really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,330 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.

2008 Toyota Avalon steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments

problem #13

Oct 012014


  • 82,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Avalon. While driving various speeds, the steering wheel adjuster had trouble remaining locked. The failure caused the steering wheel to drop voluntarily onto the driver's lap, which made the steering wheel impossible to steer. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 82,000.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #12

Apr 182016


  • 0 miles
The advisor from Toyota garage told me that I have to change the rack because the power steering rack is leaking oil and I can have an explosion when the rack is full of oil. My Toyota has 41.000 mileage. He is lying or the part is defective? I don't know what to do. My car had 2 calls: Pedal and vvt-1 (4-12-10) and cracked dashboard replaced (4-8-16).

- Hudson, FL, USA

problem #11

Feb 132013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 68,790 miles
Telescopic lever is released and steering wheel makes toward on the highway in driving. This is my 3rd time experience. How can steering wheel lock is released without any warning in driving. According the 2008 Toyota Avalon manual, Toyota already makes caution like this.(page61) "after adjusting the steering wheel. Make sure that the steering wheel is locked. Otherwise, the steering wheel may move suddenly, possibly causing an accident and resulting in death or serious injury." "while driving. Do not adjust the steering wheel. Doing so may cause the driver to mishandle the vehicle and an accident, resulting in death or serious injury." Toyota manufacturer already understand if steering wheel is unlocked or release in driving, causing in death or serious injury. I think Toyota motor company makes recall and fix this problem as soon as possible.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #10

Dec 092012

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


The telescoping steering wheel lock unlocked without warning and the steering wheel went full forward. The lock had also come unlocked about a week prior but I had noticed it and corrected it prior to the wheel going forward. I did some research on the internet today and notice that there are numerous sites with complaints of this same nature about the Avalon.

- Guyton, GA, USA

problem #9

Jun 012009

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 18,000 miles
Steering wheel column adjustment lever drops down allowing the steering column to collapse forward (or move back if holding on to it during vehicle entry). Lever interferes with entry and exit of the vehicle and hurts the leg. Another safety issue is that the collapsible steering column is not locked and if it collapses during a crash could contribute to less effectiveness of the airbag. The problem started soon after the vehicle was purchased new and is getting progressively worse -- sometimes unlocking daily.

- Elizabethton, TN, USA

problem #8

Jul 012010

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
Steering wheel collapse while driving. Tilt and telescoping steering wheel lock failure. Happens more frequently as automobile age. Potentially cause for an accident. Found other complaints at www.aboutautomoble.com. automotive vibration causes lever to loosen and hang downward. Driver entering or exiting vehicle knee strikes lever causing pain and in some cases bruising. Ask local dealer if there was a safety recall, they said no. I can't understand why not.

- New Bern, NC, USA

problem #7

Mar 012011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles


The lever that locks the telescoping steering wheel in place loosens/disengages, resulting in the steering wheel 'lurching' forward. I have experienced this issue multiple times now. The lever is underneath the steering wheel column and engages/tightens by pushing it up toward the steering wheel. The lever engages by 'compression' only - there is not clip or spring that physically 'locks' the lever in place. Over time, for whatever reason (road bumps/vibrations/etc. And with the help of gravity) the lever loosens/disengages. This is an inherent safety design flaw in the telescoping function, and could result in a serious/tragic accident if this occurs while driving at a higher speed or while in the middle of making a turn. There were numerous similar complaints logged by other Toyota Avalon owners on various websites when I searched this issue on the internet.

- Downers Grove, IL, USA

problem #6

May 232011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 35,000 miles
The lever to adjust the telescoping steering wheel on my 2008 Toyota Avalon does not stay in the locked position. It disengages (falls down), releasing the steering wheel and enables it to slide in and out while driving. This has happened on several instances in the two years I have had the car. It has happened twice in the last couple of days. I have seen other internet sites that owners with the same complaint have tried to obtain a remedy with no luck.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #5

Mar 312011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 1,000 miles
The lever to adjust the telescoping steering wheel on my 2008 Toyota Avalon does not stay in the locked position. It falls down, releases the streeing whieel and then it slides in and out while driving. In the lowered position I have torn clothing getting in/out of the car. I have permanently scared my knee as well. I've taken the car in for warranty repair three times. The first time they replaced the steering column. Not sure what they did the 2nd time. The 3rd time they said there's nothing wrong with it! yeah, right! very poor design and dangerous. And injurious.

- West Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 082010


  • 15,000 miles
Cks of these defective vehicle. We have and are going to lose big by devaluation of our vehicles upon attempts to sell or trade. The attention to remedy these issues on a timely manner has gone by the wayside. This we are experiencing with cardenas Toyota in harlingen, Texas where we bought our vehicle new. Our government agencies should be protecting the consumer, not encriching the government treasury.

- Harlingen, TX, USA

problem #3

Dec 152009


  • 0 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Avalon. While driving 45 mph and holding the steering wheel straight, it would drift to the left and right. It became difficult to drive the vehicle when it continued to drift. The dealer was contacted and they stated that they would not work on the vehicle and to take it some where else. This occurred since he purchased the vehicle. There have been no repairs made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was 40,000.

- Kultmont, PA, USA

problem #2

May 162009


  • 500 miles
Vehicle is a 2008 Toyota Avalon. The safety issue is with the steering column adjustments of which there are two on our vehicle. The greater concern is with the locking latch on the telescoping steering column. In approximately six separate incidents, the latch for unknown reason slowly drops without warning. The latch can not be seen from the driver position. An alarming shock occurs when you brake hard and lean on the wheel causing the steering wheel to telescope downward suddenly. Loss of control is temporary but is dangerous.the up and down adjustment latch similar drops without warning but not as often as the telescope lock. These concerns have been reported to the dealer where we bought our vehicle. According to the dealer they noted no defect. We have our doubts and concerns in view of the recent accelerator pedal recalls. Our Avalon accelerator has already been repaired, but we remain apprehensive. The transportation department should open an investigation on the steering columns.

- Harlingen, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 032010


  • miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Avalon. The telescopic steering column will randomly depress. The latch that holds it in place will randomly loosen up and the steering column will go all the way in. I asked my dealer about this and they said it wasn't under warranty. I asked Toyota and they said there had been no recall on this item. Just thought I might mention it with all the other problems Toyota has been having.

- West Columbia, SC, USA

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