2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Problems and Top Issues – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Related engine, steering, and electrical system issues are the main cause of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

Introduced as a 2022 model, the Toyota Corolla Cross is, says the automaker, “small but mighty.” It also boasts all Toyota’s advanced active safety systems, making it dependable and reliable. But some owners of the debut model and the new 2023 model are complaining about malfunctions that impact the engine, steering, and the electrical system. They say they don’t feel safe and question the SUV’s dependability and reliability.

What are the Most Common Issues with the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross?

Almost all the complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) about the 2023 Corolla Cross relate to engines shutting off. Many state that when this happens they get a message that the power steering is “low.” Often, it’s when the windshield wipers are activated. It’s not clear how the electrical system affects the issue, but all the electrical system complaints focus on how the engine shuts off randomly, often in heavy traffic.

Apart from the 2022 and 2023 Corolla Cross complaints that relate to engines randomly shutting off, this issue is also apparent with the 2023 Toyota Corolla. This is, of course, the latest model of this best-seller that’s been on U.S. roads since 1968.

Other components and systems that complainants targeting the 2023 Corolla Cross name are forward collision avoidance, the fuel propulsion system, lane departure, brakes, and visibility/wiper. The first NHTSA complaint about the model was received on March 1, 2023. And up to March 18, 2023, only 1 complaint doesn’t involve the most common engine shutdown problem.

Listed as a visibility/wiper issue, this complaint states that the SUV doesn’t have a rear windshield wiper blade. “Visibility is basically zero out of the back window unless it is sunny. It is extremely dangerous never being able to see out your rear window. If any rain, sleet, snow, mud, dirt, deicer gets on my rear window it is impossible to see. There is no reason why a brand new 2023 crossover vehicle does not have a rear windshield wiper, it is incredibly dangerous and accidents will be caused due to this. This is a safety feature I didn’t even realize I needed until after I bought the vehicle and went to clean off the back window and realized it was impossible to do while driving.”

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Exterior Lighting
Power Train
Air Bags
Service Brakes
Fuel/propulsion System

Engine, Steering and Electrical Problems

Only two of the complaints listed with the NHTSA about the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross are not filed as being engine problems. Nevertheless, one of these, seen to be a forward collision avoidance issue, is clearly an engine problem, with the warnings “steering power low” and “engine stopped” showing up. The other, highlighted above, relates to a lack of a rear windshield wiper.

A typical complaint comes from an owner in California who had owned a 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross for only two days when it happened. “When stopping at a traffic light, suddenly the engine shut off by itself and showed a message saying: “Engine Stopped. Steering Power Low.” I had to switch to park and pushed the start button manually to restart the engine. This is a safety issue!” This happened twice, both times when it was raining and the owner had the wipers on.

An owner from Ohio had the same experience, with the engine turning off in the middle of traffic. The solution is to put the SUV in Park and restart. “This happens every time it rains or snows and wipers are engaged.”

After this same thing happened three times, an owner from California is now too scared to drive the new 2023 Corolla Cross. An owner from Idaho had the engine turn itself off twice at stops, once at about 50 miles and then again at about 1,080 miles. There was a warning alert sound when it happened – and they were “shocked.”

Another Californian owner not only had the engine shut off, but the automatic brakes didn’t work properly either. Additionally, the blind spot monitor worked intermittently. This person’s concern is that he could “almost get in a deadly accident assuming they are working.”

Steering is Implicated

An owner from California was stopped at a red light in the rain with the auto stop/start feature and windshield wipers active. The engine shut off as it normally would but didn’t restart when removing pressure from the brakes. The “dash beeped and flashed ‘power steering low’ and the engine and power steering lights came on.” The steering wheel “was very stiff,” but the driver was able to “coast through the light to the side of the road. I put the car in park and attempted to restart.” It took a couple of attempts before it started.

Error Messages Are Common

Driving a brand new 2023 Corolla Cross FWD L Trim with only 180 miles on a highway, an owner from Alabama also had this experience. Stopping at a red light with the stop system enabled, “the steering wheel locked and the car would not start again when the light turned green. The “Check Engine” light came on and the dashboard told me to “Press Firmly on Brake to Restart Engine”. I did this multiple times with no success. The dashboard also said that my “Steering Power was Low”. I had to turn the car on and off again with my key in order to get it to work. Luckily, there was not much traffic when I was out, but this was an incredibly dangerous situation. It was also raining outside.”

An owner from Michigan was driving in snow when the front sensor stopped working. “That warning popped up on my dash screen and the warning light was on. After about half (an) hour, the front collision warning light also turned on.” This meant he hadn’t been able to stop to clean the sensor. “I stopped about an hour after the original warning light came on, my start/ stop battery charge came on the dash, and then I got a dash warning that said ‘steering power low’ and ‘engine stopped,’ and then ‘press brake pedal firmly to restart engine.’ I attempted to start it by pushing down on the brake. That did not work. I had to shift into Park, turn the key off and turn the key back on for the engine to restart.”

A Problem Shared with the 2022 Corolla Cross

An owner from Texas maintains that the engine shut-off problem is the issue of “shut off malfunction from the 2022 Corolla Cross model.” Having just taken possession of the Corolla Cross, he says that when he’s “stopped at an intersection, the malfunction happens, tells me that something is wrong with the steering fluid. I have to put the car in Park, turn off the entire car, turn it back on, and it works. This has been a huge concern for us drivers and is extremely unsafe while driving. Many commented how it might be a bad battery cell from Toyota, but this needs to get fixed ASAP!”

There are also a lot of complaints on forums like the Corolla Cross Forum. They echo exactly what consumers complaining to the NHTSA say about both the 2022 and 2023 models. Similarly, there are discussions on other online groups, including one on Reddit, asking other Corolla Cross owners for input. 

A large number of owners are experiencing the same problem.

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

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What if your 2023 Corolla Cross is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Unfortunately, there are always a few lemons that make it from the assembly line onto shop floors. It’s nothing new, and manufacturers know this. Every year they pay out a lot of money to lemon victims who challenge them. But if you want to get anywhere challenging a manufacturer, the best thing to do is work through an experienced lemon law firm.

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm that has helped many consumers get lemon cars out of their lives. Contact us if you think you have bought a lemon and we’ll assess your problems free of charge. 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.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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