2022 Toyota Corolla Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Airbag, brakes, and exterior lighting issues are among the top complaints to the NHTSA from vehicle owners

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

According to Toyota, the appeal of the 2022 Corolla and all-new Corolla Hybrid, is “quality, durability, and reliability.” But owners whose airbags don’t deploy, brakes fail, or headlights fail to provide sufficient illumination at night, are justified in repudiating these claims.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2017   2018   2019   2020   2021

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What are the Most Common Issues with the 2022 Toyota Corolla?

A total of 22 consumer complaints were filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) between October 2021 and mid-September 2022. These relate to 11 components and/or systems with some that mirror serious complaints made about the 2021 Toyota Corolla.

Top of the list are airbags not deploying in a crash, which was also a major concern of 3 owners whose 2021 model crashed. None of their airbags deployed and in 2 of the incidents people were injured.

There are 5 complaints from 2022 Corolla owners whose airbags didn’t deploy. Sadly, somebody was injured in every crash.

Deficient exterior lighting, including headlights with poor visibility, was another complaint about the 2021 model that carries through to the 2022 Corolla. So are faulty brakes.

Other serious issues mentioned in complaints about the 2022 model include malfunctioning cruise control, cars stalling, and cars losing acceleration. Structural issues are also a problem, with one complaint citing an injury caused by the driver door handle.

Airbags That Don’t Deploy

The reasons for the crashes when airbags didn’t deploy are varied, but not relevant. The issue is that in all 5 crashes reported in complaints, the airbags didn’t deploy on impact.

A young woman from Virginia crashed while driving at highway speed as she “approached sudden oncoming traffic.” She initially refused medical treatment, but when she started to stutter, her parents insisted she get medical attention. She also experienced a tingling sensation down her left arm. A hospital doctor diagnosed a severe concussion and her mother states that “her personality has altered since the accident.”

An owner from North Carolina was driving a one-week-old Corolla when he was T-boned by a car that ran a red light. “My airbags didn’t deploy and my car was totaled.” He also reported an injury, but didn’t describe it.

Driving at only 8 mph, an owner from Connecticut “was hit by another vehicle in the rear passenger door and spun around full 180 degrees and air bags did not deploy.” He injured his back and ribs.

A Californian woman crashed into a building when her brakes failed. Again, the airbags didn’t deploy. She had back pains, but there wasn’t major damage to the vehicle.

Inadequate or Defective Exterior Lighting

Dead spots and inadequate illumination at night is dangerous. It’s as simple as that.

An owner from Massachusetts was told, after reporting lighting issues to a dealer, “that the problem was only my opinion. I paid 27,000 dollars for the car and that kind of service stinks.”

Asking the NHTSA for “help,” the complaint describes how the low beams on the car only reach “shadows beyond the visible lighted area of the beams.” Beyond this, the shadows are dark. There is “no penetration through the shadows, restricting my view down the road. I have to switch to high beams to actually see down the road. I’ve been driving cars for 72 years and I have never had this problem. I love the car but hate driving it at night!”

Another complaint includes a photograph of someone holding a measuring tape. At about 76 feet from the car, the person cannot be seen.

An owner in Indiana highlights a different problem. “The left headlight has a dead spot where it does not light up the driving lane.”

Problems with the Brakes

All 3 of the complaints about brakes are listed under service brakes rather than parking or other brakes. Two crashed because of faulty brakes, but only the woman mentioned above was injured.

According to the complaint, the driver was driving at 5 mph when the accident happened. She “was depressing the brake pedal but failed to stop the vehicle and crashed.”

The third complaint involves brakes with rust on them that cause vibration. Additionally, the brake rotors needed to be resurfaced.

What if your 2022 Corolla is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Do you think you’ve bought a lemon? Unfortunately, there are always lemons that make it from the assembly line onto shop floors. It’s happened with previous Toyota Corolla model years and it’s inevitable it will keep on happening. The key is to be aware and get advice from a lemon law attorney if you suspect you have a lemon.

