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Subcompact cars are optimal for achieving impressive fuel economy and saving on overall car costs. Drivers may have to endure somewhat uncomfortable seats and flimsy interior trim, but it often means less of a financial burden. The Toyota Yaris is one of the best vehicles to have if you want to pinch pennies. But be cautious around the following three Yaris model years present more issues than others.

1. 2010 Yaris

The Toyota Yaris like this 2010 has common problems
2010 Toyota Yaris | Toyota

Despite CarComplaints giving the 2010 Toyota Yaris its coveted “Seal of Awesome,” the model year has several common problems. A few owners report issues with the starter motor, with the factory module burning out after as little as 20,000 miles. Others have documented issues like stuck accelerator pedals, a few internal electrical snafus, and the automatic transmission slipping out of gear.

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration) issued nine recalls on the 2010 Toyota Yaris. They include a failing rear seat rail spring, a melting power window switch, a couple of incorrect load-carrying capacity labels, and the rest for faulty airbags. Even though they aren’t major mechanical defects, who wants to track down all that recall repair paperwork?

2. 2008 Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is prone to peeling paint
2008 Toyota Yaris | Toyota

Although it’s not mechanically significant, owners of the 2008 Yaris claim that the air conditioning unit stinks. Over time, the condensation drip tube may become clogged. Some have found remedies by replacing the cabin air filter, but some have spent well over $1,000 having the system removed and cleaned of mold.

Otherwise, the 2008 Toyota Yaris suffers from multiple electrical gremlins. Owners have reported such problems as the engine shutting down at idle, various dashboard lights turning on and off, and even a deprogrammed key fob. The fan for the HVAC system can also short out due to excess moisture. This model year has the same recalls as the 2010 Yaris but includes an additional incorrect label.

3. 2007 Yaris

This 2007 Toyota Yaris has some problems
2007 Toyota Yaris | Toyota

Engine Patrol claims the 2007 Yaris—as well as the 2008 and 2010 models—suffers from weak engine mounts. The issue is exclusive to those equipped with a manual transmission and is accompanied by severe vibration at speed.

The 2007 Yaris had the same NHTSA recalls as the 2008 model. Nevertheless, owners report cracked rear axle beams from excessive rust—also seen in the 2008-2010 model years. Experts claim owners should ensure the undercarriage of their Yaris is always free from road salt and other debris.

What’s the most common problem with the Toyota Yaris?

By far and away—the biggest problem with the Toyota Yaris, according to its many owners, is peeling paint. Yaris drivers will initially experience clear coat peeling on the roof and hood, then the rest of the car. Interestingly, many complaints involve cars painted in the “Caribbean Blue” hue. The issue usually arises after Toyota’s three-year warranty ends and is one of the Yaris’s most expensive fixes.

Is the Toyota Yaris a reliable car?

The Toyota Yaris has three problem model years
2009-2011 Toyota Yaris | Toyota

Even though the Yaris has its more problem-prone years, overall, the car is exceedingly reliable. Engine Patrol gives it a 4.5 out of 5 stars, identical to the Mazda2 on which the third-generation Yaris is based.

However, as with any vehicle, reliability is influenced by various factors such as regular car maintenance, driving habits, and road conditions. It’s important to keep up with scheduled maintenance to keep your Toyota Yaris running smoothly and prevent potential problems from developing.


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