • nanapat2nanapat2 Member Posts: 8
    I bought a new 2007 Corolla in 5/2007 and it has been a lemon since the getgo.. I have filed many, many complaint's on this car and have gotten negative responses from Toyota USA and with the lemon law.. Can't fight the big business..

    All Toyota Corolla's are made at the NUMMI factory in Fresno Ca., this factory is in the middle of a whistleblower lawsuit for ignoring auto manufacturing defect's on the assembly line for the Corolla..
  • roxy11roxy11 Member Posts: 27
    "All Toyota Corolla's are made at the NUMMI factory in Fresno Ca"

    my 05 corolla was built in Canada (Cambridge, i believe). i know many 9th generation corollas were built there. i dont know what the breakdown is between the two plants.
  • nanapat2nanapat2 Member Posts: 8
    refer to this article for info::

  • pengwinpengwin Member Posts: 74
    yeah, J's 1's and 4's dont matter. I have a J and still have problems.
  • scottimusprimescottimusprime Member Posts: 19
    I've owned two Corollas in the past - a '97 CE and a '01 LE. I had a few issues with the '97 model that were fixed by the dealer under warranty. I never had a single problem with the '01. Ever. I kept it for over five years and never did anything but routine maintenance. I ended up selling it to my uncle and bought an Accord. I like my Accord (better styling, more fun, more upscale) but I sometimes wonder if I should have just kept the Corolla.

    I sat in a 2009 Corolla at the DC Auto Show back in January. I was a little disappointed with the quality of the materials on the interior. The big clunky HVAC dials, the feel of the plastics.... it just didn't seem very impressive to me. Granted, my 2001 Corolla wasn't amazing, either, but I wish Toyota would have stepped up their game a little. With the problems they've had with the Tundra and Camry, you'd think they would get a clue.

    I would be very hesitant about buying a new Corolla right now. The first year of a new model is always unpredictable - might as well let Toyota work the kinks out before you get stuck with something you're not happy with.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Member Posts: 2,697
    This is nothing unique to your 2009 Corolla.

  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,709
    Seems to be a common complaint with some of the brand new models from Toyota AND Honda, which are the leaders in this segment. I had rattles in an '01 Rav, but they were completely fixed under warranty and never returned.

    I would wait a few months at least until the bugs get worked out. This goes for any maker.

    I may have had a few rattles with that Rav, but it never had any safety issues and never any failures of any kind. I never was left stranded, and that's one of the things I love about Toyota - never had a problem that left me without a way to get somewhere. Most Toyotas I have had for over 100,000 miles.

    I expect the new Corolla to do the same.
  • bits4brainsbits4brains Member Posts: 11
    I would wait a few months at least until the bugs get worked out. This goes for any maker.

    That is typically good advice. I'm taking my chances on this one. The flipside is that the first ones off the line get special attention, so they might actually be better.

    I may have had a few rattles with that Rav, but it never had any safety issues and never any failures of any kind. I never was left stranded, and that's one of the things I love about Toyota - never had a problem that left me without a way to get somewhere. Most Toyotas I have had for over 100,000 miles.

    Reliability for the win! Same deal with my '93 Camry. It failed me once, but I gave it a pass because I was sitting in my garage when it died and because it went 199k flawless miles before that failure -- the electronic distributor which can't last forever anyway.
  • thaipthaip Member Posts: 32
    No doubt, we have a 95 Camry LE, it has 256K in it and still running like news:). Of course not but can't complaint! We only needed to do the normal stuffs such as oil change, brakes change, fluids change, etc.

    I hope my 07 Camry Hybrid and 09 Corolla LE will do the same?? Let me pray:)!
  • thaipthaip Member Posts: 32
    I guess it didn't help by letting the car in the sun? I hope you did get them fix at the dealer! I think I heard some rattle or I don't know if it is a rattle or not but everytime I hit a bump, I heard a noise like two pieces of plastics hitting each other.

