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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,392 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 Tacoma steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #41

Jan 012016


  • 158,000 miles


Major rust damage on frame after only 8 years of vehilce being released, a 2 by 4 inch wide hole on both sides for the trucks frame causing warping and bending as well as unsafe driving conditions. When taken to Toyota dealership repairs took 9 months, and upon completion was send back to owners possession without test driving or verifying project completion.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #40

Feb 112015


  • 150,000 miles
I too experienced the stiffness while steering. I almost spent large dollars but decide to do some research on the internet. I learned that the cause of it was a rusted joint. After some heavy spraying with lubricants, I regained normal operations. But only until next winter..ugh! recommend Toyota takes note of this and decide on a solution for those who are not mechanically inclined.

- Westminster, MD, USA

problem #39

Apr 152016


  • 151,928 miles
I experienced rough (stiff, binding) steering in both directions and within two weeks it was progressively getting worse. I thought I had a steering fluid issue, but the dealership immediately knew of this problem and confirmed it by turning the steering wheel. They knew right away that it was caused by a rusted U-joint on the bottom of the intermediate steering shaft (P/N 4520304020). In addition to the stiff steering going into a turn, the steering would not return to straight and I unexpectedly nearly went into the curb. I believe that this is a very unsafe condition and must be brought to the attention of all 2005 Tacoma owners. I have never been advised of any need to perform any special servicing of this part at any mileage interval. It appears to be a bad design that allows salty water from winter roads to get into the U-joint which then rusts.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #38

Mar 252016


  • 112,000 miles


Steering became very stiff over a period of a about 3 weeks, especially in cold weather. Steering wheel would not return to center on its own making steering difficult and dangerous. Research on the internet turned up hundreds of similar complaints. In some cases people's steering locked up entirely. Problem appears to be a universal joint in the steering column that is unprotected and subject to corrosion. My truck is currently at a dealership for four safety recalls, one of which requires the whole frame to be replaced due to corrosion. I will not get the truck back for about 3 months due to a backlog of parts. The frame is rusted through in two places and is unsafe to drive in that condition. I requested that the steering issue be looked into while it is in the shop and everything is apart. It seems to me that the steering issue, given the number of complaints on line and the seriousness of the problem may warrant looking into. It also seems to be related to the frame corrosion issue, for which there is a recall.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #37

Sep 152015


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Tacoma. While driving various speeds, the steering wheel became difficult to turn. The contact had to apply force to the steering wheel in order to steer the vehicle. In addition, over time, the steering wheel became extremely loose. The contact had to steer the vehicle in excess to keep the vehicle in position. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 75,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Waterloo, NY, USA

problem #36

Jan 292016


  • 142,000 miles
Steering is difficult, as if no power steering exists. I checked online and saw others had the same problem. I lubricated the lower part of intermediate steering shaft, and it seems to work ok for now. If the part is rusted, I'm afraid the steering will go out altogether and cause loss of control. This is a safety issue. The frame has been replaced due to rust. Is this more of the same problem?

- Newport, KY, USA

problem #35

Sep 142015


  • 184,565 miles


Steering got very stiff and I had trouble operation the vehicle. I was almost was in an accident due to this. Once I got the truck to the roadside I checked for a flat tire, broken power steering belt and the power steering fluid level and condition. Everything was ok, but the steering wheel was still very had to turn. I had the trucks steering checked out and the U joint at the bottom of the steering column had sized up. Toyota part number 4520304020 intermediate steering shaft. This is a very dangerous problem and Toyota should do a recall to cover this. The problem comes on suddenly and you lose the ability to control the vehicle.

