Toyota Motor Corporation Corolla

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Anomalous Electronic Key Behavior
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Toyota Key Instability Problem

Here is another problem that the Toyota company has ignored. A rather strange one.

The Corolla Verso and the Prius models both use the same kind of electronic key which has two separate functions : to start the engine and to open and close the door locks.
My Verso is four years old and almost from the beginning the keys malfunctioned in a strange and undesirable way. I reported this every time I took the car for service but although the dealer’s service was impeccable in every other respect no notice was taken of the anomalous behaviour. They tell me no one else reports the same problem and, smiling, politely imply I am mistaken in my observations.
(Or that they don’t care).

I have exchanged lengthy correspondence with Toyota at local, national (Spain), European and headquarters’ levels - up to and including the president’s office. They are all unfailingly polite but finally unwilling to recognise the problem.

 Which is that every so often the key spontaneously sends a signal to either unlock or lock the doors.. i.e. without the buttons having been pushed or even touched. In many cases it was certain that there could not have been any accidental button pushing while the key was in my pocket. Touching or stroking the plastic body of the key (away from the buttons) may sometimes have been associated with this effect which makes me suspect possibly an electrostatic influence on the internal circuit.

It is not possible to deliberately provoke the anomalous behaviour nor to predict when it will occur and it is very irregular : sometimes happening several times in a day, sometimes with a long interval between events. No apparent correlation with ambient temperature or other conditions.

 There is an obvious security implication : the effect often happens when walking away after parking and locking the doors. Masked by traffic noise a spontaneous reopening may not be noticed, leaving the vehicle open, at least for a period until automatic reclosure might occur (if it occurs).

 The key I am currently using shows the effect very strongly and it is obviously very unstable. The most recent instances of unprovoked signalling have occurred when walking or standing a few metres from the vehicle which had been parked unused for several hours ; the key being loose and unencumbered in my pocket. In one case in fact, having just been removed from my pocket and being held loosely in my open hand, my fingers nowhere near the buttons, the key sent a signal all by itself to open the doors. On this occasion the event was witnessed by my wife (who had previously been a bit skeptical).

 The first key that showed this problem many times eventually gave up the ghost and the door control stopped working altogether. (Engine start is not affected). It was examined at the dealer’s who offered no explanation, merely confirming the key was kaput.

If the failure is part of the general problem and if static is the cause, the internal circuit may have been destroyed by a static charge in a similar fashion to when sensitive computer circuit boards are not handled with precautions. Obviously, in the case of a key no such precautions by the user are relevant.
Another possible cause is a loose internal contact.

 This failure caused two more disagreeable surprises :-

A) Toyota refused to recognise the failure as being covered by the (extended) guarantee.

B) The price for a new key would be more than €170 ! ($246 ; £154 )

This reflects a rather dastardly marketing policy common to many manufacturers. It must cause great irritation to customers while having minimal effect on profits since the sale of spare keys can hardly be big business within the general scheme of things.

 It is even more irritating : as an electronics engineer I’d estimate that the manufacturing cost of the Verso/Prius type of key is hardly more than a few Euros or dollars, whereas here, for less than €120, you can buy a good 22” flat screen computer monitor – which in every way is infinitely more complex.

Hopefully a bit of public attention may lead to some light being shone on this matter.


     
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Whiteduck on 2011-07-12:
Good review. Sorry to hear about your problems. I have a Honda Accord that is very picky about whether or not it will unlock the doors when I press the button. Sometimes in one click, sometimes after 30 clicks... Sometimes not at all. I appreciate your annoyance. Mine just locks itself if I don't open a door within a minute or so, so not sure this problem would be the same for me.
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Toyota Paint Finished
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Rating: 4/51
ARECIBO -- My wife own a 2005 Toyota Corolla and noticed that the paint on the roof is coming off. Look that the paint they are using for the Toyotas Cars for Puerto Rico is not good and I see many cars here with the same problem. Now don't tell me is the sun because I used to own a 1990 Corolla Wagon and the paint still the same way as it was new.

