2009 Toyota Corolla, now power steering woes? - click above for high-res image gallery
Will it ever stop? Yo, we don't know. And yes, we're quoting Vanilla Ice because... well, at this point in the never ending Toyota tale of woe, why not? Anyhow, there have been 83 complaints about the power steering systems in 2009 and 2010 Toyota Corollas, most of which are claiming that the car will veer to the right or left at speeds over 40 mph. Coincidently, the Corolla is one of the eight Toyota models affected by the production and sales stoppage. The alleged problems have purportedly caused 10 accidents and six injuries. Here's the gist:
Of course, you should always have a tight, persistent, two-handed grip on the wheel. That's known as driving. Not that people aren't actually experiencing problems with late model Corollas, but this kinda reminds us of the Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic.Complainants have compared the movement to being buffeted by strong winds, sliding on black ice, or hydroplaning. They said that after trying to straighten the car, it can overcorrect -- requiring the driver to use a tight, persistent, two-handed grip on the wheel to travel in a straight line.
If you don't know, in the 1950s Seattleites began complaining en masse about pits (or holes) appearing in their windshields. Everything from hoodlums with BB guns to sand flea eggs to a million watt radio antenna to atomic testing were thought to be maybe causing the pitting. Also, shifts in the earth's magnetic field and even gremlins (the fictional creatures, not the AMC product) were blamed.
Finally, after a full investigation Seattle Police Sergeant Max Allison announced that the windshield pitting was, "5 per cent hoodlum-ism, and 95 per cent public hysteria." This happened on April 15, 1954. All reports of windshield pitting stopped on April 17. Is this related to reports about the Corolla's power steering ills? More closely than we might think, we think.
UPDATE: There might be a little fire under all this smoke. Our friends at AOL Autos have also been reporting on this breaking story, and have discovered this:
If that's the case, we take back what we said about Seattle."[I] notice the steeering wheel sometimes pulses only when my cell phone is...docked to the right of the steering wheel," wrote one Corolla driver in an official complaint on June 26, 2009. "It's strange I can sometimes tell if my Blackberry is going to ring or get an email. The steering wheel seems to shake or try to steer on its own. This is similar to my other 2009 Toyota Corolla that I resold to the dealer. I wonder if more shielding is needed to reduce any interference."
[Source: USA Today]