- Harbeson, DE, USA

problem #34

Jun 202015


  • 168,210 miles
I had complete failure to my rack and pinion steering due to excessive corrosion to the component. I was pulling into a business doing about 10 mph and the steering locked up completely. I checked the power steering fluid in the reservoir and it was completely empty. I checked under the truck and on the ground was a puddle of steering fluid. The vehicle was taken to a local garage and when he examined the truck to see what had happened, he stated that the rack and pinion had completed rotted out and broke. I also had him check the frame on my truck, since I received a tsb bulletin about the excessive corrosion due to not enough frame undercoating being applied in cold states. He found a large hole behind the catalytic converter in the frame. The mechanic checked the rest of the frame and found some smaller perforations as well. My questions is if the frame is beginning to rot and they are selectively replacing the frames or vehicle if they are a danger, why are no other components that are attached to these failing parts covered as well and failing due to excessive rot or rusting. If any of these components failed during normal driving conditions on the highway at normal speed the results could have been devastating to all involved, possibly leading to severe injury or death. Something more needs to be done to bring attention to the Toyota motor company not standing behind their vehicles they produce and the safety of the people who own and operate them. Toyota needs to stop playing the "its not covered or applicable" game and take ownership and fix it before someone does get killed. I have owned 5 Toyota's previously and felt very safe up until now, now I am not to sure!

- Schuylkill Haven, PA, USA

problem #33

May 012006


  • 6,000 miles
Less than one year after purchase the rear leaf springs failed on both sides. Two dealers plus Toyota headquarters refused service, so I had to pay for a private spring shop to replace them. They have since been recalled but to date I have not received reimbursement. In 2014 the steering shaft had to be replaced and at the same time the frame was determined corroded beyond repair. Toyota made promise to replace the frame under recall in Nov 2014 but to date has not delivered and has not indicated when I can expect the repair to be made. For over six months now I have been left with an unsafe vehicle that I can't sell or replace.

- Waikoloa, HI, USA

problem #32

May 012015

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 97,200 miles
I can not control steering wheel, it gets to hard to steering.

- Dover, NJ, USA

problem #31

Mar 192015


  • 139,152 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Tacoma. While driving at approximately 40 mph, the brakes failed and the steering wheel vibrated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. Also, the contact stated that the front passenger side tire wobbled. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 139,152.

- Hyattsville , MD, USA

problem #30

Mar 092015


  • 123,560 miles
The steering in my Toyota Tacoma began to bind suddenly when turning the steering wheel to the left or right. Upon inspection by the dealership, the intermediate steering shaft and steering yoke both needed to be replaced. The replacement part appears to be an updated part with a rubber boot to prevent corrosion of the shaft joints. I believe the failure of the original part was due to poor design, causing the part to begin to fail. If not replaced and the shaft or shaft joint had broken at speed, this certainly would have caused a crash.

- Andover, CT, USA

problem #29

Dec 192014


  • 177,392 miles
When turning the steering wheel in either direction I have extremely stiff steering. It seems to stick and is not fluid when turning. I am concerned that this can cause an accident while driving. I have checked the steering power fluid level and it is at the correct level.

- East Haven, CT, USA

problem #28

Oct 152014

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
The steering seemed to seize up almost instantly as if the power steering was going out. Once I realized that the problem wasn't a tire issue; I.e. under- inflation, I began to make arrangement to have Toyota identify and correct the problem. The Toyota dealership did agree to diagnose the problem for $100+ but this diagnosis charge wouldn't be applied to the repair. This, method of service seemed odd to me so I used another auto repair service center that promptly identified the problem and schedule the repair. It was identified as the lower steering column with a near frozen U-joint. This problem resulted in a very erratic steering pattern. Most of the time the steering wheel wouldn't return to the neutral position after making a turn and at other times it would return to the neutral position resulting in over steering. The anticipated lack of return to the neutral position caused me on occasion to attempt to steer to the neutral position resulting in the over steering. This issue should be brought to others attention and possibly have any vehicles suspect for a similar steering issue inspected so repairs can be made before an accident occurs.