I believe the paint quality is not good.Toyota Motor Corporation needs to improve the paint quality or they will have to pay Toyotas customer to repaint the cars.
     
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ok4now on 2013-08-05:
I haven't experienced this problem with my 2004 Toyota Solara but I do have another issue. The paint chips very easily compared to other cars have owned. The dealer told me that Toyota is now using a more "environmentally friendly" paint which doesn't hold up as well. Also like many other car companies the paint on the bumper does not perfectly match the car. That's because they are painted separately and it's a rubber compound not metal. Once you know to look for this you'll notice many other cars on the road have the same problem.
FoDaddy19 on 2013-08-05:
Environmental standards changed in the early-mid 90's for automotive paints. The paints all auto manufacturers use now aren't a durable as they used to be colors like grey's, darker blues, and some lighter metallics seem to do worse than other colors.
Winnie on 2013-08-09:
I have exactly the same issue with my 2005 Toyota Corolla. Paint on roof appears to be bubbling and rusting. Got the run around from dealer who basically used the sun issue, however there is no issue at all on hood or trunk also exposed to the sun. Have had Toyota products in the past but never this problem.
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Corolla exterior paint issue
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
CLEVELAND, TENNESSEE -- I have only had my Corolla for a year and 1 month. Two months ago I was rear ended and due to the damage I was advised to not wash the vehicle until repairs could be made. Weeks passed without realizing that the bird poop could cause serious damage, considering that my vehicle is fairly new. I took my vehicle back to Toyota after all my repairs had been made to show them the damage that had been caused. The company that fixed my car assured me that the paint had a manufacturing defect because the bird droppings shouldn't have effected the paint all the way down to the primer in the amount of time in which it was exposed. Maybe if my car had been an older car but it's not. I can't afford to get my car re painted, I'm still making payments on it. I'm so disgusted with the situation. I will never buy another Toyota or deal with the Toyota dealership in Cleveland TN. I just want my car to look like it should because it's still new.
     
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Comfortably_Numb on 2012-06-19:
were you advised not to wash the entire body of the vehicle or only stay away from the damaged section? would taking a damp cloth and wiping off the poop have been OK or was that a no no, too?
unhappy999 on 2012-06-19:
What's the reasoning for not washing your car if it has been damaged in an accident? I can see you have to get the insurance company to see the damage first and to take all the photos but after that, I don't see why you can't wash it. Also, there was nothing stopping you from wiping the bird poop off. I think its a matter of opinion if damage should have been caused or not depending on the time-frame it was not washed. I think you would have the same issue no matter what brand of car you had.
BigAl on 2012-06-19:
One reason for not washing your car while it is damaged is certain damage may cause the vehicle to leak water used in washing to undamaged parts of the car that water would do damage to. Carpeting headliners upholstery and such come to mind. However, bird droppings should have been removed as soon as noticed. Liken this to your doctor telling you to not shower until your bandages are removed. Would you go around with a dirty face?
trmn8r on 2012-06-19:
Even if they told you not to wash the car, you could have "spot cleaned" the poop. Bird poop is nasty stuff on a car's finish. Since the poop seems to have caused the problem, I think you are out of luck.

BigAl's doctor/bandage/shower analogy is a good one.
onlooker on 2012-06-20:
If the notice to not wash the car was made in writing to you by the Toyota dealership, or the insurer or the repair place - you can fight the issue with them.
You did exactly as you were told. But it might be very hard to get the person or company that told you do not wash - to admit it or pay for some of the costs resulting from following their instructions.
Because as noted above, there were other options involved in cleaning the mess up. Including checking back with shop/dealer etc.
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A/C Condenser fiasco
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ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- Well I thought I was purchasing the best of the best but as you will see I will shed some light on the truth:

