The Most Common Toyota Problems

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Transmission issues, faulty brake systems, suspension system malfunctions, and broken fuel pumps are some of the most common Toyota problems.
Between steadfast durability, strong performance, and budget-friendly prices, it’s no wonder that Toyota has become one of the most popular automakers out there. But whether you’re a Prius driver, a proud RAV4 owner, or simply shopping for a new car, it’s important to be aware of the common problems that accompany these popular models.
That’s why the super app and car insurance broker Jerry looked at the research and created this guide to the most common Toyota problems. From the general problems across the manufacturer’s vehicles to model-specific issues and ways to save money on your Toyota’s expenses, here’s what you need to know. 
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What are the most common Toyota problems?

Toyota has consistently ranked among the top automakers for years. However, there’s no such thing as a perfect car, and this Japanese manufacturer is no exception. 
The most common Toyota problems are: 
  • Faulty brake systems
  • Suspension issues
  • Fuel pump malfunctions
  • Water pump failures
  • Oil build-up in the engine
It’s important to know that these problems cover the range of Toyota cars. But out of the 126 different models, some are more problem-prone than others. Here’s a look at some Toyota models available in 2022 and their most common issues:
ModelStarting priceJ.D. Power reliability ratingMost common problemsYears to avoid
Camry$26,42082/100Transmission problems, poor fuel and oil consumption, faulty A/C and heater2007, 2008, 2009
RAV4$27,740N/ATransmission issues, faulty engine cooling system, poor engine oil consumption, steering system malfunctions, low-quality paint2009, 2013
Prius$25,65076/100Fuel gauge malfunction, engine issues, poor oil efficiency, windshield prone to cracks2005 to 2012, 2016
Tacoma$28,36582/100Transmission problems, faulty suspension system, broken air flow meter, bad engine starter2006 to 2021, 2016, 2017
Corolla$21,20082/100Poor oil efficiency, transmission system malfunctions, broken airbag system, faulty mass airflow sensor, steering drift2000 to 2003, 2009, 2014
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Most common Toyota Camry problems

Average annual repair cost: $388 
CarComplaints.com complaints: 3,455
The Toyota Camry is no stranger to transmission issues, from problems shifting gears, delayed engagement, hesitation while accelerating, and transmission slipping. Camrys are also prone to poor fuel and/or oil efficiency, two of the most frequently reported problems. 
Other Camry drivers have reported faulty door locks, mold growth in the A/C and heater system, and unexpected damage to the rear windows

Most common Toyota RAV4 problems

Average annual repair cost: $429 
CarComplaints.com complaints: 607
This practical and efficient SUV has gotten solid ratings since making its market debut in 2017. However, countless RAV4 drivers have complained about the faulty transmission system whose problems can range from unexpected lurching while driving to lag when shifting gears to shuttering and slippage.
Other RAV4s have experienced problems with the engine cooling system, difficulty steering, and excessive engine oil consumption. 

Most common Toyota Prius problems

Average annual repair cost: $308
CarComplaints.com complaints: 1,455
Perhaps one of the most widely-known electric vehicles out there, the Toyota Prius comes with an extensive list of problems. Like other Toyota models, the Prius is known for its excessive oil consumption
Users have also reported incorrect fuel gauge readings, issues with the internal vehicle accessories, headlight failure, and engine problems such as overheating and stalling. 
One of the more frustrating problems of the bunch is the fragile windshields—numerous reports have claimed that even small pebbles could crack nearly two-thirds of the windshield.

Most common Toyota Tacoma problems

Average annual repair cost: $478
CarComplaints.com complaints: 1,062
With one of the highest average annual repair costs out of the Toyota family, Tacoma drivers are no stranger to the headaches that come with this car. Problems can include premature wear on the suspension system (this problem was frequent enough that the manufacturer issued a recall for all 2001 to 2004 cars), faulty transmission system, or cracked amber front parking lights
The airflow meter, throttle position sensor, and starter are also prone to a range of issues and may sometimes need to be completely replaced. 

Most common Toyota Corolla problems

Average annual repair cost: $362 
CarComplaints.com complaints: 1,486
It’s not uncommon to meet a Corolla driver who’s dealt with some form of transmission failure, excessive oil use, or faulty airbag system. Aside from these problems which typically arise across all Toyota models, Corollas are prone to also having a slow engine start-up, steering drift, or a bad mass airflow sensor. 
The 2010 Corolla is more difficult than its siblings—owners reported needing a complete engine replacement to get their engine back into working order.

Are Toyota cars reliable?

Yes! The pros at Consumer Reports have the manufacturer a 4.0/5.0 reliability score, placing it among the top five (out of 32 manufacturers) most reliable makes out there! 
What’s more, Toyota consistently earns solid reliability scores from other go-to car resources like J.D. Power and Kelly Blue Book. 
Keep in mind that reliability goes hand-in-hand with proper maintenance and repairs. The team at RepairPal estimates that the average annual repair cost for Toyotas is $441, which indicates ownership costs that are slightly above average. 
It’s a good idea to opt for one of the brand’s more reliable models to keep these out-of-pocket costs low.

The least reliable Toyota model: 2009 Toyota Camry

Most common problem: Faulty transmission system
NHTSA complaints: 1348
Though the 2009 Camry receives an 84/100 rating from J.D. Power, know that this model is prone to many transmission issues, among engine malfunctions. 
Some owners have also dealt with leaky steering pumps, premature wear on the passenger-side motor mount, and steering mount leaks
What’s more is that the more miles you put on the car, the more costly the repairs become. So, when all is said and done, the average annual repair cost for the 2009 Camry comes out to $376.

The most reliable Toyota model: 2018 Toyota Tundra

Most common problem: Faulty transmission system
NHTSA complaints: 1348
This spacious and durable pick-up is modest when compared to its American competitors. However, this solid car doesn’t disappoint and has minimal issues. 
Arguably the most reliable Toyota out there, the 2018 Tundra still has some problems. The trailer brake system has been known to stop working unexpectedly, not to mention a range of engine issues (think: speed control issues and unexpected stops) and electrical problems leading to irrelevant safety and warning lights going off at the wrong times. 
It’s also important to know that even though the Tundra is incredibly reliable, be prepared for a pricier average annual repair cost of $500+.

How to buy hassle-free car insurance

No matter the make and model you drive, car maintenance is a hassle and an expensive bill for many drivers. Though there is only so much you can do to keep your car in top shape, there are other ways to save on car-related expenses. 
One of the easiest money-saving hacks? Just switch car insurance providers if you see a lower rate for your coverage level. That’s where Jerry comes in. The super app is a pro at finding you the best car insurance deals out there to help you save $800+ each year. 
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