2012 Toyota Corolla Problems Include Major Airbag Recalls, Wobbly Steering, and Minor Electrical Concerns

2012 Toyota Corolla Problems Include Major Airbag Recalls The 2012 Toyota Corolla is a very safe and very reliable used car, with a few minor issues like a faltering bluetooth coupling, a few steering issues, and a whole host of airbag recalls and complaints. Had it not been for those five recalls and 356 reports of unreliable airbags, the 2012 Corolla would have been among the safest cars on the market.

2012 Toyota Corolla Problems Include Major Airbag Recalls

  • The biggest concern so far is the airbags, with recalls dating from 2013 to 2020.
  • Drivers report airbags failing to deploy even in extreme situations such as a vehicle rollover.
  • Steering lock and yaw have been reported in fairly low numbers, with power steering fluid leaking being the likely cause.
  • A major concern in the electrical systems department: your phone may not automatically pair with your car after an operating system update.
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2012 Corolla its Best Safety Pick, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it four stars overall, making it a very safe car, despite airbag concerns.

The seemingly endless airbag problems make up the majority of the 2012 Toyota Corolla’s problems

It was a 2012 Toyota Corolla and in each case the problem was the airbags. The first of these recalls were made when the car was brand new, in 2013, and the most recent in 2020.

First, the passenger sensing system was incorrectly calibrated in more than 3,000 Toyotas, then bellows ruptures occurred in more than half a million units, resulting in blowers exploding in more than two million units during two recalls, and finally, it failed to propagate in nearly Three million Toyota cars.

Meanwhile, there are two car airbags, one is for electrical stress in the console and the other is for inflation rupture. Ongoing investigations are in the data collection phase as of the time of writing, with the Office of Defects Investigating determining whether further recalls are necessary.

Add to that, 356 airbag complaints, which makes up the vast majority of the total of 428 complaints. In short, airbag problems on a 2012 Toyota Corolla are common enough that anyone who drives or buys one should be on the lookout. Check for airbag warning lights, and turn on the VIN to make sure all recalls are processed.

Steering lock and yaw are reported in low numbers

2012 Toyota Corolla - Toyota Photography
2012 Toyota Corolla

The world’s second major issue is guidance, with only 17 reports on file. It can often be divided into two categories: loose steering, with the vehicle swerving and drifting, and steering locking, with the wheel frozen in place or making an extra effort to turn. Of the two, loose routing is more common.

The most recent report comes with the date of the accident in 2017, and the driver claimed the wheel had loosened and made it swerve across the road at highway speeds. The dealer couldn’t figure out why, and they tried adjusting the torque as a potential fix, but that didn’t take long.

Other drivers report that strong winds may push them into other lanes, or that the vehicle appears to drift randomly to the left and right. Failed mileage as high as 30,000 has been reported, and in all cases, the driver reported that the dealer was unable to diagnose the problem.

Wobble steering is usually the result of loose and worn out steering couplings. With only 30,000 miles on the odometer, that seems unlikely. Toyota has released regarding power steering fluid leakage. We can’t say if this fully explains the problem. There simply isn’t a lot of data available at the moment.

2012 Toyota Corolla Problems Include Major Airbag Recalls

Some drivers have trouble pairing their phones with the car’s Bluetooth

Toyota has released regarding the 2012 Corolla electrical systems, many of which relate to a recurring issue with the vehicle’s Bluetooth connectivity. In short: Drivers are having a hard time pairing their phones with cars.

Everything might seem to be working fine, but then you hit the skip lane button on the steering wheel, and nothing happens. You can start your car and expect the phone to pair automatically, and then…nothing happens.

This might not be a huge safety issue, and it might not be a reason to skip the 2012 Toyota Corolla, and go buy another car entirely. But it’s one of those little frustrations that you’d rather not deal with on a daily basis.

What usually happens here is that your phone simply needs to be ‘rendered’ to your car every time you get your operating system update or reset your phone data or settings. Knowing this, all you have to do is re-pair your phone after the update so you are not left wondering what happened the next time you go for a drive.

2012 Toyota Corolla airbag problems are worrying, but there’s little to worry about

2012 Toyota Corolla - Toyota Photography
2012 Toyota Corolla

It’s really a shame that the 2012 Corolla has so many airbag recalls, in great numbers, and for such severe problems, because there isn’t much here worth worrying about. Routing issues occur at too low a frequency, and bluetooth pairing difficulties aren’t really a big deal.

The car earned an award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and an overall four-star crash test rating with NHTSA. If it weren’t for the airbags, the car would have fewer than 100 complaints on file.

But, those airbag complaints are rambunctious, at more than 300, with reports of airbag failures, even in such severe accidents as the entire vehicle tipping over on its roof, as well as a lack of parts for recalled units, leaving drivers waiting on new shipments for months on end.

This shouldn’t be a big enough concern to cross the 2012 Corolla off your “maybe” list, just be on the lookout for your airbag warning lights, and turn on your VIN before you buy. These paybacks have been huge and some drivers are still waiting for parts, so make sure any necessary repairs are actually addressed.

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