really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
56,492 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 Toyota Avalon steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments

problem #15

Apr 032015

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles


The recall notices was received in April, 2015. But the part needed to fix the problem was not available. The recall notices said "Toyota is preparing sufficient parts to support installation of sub-wire harness....we will send another notification when preparation are complete". my concern is that me and my family are currently driving around in an unsafe vehicle. The recall notice went on to say "the front airbag and/or seatbelt pretensioners could inadvertently deploy" my question is when is this problems going to be fixed. I have not taking this car on a major trip since this recall because I feel my family is at risk. I would appreciate a response to this inquiry. This recall correction need to be completed. Thank you [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Boonville, MO, USA

problem #14

Oct 122015


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. While driving approximately 20 mph and making a turn, there was a temporary loss of power steering without warning. The steering wheel became extremely difficult to maneuver. The failure recurred numerous. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Highland Heights, KY, USA

problem #13

Jan 012013


  • miles
Letter from senator ted cruz re: Constituent and Toyota refusing to pay for a recall repair done on his 2003 Toyota Avalon (mailed to austin, tx office attn: Susanna sovran). The consumer stated the vehicle broke down twice, and it had to be towed. The repair shop replaced the ignition cylinder and switch housing assembly, at a cost of $430. Two months later, the consumer received a recall notice regarding an issue with the steering column upper bracket. The consumer went to the dealer, in regards to the recall, and ask if the recall was for the ignition switch, and the dealer stated no. When the consumer requested to see the part that was replaced, he noticed it was the same part, that was replaced in his vehicle two months prior. The consumer was denied reimbursement, in which the letter stated the vehicle did not meet the criteria, for reimbursement under the special service campaign goodwill.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #12

Sep 242010

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles


On this date the car was recalled for a steering column upper bracket replacement. Today March 19th, we took the vehicle to our regular mechanic for front brakes and to check because the key will come out of the ignition when the car is turned off and in drive or reverse rather than park. It was also pointed out to us by our mechanic that the steering wheel no longer locks which has been the case since they did the recall work but we just realized today. He then proceeded to tell us about the recall and we explained we had taken it in for the bracket. So, in short, since Toyota replaced the bracket on this recall, the steering wheel no longer locks and the key will come out in drive when the car is turned off, which should not occur.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #11

Dec 112012

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The steering started to bind when it started getting cold. It got to the point where it felt like no power steering existed intermittently. While making turns it would also bind, making it hard to straighten the wheel back as I am coming out of the turn, which was the most dangerous situation. Initial repair shop suggested changing the serpentine belts. That did not make a difference. Next I took it to the dealer, who replaced upper steering shaft. This seemed to improve but not solve the issue. I just went back, and now they replaced the steering rack and lower shaft. Now it appears corrected. While looking on the web, this seems to be a common occurrence, so I feel this should qualify as a safety recall.

- Farmingdale, NY, USA

problem #10

Dec 202012

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
75 N traveling 65 mph there was a loud snap under car. Car tried to veer to left several times pulled back thought it was under control when speed increased car darted right head on into retaining wall bounced off did 2 1/2 360 degree spins hit wall again broadside and finally came to stand still. When speed increased and car shot to right all control was lost.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #9

Aug 022011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 149,866 miles


Hello im writing to complain about a couple of things. 1. ive received an recall notice for my 2003 Toyota Avalon for "steering problem upper bracket". and have, tried to remedy this, only to find out Toyota, offers no courtesy vehicle". or a definite time your vehicle will be repaired?. 2nd there is also another defect on this car, when going over "rough" roads and braking, the car feels like its not braking at all. Or like the brakes are slipping?. is there a recall for this on the 2003 Avalon" there have been no incidents to date, but I am very concerned.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #8

Jul 272011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that the vehicle was previously repaired for a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 10V345000 (steering). After the remedy repair was performed, an unusual noise would sound when making a turn. The contact planned to notify the dealer regarding the failure. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was unavailable.

- Sunny Isle Beach , FL, USA

problem #7

Apr 162011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,515 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact was driving approximately 15 mph and when attempting to make a left turn, the steering wheel became extremely difficult to maneuver. The contact engaged the steering wheel with force and continued to drive. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they stated that the lower steering shaft would need to be replaced. In addition, the technician advised that an earlier detection of the lower steering shaft failure was impossible due to the design. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,515. Updated 05/25/11

- Keene, NH, USA

problem #6

Dec 152010


  • 86,000 miles
While in parking lot, placed car in reverse. The car accelerated across the parking lot, jumping a curb and hitting a 2 foot high pole in next parking lot. Braking had no effect. Attempt to shift into neutral failed. Steering also failed. Car towed to collision center subsequently totaled by insurance company. Car hit with such force, it was wrapped around pole and resting on top of pole. Wrist of driver hurt - had to seek attention from emts and go to emergency room. Under orthopedic specialist care currently. Passenger in back seat, 20 yr old, has neck strain and headache concerns.

- Destrehan, LA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012010

Avalon 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles


2003 Toyota Avalon. Consumer writes in regards to safety recall notice concerning steering column the consumer contacted the dealer on two separate occasions, only to be told the parts were not available.

- Gretna, LA, USA

problem #4

Jul 192010


  • 83,000 miles
I had to replace 6 month old tires because they were worn on the edges. I thought it was a bad alignment, so I bought new tires, had them balanced and re-aligned. 1 month later my car is still pulling to the left. It is difficult to keep it straight. Is there a recall on this issue?

- East Patchogue, NY, USA

problem #3

Mar 012010


  • 68,000 miles
2003 Avalon Toyota: Every morning, coming out of the garage, steering right produces strange sound as well as stiffness. Reported to Toyota dealer last week after 6 months of this experience. They have not heard anything from Toyota yet. Told us to wait till mid August for more info from Toyota.

- Bethlehem, PA, USA

problem #2

Dec 152002


  • 2,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. While driving approximately 40 mph the vehicle began moving to the left. He had to guide the steering wheel to the right in order to keep the vehicle straight. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer twice, and they rotated, balanced the tires, and performed a front end alignment. The contact stated that the failure continued after the vehicle was repaired. The contact took the vehicle to a local mechanic and he was advised that it was a defect from the manufacturer. The mechanic also experienced the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. He referenced recall 10V345000, steering and his vehicle was a part of the recall. The contact called the dealer and was advised that they do not have the parts to perform the recall repair at this time. The failure mileage was 2,000 and the current mileage was 81,300.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 192009


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact experienced an issue with the steering universal joint in the steering shaft, which made it difficult to turn the vehicle. The dealer stated that the rack needed to be replaced at the cost of over $1,000. An independent mechanic verified that the steering shaft needed to be replaced at the cost of over $500. No repairs have been made. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were less than 103,000.

- Sayville, NY, USA

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