People love small agile hatchbacks because they are perfect for around-town driving while also being adequate for highway driving. In today’s day and age of rapidly increasing fuel prices and uncertainty, a cheap-to-buy and cheap-to-run hatchback might just be perfect for you. As such, we will tell you all the common problems of a Toyota Yaris in-depth, but first, here is a quick answer.
The most common issues with the 2006 and later Toyota Yaris are dangerous airbag issues, including issues with the airbags not deploying, issues with the airbag inflator, and issues with the airbag control module.
Further issues include faulty engine mounts, the paint/clear coat peeling off, the car accelerating by itself, the cruise control failing, and the accelerator pedal getting stuck. Finally, we also need to mention issues with the brakes and problems with the failing fuel pump.
Now it’s time to go dig deep about all the potential issues 2006 (and later) Toyota Yaris owners might face during ownership and what it takes to solve those issues.
Airbags are likely the most important components when it comes to keeping us safe in the event of an accident. This is why airbags are subjected to harsh government regulations, as even the slightest issues can cause dear consequences. Sadly, airbags seem to be the most complained about issues on the Toyota Yaris and we’ve seen similar issues in other Toyota vehicles as well.
These issues include airbag warning lights not wanting to turn off, airbags not deploying when needed, airbags deploying and causing severe injuries, and problems with the airbag control module.
These are also accompanied by loads of airbag-related recalls, which will also be mentioned below.
Airbag Warning Light Not Wanting To Turn Off
This issue is relatively common with all older Toyota Yaris models, especially those manufactured between 2006 and 2009. Owners state that the airbag warning light comes on and stays for random periods. However, the light can often come back on and turn itself off again sporadically. This poses a potential threat to all the occupants, as it can lead to more severe airbag issues.
However, many Toyota Yaris forums state that you should scan the SRS ECU with a diagnostic scanner and look for the code presented. These codes will usually tell you what is wrong and will also tell you what needs doing to fix it.
Airbag Not Deploying When Needed
This is one of the more severe airbag issues that mostly plague the 2015 to 2017 Yaris models. The two most common airbag non-deploying issues are associated with either the front curtain airbag or the passenger/driver-side airbag. These problems prompted Toyota to issue a recall on the Toyota Yaris:
- 19V319000 – Toyota recalled specific 2015-2017 Toyota Yaris models in April 2019 due to the front side airbags and curtain shield airbags not deploying when necessary. It is said that this issue was caused by a corroded or damaged wiring harness that controls the sensors tasked with airbag deployment.
Airbag Deployments Causing Injuries
This is by far the most common issue with Toyota Yaris airbags but is also likely the most dangerous one, as these airbags are known to cause serious injuries or even death. The first problem was that the airbag inflator housing was exposed to continuous moisture and heat cycling, which eventually wore it out and thus affected how the inflator engages the airbags. The second problem was even worse as it led the inflator to explode and cause even more damage.
These issues are mostly reported for 2006 to 2009 models, but all models until the 2013 Yaris also suffered from these issues. Understandably, these have also caused recalls, and these go as follows:
- 16V340000 – Toyota recalled certain 2007-2008 Toyota Yaris models back in May 2016 due to airbag inflators rupturing as a consequence of continuous temperature cycling and heat exposures which eventually led to propellant degradation. These propellants were known to cause serious injuries or even death.
- 17V006000 – Toyota recalled certain 2006-2012 Toyota Yaris models back in January 2017 due to airbag inflators rupturing as a consequence of continuous temperature cycling and heat exposures which eventually led to propellant degradation. These propellants were known to cause serious injuries or even death.
- 18V024000 – Toyota recalled certain 2009-2010 Toyota Yaris models back in January 2018 due to airbag inflator explosions caused by the propellant’s deterioration. These propellants were known to cause serious injuries or even death.
- 18V025000 – Toyota recalled certain 2010-2012 Toyota Yaris models back in January 2018 due to airbag inflator explosions which were caused by deterioration of the propellant. These propellants were known to cause serious injuries or even death.
- 19V741000 – Toyota recalled certain 2007-2012 Toyota Yaris models back in October 2019 due to airbag inflator explosions which were caused by deterioration of the propellant. These propellants were known to cause serious injuries or even death.
Airbag Control Module Issues
The airbag control module is designed to detect and promptly evaluate how severe an accident happened and if an airbag deployment is necessary. These typically do their job really well, but it seems like that was not the case with quite a few 2006 to 2010 Toyota Yaris models. Once again, an airbag recall was due:
- 14V168000 – Toyota recalled almost 1.5 million vehicles (including 2006-2010 Yaris models) back in April 2014 due to a faulty airbag control module caused by a damaged FFC. When this happens, the airbag becomes deactivated and thus can’t be deployed even in the most severe accidents.