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm that has helped many consumers get lemon cars out of their lives. Contact us immediately if you suspect you have bought a lemon and we’ll assess the issues.

Legally, Toyota will have to foot the bill, and you will get the benefit of a buy-back, replacement, or a cash settlement, if the circumstances warrant it.

What’s New for 2022?

Toyota hasn’t made any key changes to it’s Corolla family, which comprises both sedan and hatchback styles. But what they have done is to launch an all-new compact SUV with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) option. Referred to as the 2022 Corolla Cross or Hybrid, it was unveiled in June 2021 and officially launched mid-January 2022.

It’s appeal, says Toyota, is a foundation of quality, durability, and reliability that offers additional versatility and fun for SUV owners.

Spread across three grades, the L, LE, and XLE, it comes with a 2.0 liter Dynamic Force 169 horsepower (hp) engine and Direct Shift continuously variable transmission (CVT) taken from the Corolla sedan’s sporty S-grades.

Suspension is fully independent for the AWD models and FWDs feature a new torsion beam system in the rear of the vehicle. The AWD features a Dynamic Torque Control system that cleverly directs as much as half the power to the back wheels when needed, and disengages 100% when it isn’t needed.

What’s the fuel economy for the 2022 Toyota Corolla?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated the various 2022 Toyota Corolla models on its fuel economy website. These ratings indicate how well the vehicles are likely to perform when driving in the city, on a highway, or in combined scenarios.

These show how the various regular gasoline models are likely to perform when driving in the city or on a highway.

The lowest estimate is only 28 MPG for the APEX and Hatchback models in the city. Both are 4-cylinder, 2.0 liter cars with manual 6-speed. They do a lot better on the highway, averaging 36 MPH. When you combine city and highway driving, it is likely to use 31 MPG.

The most fuel efficient model is the new Hybrid, which can get an estimated 52 MPG, 53 in the city and 52 on the highway. It runs on gasoline, 4 cylinders, has a 1.8 liter capacity, and is automatic.

They estimate that the two other 1.8 liter models, both 4 cylinder (standard L and LE) models will get 33 MPG combined driving in the city and on the highway. The Toyota Corolla  automatic has variable gear ratios and gets 30 MPG in the city and 38 on the highway. The Toyota Corolla manual model should get 29 MPG in the city and 39 on the highway.

A few models are estimated to get 34 MPG combined driving, while the 4-cylinder, 2.0 liter, automatic (AV-S10) Hatchback gets 35.

Toyota estimates the Corolla’s fuel economy according to trim levels. They estimate that most models get 38 MPG (combined driving) except for the Hybrid that can get 52. The XLE guzzles the most gas at 32 MPG, with the L and LE estimated to use 33 MPG.

What are the Trim Packages & Pricing for the 2022 Corolla?

There are nine 2022 Toyota Corolla models including the new Hybrid.

Here are the minimum manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRPs), some of their features, and, where relevant, packages offered.

L – $20,075

The L is a basic FWD model with standard features that include CVT and LED headlights. Safety features include Toyota Safety Sense, the Star Safety System, and 10 airbags.

LE – $20,525

Adds to or replaces features that the L offers including automatic climate control and a remote keyless entry system. There are two packages. The Convenience Package adds features including a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and smart key system with push-button start. The Premium Package adds a power tilt/slide moonroof to these perks.

XLE – $24,475

Adds or replaces LE and has many great features including a leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel and power tilt/slide moonroof. The front seats are also heated.

There are two available packages, one that focuses on connectivity and the other on advanced lighting.

Hybrid LE – $23,750

Also adds or replaces LE features and, of course, introduces a hybrid Dynamic Force engine. It is only available in the LE trim, but there is a package option that includes a blind spot monitor. It also includes heated front seats and the leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel, both of which come standard with the XLE.

SE – $22,525

The SE is a FWD that features a Dynamic Force engine with 169 hp. It has normal and sport-driving modes and is available with 6-speed intelligent manual transmission.

