Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,576 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.

2002 Toyota Tundra steering problems

steering problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Toyota Tundra:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2002 Toyota Tundra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Aug 062015


  • 219,000 miles


When started truck, heard unusual whining noise. Started driving and steering became difficult. Stopped in parking lot and found power steering fluid leaking out on ground. Entire rack and pinion showing excessive corrosion and leaking fluid. Was able to drive to Toyota dealer. They estimate $1200 for after market repair, and $1600 for repair with Toyota parts. Truck not safe to drive until repaired. 2002 Tundra SR5

- Johnstown, OH, USA

problem #23

Dec 182014

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
When attempting to shift from park to reverse with the engine running and the brake applied, unexpectedly the column automatic transmission shifter completely broke loose from the steering column. The column bracket and housing were both found to be fractured, with the bracket separated from the housing. This rendered the vehicle inoperable.

- Livonia, MI, USA

problem #22

Jun 212014

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 230,000 miles
I was driving on the interstate at 70 mph when the lower control arm came apart from my ball joint on the driver side. My wife and I spun uncontrollably with sparks shooting everywhere. We were able to come to a stop once the vehicle dug itself into the dirt of the median. It was such an embarrassment for myself as I have held the name "Toyota" to the highest standard before all other auto maker. After the incident, I am now doing research and there had been a similar recall in 2005. I moved to a different state during this time and did not receive or know of a recall notice. I service all of my vehicles myself and very seldom take them into the dealership.

- Ratcliff, AR, USA

problem #21

Oct 142013

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 64,238 miles


I was pulling out of my driveway and experienced a sudden and complete loss of power steering and was unable to complete the turn, stopping in the middle of the road. One of the connections on the power steering rack had completely separated due to rust and the power steering fluid was pouring out. If I had been going at higher speeds (such as driving on a highway or taking an off ramp) it would have been extremely dangerous as it would have been hard to impossible to maintain control. The rust is clearly excessive and hard to believe it is not related to the recall that covered the frame and brake lines (which I had replaced under the recall a few years back after some trouble with the dealership claiming it did not qualify). A local garage replaced the steering rack at a cost of over $900. I took photos of the failed rack. I called the national Toyota number and had a case manager assigned to my complaint. The best that Toyota offered was to have me tow it at my expense to the dealership 40 miles away to have them inspect it while the dealer was telling me they have seen a number of these fail and Toyota has not been admitting that the problem with them is their fault. I have a 1998 corolla that has no rust issues at after the same conditions for more years.

- Walpole, ME, USA

problem #20

Jun 252013

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 129,647 miles
I was driving down a "very" steep graded and winding gravel road that required consistent braking and as I was making a turn to negotiate a right turn on a curve, my steering all of a sudden failed to exist. The steering wheel seriously resisted my turning it. I was forced to apply the brakes quickly to attempt going over the side of the road and down a deeply sloped ravine of about 20 feet or so. The truck stopped with the front wheels "just over" the edge but did stop before going "over". luckily I had a "come-along" with me and was able to crank the truck backwards enough to get the front wheels back on to the road surface. I haven't carried that with me in years ! I had to baby the truck about a mile at very low speed to get back in to town. The steering wheel was/is very difficult to turn. I "could not" make a typical turn at very slow speed and not use the opposing side of the road. I got the truck home and shut it down. I suspected a power steering leak and checked to find it was out of fluid. I used my friends vehicle to buy power steering fluid, filled it, checked and found fluid spraying out of both ends of what is known as the "rack" or tube? it took less than a few "seconds" for it to drain totally. I checked the internet to learn this is not uncommon. I did a close physical inspection to find much corrosion. This truck was the subject to the recall for and received a new chassis as a result of excessive corrosion. I consider myself very lucky. This could have been much worse !

- Strasburg, OH, USA

problem #19

Dec 172012

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 72,500 miles
Vehicle inspected by dealer leak in rack and pinion. Very early at 72,500 miles. Loose lower ball joints. Lower ball joints replaced under recall 10/11/2005 at 28,000 miles. If they are going bad again at 72,500 miles, there is a major problem.

- Gasport, NY, USA

problem #18

Jun 132012

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


I was getting into my car to leave my drive way, I shifted into reverse and the whole "shifter arm' broke off.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #17

Jun 102012

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 92,853 miles
Vehicle was parked with parking brake on. I started the vehicle and attempted to put the truck in drive. The shift lever went limp and no longer changed the drive selector. I managed to get it into drive and got it home and parked it. I have not called the dealer yet.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #16

Mar 302012


  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Tundra SR5. The contact was driving 40 mph when the power steering seized. The contact later discovered that the power steering fluid was leaking from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was confirmed that the steering rack was corroded. The manufacturer was not contacted and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 140,000.