I bought a Toyota Corolla in March 2005 thinking I was buying the "best of the best" "Primo" or "the whole enchilada." The whole problem started in March 2008 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Things start heating up in these parts, and I need air conditioning. So one day I turned on my air conditioning on my Corolla to find that ooops it does not work! No problem I spent $1,300 for extended warranty til 50,000 miles "I am good to go I thought." Well that is til I showed up at Karl Malone Toyota in Albuquerque, NM. "Well sir your A/C condenser has rock holes in it, which by the way is not covered under your extended warranty!" Things just got worse.......I called 1-800-331-4331 which apparently customer service approximately 3 times. It sounded promising at the beginning but then just got worse. They said that the mileage on my toyota is just too high and outside the manufacturers warranty (48K). But I have extended warranty that I spent $1,300 on which is somehow different. Well on top of this Toyota issued a Technical Service Bulletin AC002-06 which corrected this problem only within the manufacturer's warranty which is you guessed it 3 year 36K oh no. Well I asked how can Toyota have a known problem and not pay for some of my $590? Apparently a TSB is not a recall which is very confusing!!!! So I am out on an A/C condenser which is $590 on a Toyota and you thought American cars had problems!!!
     
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Slimjim on 2008-04-18:
I think it comes down to if the condenser can be proved it was damaged by rocks, a warranty, recall, TSB, or anything of the sort isn't a factor. Rock damage would be obvious compared to corrosion or other types of part failure. Did you see the old part before it was replaced?
Anonymous on 2008-04-18:
Seems unimaginable that enough road debri flew around your engine to cause such damage. Additionally, "extended warranties" are third party companies and not connected with your auto manufacturer.
toyota_sucks on 2008-04-20:
I still have the part and yeah its hard to believe but it had the damage....glad I kept it. The TSB states Some Customers may experience damage to the A/C condenser if the vehicle is uased regularly on road surfaces where debris may contact the condenser. Basically saying they failed to protect it....
tiger123 on 2008-07-30:
I, too, have the same problem with my 2005 Corolla condenser. Lakeside Toyota in Metairie, LA will not bend on this. They are adamant that it is not their fault and I should file a comprehensive insurance claim. Cost to repair...$700. Also, Toyota does not make a mesh screen to protect the condenser on the 2005. He suggested that I try to buy a full bra for the front of the car to prevent it from happening again. This is a bad situation b/c I know it's going to recur.
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2004 Toyota Corolla (manual trans.) CE PROBLEM
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ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI -- I purchased my 2004 Toyota Corolla CE in the Spring of 2003, this was my first new car (it only had 3 miles on it when I took it home). The winter of 2003 the car ran terrific. The following winter (2004) I began to notice an issue after the first minute of start up the car would idle sporadically between approx. 2800 and 3200 RPMs, this seemed to occur only when the temp. was at or below freezing outside. I took my vehicle into Feld Toyota (St. Louis, MO), and they could not get the car to duplicate the issue, or have a code come up on their computer. My husband and I recorded the idle issue on our camcorder and took our footage to the Service Manager at Feld Toyota, the Service Manager stated he knew what the problem was, and ordered a part (the part was installed at the end of the cold season). This winter (2005)the idle problem returned, and now Feld Toyota is telling us that there is nothing wrong with our car. My husband and I took our 2004 Corolla to Seeger Toyota (St. Louis MO) where we purchased the vehicle, and brought along our footage. The Service Manager at Seeger Toyota told us that the idle issue was not normal in his opinion, and that he would help us get to the bottom of it. The following week the same Service Manager at Seeger Toyota that stated he would help us get to the bottom of the idle issue informed us that our car was normal, and that the sporadic idle was nothing to be concerned about. After dealing with this for two winters, and receiving the run around from Toyota my husband lost his temper (nothing violent), but he used some choice words, we were KICKED OUT of Seeger Toyota! I am extremely disappointed in Toyota all around the dealerships that I have dealt with and Toyota Corporate. One last thing... I know the idle issue on my 2004 Corolla is NOT normal, b/c I also own a 2005 Toyota Corolla (same model and trans.), and it does not do this.
     
