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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,956 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Toyota Avalon steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

May 142016


  • 49,000 miles


Car was taken in 05/2016 for recall work to replace SRS and ECU. After recall repair, intermittent pax side airbag light flashes on and off saying passenger airbag issue. Dealer refuses to do more than specified recall replacement. We now cannot tell if we have airbags that will work and if the restraint system will tension the seat belts in an accident. The additional issue is that the front springs and struts have a flaw that makes a well aligned car, pull left. We are replacing this Toyota flaw at our own expense despite the presence of a service notice.

- Port Angeles, WA, USA

problem #20

Sep 182014


  • 116,000 miles
I was driving on an expressway at apx 65 mph going onto the off ramp going down to 25mph the steering became very tight and then as I drove home the steering wheel started clicking. I checked fluids at home and they looked ok. Drove around the block and power steering was gone left and right then heard a grinding noise, it felt ok going straight. After I drove it it became more intermittent with power coming and going altogether. On 8/26/15 had a small accident on the front quarter panel. It was at body shop for 4 days. I had asked them to check the steering and they said it was the rack and pinion. Called Toyota and was told the recall in 2010 was for a different steering issue than the steering problem that I mentioned. Toyota said they cannot help me. I informed them of a disability I have and might not be able to adjust to it. Too bad!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #19

Aug 212015


  • 116,000 miles
I was just coming off the expressway driving from 75 mph, down to 35 getting off the ramp. As I exited onto the ramp I noticed that the steering was getting really hard to control and had a pounding noise. From that location it took about three more big turns where I had an extremely hard time turning the wheel. When I got home, checked levels in power steering fluid, which needed a little more, so I filled it, and coolant levels looked normal. I drove around the block to see if it made a difference. It was actually getting worse. Now the pounding noise got louder and it was still really hard to turn, and eventually developed a clicking/grinding noise. So now I'm going to call Toyota to see if they have a recall to cover what is going on.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #18

Feb 102015


  • 48,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Avalon. While driving speeds over 45 mph, the steering wheel would shake and vibrate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the vehicle needed a wheel alignment. The wheel alignment was performed but the failure continued to occur. The contact indicated that later, when starting the vehicle the steering wheel was extremely difficult to turn in either direction. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer, who diagnosed that the failure was due to an internal leak in the rack and pinion. No further information was available. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #17

Jan 012013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Toyota Avalon. Consumer requests reimbursement for power steering and wheel hub repairs. The consumer stated she experienced steering failure, two years prior to the recall. The consumer went to a local mechanic, because the Toyota dealership was too far to drive to for the repair. Upon submitting all the required proof, Toyota refused reimbursement stating the repair she paid for was not the reason for the recall. Therefore, the consumer took the vehicle to the dealer for the correct repair, which she felt had already been done. Last fall, the consumer started to hear a whirring noise while driving on the highway. The dealer was unable to diagnose the problem then, the noise became louder and again, she went back to the dealer. At that time, the noise was diagnosed as a wheel hub that needed to be replace at a cost of $ 750 per wheel plus tax totaling over $3,000. The lead mechanic diagnosed the problem as being one replacement of the right rear hub, not all four.

- Rockville Centre, NY, USA

problem #16

Jan 072013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
Steering became difficult. Vehicle would not return to straight forward direction after a turn. Force was required to bring vehicle back to straight path. Problem was caused by internal leaking of steering fluid. Dealer replaced steering rack. Power steering lines had to be replaced due to rusting.

- Howell, NJ, USA

problem #15

Feb 022012

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 80,146 miles


Toyota dealer in merritt island, fl advised me "power steering rack is leaking..." 2-2-2012 my son in has a Toyota 2005 sienna in annapolis, md was advised that his power steering rack was leaking. 7-17-2012 a friend with a Toyota Camry in bowie, md was advised that his power steering rack is leaking.

- Odenton, MD, USA

problem #14

Mar 012012

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Toyota Avalon. Consumer writes in regards to two recall notices the consumer stated it would be a 150 mile- round trip to the nearest dealer to have the recalls performed. The consumer stated there were competent Ford, GM and Chrysler automotive technicians that could perform the work if provided the parts and guidance.