  • waltchanwaltchan Member Posts: 124
    Actually, leaving the car out in the hot sun has improved the rattles somewhat. I no longer have the front dashboard rattle on normal, everyday driving, unless it's on a really bumpy road. It's now no longer noticeable. But I still get rattles at other places, though.
  • mackabeemackabee Member Posts: 4,709
    "I would be very hesitant about buying a new Corolla right now. The first year of a new model is always unpredictable - might as well let Toyota work the kinks out before you get stuck with something you're not happy with. "

    It may be the first year hear but in reality this is a three year old car so any bugs are non-existant. You more than likely get lots of dash rattles due to the hard plastic being used.
  • thaipthaip Member Posts: 32
    that is good to hear but I hope you will get it better when you bring it to the dealer. Did you say in one of the previous post that you will bring it to the dealer, any luck there? I also or kind of exprienced something rattling in my 09 Corolla LE, and it also made in Japan. From time to time, or should I say sometime, I hear some rattling in the front passenger window. In addition, when I hit bumps, I hear sound or noise in the front dashboard particularly near the glove box and toward the passenger side like when you hit a pothole noice. Of course, it doesn't sound as loud as when you hit a pothole. That noise may also sound like when you have two solid things or marbles hitting each other, it is hard to describe it. Anyway, those noises are still torable, therefore, I will let it be for now and let see what going to happen?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Background.. The outgoing Corolla and Matrix had exactly the same issues during the first year back in 2002. Dash rattles. But even moreso there was an issue of the clips that held the dash in place, they weren't strong enough to hold the dash and it would come away from the body.

    Fixed quickly where needed and this outgoing Gen 9 has been dead solid perfect since.

    I too have an occasional rattle on cold days in my 2005 Prius but it's been hit twice and the windshield replaced. It goes away when the weather is warmer or after driving for 15 min or so. I attribute it to the hard plastics being used in the interiors. There's more variability in dimensions due to temperatures but these new interiors are lighter and safer.

    Take your Corolla in and have them 'pad' the places where the rattles occur. This should make them go away.
  • lhayes2lhayes2 Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased a 2009 Toyota Corolla and noticed that when taking the key out of the ignition and locking the car that a security light blinks continuously. Is this normal?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,709
  • harvey44harvey44 Member Posts: 178
    Japanese made cars. Not perfection, But much better than Canadian or US made in my experience with Hondas made here and there.
  • jimbo42jimbo42 Member Posts: 1
    I'm having a real hard time with the electric power steering in my new 2009 Corolla LE. I think there is a real problem with keeping this car going straight on the highway. You constantly find yourself drifting off center, you make the slightest adjustment and the car over-corrects. The steering is way to sensitive. It makes highway driving a very tiresome activity.

    Does anyone know what my options here are?
    1. Is there some adjustment a Toyota repair shop can do to make the steering less sensitive?
    2. If that is not possible, should I look into replacing my steering system, perhaps from some other Toyota with EPS, like the Prius, that apparently does not suffer from this problem?
  • nanapat2nanapat2 Member Posts: 8
    LOL especially when you try to complain to Toyota USA about this issue they will tell you the same thing they told me "nothing wrong with the vehicle it's your driving habit's".. I have a 2007 Corolla (bought new) which has so many issue's it's unbelievable, and I have a tilt wheel that I cannot use etc., etc., etc.. I have filed many, many lemon complaint's on this car but trying to buck the "big business" is like shoveling it against the tide.. I am hoping that this year's hurricane season here in Florida will take care of this problem for me.. In addition, my Corolla was made at the NUMMI Factory in Calif. which is now in the middle of a whistleblower lawsuit for allowing car's with known defect's to leave that factory and ship to dealers with these known defect's.. :lemon:
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    I have read a lot of professional reviews that mention the same sort of drifting during hwy driving. However, I also read all twenty-two consumer reviews posted on this forum of the 2009 Corolla and I think only one person mentioned it. Can new owners please respond with their opinion of this and how bothersome it is? This car is on my potential buy list for later this spring. Tks in advance.
  • nanapat2nanapat2 Member Posts: 8
    This 2007 Corolla was not my first Toyota Corolla nor was it my first new car I have owned about 12 new car's in my lifetime.. But it has been and still is a horrific experience for me.. In good conscience I "cannot recommend" the Toyota product to anyone.. You may also want to check the web sites for NHTSA (national highway traffic and safety), Consumer Reviews and Consumer Safety site's also.. Consumer Review's is much stricter on Toyota review's now.. And if your new Corolla also come's from the NUMMI factory in Calif "caveat emptor".. The NUMMI factory is in the middle of a whistle blower lawsuit for allowing car's with known defect's to leave their factory anyway.. good luck with your new car but buy a Ford..
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    Thanks. I realize you've had some problems but I know a lot of people that just rave about their Corolla. I think "bad apples" can show up in any manufactures line. I do currently own an 07 Mazda6 (partnered with Ford) and have had no problems whatsoever in 9,500 miles. My list of possible new cars is quite wide at this point and I'm going through the elimination process.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,709
    Consumer Reports rates the 03-08 generation Corolla as tops in reliability, just like prior generations. This matches 5 people I personally know very well that have Corollas from the 03-08 generation - the worst problems - a burned out brake light, and a rattle fixed under warranty. All but one came from California plant.

