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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,594 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.

2012 Toyota Highlander steering problems

steering problem

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2012 Toyota Highlander Owner Comments

problem #8

Jul 062016


  • 75,753 miles


Intermediate steering shaft 45220-48171 had to be replaced. At high rate of speed I had to brake hard, then the ABS intermittently pushed the pads against the discs creating vibration that was felt at the steering wheel very noisy and shake like looked like my Highlander front wheels came apart.then I knew the vehicle must be repaired immediately due safety problem.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #7

May 052016


  • 38,000 miles
Clunking in steering at slow speed when making sharp left or right turns. Diagnosed as intermediate steering shaft needing replacement. Repaired at Toyota dealership.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #6

Feb 112016


  • 40,000 miles
At 40,000 miles I noticed for the first time a clunking noise in the steering column when I turned the steering wheel right or left while at a slow speed. Over the next few weeks it worsened. I looked up the issue on the internet and found dozen of similar occurrences in this same model with vehicle owners reporting having to replace the steering shaft. Sometimes if left long enough, I read that this has lead to steering failure. I took the Highlander to my dealer today who determined the steering shaft required replacement which will cost around $600. This to me is a safety issue because who knows what would have happened if I had let this go. I have maintained this car exactly as recommended in the owners manual. This does not seem like this is normal wear and tear. I have owned over a dozen vehicles in the last 40 years and have never experienced a problem with the steering shaft. I am curious with so many other occurrences of this safety issue by other vehicle owners why this hasn't resulted in a recall to repair all Highlanders of this vintage with this steering shaft.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #5

Nov 052015


  • 50,000 miles


Klunk sound and feeling in steering wheel started around 48000 mile at 51000 told by dealer the intermediate steering shaft needed replacing. This seems to be and on going problem with Toyota cars

- Centerville, MA, USA

problem #4

Jan 152015


  • 53,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Highlander. While driving at 10 mph, an abnormal noise emitted from the front driver side tire. The vehicle was taken to a dealer, who diagnosed that the steering shaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 53,000.

- Bear , DE, USA

problem #3

Aug 012014

Highlander 6-cyl

  • 33,000 miles
Our car makes a clicking noise in the steering column when U turn to the right. It is very noticeable and loud. This concerns me as the safety of my family is very important.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

May 212014


  • 51,000 miles
The vehicle developed a clicking feel in the steering system about a year and 9 months from manufacture date. Toyota dealership diagnosed problem as a failed intermediate steering shaft and recommend indicate replacement. I contacted Toyota as I feel repair should be covered by company due to nature of failure and age of vehicle. They have not offered anything in way if assistance and have no recall pending even though this seems to be a serious problem across the whole Toyota vehicle line up.

- Schererville , IN, USA

problem #1

Jun 022013


  • 24,000 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, the rear of the vehicle began swaying. The contact was unable to control the steering wheel and crashed into a billboard. There were no injuries. A police report was not filed. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was destroyed. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 24,000.

- Sanford, FL, USA

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