Toyota Corolla Steering Complaints Under Review

Toyota may have another safety headache on it hands, this time involving the popular Corolla model. According to various media reports, the. U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reviewing a number of complaints involving steering on the 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla, and may open a formal probe.

According to a report in Automotive News, the Corolla has been the subject of 83 power-steering complaints to the NHTSA. At least 76 of those reports involved the Corolla unexpectedly veers to the left or right at 40 miles an hour and up.

The agency’s database showed 17 reports stemming from the 2010 Corolla’s steering system and 67 from the 2009 model. According to Automotive News, the complaints cite 10 injuries resulting from six accidents. In some cases, the Corolla involved ended up upside down, at the bottom of a cliff or in a ditch.

The Corolla issue is just the latest safety concern to hit Toyota in recent months. Yesterday, the automaker recalled 400,000 hybrid vehicles, including the 2010 Prius and the Lexus HS250h, to fix their brakes. Last week, the NHTSA announced that it had opened an investigation into the 2010 Prius relating to reports of momentary loss of braking capability while traveling over an uneven road surface, pothole or bump. The NHTSA said it had received 124 reports from consumers, including four reports alleging that crashes occurred.

Toyota has also recalled millions of vehicles around the world because of incidents of dangerous, unintended acceleration. On January 21, Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles due to accelerator pedals on those vehicles becoming stuck in a depressed position, causing unexpected and unsafe acceleration.

Just a few months prior, in September 2009, Toyota announced it was recalling and replacing floor mats on approximately 4.2 million vehicles which were allegedly causing accelerator pedals in the vehicles to become stuck in the depressed position, leading to uncontrollable and rapid acceleration of the vehicle.

All of these recalls have put a serious dent in Toyota’s reputation for quality and reliability. The January recall also created huge legal headaches for the automaker, which now faces at least 35 lawsuits filed by customers in the U.S. and Canada alleging, among other things, negligence and unjust enrichment.

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