    Your bad '07 seems to be the exception.

    I would expect the new 09 to be just as good, although I never recommend anyone get the first year of a new generation, no matter who built it.
  • lls57lls57 Member Posts: 57
    I've had my 09 for 2,500 miles now, and don't think the drifting is a problem. Until I read about it here, I never noticed it. Now, if I pay attention, I notice there is a slight drifting when driving down a straight highway. It is so minor though, that I wouldn't worry about it.
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    I purchased a new 05 Corolla LE automatic transmission for my daughter in April 05. It came equipped originally with a cheaper version of Goodyear tires, which lasted about 20 K miles (she now has 60K miles, 70% interstate commuting back and forth to college).

    I replaced the tires with Goodyear Assurance tires, which have a great wet-weather tread (and, excellent wearing characteristics).

    Like you, I have never noticed the drifting issue while I was driving, and she is such "sensitive" driver that I am sure she would have complained to me about it if it was an issue.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    I was really referring just to the 09 Corollas. They have went to a total electric steering system and a lot of reviewers and some consumers say that the car has to be constantly adjusted to hold a center line which can get very tiresome on long drives. Also, they say that it takes some getting used to as the car will not "straighten out by itself" when turning at slow speed but must be actually steered to center again.

    Unlike the good old days when you could back up and crank the wheel and then give it some gas with your hands off the wheel and the wheels would automatically center again from friction. :)
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Member Posts: 2,697
    The wheel probably has no play at the center position. In a normal car there is some play at the middle so you can slightly move the wheel as you adjust your hands over time and the car will keep going straight. If there is no play, the car will keep moving slightly left and right on the freeway because you aren't able to keep the wheel completely motionless for a long period of time.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    You're probably right. I guess the only way to really decide if it's a factor for me is to rent one for at least a weekend trip and see if I it bothers me. I do know that my Mazda6 has quick steering and slight movement on the steering wheel makes the car move substantially. Just takes some getting used to. Tks.
  • slowlearner1slowlearner1 Member Posts: 35
    I just test drove an S and one of the things I wanted to check was the steering not staying on line as many reviewers have mentioned. My current car is a Prius with electric steering, so I am used to that and have no problems with it. I noticed no problems at 65 keeping the car on line, but if I took my eyes off the road I had to bring the car back in line as soon as I looked back at the road. I think that is just not being used to driving the car. All in all, the test drive was agreeable.
  • rceccatrceccat Member Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2009 Corolla 2 weeks ago. I find the steering more sensitive to slight movement, but it is not a problem. At first I found the car had troubles going straight as other users report. Once you get used to it, the car tracks very well. It is just different than hydraulic power assist.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    Thanks. My Mazda6 has pretty sensitive steering as well and it took some getting used to after driving cars that were more "boaty" for lack of a better term. How do you like the way it handles in tight parking maneuvers in regards to the steering?
  • thaipthaip Member Posts: 32

    Is anyone out there has a problem with the airbags system for the 2009 Corolla. I had my 09 Corolla LE also made in Japan for almost three months and almost 3000 miles and everything was running smoothly. However, I just noticed that the SRS light is on and the passenger airbag light is off even if someone sitting in it.

    Is there a possiblity that the airgbags will pop out even without a crash? I know that there is a great chance that they will not pop out if there is a crash.

    I have scheduled with a local toyota dealer to address the matter already and praying they can get it fixed in one trip:)!


