definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,200 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 Mitsubishi Lancer steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Mitsubishi Lancer Owner Comments

problem #4

Apr 192006

Lancer 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,800 miles


I own a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer. I purchased from carmax in 2005 and was assured that it was free of problems. Additional research showed that the car had been well cared for and had never been in an accident. While sitting in traffic on the interstate in late February 2006 the steering column inexplicably collapsed into my lap. The car was nearly impossible to control, and I was fortunate that I was in gridlock, otherwise I would have been in an accident. So, since my warranty with carmax had lapsed, I took the car to my mechanic (who is extremely competent and reputable). He looked at the it and had no explanation for what caused the failure. The steel brackets holding the column in place had been ripped through, and the only thing capable of doing this was a head on collision. I had him repair the column, as I needed my car. He fixed all the necessary problems and did not find anything else that needed repairing. Then in April 2006, I was sitting at a stop light and again the column collapsed. It was in a worse state than during the previous failure. I took it to my mechanic to be re-examined. He was able to find nothing related to his previous repair that could have caused this second failure. The steel rivets and bolts supporting the column (which had not been touched during the previous repair and were therefore undisturbed), had completely ripped away. I had the car towed to a Mitsubishi dealer and their service team could come up with no explanation for what could have caused this failure other than a potentially defective column. I was assured that this was not due to normal wear and tear. I contacted Mitsubishi regarding what could be done, but they claimed to be unable to help me as the car was beyond the manufacturer's warranty, due to the number of miles on it I am only fortunate in that these failures did not occur while I was in motion, or the sudden loss of control would have certainly caused an accident in which I could have been severely injured.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #3

Jul 052004

Lancer 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 15 mph steering wheel collapsed. Consumer had difficulty maintaining control of the vehicle. However, was able to pull over. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that steering column needed to be replaced.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #2

Jan 152004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer. My steering wheel column collapsed in my lap while driving. Took it to the dealership and they said that it was unusual that happened. Said it was the latch in my column, had to buy a whole new steering column 500+ part, not including labor.

- Bainbridge Island, WA, USA

problem #1

Nov 042003

Lancer 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Intermittently the steering column collapsed into driver's lap while driving the vehicle. Dealer stated this was unusual, we never heard a case like this problem.

- Dudley, MA, USA

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