- Alfred, ME, USA

problem #15

Oct 192011

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Steering rack rotted out and all the power steering fluid drained out almost instantly. Thankfully I was pulling out of a parking space and not on the highway. I currently have excessive frame rust, a hole in the gas tank from rust, the rear differential is almost rotted threw, the gas tank straps have already been replaced. I am not sure if this vehicle is even safe to drive anymore. The dealer inspects it regularly for the frame rust but they have never provided a fix.

- Riverdale, NJ, USA

problem #14

Mar 062012

Tundra 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 74,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Tundra. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for a repair associated with NHTSA campaign id number 09V444000 (structure: Frame and members: Underbody shields). While the technician performed the repair, he noticed both stabilizer links and the parking brake rear wheel mechanism were fractured as a result of excessive rust corrosion. In addition, the rack and pinion was corroded. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 74,000. Updated 4/3/12 the consumer stated the front stabilizer links broke off, due to them being rusted. The driver side emergency brake seized. The steering shaft U-joint was badly rusted. Updated 05/17/12

- Reynoldsburg, OH, USA

problem #13

Dec 022011


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Tundra. The contact stated that while turning to enter a parking space, the steering rack fractured from the firewall and with an abnormally loud noise. The contact mentioned that after the failure, an unknown fluid leaked all over the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic who verified the failure and stated that it was caused by corrosion. The manufacturer was not contacted. The VIN was not available and the vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 70,000.

- Portsmouth, RI, USA

problem #12

Oct 062011

Tundra 8-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2002 Tundra SR5 with ~65K miles. This morning when I try to pull on the drive gear shift handle to move from park to reverse. The shift handle snapped off unexpected - broke. Toyota dealer wants to charge ~$600 to remove and replace with a use steering column (if the use can be found), as the new steering column will cost over $1K. I believe this is appear to be a flawed design for attach the shift lever. The shift lever handle should be out live the Tundra with only ~65K miles. I need help to get Toyota to cover this design defect as this could result safety and costly.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #11

Sep 262011


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Tundra. The contact stated that the steering wheel would shake abnormally. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who performed a diagnostic and located the failure as the steering rack being corroded. The manufacturer advised the steering rack failure was not recalled and denied any assistance with the repair. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 128,000.

- Holden , MA, USA

problem #10

May 092011


  • miles
I have a 02 Tundra SR5 have a serious problem w/steering column shaft when I try to put on drive the gear shift lever broke free causing unexpected gear select. I have to remove the plastic cover in order to hand select the gear the aluminum shaft sub-assy control broke off at the screw attach to the column support this is appear to be a flawed design for attach the shift lever. I have to replace the whole housing for the column shifter and their support. The old part is available for further stress analysis / design modification for subsequence model.

- Galveston, TX, USA

problem #9

Nov 092009

Tundra 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,671 miles
2002 Toyota Tundra approximately 91K miles. V6 automatic. Rack and pinion assembly rusted through leaking power steering fluid. Vehicle taken to dealership for repairs. Dealership service department replaced the rack and pinion assembly. Dealership kept old part.

- Galena, OH, USA

problem #8

Jun 052010


  • 82,000 miles
I lost the power steering, luckily it happened in my driveway. There was a line of power steering fluid down the driveway. I brought it to my local automotive repair person. He said the rack and pinion was gone. Upon further inspection, the following were all severely corroded making the vehicle unsafe to drive. Steering rack, power steering lines, tie rods.

- Concord, MA, USA

problem #7

Jul 222009

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 98,123 miles
Steering rack failure due to rust and corrosion it split like a banana.

- Merrimack, NH, USA

problem #6

May 042010

Tundra 4WD

  • miles
Severe corrosion of vehicle frame and frame cross members, front end parts, and attachment hangers to frame of 2002 Toyota Tundra which will result in eventually weakening and failure of the above mentioned items causing a possible accident, injuries and possibly death.

- Scott Township, PA, USA

problem #5

Apr 152010


  • 69,980 miles
The steering rack on my 2002 Toyota Tundra rusted out, burst and caused a power steering failure while driving. This is a permanent failure and the Toyota dealership advised not to drive the vehicle. Nothing was offered to fix it without a $1400 repair bill.

- Camden, ME, USA

Read the next 4 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?