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Rubber molding coming down with window
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Took the car in to fix the molding that the window goes up into. Got the car back and now the very next day the molding is still coming dow with the window that they said they fixed. The car is just 2 months old and I asked them what they did to fix the molding and they told me it was just off track and that they put it back on. Well this didn't work and now I have to go back again today and wait around again.
     
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redmx3racer on 2011-09-13:
Wait-Toyota dealers have service departments? News to me. I thought all they had was Oil Change and Recall Completion Center. I'm just kidding around-because anytime there is a Toyota complaint on here, people comment how reliable they are, and that they once had a 95 Camry that had 500K on it and never needed anything but an oil change.
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Complaint Due To A Dangerous Malfunction
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GANSEVOORT, NEW YORK -- I had purchased a 2003 Toyota Corolla from a dealer(not a Toyota dealer). I had it only 6 months. It purred like a kitten. I had a very dangerous experience with my car. The cruise control came on and started to accelerate to a very high velocity speed with a mile distance. The brake would not disengage the cruise control. I could not stop my car and I had to jump out of my car at a speed of 20 miles an hour. I had to ride my brakes to get it to that speed so I could jump out. I got hurt somewhat and got banged up and bruised. I was terrified while having to maneuver my car. If I had children in the car we all would have been dead. After I jumped out the car it raced to a speed of about 90 miles per hour into a field. It took a few days now to realize what had happened to me and my car. My cruise control and the mechanism that controls the disengagement of the cruise control, malfunctioned. This is a DANGEROUS malfunction. It is a 2003 and it is not that old of a vehicle.

This is a serious matter!!!!!! I pray that this does not happen to anyone else. I lost faith in the Toyota corporation!!!!!!! I would like a response back from someone in management of the Toyota Corporation ASAP!!!!
     
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'03 Toyota Corolla rear suspension failure
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CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS -- My wife and I bought 2 Toyota Corollas new in the spring of '02. At the 45,000 mile mark the rear suspension on my Corolla collapsed while driving at 20 mph on a new resurfaced Boston street. There were no potholes or obtstructions and total passenger weight at the time was about 415 pounds; there was some light sailing clothing in the trunk. My Toyota service department said this failure was not at all common and attributed it to "climate but no excuses." The suspension had simply "rotted" (rusted) out. The cost to me of a new suspension system (struts and springs) was $604; Toyota has since offered me a reimbursement of $302.

I talked to a former neighbor who has been a Toyota mechanic for 20+ years. He has never seen this failure before but stated that it was certainly possible but more so in a much older car rather than in one so young. He questioned whether Toyota had properly treated the underbody before it left the assembly line. He asked if I'd seen the broken parts, and I did not. Toyota did not offer to show me, and I stupidly did not ask to see them.

At the sound of cracking metal I went from feeling secure to insecure. I no longer have faith, trust, or confidence in the product. What about the front suspension!? To me, that's suspect, too! If that fails on a highway at 60 or 65 mph what happens then!? Do I lose control of the car!? Do I jeopardize the lives of others as well as my own!? I believe these to be serious, necessary, and relevant questions. I no longer trust my wife's car either - hers is in the same "climate." I've a sign in my car window stating what happened; I talk to every Toyota owner I can corner; I've been through a myriad of complaint websites and filed complaints in each;

I've written a formal letter to Toyota USA. So far I can't find one other Toyota owner with a failure like mine. I'm very disappointed in this product. It was not worth getting on the Toyota bandwagon.
     
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Anonymous on 2007-11-23:
This may or may not apply to your complaint. Recall notice for '03 Corolla.