Engine Mount Issues
Sadly, the Yaris is not free from engine-related issues, but the only “common” engine-related problem with the Yaris is one where the engine mounts become either damaged or loose and thus cause the car to shake and vibrate. These issues are being reported for the 2007-2010 and 2012-2014 Toyota Yaris models, which means they are relatively common.
The only way to fix this issue effectively is to replace the associated engine mounts, but also be sure to inspect the transmission mounts while you are at it, as these can also cause similar issues.
Paint and Clear Coat Peeling Issues
Some 2006 and many 2007-2009 Toyota Yaris models experience issues with the quality of paint and clear coat. The problem here is that both can peel over time and leave patches where bare metal is exposed. This isn’t due to lack of maintenance, as many owners stated that they routinely wash and polish their cars.
If the paint comes off as well, it can also cause rust which is an entirely different problem. Sadly, the only “right” way to repair this is to sand the area down until it’s completely smooth, prime it, paint it, and clear coat it. However, as some of these cars are old, paint-matching will be an issue.
Speed Control Sensor Issues
Speed control sensor issues are common across many Toyota models, which means they are also common with the Yaris. These issues include the car accelerating by itself, problems with the cruise control system, and even a stuck accelerator pedal.
Car Accelerates By Itself
Likely the weirdest yet hazardous issue with the Yaris is when the car starts accelerating by itself. This issue has been reported for some 2007-2015 Toyota Yaris models, and it tends to happen both while driving and while the car is parked. The problem here is that recreating this issue is difficult as no one knows what causes it. However, no one can deny that it exists, as so many owners reported it across multiple Toyota models.
Be that as it may, some believe the issue is down to speed sensors malfunctioning, while others think it’s due to a faulty throttle body. If it indeed happens to you, be sure to take your car in for an inspection.
Cruise Control Issues
Owners of 2007-2010 Toyota Yaris models complained about the cruise control system acting up in various ways. A few owners stated that the car started accelerating by itself, slowly, in a manner that couldn’t be noticed immediately. However, it seems like the most common cruise control-related issue with the Yaris is when the car refuses to turn the cruise control system off, even after trying to disengage it using the button. One owner stated:
“The cruise control deactivation switch would not disengage the cruise control system. The contact had to put the vehicle in neutral to disengage the cruise control. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer but the vehicle was neither diagnosed for the failure nor repaired. The failure mileage was 150,000 with a 2007 Yaris.”
Stuck Accelerator Pedal
Older Toyota Yaris models also seem to be experiencing an issue where the accelerator pedal gets stuck, making it difficult for the driver to slow the car down. It looks like this issue is mainly associated with 2006-2009 Toyota Yaris models but can also be preset on later models. Some say this issue is down to wiring issues, a bad throttle body, fuse issues, the speed sensor, or even a floor mat getting stuck underneath the accelerator pedal.
Issues With The Brakes
There are a few brake-related issues the Yaris tends to suffer from. These include problems with the ABS and issues with the brake light coming on intermittently.
Toyota Yaris Anti-Lock brake issues were reported for 2008-2012 Toyota Yaris models. One owner of a 2012 Yaris said that his car engaged the brakes on one side of the car, which almost caused him to swerve off the road. The ABS light accompanied this issue. One owner of a 2009 Yaris even crashed into another vehicle because the ABS didn’t engage at all. These issues seem to be caused by a problem with the ABS sensor.
Brake Light Coming On Intermittently
Another relatively common issue with the Yaris is when the brake lights come on intermittently. These are reported for older and newer Yaris models and are not always the same. Some say this only happens for a few minutes, while others say that they had the brake light coming on and staying on during cold weather or even the entire winter season.
Fuel Pump Issues
To round up our list of common Toyota Yaris problems, we will also mention issues with the fuel pump, which is common with the 2019 and 2020 Toyota Yaris models. The first problem seems to be when the fuel pump fails to deliver the right amount of fuel to the engine, which causes the engine to spur and shake the car. The other more serious issue is when the fuel pump fails and stalls the car. This even led to a recall:
- 21V617000 – Toyota recalled specific 2019-2020 Toyota Yaris models due to a fuel pump failure that caused the car to stall and thus increased the chances of having an accident.
Marko´s interest in cars runs in the family. His father was a car trader and regularly took him to car dealerships when he was younger.
These days, when he isn´t watching Drivetribe or Doug DeMuro videos, he´s building up quite a resume as an automotive writer since he´s also a regular contributor on Cararc.com, Tirehungry.com, and Luxurycarsa2z.com.