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*Update* Toyota Motor Corporation – Japan has advised the electric power-steering system used in Corolla models sold in Australia is different from that used for models sold in the United States.

In another twist in the Toyota recall saga the US highway safety officials are rumoured to begin a formal investigation into complaints about the Toyota Corolla’s steering.

According to an anonymous source inside the agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will concentrate its efforts on 2009 and 2010 model year Corollas.

The problem may result in Toyota recalling the Corolla with the automaker’s quality chief, Shinichi Sasaki, stating earlier today that Toyota may consider a Corolla recall.

According to Automotive News U.S.A, the Toyota Corolla has had 83 power-steering complaints filed against it since April 2008. More than three quarters of the complaints say that the vehicle unexpectedly veers to the left or right at 40 miles (64km) an hour and up. They further suggest that after attempting to straighten the car, it may overcorrect. There have been no cases of the issue reported to Toyota Australia.

As the new models make use of an electric power steering system, the problem may simply be due to a change in steering response compared with the older Corollas which used a hydraulic power steering system.

Such an investigation by U.S authorities is normal procedure when complaints are lodged and a process which happens to all manufacturers, nonetheless the timing couldn’t be worst for Toyota amid an escalating recall crisis.

The recall issues have become a nightmare for the Big T as the Americans make the automaker the focus of congressional hearings next week.

The Toyota Corolla is the best selling car in the world, having built its reputation on reliability.

  • yowza

    You have to WONDER how much “slip-up” Toyota has in the USA.

    All these problems are primarily centered from USA.

    Local suppliers over there must have a “loose” leash.

    Because Japanese and to an extent Australian suppliers seem to not have issues (for Toyota anyways)

  • HyundaiSmoke

    The Beetle once had its day as the world’s best selling car too. The car Biz has cycles, and the Japanese Golden age is over. Its time for a Korean brand to make such a car.

    You guys might not agree, but I tink if they just refine the Soul over the years, and add more efficient powertrains that can be Korea’s Bettle/Corolla.

    • spellbound

      You for real the soul has been a huge flop in oz , yet to see one on the road , a real clown car .

  • Valet Dabess

    haha oh man more recalls for toyota

  • hazyman

    is that because all australian corolla are from japan so we have no such problems?

    • Sash

      Australian Corolla’s are not from Japan infact they are from South Africa,I know this because I had one and everytime I needed to change the brakes I was given the same brake pads as the one made in South Africa and when asked the question I was then told the only reason the sticker on the car say Toyota Motor Company Japan is because thats were the company is registered. And I dont think the Australian Corolla’s use different part because Toyota parts are built for gobal application and I dont see then designing and making different parts for Australian Corollas considering we are the smallest auto market in the world. I dont think I will be buying a Toyota for a long time I think there is more we are not been told.. Australia wake up

      • Devil’s Advocate

        That was true for some, but not all, of the E120 model (or previous 2000-2007) Corollas Sash. Deliveries from South Africa started for that model in 2003 with the sedan, wagon and Seca Hatch trim versions still being built in Japan. I am led to believe that all versions of the current e150 model (since 2007) for our market is in fact now built in Japan. This is based from what I recall on articles when the E150 was released as well as more recent articles related to the recalls.

        The South African E120 version is known for the brakes and suspension not lasting as long as the Japanese model models.

        • The Enthusiast

          Sash since 2005 all the corolla’s sold in australia are from japan NOT AFRICA! Why is it that everyone is paying out on toyota for what is a factory recall simaliar to any other manufacturer, what about ford’s huge stuff up some years back in america i think 10 million cars recalled, and more recent great wall vehicles in australia with seat belt problems or numerous holden/daewoo & ford recalls what about the ve commodore fuel filler falling off and spilling fuel on the ground or HSV clutch failure’s or ford territory brake failure (ford wont admit it though) recalls are part of vehicle manufacturing and toyota is the biggest in the world so it is bound when there is a problem to have more cars involved! Toyota still is the most reliable car built today no doubt about it!

          • Andrew M

            The Enthusiast,
            I dont know where people like yourself get the Idea that the Territory brake issue is still outstanding.
            Ford have infact investigated it, and even though they found “failed” brakes still operated within ADR’s, they did infact some time ago issue a “recall” following the initial “service campaign”.

            On Toyotas side of the coin, I think the reason everyone is “paying out” on Toyota is because for years they have jammed their reliability down our throats, and now they have come undone at the seams with many quality issues of late coupled with claims of long standing coverups of previous quality issues.

      • Francene

        I’ll second that!!!!! Tell others #Boycott
        Toyota Australia! !!! Death Traps!!!

  • tekkyy

    can’t blame it all on American suppliers

    it takes BOTH shoddy manufacturing and slack quality assurance for multiple major recalls to happen

    we got to keep it in perspective, the large recall by Ford (anti-spam word) in 2008 is larger than the recent Toyota recall (Ford 12 million, US market alone)

  • Andrew M

    Yeah I would be a bit weary of anything with “electric” steering.

