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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
19,052 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.

2011 Toyota Avalon steering problems

steering problem

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2011 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments

problem #19

Oct 012015


  • 46,000 miles


Steering wheel collapses without warning while driving. Told the part would be $800. Only 49000 miles on the car

- Newtown, CT, USA

problem #18

Sep 262015


  • 72,000 miles
Car is less than 5 years old. It has an adjustable (in and out) steering wheel column. Upon accepting the car, this was set and had not been changed with myself being the only driver. Twice (once in 2nd yr, once in 4th yr) when turning in an intersection, the steering wheel collapsed. I was able to complete the turn, and then readjust the column and lock it. In this 5th year I took the car in for a safety recall on the audio system, and at the same time asked that a warranty enhancement be done on securing the telescopic adjustment lever - thinking this would correct the problem. However, I was told the telescopic adjustment was for the steering column going up and down (not in and out), and though my car did not need this correction, it was done. I was further told that the collapsing of the steering column (in and out) was due to the steering column being worn out; that is was not covered by the car warranty; and that I would have to pay $997.04 to have it replaced. I declined thinking this should be covered by the warranty - I have never heard of a steering column wearing out. Since leaving the dealership, 9/24/2015, the steering column has collapsed without warning numerous times, both in turns and when driving straight head and braking. I am extremely concerned as I think this is a major safety problem. The airbag is in the steering wheel, and if it should have to be used, it may collapse the steering wheel instead of protecting the driver! this should be a warranty item. This is definitely a safety item! this is definitely much more serious than the recall for the steering wheel going up and down. Date shown below is approximately the first time of numerous times the steering wheel has collapsed since asking the dealership about the problem.

- Sun City West, AZ, USA

problem #17

Oct 042014


  • 45,300 miles
While driving in heavy traffic on I-26 through columbia, S.C., the lever that holds the steering wheel in position after adjustment by drivers became dis-engaged causing the steering wheel quickly fall forward causing me to lose partial control and swerve slightly before I could regain full control. I reported this to the service manager at johnson city Toyota on my return home. I returned again a month later to report another incident and found the first report was not recorded. I, as well as my wife have had this dangerous situation occur at least once and sometimes twice a month for more than a year. I checked your data base and found that many other Avalon owners registered this same complaint.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #16

Mar 182015

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


Steering column lock lever comes loose without warning causing column to telescope to its lowest position. Happens in traffic causing unsafe reaction when trying to reengage the lock lever to stabilize steering column.

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 022014

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 45,222 miles
Purchase the 2011 Toyota Avalon on June 13, 2010 which on my first service date I complained about the steering column and harsh feeling of the car due to the steering column. Buena park Toyota kept telling me that there was nothing wrong right up to the last service that was done the end of June 2014. On June 30th went to victorville to visit my wifes sister. On July 2 2014 we started back home when the engine light and tracking light came on, fortatley the issue happened before coming down the cajhon pass on highway 15. We where only 2 miles away from the Toyota dealership in victorville and they found that the steering column was faulty and replaced column assy, steering and boldt steering lock. Plus PO500 trans speed sensor poss loose connections cleaned and tightened connections at speed sennsor. The dealership stated it showes a defect on the computer showing the steering column has a defect. Why isn't there a recall concerning the above this is very dangerous problem which could take a lot of innocent lifes. Thanks [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- La Habra, CA, USA

problem #14

Apr 152013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 8,500 miles
Telescoping lever releases by itself causing whole steering wheel to suddenly collapse to seated (lowest) position. Extremely dangerous driving within speed limit (55 mph) while on highway. It happens suddenly, unexpected and totally inexcusable if an accident which could be fatal occur. There numerous complaints but no authorized repairs from the manufacture at this time which is somewhat disappointing due to the fact that this is a "saftey issue". please help us in getting this matter resolved since it has been going on for years, fortunately I think there hasn't been any fatalities "yet".