    P.S. Anyone exprienced the same problem, please share.
  • louie_jr2005louie_jr2005 Member Posts: 34
    Hello if the SRS light on the instrument cluster is on and the light on the center panel under the radio shows air bag off when someone is sitting in it you have a problem and should get it check ASAP. When ever the SRS light is on when driving it means you have a malfunction in the air bag system.

    I have owned my 2009 corolla S now for over 3 months and 4400 miles. I never had problem with it, yes the steering is senative but it was no problem for me once i drove like 500 miles and got used to it. I love this, also gettting 40-43 mpg average!!
  • louie_jr2005louie_jr2005 Member Posts: 34
    Hello does anyone know what the window tint % is on the s model. is it like 80%, 50%, 35% i see a tint but not sure how dark it is.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    Wow, you are getting great FE on your Corolla! Is it a stick or automatic? Also, I am curious how you managed to buy a 2009 Corolla in mid-January, before they were generally available for sale. Do you live outside the U.S., or have some special connections perhaps?
  • jjandersjjanders Member Posts: 18
    So the new Corolla has been out for a few months now, I'm kind of wary about buying a first model year car.....have any major issues popped up yet, or is it still too early to tell? Browsing this thread and some other forums on the web, there doesn't seem to be anything too major, some complaints about rattles/squeaks and the new electric steering, are most people happy so far?

    I'm currently deciding between the Civic and Corolla, they are fairly equal in most categories, Civic wins a couple, Corolla wins a couple....but if Toyota continues the 0% for 36 month special into May, that may sway me to the Corolla.
  • nanapat2nanapat2 Member Posts: 8
    :lemon: LOL ,, after picking up a new 2007 Corolla in 5/2007 I would never with a clear conscience recommend a Toyota Corolla or a Toyota product.. And don't look for Toyota USA Customer Service they cannot spell the word's..
  • sparklandsparkland Member Posts: 120
    JJanders, my wife and I were in exactly the same boat. We needed a different car since my oldest son inherited my wife's 2000 Civc. We shopped Civics and Corolla's. We presently own two Toyota Camry's and one Honda Ridgeline and one Honda Civic . We like both manufacturers.

    For the Civic we viewed assets as being well designed, great gas mileage, nice choice of colors. The negatives were no traction control (coming in new model year), more costly to repair than Toyota (service tech who works on all brands stated that), hard to see the front of the car with the sloping hood, and no dealer incentives-financing or otherwise.

    For the Corolla, we thought the assets included traction control,
    dealer 0% financing, great gas mileage, dependability, a few more options for the money. On the opposite side though the fit and finish were not quite up to par with the Civic. Lots of plastic.

    So as you already know it is a dead heat-get whatever car you like. My wife chose the Corolla in the end for one reason-0% financing and the attitude of the Honda dealers. They were nice on the lot but when it came to finalizing the transaction it was tough. One dealer would not even bring over a dark blue civic from their remote lot after we requested it the day before so we could look at the color and drive the car. That was the day we were going to buy. Needless to say we bought a Corolla.

    The Corolla deal was not that smooth either. My wife wanted a Gray Metallic Corolla and she just did not like the seats that came with the LE. We looked at the S model and the seats were dark enough but she did not like the blue spots. Asked the salesman about an XLE and she said they did not make that in a Corolla. Probably because they did not have one. We searched all over Denver for an XLE to look at. Finally found one by chance at the Honda dealer who had brought one over from their sister Toyota dealer.

    My wife loved that car and we went in pursuit of a Gray Metallic XLE. Come to find out they only 1% of the Corolla's are produced in the XLE configuration. They are tough to find. Finally got one and we are awaiting delivery for Wednesday.

    Hope you enjoy whatever car you choose.

  • louie_jr2005louie_jr2005 Member Posts: 34
    it automatic....when in city its about 32 mpg, if i am crusing on the highway going on long trips and just crusing for like 2 hrs it like 42. I brought it the first week of feb from boch toyota in norwood, mass. He is the number one selling toyota dealers in the world!! They had them since Jan 17 i got mine feb 2.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Member Posts: 2,697
    There is no way only 1% of Corollas produced nationwide are XLEs.
    Maybe 1% of the Corollas that dealer gets. The XLE is little more than what last year's LE was and I have seen plenty of them, not 1 out of 100.
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