U.S. to investigate Toyota Corolla steering problems

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The U.S. will open an investigation Thursday to probe possible steering issues on about 500,000 Toyota Corollas.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official, about 363,000 Corollas from model year 2009 and 136,000 from 2010 could be affected.

NHTSA will formally announce the probe Thursday, the official said. As of last week, NHTSA said it had collected more than 80 complaints about steering problems in 2009 and 2010 Corollas.

Many of the complaints involve the car drifting at high speeds. Other owners complain of other issues including steering wheel vibrations or exaggerated motions from small steering inputs.

On Thursday morning, a Toyota rep said the company is "aware of [the] complaints ... and are actively investigating the issue. While we have not received official notification from NHTSA, we will certainly cooperate fully with any NHTSA investigation. We're committed to being responsive to our customers."

The Corolla is Toyota's second most popular model, after the Camry.

It's the latest in a spate of recent problems for Toyota (TM), which has recalled more than 8.1 million vehicles worldwide for issues including sticking accelerator pedals.

On Tuesday NHTSA demanded documents from Toyota to determine if the automaker conducted its recent recalls in a timely manner. Also, Toyota announced it would suspend production at two U.S. plants.

The automaker's reputation has felt the blow, as sales lag following the massive recalls.

Earlier Wednesday, in Japan, Toyota President Akio Toyoda addressed reporters for the third time in two weeks. He pledged tighter safety controls but said he will not appear before U.S. lawmakers at hearings to be held next week.

The Associated Press reported that at the Japan press conference, Toyota's executive in charge of quality controls said it was still uncertain if a Corolla recall was necessary, but that it was an option the company was considering. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,805.41 127.51 0.76%
Nasdaq 4,483.72 30.92 0.69%
S&P 500 1,964.58 13.76 0.71%
Treasuries 2.27 -0.00 -0.09%
Data as of 12:17am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 13.78 -0.62 -4.31%
Microsoft Corp 46.13 1.11 2.47%
Apple Inc 105.22 0.39 0.37%
Bank of America Corp... 16.72 0.12 0.72%
Yahoo! Inc 43.50 0.90 2.11%
Data as of Oct 24

Sections

New York headlines took a straight forward and direct approach with NYC's Ebola news. More

The midterm elections are around the corner, and the economy remains a top concern. With unemployment down and inflation low, why do people still feel the economy stinks? More

Shares of Facebook recently topped $80. They've more than quadrupled from their post-IPO lows of two years ago. Can Mark Zuckerberg keep the momentum in mobile going? More

Using technology developed for the military and implemented in Iraq, schools have installed alarm systems that detect gunfire. More

If you're looking to fly this holiday season, the clock's ticking to get the best prices. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.