2023 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

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

Launching the new 2023 Corolla, Toyota tells consumers that “legendary reliability and innovative technology make Corolla a name you can trust to get you through every day.” While it’s been a best-seller since it was introduced to the U.S. in 1968, it’s not been problem free. Consumers are reporting that the 2023 model has a major problem that impacts the engine, power steering, and brakes of the car. Some complain that it leaves them powerless in dangerous situations.   

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2020   2021   2022

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

So far, 2 months into 2023, the complaints about the 2023 Toyota Corolla to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) don’t match the complaints about the 2021 or 2022 models. There also isn’t the same variation of complaint issues. Rather, between December 17, 2022, and  February 23, 2023, all but 1 of the complaints relate to the same problem that reportedly affects the electrical system, engine, steering, and brakes of the new Corolla.

Dealers have not been able to diagnose the problem and there has been no input from Toyota to help owners.

On the face of it, while there were 16 complaints by February 25, 2023, the NHTSA breakdown shows 11 engine and 11 steering complaints. The electrical system features 7 times, the powertrain once, and 5 complaints are filed as being unknown or other problems.

At this point in time, there is just 1 complaint filed as a result of a vehicle speed control problem. This is completely different from all the other complaints. In it, an owner from North Carolina draws attention to a “potential safety issue” with Toyota’s Safety Sense 3.0 system. The complaint is that cruise control turns on automatically when the vehicle is started and there’s no way to turn it off. The danger is that if you exit an interstate highway after driving 70 mph, slow down to 25 mph on the city street, and then “accidentally hit the resume button on the steering wheel,” the vehicle will accelerate and you may hit a car ahead of you.

Even though the dealer advised that “this is normal for my vehicle and the cruise control system is working as designed,” the owner contacted Toyota. They “filed a case, but said I would not be informed unless (there was) a recall.”

2023 Toyota Corolla Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Exterior Lighting
Power Train
Air Bags
Service Brakes
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings

Engine, Steering and Electrical Problems

All but 1 of the complaints lodged with the NHTSA under Engine are also lodged under the Steering category. Similarly, only 1 of the complaints listed as a steering problem is also highlighted as an engine problem. All but 1 of the complaints lodged under Electrical System are also listed as being engine and/or steering problems. The odd one out is listed as being a powertrain and electrical system problem. Most indicate that the malfunction described in all these complaints also affects the brakes.

Of course, not all 2023 Corolla owners identify components or systems when choosing a category for their complaint. Some people opt to list their complaint as an unknown or other problem.

While complaints from consumers are not exactly the same, it is clear to see the similarities between the problems they all experience.

Unknown or Other Complaints

An owner from Alabama assumes it was the battery or start/stop system giving issues. Eight days after buying the car, “I stopped at a red light and triggered auto-stop and waited for the red light for quite a while. Suddenly the car beeped and the screen popped with a message, ‘Engine Stopped. Steering Power low. Press Brake firmly to Restart’. I panicked and tried as it suggested, but it didn’t work. Then I put the gear in Park and pressed the button to turn off the car, and then restarted as usual, it worked.”

Then, after filling it with gas for the first time, it happened again. “If the car suddenly dies when I drive on the highway, it’ll put me and people in (my) car in danger for sure.”

Electrical System, Engine, Steering Complaints

Having owned a brand new 2023 Corolla for just 2 days, an owner from Maryland was pulling up to a stoplight when the electrical power steering (EPS) light came on. There were also warnings of a power loss to the steering wheel and low engine power. The auto start-stop indicator light was also illuminated. “I put the car in Park, turned the car off and back on, and then the system reset and I was able to drive normally.”

An owner from Kentucky also reports that the Corolla cut off at a stoplight and “there was no power.” Then there was a message to “press the brake down to restart,” and a warning that steering power was low. The check engine light also came on. “I pressed the brake down, and the vehicle did not restart. I put the car in park then restarted it and was able to drive again. But at the very next light, the same thing happened.”

In Texas, a one-month-old, new 2023 Corolla was stalling while stopping at traffic lights. “The dashboard showed ‘Ignition on’, ‘Steering power low’, ‘engine check signal’, warning beeps, and then the car was locked. This happened 5 times within 2 weeks. This is a safety issue.” The dealership couldn’t find any codes so they changed the battery. But 3 days later it happened again. “This is a repeat problem! Safety issue!”

Brake, Engine, Steering Complaint

Surprisingly, even though the alert message drivers get commonly states they should brake to restart the engine, there is only 1 complaint filed as a brake issue. 

An owner from Ohio describes how the “automatic engine shut off failed. Normally when stopped the engine shuts off and restarts when pressing the gas. It did not do that and instead turned the vehicle completely off.” The car’s interior lights flashed and the alarm sounded. The dash message said the engine was off and to press the brake firmly to restart. This didn’t work – it seems it never does! There was also a power steering warning. 

“I had to put the car in Park and restart the vehicle. In the meantime, the light had turned red and I was in the middle of the intersection at night, in the rain with a stalled vehicle that I bought last week and has less than 500 miles. A car nearly hit us as I put my hazard lights on and restarted the vehicle. My kids were in the car, it put not only ourselves in danger but also other vehicles on the road.”

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 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 to get advice from a lemon law attorney if you suspect you have bought 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.

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
  • Carlene S

    Oh, wow! That’s great to know it’s not just my vehicle that’s experiencing this. It has been 3 months since I bought my new 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross to get away from my last problematic vehicle, and the problems are occurring again. After hitting the brakes, my car has stopped working a few times. It gives a warning message and a sound indicator. Because this problem only occurs occasionally, I am always nervous about being forced to restart the vehicle once I hit the brakes. Now I immediately turn on my hazards when it happens since I’m trying to read all the rules of how to restart the car since it shouldn’t have turned off once I’ve started it. The anxiety I feel is slowly rising since I thought I bought a car from the most reliable company I’ve ever dealt with. While I love Toyota, I don’t want to hear that the company has no idea what’s wrong.

  • Rhonda

    We are Seriously Afraid of being Stuck with a Car that is Dangerous and Not being taken Seriously. Our 2023 Car has had a rotten Tire and the Car Refuses to take off when Stopped on Interstate or Car Refuses to Allow Me to Control Steering Wheel Almost Causing Us to Crash into a Bridge. It is Terrifying. I have Called with Complaints within the 1st Week until Now of which Car has been in the Shop for Almost A Month. Also the Low beam Light on Left Side has Crack in it making Visibility Very bad.

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