Skip to main content

Throughout its three-decade lifespan as one of America’s best compact cars, the Toyota Corolla has served customers with reliability. As the go-to non-hybrid hyper-miler, it’s built up a brilliant reputation. But not all model years are examples of flawless economy cars; some have more issues than others. A lot of criticism falls on Toyota’s 2009 Corolla, and potential used car buyers need to avoid the 2010 Toyota Corolla, too.

2010 Toyota Corolla Common Problems

According to well over 1,000 owner grievances on, a large portion of the issues fall within interior build quality. Many report that the radio doesn’t work properly from time to time, with radio static when the defrost is on and the display indicating false characters. Others claim the horn stops working, and some have had issues with the factory floor mats getting stuck and causing inadvertent acceleration.

One significant issue owners report is a vibrating steering wheel making abnormal sounds while driving. Many consumer complaints report the loss of power steering, resulting in some serious crashes. The problem seems to arise on Corolla with near or above 100,000 miles on the clock. Toyota released a technical service bulletin in June 2010, advising dealerships of a potential fix as a new power steering computer assembly.

Recalls on the 2010 Toyota Corolla

The 2010 Toyota Corolla should be avoided by used car buyers
2010 Toyota Corolla S | Toyota

The National Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled the unreliable 2009 Toyota Corolla 13 times. But the NHTSA issued 17 recalls on the 2010 model. Six target concerns with airbag deployment and potential shrapnel. Others address electrical snafus, the pedal entrapment mentioned above, and a few others are only for mislabeled mechanics.

Most of the recalls were issued a decade ago, but some are more recent. For instance, the latest airbag recall was in 2019. Therefore, those looking at 2010 Toyota Corollas on the used market must beware of any unattended-to recalls.

Is the 2011 Toyota Corolla a better option?

It may depend on the area and characteristics of the car in question, but a Toyota Corolla one model year newer may cost a few hundred more. However, it’s a great trade-off for getting the most miles for your money.

The 2011 Corolla has one-quarter of the complaints levied against the 2010 model year. While the 2011 model has its issues, the most complained about is the prematurely peeling clear coat. A Corolla one year newer also fared better with the NHTSA. Yes, the 2011 Toyota Corolla was recalled nine times, and most dealt with the pesky Takata airbags.

Moreover, choosing a newer Corolla can help mitigate some of the other mechanical issues lingering in the tenth-generation compact sedan. RepairPal explains that the automatic transmission in Corollas with 125,000-150,000 miles on the odometer will begin to shift improperly. This is said to be caused by the throttle position sensor being out of adjustment or a shift solenoid needing replacement. Luckily, the transmission doesn’t need a complete overall. But, unfortunately, it was a fault with Corollas from the 90s through the middle of the eleventh-generation sedan in 2016.


Cheapest New Toyota Is 1 of the World’s Best-Selling Cars