Driving down the road the other day in my 2010 Toyota Corolla, I turned the steering wheel to the right when I intended to make a right turn and the car barely responded. It was like the steering wheel suddenly had a lot of resistance and the wheels felt heavy. It was a terrifying experience and I am thankful that I was the only one on that stretch of road at the time. I have not driven the car since that incident. Is this a normal problem to have? The car only has 70,000 miles on it. If it’s some defect, I would rather get rid of it rather than risk that happening again!
If this was my car I would not drive it till it was fixed and would not recommend you do either. I checked into this problem and there are other owners with same or very similar complaints as you. There have also been accidents claiming the steering as the cause. After checking for any recalls or technical service bulletins (TSB) for the complaint I found no recalls and only one TSB that may apply. The TSB number is T-SB-0140-10 Rev1 and covers checking tires and alignment then replacing the power steering electrical control unit ECU with part number 89650-12C20. You should contact YourMechanic to verify your vehicle is under this TSB and that they can do the repairs for you. Toyota has not stated that this fix is for your particular problem since the NHTSA had closed its investigation on your issue in May 2011. Toyota issued the TSB and only covers the repair if you are under warranty. If you do not have warranty coverage then you have to pay for the repairs yourself.