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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,035 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.

2006 Toyota RAV4 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 7 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #85

Jul 132010


  • 27,334 miles


My 2006 Toyota rav-4 with 27,000 miles developed a clunking, grinding noise when turning the steering wheel. It was so severe that I even checked the wheels to make sure that they were not loose. I took the car to my dealer, tansky Toyota, 6300 sawmill rd., dublin, oh 43017, on July 13, 2010 for servicing. They discovered a broken intermediate shaft [part #45221-42071] on the steering column which they replaced at a cost of $439.50. While my car had only 27,334 miles, I took delivery on 8/25/06 so it was out of warranty. Together with wheel alignment, the total cost to me was $523. The service staff acted as if they had not heard of such a failure, but after checking the NHTSA website, I found a number of reports of similar problems for 2006 rav-4's. I also discovered that Toyota issued a service bulletin to its dealers in 2008 to make them aware of the problem and how to repair it. To date, Toyota has not issued a recall for this safety problem. Since the failure was due to either a manufacturing defect or poor engineering, I asked for my dealer to cover my expenses for the repair, but after a month with multiple meetings with their service manager, the dealer has not reimbursed me. While I did not have an accident, I considered steering column failure to be a serious safety issue; one requiring a recall to protect owners of this vehicle.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #84

Apr 012009


  • 27,000 miles
We hear a continuous popping/clunking noise from our 2006 Toyota Rav4 when turning the steering wheel to the right or to the left. When this happens, a slight increase of the force is required to turn the steering wheel. This problem is well documented in Toyota T-sb-0318-08: "some customers may hear a clunk, pop, or knock-type noise when turning the steering wheel left or right. A new intermediate shaft has been developed to address this condition." It shows that Toyota originally used defective intermediate shafts. "warranty application is limited to correction of a problem based upon a customer's specific complaint." Toyota will do nothing about the defective intermediate shaft if customer doesn't complain. The noise is caused by "shaft excessive play" according to Toyota. It may not cause audible noise in early stages so a customer can't hear it. Toyota can continue to ignore the defect until this condition aggravates to a certain point. Is it a safety concern that excessive shaft play may eventually lead to full or partial loss of steering? we have filed complain through BBB to Toyota but they decided to do nothing about it.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #83

May 162009


  • 46,000 miles
There is a loud "clunk" in steering and you can actually "feel" it in the turns. Mechanic feels it should be fixed (about $800) and checked with Toyota to see fix. There is a recommendation, but no recall. What the heck"! sounds like defective work to me - and this wasn't a cheap car. Does somebody have to die before they take care of this" I hope this isn't becoming Toyota's policy. Waiting for Toyota to take action.

- North Branch, MN, USA

problem #82

Jul 012010


  • 33,000 miles


I have a 2006 Toyota Rav4 with 33,167 miles. The ignition key is about to fall apart. All the covers for the push buttons on the key are falling apart. This just started about a month ago. I went to the dealer and I was informed the key was not covered under warranty and would cost $250 to replace.

- Littleton, CO, USA

problem #81

Jan 132010


  • 34,000 miles
2006 Toyota Rav4 steering shaft clunking noise. It was noticed by the dealer and fixed under warranty last year. But less than 1 year later the noise is back and the dealer indicated it could be a defective parts; replacing it will cost 800, now out of warranty the owner need to pay for it. It's clearly a design issue with the original parts that should be recalled. Now I'm living with this noise and it appears it's getting worse.

- Syosset, NY, USA

problem #80

Jul 202010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 55,538 miles
On July 20th of 2010 I took my 2006 rav 4 to a Toyota dealership in St. Augustine fl concerning a noise in the steering when I made a turn. Concerns I have this with experience include Toyota states they have a smart team to quickly react to customers. I took my rav into the dealership at 1pm on the 20th and at 5 pm they let me know they would need to keep my rav overnight because they were unable to find the problem. The next day they were able to find intermediate shaft internal failure. I was lucky enough to have purchased the extended warranty however these 2 days of faulty product cost me $262.52 when I had only a$50 deductible. I was told I would split the cost of the rental car as the coverage only covered a rental if the repair took over 6 hours. It took over 6 hours to even find the problem even with the smart team. I also had to pay to have the 4 wheel alignment as I was told it needed to be done and was not covered under the steering repair. In my experience if something needs to be done as part of the repair it should be included in the cost. A doctor is not allowed to charge extra to stitch you back up after opening you for a surgery. Is this steering shaft internal failure the same issue I came home to wy and saw on the news? if so should this not be covered as part of the recall ~ ~ (Tuesday, July 20, 2010--a federal grand jury in New York asked Toyota motor Corp. To submit documents related to problems with the steering relay rods in Toyota 4runners (1990-1995), pickups (1989-1995) and T100 trucks (1993-1998). The subpoenas, mailed to Toyota's U.S. subsidiaries on June 29, come shortly after a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation into whether Toyota notified the Agency of a steering rod defect in a timely fashion, as required by law.)