- Hilo, HI, USA

problem #13

Apr 122011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 6,000 miles


The steering wheel suddenly telescoped toward the dashboard. Upon inspection, the locking lever had dropped down slightly releasing the telescope feature. Have reported this 4 times to the dealer. Problem has occurred several times while driving on smooth surfaces. Supposedly corrected each time or else could not find problem.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #12

Oct 142013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
The steering column adjustment lever on the left side of the steering column continually falls/comes loose. This has occurred too many times to count causing the steering wheel to drop during motorized operation of the vehicle.

- Horseshoe Bay, TX, USA

problem #11

Jun 122013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Steering wheel telescoping lock fails repeatedly during normal driving.

- Euless , TX, USA

problem #10

Feb 052013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Steering wheel collapsed I noticed the left side lever of the steering column had loosened causing me to swerve while driving because of the suddenness of the problem. This has happened at least 5 times between my wife and I.

- Monroe, WA, USA

problem #9

Jun 142013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles


This is my second Avalon the first being a 2006 which had to have a steering column replaced when it had 24407 miles and out of warranty due to time I paid labor. The 2011 Avalon has same problem 25000 miles and just under 30 days out of warranty they say it is different but is the same problem per the tech just changed part numbers. With the steering problem this is a safety problem which they say they will not repair under warranty. The service dept told me all of the Avalons are having the same problem and have a bulletin to replace the steering column when they get a complaint from the customer. When you adjust the telescopic wheel the whole steering column is loose and knocks when you turn the wheel.

- Brentwood, TN, USA

problem #8

Jun 152012

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that while driving approximately 5 mph, the steering wheel became loose. The failure recurred intermittently as the contact drove at various speeds. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 40,000.

- Festus, MO, USA

problem #7

Oct 012012


  • miles
2011 Toyota Avalon. Consumer states problem with parking brake and steering wheel the consumer stated the parking brake did not hold on a 6% grade with the transmission in neutral. The dealer adjusted it to specification, but the brake still did not hold. The steering wheel telescope clamp level vibrated loose, allowing the steering wheel to telescope without warning. The dealer indicated the malfunction was somewhat common, but Toyota had not issued a repair bulletin.

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #6

Apr 182011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that the lever that held the steering wheel in place would intermittently become loose. As a result, the steering wheel would drop downward more than usual. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they were unable to diagnose the failure. There were no recalls or warranties addressing the failure. The manufacturer was notified and stated that they had not received any complaints about this failure. They offered no further assistance. The failure mileage was 10,000....updated 07/19/12 updated 07/30/12

- Vanceboro, NC, USA

problem #5

Sep 092011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 337 miles
At highway speed (65+) the front end vibrates and can be felt in the steering wheel and the seats.

- Wilsonville, OR, USA

problem #4

Mar 052011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that the steering wheel would exhibit an abnormal cracking sound when attempting a turn or first starting the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that there was a problem in the steering column but they did not know how to remedy the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure who did not offer any assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 125 and the current mileage was 10,325. Updated 11/25/11 updated 11/30/11

- Scott Township, PA, USA

problem #3

Jul 152009


  • 500 miles
I have a new 2011 Toyota Avalon limited with just over 1,700 miles. The telescoping steering wheel lever located under the steering column has fallen out of the "locked" position five times. When this happens the steering wheel collapses in towards the dash. Toyota dealership says they have not heard of this happening. I, myself, have now found reports by other Avalon owners with the same problem.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #2

Aug 022011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
Had brake and steering problems. The steering wheel was really loose. I had to apply 95% of the brake before the brakes were engaged. I took it back to claremont Toyota in ca where I bought it. They just looked at it and said it's working like designed and sent me home. No other responses or assistance.

- Ca, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 062011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 8,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Avalon. The contact steering column became abnormally loose and exhibited an unusual popping noise as the contact would turn the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to another dealer who inspected the steering column. They stated the steering column was defective and it was replaced. The failure mileage was 8,000 and the current mileage was 8,500. Updated 03/07/11

- Belmont, NC, USA

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