- Pickens, MS, USA

problem #27

May 082014

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 157,995 miles
I have 2005 Tacoma 4X4 with a frame that cracked and collapsed into its self were the left motor mount is welded to the frame. The motor came to rest on the steering shaft knuckle @ the rack and pinion making it difficult to steer. I called Toyota service center they told me it was the first time they had heard about this problem. Upon researching the problem on the web there are well over 200 complaints same problem. It is such a problem that a fabrication company dmz makes a gusset repair kit to repair and reinforce the frame. It's a bout a 10 hour repair. Toyota should contact them for the cure.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #26

Aug 072013


  • 65,000 miles
Hi, I have an open file with the Toyota corporation at 1-800-331-4331, my name is [xxx] and I live in fairbanks, Alaska. Case # [xxx]. in Sept. Of 2012 my truck was at 61,000 miles and I took my vehicle in for maintenance and they checked a recall on the spiral cable and told me that my truck didn't qualify for the recall because of the serial number on the part. I didn't mind I wasn't having any problems. However, at 65,000 miles it is now not working properly and they want to charge me to fix it. I've tried to reason with them and point out that its obvious there is something wrong when a truck with 65,000 mile, garaged year around and never in an accident would be having problems. I honestly thought safety systems had life time warranties. I am extremely concerned that they are working very hard to not feel obligated to fix the part and hope you can help me with this formal complaint against the Toyota corporation and the kendall Toyota dealership located in fairbanks, Alaska. I would like to know how many other people are experiencing this problem and how many other spiral cables are having problems that are not within the recall. Please feel free to call me with any needed additional information. My phone number is [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Fairbanks, AK, USA

problem #25

Aug 012014


  • 185,000 miles
Felt as if power steering quit. Going around corners the steering wheel did not return to straight position, but required me to manually pull the wheel back. We found it low on ps fluid. That was filled and it appeared that to pretty much solve the problem, though not completely. Two weeks later the problem is back and the ps fluid level is fine. It is very hard to turn into corners and almost impossible park in reasonable tight spots due to difficult turning the wheel.

- Newport, NH, USA

problem #24

Jul 092007

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Within a year of purchase, the rear leaf springs became soft and the truck bottomed out on bumps. I took it to a local dealer (haddads, pittsfield, MA) and they refused to service it claiming nothing was wrong. I later took it to a springfield dealership and received the same answer. I then took it to superior spring in pittsfield. They found both springs were broken and had to be replaced. I called Toyota and they refused to honor the warranty, claiming I had over loaded the truck. I had not ever carried more than a few hundred lbs in the bed of this 1/2 ton truck. I have owned the truck since new and been the sole operator. A few weeks ago the steering became sticky. My mechanic replaced the steering shaft at a cost of $400. He stated that Toyota should recall the vehicle for this because he sees this part fail often due to poor construction. Also, the frame on this truck has significant rust already and does not look like it will outlast the body and drive train. I'm not pleased.

- Pittsfield, MA, USA

problem #23

Jul 122014


  • 95,000 miles
My Tacoma was approximately four years old with less then 50,000 miles when the steering began to lock up upon making a turn. I researched and found other Tacoma owners having similar problems. The quick solution was to spray lubricating oil or put grease on the intermediate no.2 steering shaft at the universal joint - which I did repeatedly until now. The steering only degraded over time. The wheel became very slopping from failure of the universal joint that I had to replaced it last week at 95,000 miles. This appears to be a known problem with this shaft in the cold climates where road salt has been used along with the rotting frame issues.

- Little Compton, RI, USA

problem #22

Jun 052014

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The following is the dealer inspection report for my truck: "found extreme corrosion to frame. Tow hook and driver side sway bar mount unable to re-attach due to frame perforation front cross member missing (rusted off) found hole in left side of frame. Steering rack mounts extremely perforated, ready to detach. Do not recommend driving vehicle due to extreme damage to frame" truck purchased new, single owner, well maintained....updated 06/10/14

- Volcano, HI, USA

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