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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
52,277 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.

2005 Toyota Avalon steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Aug 302016


  • 146,000 miles


Lever that controls telescoping steering wheel drops down while driving and could be a potential safety problem causing loss of control. According to the dealer this was never a recall but was covered under a warranty extension. According to Toyota they sent out letters beginning in April 2014 advising owners of the problem. We never received a letter. Toyota further advises us that the window for free repair of the defect closed on May 31,2015 and they will not pay to fix it. Why was this not made an official recall? I have injured my knee several times entering the vehicle.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #30

May 172014


  • 63,459 miles
I was driving at 70 mph up I-81 in heavy traffic and lost all power. I was able to steer to the shoulder. I turned on flashers, put car in park, turned key off, and tried to restart engine. It immediately cranked right up and I proceeded up the interstate. Five minutes later, at 70 mph, it happened again. Again I was able to steer off the road and restart the engine. I continued on home for another 2 hours with no problems. On 5/18, I went to church and it happened again. Since I was driving slowly, it was hard to steer (no power steering). At no time has a light come on showing it needed service or some problem. I assume since I was driving so fast on the interstate, I didn't notice the power steering loss when I lost all power. I am afraid that it might happen again and I might get killed from not being able to pull onto a shoulder.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #29

Mar 212014


  • 141,245 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated while driving approximately 5 mph, the power steering assist failed and the steering wheel became hard to turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed that the steering lock and power steering pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 141,245.

- Rutherford, NJ, USA

problem #28

Jan 022014

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles


I noticed the telescoping lever had fallen a few times while entering vehicle but paid it no mind and just pushed it up. I was driving along one day and I put the brakes on and making a turn and the wheel just collapsed to the all the way down position and it caught me off guard and I almost crashed! I try to be more conscious of the fallen lever but if neglect to push it up the telescoping steering wheel will fall at least once a day while driving usually when braking since when the vehicle is braking there is more downward force on the column. The dealer and Toyota corporate are telling me they never heard of the issue and its normal wear and tear and I need to pay for the repairs. That is obviously a lie since I have found numerous complaints online and even a tsb Toyota issued about this issue. How and why should I be held financially responsible for a safety concern that they are unwilling to fix. I hate that it might cause a crash and maybe then after the crash they might do something about their defective vehicle. One more thing the telescoping option is almost never used so its certainly not from being used too much.

- New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA

problem #27

Feb 122013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The steering lever moved down and the steering wheel dropped in 2-3 inches while the car was moving.

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #26

Oct 292010

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that while driving various speeds, she experienced an excessive pulsation in the accelerator pedal. The failure recurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was repaired under NHTSA campaign id number 10V017000 (vehicle speed control) in June of 2010. The failure recurred recently. In addition, the vehicle would accelerate independently. The failure recurred four times. There was also a default with the variable valve timing. The manufacturer was notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000....updated 05/22/13 the consumer stated the vehicle was being rebuilt. Updated 06/14/2013

- Hampton , VA, USA

problem #25

Apr 142011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


The steering wheel friction lever suddenly dropped and the steering wheel collapsed while the car was in motion (normal speed). Plus, there is a popping, clicking sound when turning steering wheel that you can hear and feel in the steering wheel.

- Montgomery, AL, USA

problem #24

Jan 172012

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
The steering column has begun making a rather noticeable "clacking" noise when turning. It can be both heard and felt in the wheel. This is a common problem with these cars, and Toyota has put out a service bulletin (#00206, NHTSA # 10019669)for repair under warranty, but wants $930 to repair it if out of warranty. They're claiming it is not a safety issue, but a steering wheel that makes noises you can hear (and feel) doesn't seem all that safe.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #23

Jan 122005

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles
Steering problems per recall 05V227000 for 2005 Toyota Avalon that manuf refuses to address. Steering pops when turning & sounds like it's getting worse. Refuse to pay dealer $450 to replace recall so I will take it to another certified mechanic that I trust.