There are three packages. There are two different Connectivity Packages and a Premium Package that offers the blind spot monitor, smart key system, and tilt/slide moonroof.

SE Nightshade Edition – $23,225

This edition adds to or replaces features offered on the SE. Not surprisingly,  . In addition to black exterior accents, the 18-inch alloy wheels are blacked out and the sports mesh grill and back bumper are black.

SE Apex Edition – $25,220

A step up from the Nightshade Edition, this Apex Edition is even sportier than the others in the SE stable. It features a black/bronze body kit and has lowered sport-tuned suspension.

XSE – $25,975

Still in the SE arena, the XSE offers superior features to the SE. Two stand-out features include gray metallic sport side rocker panels and rear spoiler and heated front sports seats.

There are two packages, one that focuses on connectivity and the other on advanced lighting.

XSE Apex Edition – $28,360

The most expensive trim of all, this Apex Edition has virtually everything and more. There are color-keyed outside door handles and 60/40 split fold-down rear seats. An armrest in the middle accommodates two cups.

What Technology does the 2022 Toyota Corolla Have?

Technology features include audio multimedia and connected services. The availability of these features depend on model grades.

They also warn that service may vary by region and by vehicle.

Connected Services Trials

These trials may be limited and they may charge a subscription if you want to continue with the service. Check with your dealer.

  • Safety Connect 24/7 Toyota roadside assistance and emergency SOS assistance. This doesn’t work in all areas and depends on the strength of GPS signals as well as the availability of adequate cellular coverage.
  • Service Connect Personalized vehicle health reports and maintenance updates.
  • Remote Connect Compatible smart device to start the vehicle and lock and unlock doors.
  • Wi-Fi Connect Make your car a hotspot with 4G connectivity, but only if the vehicle is eligible and you have the right wireless service.
  • Destination Assist Availability of a real person to help you locate destination 24/7.

Audio Multimedia

The touchscreen display and audio multimedia capabilities of most model trims is 8-inches, although the L is only 7-inches. They all have six speakers. These are some of the technological capabilities they include or offer:

  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • SirisXM with 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription
  • Amazon Alexa
  • JBL, designed for Toyota


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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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2 COMMENTS
  • James C

    I bought in June of 21 a 2021 Toyota Corolla LE brand new I only drove the car 300 miles and I started noticing a noise in the engine it wasn’t all the time only when it was a reference to like 2,000 RPM or 1800 RPM it was a knocking noise first it started when it was cold and wide awake I know when it was hot that it was the opposite it got worse when it was hot done the same thing all the time and it continued to sell loud I mentioned it to the guy that sold me the car he refused to even listen to it I was so disgusted I know was I heard all those Toyota’s making the same noise not when they’re brand-new something and some making noise I know it was not normal it sound like a bearing noise a worn-out Derek at 400 miles but it got a hundred miles I just started to get rid of a car I paid with tax
    $24,000 I sold the car for $18,800 just to get rid of it cuz I did not want to deal with it it wasn’t worth it I was disgusted with it and I took a major loss I’m not typing this I’m using talk to text so I hope it all makes sense I remember hearing same noise in other used corolla not all many used corolla motor sound good other s same terrible noise when I heard that noise at 4,500 hundred miles I carefully broke in my corolla hearing same noise in some others I knew I got a lemon that no 1 will ever fix I lost 5000 dollars and I sold my 1997 corolla that ran as new no noise 27 yeah old car 500 sold it I paid 3500 dollars a 1991 corolla so I lost 8000 total and now a. 34 yo car runs quite and better no air bags or conditioning to me it was a total waste I should have kept my 97 Corolla so now I threw away over $8,000 and driving 1991 Corolla cuz the motor does not sound like it’s going to blow up like the brand new one

  • Kali B

    2022 Toyota Corolla, brights don’t stay on. And decayed reaction when turning switch on, light’s act weird.

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