- Carlsbad, NM, USA

problem #13

Mar 282011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
In December, I took my 2004 Avalon to the dealership for the steering column bracket recall. Shortly after, I returned to the dealership complaining about my odd steering. I could feel the steering stiffen, then return to normal, then back to stiffening. The dealership had the car for a day to check out the steering which they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Now, my steering is stiff all of the time. I am afraid to drive the car. It is not safe to be on the road. In researching I have not found a recall for this problem. Clearly, there is a steering problem since I have found several similar complaints. A recall should immediately be ordered by Toyota.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #12

Jan 102011

Avalon 4-cyl

  • 71,986 miles
On 30 December 2010, I took my 2004 Toyota Avalon for service per a recall for a steering bracket replacement. I picked up the car on 03 January 2011 and drove it home. The next time it was driven was on January 10 and I noticed the steering was "sticking" so I notified the Toyota service department. While driving to have the vehicle checked, the steering locked up and I nearly crashed before managing to stop. The car was towed in for service and I was told that there was a problem with the "steering rack". I have serious concerns that repairs to the steering due to a recall were performed and immediately following this problem occurred.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #11

Jul 082009

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles


2004 Toyota Avalon with a recall for the steering column upper bracket. The consumer stated she experienced the steering problem prior to the recall.

- Lavallette, NJ, USA

problem #10

Oct 172010


  • 61,399 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Avalon. He received a recall letter regarding recall 10V345000, steering. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer to be repaired and the contact stated that the heat was working normally. The vehicle was purchased used in 2008. The contact stated the heat was working fine until he took his vehicle to the dealer; however, the dealer was notified and would not return his call. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 61,399 and the current mileage was 61,429.

- Kenilworth, NJ, USA

problem #9

Sep 082010


  • 0 miles
I got a notice from Toyota that my 2004 Avalon had been recalled. I have tried to make an appointment to have this problem fixed. The service department of Toyota of rockwall states they will return my call but they never do. This is unacceptable. I am still waiting for an appointment to get this recall repaired.

- Forney, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 312008


  • 20,000 miles
At approximately 20,000 miles steering felt stiff. When turning, steering wheel did not return to position properly. Steering wheel feedback did not provide a smooth motion when making turns. Steering effort was intermittent. This condition was dangerous because since steering should be a smooth precise maneuver, any unexpected steering response is potentially dangerous. Because the car had low mileage but was out of warranty, Toyota, Corp. Paid for parts and I paid for labor. Toyota dealer found steering shaft joint binding and replaced part. Problem returned at approximately 35,000 miles. This time dealer replaced steering main shaft assy. Tilt R&R. and shaft sub-assembly.

- Goldens Bridge, NY, USA

problem #7

Apr 032008


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated while driving at approximate speeds of 30 mph, the steering wheel became extremely difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing twice and the dealer replaced the lower steering shaft on each occasion. The repairs did not correct the failure. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 35,000.

- Goldens Bridge, NY, USA

problem #6

Mar 032010


  • miles
2004 Toyota Avalon XLS- while driving on the expressway one day last week, the steering wheel became very hard to turn. Took the car immediately to the Toyota dealer the same day. Was told there wasn't anything wrong with the car. The next day the same problem, took the car back to dealer and asked for someone to test drive the car with me. The mechanic could not turn the steering wheel without strong force. My car has been in the shop for 6 days.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #5

Aug 172008


  • 23,000 miles
Steering became very stiff.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #4

Mar 252008


  • 41,539 miles
My 2004 Toyota Avalon XLS had a problem. I was trying to go to my office in the morning and the steering wheel was very tight & hard to turn. There was no accident or road potholes involved in this case. When I took the car to the Toyota dealership in erie, Pennsylvania, the Toyota manager told me that the intermediate steering shaft is bound up/twisted. It is very shocking to me that such a reputable Toyota car had this life-threatening problem. If I was on the highway, I would not have been able to turn my vehicle and would have went off the road.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #3

Nov 132007

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Avalon. While driving 14 mph, the steering wheel became extremely difficult to turn. The dealer stated that the steering shaft failed due to corrosion and they replaced the steering shaft. There were no further occurrences. The failure mileage was 32,000 and current mileage was 32,289. Updated 01/03/08. The consumer stated the part had no grease fitting. Updated 12/12/07.

- Westbury, NY, USA

problem #2

Mar 012005


  • miles
Toyota Avalon XLS 2004 problem seeing the trunk when backing up for visual idea of how close to what behind me. Six days after purchasing the vehicle, the key would not turn in the ignition and all the dash lights stayed lit. There was a grinding noise coming from the steering.

- Potomac, MD, USA

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