- Cody, WY, USA

problem #79

May 102009


  • 20,000 miles


I own a 2006 Rav4. The steering column seems to have a problem, there is a regular clunking noise.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #78

Jan 012009

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
┐model year: 2006 ┐make: Toyota Rav4 ┐model: 4 drive, 2 wd, V6 sport ┐component: Power steering system description: I bought the above car on 12/16/2006. After two years of driving, I started to notice that there is a tweaking sound on the steering wheel whenever I make a left or right turn of the vehicle at a slow speed. I have made a complain to capitol Toyota at the beginning of 2009 and demand a fix without charge, but their management insisted that they charge me a fee of $132 for diagnostic and additional repair cost if they find out that problem is not within their warranty limits; please note that my car was within warranty at 42K miles. Frustrated and angry, I brought my car home without any service. A year later with 44.3K miles, I began to notice additional problem with my car. This time, the check engine, viscous, and track lights get turned on. I brought my car to capitol Toyota again with my additional complaint. This time, they agreed to perform a diagnostic service without a fee of $132, but they charge me for $1083 to replace the power steering ECU computer which is out of range and causing the lights to be turned on, and $483 for fixing the first, original power steering noise problem. They said that my vehicle is out of warranty. The only thing they can help cover for free of charge and within warranty at this time is to fix the cam timing oil valve which is sticking out to cause the engine light problem. I believe my Toyota has their design and manufacturing problems, and I have not ordered the ECU computer and steering wheel noise fixes that they recommended because I do not agree with the provided cost. I am expecting that they should fix these problems for me free of charge.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #77

Jul 242010


  • 90,000 miles
2006 Toyota rav 4 has developed a very distinct clunking sound and feel when turning the steering wheel. I never drive the car, and noticed it immediately when I had to drive it a week ago. I questioned my husband, who said it had felt like that "forever"!! when I searched online I was shocked to see that it actually is quite a problem! car now has 90-K miles. Last summer (at a hair over 60-K) the water pump went - out of warranty. Very poor design, as the engine must be pulled to replace the pump to the tune of $1,600!!!! my husband is not looking forward to questioning the dealer about the steering.

- Wakefield, RI, USA

problem #76

May 012010


  • miles
I have a 2006 Toyota Rav4 with 87000 miles on it. The steering started making clunking noise about 2 months ago. Based on my research many other owners have this problem as well. Here's one of many links regarding people's complain on this problem. Please start investigate on this issue and thanks!

- Shoreview, MN, USA

problem #75

Mar 012009


  • 20,000 miles


A popping, knocking, clunking noise when turning the steering wheel, it can be heard and also felt when turning. Toyota has issued a tsb about the problem but the dealers refuse to do anything about it. There is only 22,000 miles on the vehicle, I also have a 2007 rav 4 with less than 20,000 miles on it. So far the popping noise has not started yet but I think it is only a matter of time because it has the same components as the 2006 has.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #74

May 152009


  • miles
Steering wheel pops when turning left or right at slow speeds. Only seems to happen during warm weather. Multiple complaints found online, but no recalls by Toyota. No deaths or injuries yet!

- Concord, NC, USA

problem #73

Jul 012010


  • 59,000 miles
My 2006 Toyota rav 4 developed a noise in the steering column that was getting worse. At 59,000 miles I took it to the dealer and got the news that it needed to have the intermediate steering shaft replaced. This was a known defect by Toyota and they never notified me, while I had the car under warranty. The tsb went out a year before I bought the car and it has been at the same dealers for repair before. I'm told it's not a safety issue (which I don't believe) and that it will cost me $650 to replace. Toyota should fix this for owners before someone gets hurt!

- Arnold, MD, USA

problem #72

Feb 052010


  • 20,000 miles
My vehicle is making clunking noise in the steering column whenever I make turns. I am afraid it will get worse sooner or later. Mileage: 27,699.

- Big Rapids, MI, USA

problem #71

Jan 012010

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
Clunking noise in the steering column when making turns.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #70

Jul 012009


  • 60,000 miles
Steering intermediate shaft noise I own a 2006 Toyota Rav4 and now has about 65000 miles. There is a noticeable clunk noise (and feeling) while steering when the car is moving. The noise seems to be more evident in warmer days (summer time) and diminish during winter months. Toyota has issued a tsb (Toyota service bulletin): ST001-08 so they acknowledge that this is a common problem. Since this issue has been reported significantly, this tsb should be part of a recall. I do not wish to pay for a service for a problem that Toyota new about since the beginning. We should not carry the burden of paying for Toyota's incompetence in manufacturing safe vehicles.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #69

Jun 142010


  • 28,500 miles
There is a clunking noise in the steering column at lower speeds, and in park when just turning the wheel. Also can feel the clicks by touching the steering shaft. If possibility of steering wheel separating it is a safety defect. Toyota know about the problem (tsbst001-08). Toyota refusing to admit defect.

- Highland Heights, OH, USA

problem #68

Oct 102009


  • 30,000 miles
Clunking noise while turning - started at 30,000 miles with slight sound continued to worsen over time now "clunk" is felt when turning. Sounds and feels like something is about to break.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #67

May 172008

RAV4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, she heard a clunking noise from the steering wheel when turning. The vehicle was then taken to an authorized dealership where the contact was informed that the steering shaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The VIN was unavailable when the complaint was filed. The failure mileage was approximately 15,000. The current mileage was approximately 20,900. Updated 7/26/10. Updated 09/16/10

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #66

Jun 062010


  • 52,000 miles
Turned on the car, power steering light turned on with complete failure of power steering function. Car was pulled to side of road, restarted, and complete return of power steering function.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

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