- Maineville, OH, USA

problem #22

Nov 192010


  • 48,000 miles
First contacted Toyota motor sales U.S.a., Inc. In torrance, ca. And advised them of my car troubles prior to going to dealership for service. I made them aware that I do not trust dealer service departments. They assigned me a case number and documented my issues with engine/powertrain malfunction that still exist today and both the dealer and Toyota motor sales have not addressed problem. Also, I stated to dealer that there was leakage surrounding the power steering pump. Dealer was quick to resolve problem by trying to induce me to have pump changed without performing true diagnostic procedures to include; failure to remove front R/H tire to look at power steering pump from the front side, failure to clean power steering pump and surrounding areas to investigate true area of leakage. Instead, dealer service department came to an immediate conclusion that the pump must be leaking from pump shaft bearing. Cost to replace; $750 which I declined to have replaced. With the vehicle up on jack stands and with true diagnostic testing, I removed front R/H tire, thoroughly cleaned power steering pump and surrounding area and steered left to right and right to left many times and can not locate leak at this time. Could be even engine oil that dripped down or pump high pressure line that goes to steering cylinder gearbox/yoke area. As far as the power train/engine problem that has been going on for a very long time, the engine and transmission are always out of synchronization. To briefly state, the engine wonders (hi and low rpms) and the transmission will be in wrong gear. Furthermore, throttle response is many times non-existent. I depress pedal and no engine response is found. Need to further depress pedal for engine to accelerate. This is a serious safety factor as far as I am concerned. Have other issues not able to state because of your limited words allowed.

- Wildomar, CA, USA

problem #21

Apr 042011


  • 47,900 miles


The steering wheel friction lever suddenly dropped and the steering wheel collapsed while the car was in motion. Updated 05/12/11

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #20

Oct 202010

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
Steering column locking lever suddenly disengages and steering wheel collapses from set position while driving. This has occured approximately six times in last 1000 miles. Loosing steering wheel stability has caused unsafe control of vehicle.

- Newington, CT, USA

problem #19

Feb 032011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 43,678 miles
Toyota Avalon ltd. 2005..steering wheel locking mechanism that locks the steering wheel into position "up and down"..the lever does not lock into position and easily opens and the steering wheel drops down even as the car is in motion...almost lost control as I was driving as the lever opened down and the steering wheel dropped quickly as I drove the car....when I informed Toyota of the potential danger, they said it was no problem....I think it is.............

- Palm Bch. Gdns., FL, USA

problem #18

Jun 152008


  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Avalon. While driving approximately 20 mph the contact heard a cracking noise coming from the telescopic steering. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technicians stated that the intermediate shaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The lever that holds the steering wheel up released on its own while driving and it happened a few different times. The approximate failure mileage was 34,000.

- Homosassa, FL, USA

problem #17

Jun 132010


  • miles
Just adding my similar experience. The lever at the left of the steering column does not hold and drops down periodically. It has happened dozens of times. I took it to the Toyota dealer on a couple of occasions but they said "no problem" or either "you had the steering wheel extended too far for it to catch". I just reach down and flip the lever up when it happens and drive with the wheel in closer to the dash until I can stop and safely pull it out to a comfortable position. This has happened many times, particularly when I stop. The wheel just goes towards the dash. I think it is a defect but Toyota has never so acknowledged it or repaired it.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #16

May 242010


  • 85,000 miles
The steering wheel column retracting without touching the lever on the left hand side of the steering column. This has happened twice while I was driving and once while my daughter was driving my car on Monday 5/2/4/2010. We were able to stop without an accident to secure the steering wheel and fasten the lever.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #15

Sep 102005


  • 400 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Avalon. While driving at 65 mph, the steering wheel placement lock unlocked suddenly causing the steering wheel to move up and down. The failure occurred on five different occasions. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership but the dealer could not diagnose the cause of failure. The current mileage was approximately 76,000. The failure mileage was approximately 400.

- Parrish, FL, USA

problem #14

Feb 052010

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 52,024 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Avalon. While driving at 5 mph, turning the steering wheel, it would not engage. She also noticed the steering wheel was improperly aligned. The dealer performed a diagnostic and found the retaining clip that housed the steering wheel had failed and needed to be replaced. Repairs were made at the owner's expense. The failure mileage was 52,024 and the current was 54,381. Updated 4/28/10 the consumer stated the steering wheel telescoping feature would not lock and move forward while driving. The dealer stated the entire steering column needed to be replaced. Updated 07/06/10

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #13

Jul 252005


  • 1,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Avalon. He stated that while driving at 20 mph, when coming to a stop the steering wheel pulled to the left and he could not keep it positioned straight. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where they stated that they could not duplicate the problem and there was nothing wrong with the vehicle. The vehicle had experienced this issue about 8 times since he purchased it. There had been no repairs done to the vehicle at the time of the complaint.the failure mileage was 1000 and current mileage was 48000.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #12

Jul 152009


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Avalon. He stated that while driving at 65 mph when the steering wheel collapsed to his knees he then had to pull over to check and fix it; however, it continued to occur. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they did not acknowledge the problem. This failure has occurred 10 additional times since the dealer attempted to diagnose the failure. No repairs were made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 60000. The current mileage was 91000.

- Rocky Mount , NC, USA

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