    Whats wrong with the old and reliable hydraulic assisted???
    Is electric meant to be fuel saving or something? Is that why some are heading that way??

    Most electric things are usually pretty vulnerable.
    Ever played a computer game (car racing or even shooting) where the computer or power has skipped????
    Imagine this when it is your “Real” life at stake and that sudden second jump or delay kicks in.

    I just dont know if steering is something I would want in the hands of electronics.
    I wouldnt be keen on electric brakes either, and that has also proven to to create the recalls on the prius.
    Electric throttle is borderline as you can at least override it with gears or brakes and its not something that is used when you are in trouble to start with

    • Simon

      Andrew M I think perhaps you missed the point that electric steering is power assisted. That is to say even if you remove the power you still have steering. So it is inherently safe.

      • Andrew M

        True Simon, but varying degrees of steering sensitivity could be quite unsafe.
        One minute you have to do the hulk to turn the wheel, then is suddenly flies to the other side.

        Sure, maybe an exaggeration, but its obviously a reality.
        Electrics will never be as stable as hydraulic assisted.

        So can you answer that they are or arent doing this for fuel savings????

  • The Enthusiast

    Andrew M toyota have good reason to stand by there reliability hertage because it has been earnt over 50 years! There are no cover up’s what crap, because they are the biggest there will always be a minority who wants to see them fail, i say “bring it on”. Did you know the company in americia that produces the sticky throttle pedals for toyota only 5% of there production is for toyota, what manufactures do you reckon the rest go to? only time will tell!

    • Andrew M

      You got to read a little more deeply.
      Toyota is being investigated in regards to how promptly they have acted to issues etc FACT.
      Toyota has to answer to why they never acted earlier on issues that have been proven to be “known”.

      If that doesnt hint cover up, what does.

      There is also a minority that likes to see Korean manufactures fail, Chinese manufacturers fail, Audtralian manufacturers fail and so on.
      I think the many people that are “payng out” on Toyota are seeing the irony in all this. Toyota have obviously been living in a glass house too.

      “Toyota has earnt a reliability reputation”
      Maybe so, but that foundation was laid many years ago.
      The last 10 years Toyota has had some real quality issues, and their honchos have been publicy admitting it for the past couple.

      Am I aware that the company that supplies Toyota for parts also supplies other manufacturers??? Well yes I am.
      They also supply the other big US heavies, Ford and GM, both of which have issues precautionary recalls.

      At the end of the day, if this doesnt kill Toyota, it will only make them stronger

    • Andrew M

      Also just to elaborate more on the pedal manufacturing,
      CTS (the company you refer to) make some pedals for Toyota.
      The “sticky pedal” recall affects Toyota vehicles made prior to when Toyota was using CTS as a supplier menaing either Toyota got its design wrong, or many companies seem to have the identical fault in their manufacturing.

      CTS also dont supply any parts for Lexus vehicles, and the unintended acceleration issue is a toally separate issue to the sticky pedal issue.

      Suppliers make parts to Toyotas specification, and that seems to be the failing.

      The GM vehicle also in question *may* have an issue as it is a car made effectively by Toyota.

  • The Enthusiast

    Andrew m all i am trying to say is EVERY manufacturer has recalls that’s part of the manufacturing process but a lot dont make the headlines like toyota has not even ford with there 12 million recalls in 2008! What about the great wall australian range with seat belt issues i bet YOU WONT SEE THAT ONE ON SUNRISE!

    • Andrew M

      The Ford US recalls did make the press, it probably faded out of intrest a little quicker because it wasnt backed up by more and more issues.

      Great wall seat belts….
      Wont see that on Sunrise??? Prob not, but not because of favourtism, but because Great wall isnt as big of a deal in Australia as Toyota is, and also at the moment it is only one isolated issue.

      Same with Tiger woods. He would have faded out of the media spot light if he had only one fling, but all of the sudden another comes out, then another, then another, then he crashes his car, then he gets chased with a baseball bat by his partner. All of the sudden it grabs the public interest, and the media only play to what is of interest of the public.
      Great wall seatbelts wont be of interest to many Aussie people.

      If say down the track Greatwalls prove to have fuel leaks, dodgy engine mounts, gear boxes packing it in at 10,000ks and many other dramas, bet your dollar there will be Today Tonight out on the street chasing them with a spot light asking why ‘These sort of Chinese vehicles are allowed into our country”

  • Dane

    G’day All,

    Does anyone else have a problems with the 2008 Corolla back passenger seat belt?? I spoke my Toyota service centre today (who went and check a few others in the yard) and said that they all had the same problem. The seat belt will not lock.

    I wanted to put a baby seat there but won’t be sitting anyone until it is rectified.

    The seat belt was replaced by Toyota on Monday but it still has the same problem.

    Would love to hear if anyone else has noticed this problem.




    I think that Toyota loosing me. It reminds me of Mitsubishi many years ago when all problems were covered up.