NHTSA — Steering Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
40,000 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.

2003 Pontiac Aztek steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Pontiac Aztek Owner Comments

problem #8

May 302012


  • 120,000 miles


Key keeps getting stuck in ignition, steering column gets stuck.fuel tank is leaking and check engine light keeps coming on and staying along with service engine light. Fuel pump keeps going out replaced 3 times.

- Jamestown, MO, USA

problem #7

Sep 182013

Aztek 6-cyl

  • miles
Not exactly sure of the date of these incidents, but I can smell fumes coming through the vents when I am driving, had to get this checked a few weeks ago. The mechanic said the gas was leaking replaced this part. I am still smelling something in the engine area. I am not sure what and why. The vehicle also feels like it is shaking when I apply the brakes, and the brakes are fine. It usually does it when I am braking and also when I go past 40mph. It has gotten really bad that I am thinking about getting rid of vehicle and not having a vehicle. Also, I can hear a cranking noise in the steering column when I am turning that makes me think the vehicle is breaking in half. I have had to replace the gas cap last year as well for fumes.

- New Castle, PA, USA

problem #6

Aug 202014

Aztek 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
I was driving at about 30mph when my vehicle just shut down w/O warning/symptoms. My lights still worked but the vehicle totally shut down and locked up otherwise and I coasted to a stop mid roadway. Key was stuck in ignition and in the on position and wouldn't let me turn key to any other position and key wouldn't come out so I sat until battery died which shut the vehicle off.when vehicle initially lost power and came to a stop I tried to put vehicle into park and attempt a restart which is when I realized the key and ignition wouldn't move and then vehicle wouldn't move out of park either.also at the moment my car shut down, I glanced down at dash and saw system warning message flash stating ABS error but was unsure if this was the only message it had flashed or if this was just the last one that I caught and they had possibly all flashed as part of the malfunction but had never heard of anything brake related cause an entire vehicle system to shut down totally and be dead as a result with total lockup of all controls.I had to have vehicle towed home and have had nothing but confusion from all of the tow truck drivers, mechanic friends, etc.as to what or why this would happen. They all suggested that it seemed to be my computer or electrical possibly because the car was totally dead and did not make any noise or click or anything but silence when attempting to power back and restart. I had my two kids with me and one was a baby in a torrential downpour of a rainstorm and this was my vehicle stranded mid corner in a blind spot with no way of moving car from danger of middle of road or even being able to remove my key so as to abandon the vehicle out of safety concern.this is not the only case of this happening to this vehicle from what I am reading on consumer reported incidents and complaints/investigations. This needs to be a recall and it is all electrical error related.

- Camby, IN, USA

problem #5

Aug 232008


  • 75,000 miles


2003 Pontiac aztec, 75,000 miles with no symptoms blew tie rod causing car to swerve due to lack of brakes and steering and flipped into ravine.

- Broadview Hts., OH, USA

problem #4

Jan 142003

Aztek 6-cyl

  • miles
1)when I removed gas cap to fill tank with gas, I heard a hissing sound coming out of the gas tank. When trying to fill tank with gas, hose kept clicking off and would not allow me to put gas in the tank. I went to a different gas station and the same thing happened. I have since been unable to use the car as I can not fill the tank. 2)this second problem has been ongoing since I purchased this car. The "service engine soon" light keeps coming on a regular basis. I have had this checked out each time and the mechanics always have a hard time identifying the problem. This has been extremely costly. Further more, the vehicle can't pass inspection with that light on. 3) this third problem has also been ongoing. I have to replace my brakes at least twice a year. They wear down quickly and make an awful grinding noise. The mechanics cannot understand the reason for this either. Except to tell me this car is defective. 4)in the last year or so, when I make a turn in either direction, there is a grinding noise. My transmission fluid levels are always good when this happens. 5) the hatch does not open when the automatic opening button is used, must always have someone in the back to open it as I simultaneously push the button. 6)when I press the brakes to stop, it feels like the brakes disengage or the anti-lock brakes kick in and this happens when road is dry this car has been a piece of junk since the day I bought it and has caused multiple financial and emotional problems with all it's defects. I will never buy a Pontiac or GM car again!!!!!!!!!!!

- La Vergne, TN, USA

problem #3

Nov 012006

Aztek 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased a used 2003 Pontiac Aztek in Oct of 2006, it has 43K miles. The next day, I noticed a squealing noise when I turned, I took it back to the dealership and was advised it was due to the vehicle being "all wheel drive". about 4 days later, I noticed that when I am on an uneven road or hit a bump just right, the vehicle swerves badly, sometimes into the other lane. I called Pontiac and was advised that this is a safety hazard not just to the driver of the vehicle but to others on the roads also. They told me that I need to take it to the dealership to get a diagnosis. I advised them that there are many complaints on the internet about the same thing & these people have spent thousands of dollars & it is still not fixed. I advised Pontiac that this is going to cause a major wreck one day & they are going to be liable for not recognizing the problem & fixing it.

- Midwest City, OK, USA

problem #2

Apr 172004


  • miles
When turning the steering wheel towards the left or right, the consumer heard a whining noise coming from the steering wheel.

- Ardmore, OK, USA

problem #1

Nov 122003


  • miles
When driving at any speed check engine light appeared on the dashboard. Consumer took the vehicle to the dealer to be inspected. However, the mechanic was unable to duplicate the problem. The vehicle also rolled forward while on a slight incline. The ignition switch attempted to start the vehicle although it was already started. The rear hatch could not be opened by the button on the inside of the vehicle. The brakes failed while attempting to come to a stop. When the vehicle was on and in park the gear selector could not be moved into drive unless the vehicle was shut off then turned back on. The consumer heard a whining noise coming from the steering wheel. An odor was coming from the vents when the A/C was on.

- Ardmore, OK, USA

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