Summary:
ON PASSENGER VEHICLES WITH VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS (VIN) STARTING WITH 1NX ONLY AND BUILT FROM JANUARY 8 THROUGH FEBRUARY 13, 2002, IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE BOLTS THAT JOIN THE REAR BRAKE AND HUB ASSEMBLY TO THE REAR AXLE CARRIER TO BE LOOSE DUE TO INSUFFICIENT TIGHTENING DURING THE ASSEMBLY PROCESS.
Consequence:
IF THE VEHICLE IS OPERATED IN THIS CONDITION, ONE OR MORE OF THE FOUR BOLTS COULD COME LOOSE, CAUSING AN ABNORMAL NOISE FROM THE REAR AXLE AREA. IN THE EVENT THAT ALL FOUR BOLTS LOOSEN COMPLETELY, SEPARATION OF THE REAR BRAKE AND HUB ASSEMBLY FROM THE REAR AXLE CARRIER COULD OCCUR, WHICH COULD LEAD TO A LOSS OF VEHICLE CONTROL.
Remedy:
DEALERS WILL PROPERLY TIGHTEN THE BOLTS. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN MARCH 21, 2002. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT TOYOTA AT 1-800-331-4331.
Notes: ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
Anonymous on 2007-11-23:
Ha! Now we know you are lying! There are no newly resurfaced Boston streets!
rnrfan43 on 2007-11-23:
The street immediately in front of the new convention center in Boston is as smooth and flat as can be!
Anonymous on 2007-11-23:
That surprises me too but you do drive in a harsh environment. You really should get the car up on a lift for further inspection. I would really take a look at the brake lines and cables along with the steering and front suspension componets. 15 years with Toyota I have never seen strutts rust through.....at least that new of a car. Good luck
Aerocave on 2007-11-24:
Oh what a feeling...Toyota...
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Dash light will not shut off
Posted by on
The Passenger side seat belt on-off light on dashboard remains ON even when
key is removed with no "load" on passenger seat.
     
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Anonymous on 2010-07-22:
What did Toyota say could be causing this problem and are they able to fix it for you?
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Toyota, Not So Much!
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BOZEMAN, MONTANTA -- No doubt about it, Toyota has lost its mojo. It used to be the best car company but now they can barely compete quality-wise with Chrysler. My last Toyota, a 2005 Corolla, had more problems than any American vehicle I have ever owned. I hear the same form people in the industry, they all say the same, "Toyota isn't what it used to be".
     
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Anonymous on 2009-02-24:
Will you please provide specifics as to the lack of quality you experienced with Toyota and what benefits you see with the Chrysler? How long have you owned the Chrysler? I am sure a lot of us would like to buy American made products, but have been burned by the American automakers in the past. I like my Toyota, but if one of the American automakers would make a quality product more of us might consider purchasing one.
arussell on 2009-02-25:
John, What I meant to say was that I had a 2 year old Dodge 3/4 ton Diesel and it was the worst vehicle imaginable. I was comparing all the problems of my 2005 Corolla with my Dodge Truck. The best insights I believe you can get are from the independent repair shop people. If they say we get a lot of Dodges or newer Toyotas then that means something. So far for me, Nissan and Honda seem to be the best for cars and if you need a heavy duty truck, anything but a Dodge. Hope that helps.
Anonymous on 2009-02-25:
Got it! Thanks for the info.
old fart on 2009-02-25:
wow John... you're up early! it's only quarter to 7 where you are...
Anonymous on 2009-02-25:
John is always up early. It's a very busy task being John, but he does it well.

I agree with his sentiments regarding Chrysler. It's abusrd to even compare the two companies. My workmate's PT Cruiser died yesterday. He has 16 payments left on it. My Tacoma pickup had 238,000 miles on it and was running like a clock when I traded it in.
Anonymous on 2009-02-25:
Slim loves his old Dodge truck, but never mention anything about the air conditioner.
Anonymous on 2009-02-25:
Why not super?
Anonymous on 2009-02-25:
Because he would rather talk about his collection of ladders.
ttooley on 2009-04-04:
Where is the American competition of years past? The American Pride did it all die when greed became the only desire of the American corporations?
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