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This 2023 Toyota CoroIla With 5,000 Miles On The Clock Is A Living Proof Why You Should Protect Your Interior

This 2023 Toyota Corolla posted on Reddit, takes wear and tear to new heights. Here's what we learned.

Toyota remains a model of reliability in the automotive world even in times when there is an obvious trend of cost-cutting in the industry in general. That said, the Japanese carmaker has its fair share of hiccups even if most of them are relatively minor. Leave it to Toyota owners on Reddit to share their impressions. The platform is buzzing with information, opinions, and impressions from various models, and today, I stumbled upon a Reddit thread concerning the interior of a barely-driven, 2023 Toyota Corolla.  

This prompted me to look at Toyota's more recent history regarding interior quality and apparently, even back in the mid-2000s, some Toyota owners complained about cracked dashboards and various interior trim melting away due to heat and UV rays from the sun.  

Today's Reddit thread feature was started by user shadowartist201, who posted an image of his 2023 Toyota Corolla steering wheel. The image shows heavy flaking from the steering wheel, akin to a high-mileage vehicle.  

I am in, no way, knocking on Toyota for the interior quality since there is a lot we don't know. Firstly, the posted image on Reddit doesn't show the car's odometer and secondly, we can only assume the owner is living in one of the warmer states. That said, the owner is showing genuine concern regarding the rate of steering wheel wear.  

2024 Toyota Corolla interior looks way more upscale than pevious generations

Apparently, melted and/or cracked dashboards are a wide-spread problem, extensively discussed in the Toyota Owners Club forum.  but it is the first time we see it on a car so new and with so few miles on the clock.  

Other Reddit users were quick to point out a few of the reasons, and many of them seem to be on the right track.  

Watchguy95820 said on Reddit: “I’d bet money that damage is from lotion, sunblock, sanitizer, gloves, some cleaning solution, or something similar... Yeah, all those dash cracks you see in older Toyotas are mainly from using chemicals to clean the dash, in my opinion.” 

Reddit user, horsegoo23 added: “My brain instantly thought cleaning solution. My man’s steering wheel did this after a detail.” 

Outside_Reserve_2407 said on Reddit: “I think some Toyota and Lexus models in the early 2000s had problems with dashboards cracking prematurely due to defects in the plastic formulation”. 

User beeziiz added: “Thats why Toyota extended dash replacement to 10 years, too bad my 2008 Avalon warranty expired when I got the car.” 

Luckily, there are solutions to prevent premature interior wear 

1. Choose what chemicals you use for cleaning your interior. Car cosmetics are important, but read if it's good for your car. Different types of plastics react different to chemical solutions, some of which can be very aggressive. The same goes for leather conditioners, which are often applied to the steering wheel (if it's leather-wrapped). 

2. Use protective, dashboard mats. There are various solutions for dashboard covers that are stylish and, in many cases, they look OEM. They also take the brunt of the UV rays and at well under $100, it's a rather minor expense, compared to what you can spend for renovation and reupholstery. 

3. Invest in sunshades and use them most efficiently. UV rays and heat do most of the damage while the car is stationary. When parked, you might want to invest in sunshades that span the entire dashboard or windscreen of the vehicle. Moreover, putting the cover/ sunshade on the outside protects the interior from heat. In very warm regions of the world, I have seen people using bed covers, blankets, or other means of covering their vehicles to protect them from the sun.  

The Reddit thread continues, but the main takeout is that no wear and tear of this magnitude can accumulate so quickly. According to Reddit user, Outside_Reserve_2407, “A Toyota dealership parts manager claimed to me the new dashes were made with reformulated plastic.” This adds plausibility to Toyota's plastic formulation defect – a topic, widely-discussed across the internet. 

Sadly, Toyota's warranty does not cover interior bits and pieces as these are considered "wear and tear” items. That said, I have asked the owner to share Toyota's reply on the matter and whether the steering wheel flaking issue will be taken care of, free of charge. While such levels of wear and tear shouldn't occur naturally throughout just 5,000 miles and one year, I will update you with new information as I learn more. 

About the author

Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.

Image sources: 2024 Toyota Corolla


Jeff Burrell (not verified)    May 31, 2024 - 11:52AM

I owned a Toyota Celica many years sgo and lived in Minnesota. The dashboard split. I thought it was just me until I found out a coworker who had a Celica had a split dashboard as well. I never bought another Toyota.