really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,657 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.

2006 Toyota RAV4 steering problems

steering problem

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2006 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #187

Apr 142014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 88,200 miles


Clunking noises when turning steering wheel either sitting stationary or moving.

- Catawissa, PA, USA

problem #186

Apr 102013

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
I notice a clunking noise when I would turn the wheels to the right and left going at a low speed. I looked on google search about clunking noise in steering. There was a lot of Toyota rav 4 owners had the same problem. I took my car to my Toyota dealer he said it was a common problem with rav 4's. I called Toyota complaint line and they told men a service bulletin was out on the problem but I was out of warranty and they would not help me. I know from being an auto mechanic that when you have loose play in the steering that it will develop into a danger driving my car. Please require Toyota to have a safety recall on the steering. Thank you [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Duffield, VA, USA

problem #185

Jul 172010


  • 39,000 miles
My Rav4 makes an annoying knocking/popping sound when I turn the steering wheel at low speeds.

- Albany, CA, USA

problem #184

Dec 312012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Letter from constituent regarding problems with his 2006 Toyota rav 4; he hoping that Toyota can be forced to repair the transmission and reimburse the cost of repairing steering shaft (full document not imaged). The consumer stated he has been trying to get the transmission replaced per Toyota tsb-0130-12, because of whining noise but he was informed the tsb was no longer in effect. It was confirmed, that an internal noise was coming from the transmission.

- Sun City West, AZ, USA

problem #183

Jan 232014


  • 102,000 miles
I was driving on the highway about 60 mph and power steering went out. Car made a noise and all the dashboard lights came on like it was sliding on ice, no bad weather that day. Could not turn steering wheel and speedometer went to 0 and would not work the rest of the journey. Made it to the Toyota dealership where I was told nothing was wrong, and it was "the cold weather" that probably caused it. They ran a few tests but nothing was done to the car. No answers to my problem and nothing happened since. But now I am worried because of the recent recall and makes me think this incident was related.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #182

Mar 102014

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 58,100 miles
Experiencing a "clunking" or "thumping" noise coming from the steering column or steering assembly when turning the steering wheel to make a left or right turn. From my check of this problem on various websites/customer forums, this seems to be a very frequent problem with the Toyota Rav4.

- Matamoras, PA, USA

problem #181

Sep 182012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles


When backing the car out and turning the steering, there is a clunking noise that occurs. It mostly occurs from a cold start. There is a service bulletin out for this, but the dealer won't cover it. The car started making a popping sound. It was coming from underneath that car and made the exhaust sound really loud. Dealership said it was the centerpipe that was connected to the catalytic converter. The material of the centerpipe and catalytic was rusted and the dealership blamed it on me and that I drove the car off roading. I told them that the car has never gone off roading, garaged, and well maintained. Other 2006 Rav4 owners have cited the same issue stating that the material and craftsmanship of the centerpipe and catalytic converter were of poor quality. The seams of the centerpipe just completely came undone. When speaking with the dealership, they refused to cover it under the emissions warranty. When talking to the environment protection Agency for emissions, they said that Toyota should cover it. This centerpipe issue became a larger issue when the vehicle misfired and the vsc, check engine, and 4WD lights on. Took it to the dealership to discuss what the issue may be. Other owners stated that the ignition coils were of poor quality and Toyota has issued replacements. Talked to the dealership and they refused to replace it under warranty. Shortly after, the car seems to be driving very clunky and does not drive as well as usual. The car vibrates and drives very slowly. It sounded like it dropped a cylinder. The engine sounds very clunky. This has happened many times. Ignition coils were replaced several times. Check engine light, vsc, and 4WD lights turn on solid each of these instances. Since then the tire pressure has turned on and gone bad. Had to get that replaced. Now all 3 lights are back on and will need to find out why.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #180

Sep 182012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 38,000 miles
When backing the car out and turning the steering, there is a clunking noise that occurs. It mostly occurs from a cold start. The car started making a popping sound. It was coming from underneath that car and made the exhaust sound really loud. Shortly after, the car seems to be driving very clunky and does not drive as well as usual. The car vibrates and drives very slowly. It sounded like it dropped a cylinder. The engine sounds very clunky. This has happened many times. Ignition coils were replaced several times.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

problem #179

Jan 172014

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 93,853 miles
Front left clunking noise when going over bumps, told by dealer issue is in the electronic steering. Dealer did not sound confident when stating it was safe to drive. Have read about multiple 2006 Rav4 owners having defective steering.

- Flower Mound, TX, USA

problem #178

Dec 222010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 44,169 miles
12/22/2010 @ 44,169 miles the steering knocked when taking tight turns. The intermediate steering shaft was replaced. 9/16/2011 @ 50,131 miles the alternator bearings gave way and the water pump was seeping fluid. The alternator and water pump were replaced. 12/16/13 @ 63,336 miles the engine failed. The check engine light, vehicle stability light and 4WD lights came on and the dealer service department indicated that the head gasket had failed, the engine was leaking coolant and the SUV needed a new engine.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #177

Oct 122013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 97,000 miles


Saturday, October 12, 2013 when my wife and two young daughters (ages 2 & 4) were coming home from shopping. Our vehicle experience catastrophic failure, endangering the lives my wife and my two young children. She heard a loud bang from the rear of the vehicle and she lost control. Luckily, she was not moving very fast and was able to stop quickly and pull to the side of the road. The failure occurred on the on-ramp to an interstate 71 with a posted speed limit of 70 mph and the car was not drivable. Had the failure occurred 20 seconds later, my family would have been traveling at a high speed in a rav 4 with absolutely no control. We cannot even fathom the potential outcome if that failure had occurred on a busy highway with trucks etc. We took the rav into the local Toyota dealership and they deemed the accident to be caused by the rear lower suspension arm. The rear lower suspension arm was recalled in the fall/winter of 2012, where we took it to the dealership to be fixed in Nov. 2012 with the so called "clip".

- Ashland, OH, USA

problem #176

Jun 042013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,635 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while having routine maintenance performed on the vehicle, he was advised that there was an intermediate and abnormal noise in the steering shaft. As a result, part of the steering system would need to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 70,635 and the current mileage was 74,000....updated 11-12-13 updated 11/18/2013

- Grayslake, IL, USA

problem #175

Jun 102013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 55,478 miles
On 5/30/13 I purchased the above 2006 Toyota Rav4 from pioneer valley sales po box 254 S deerfield, MA 01373 and picked it up on 6/3/13. The vehicle had a clunking noise coming from the front. On 6/10/13 I brought it to cherry rum automotive 451 bernardston rd. Greenfield, MA. 01301 for my mechanic to inspect. He removed the steering shaft covers and ascertained that the noise was coming from the steering intermediate shaft. He also said that there was a Toyota technical service bulletin out concerning this problem (tsb3462). He recommended replacing it. I tried to get pioneer valley sales to repair it for over a month and they refused to. I considered this a safety issue and had cherry rum automotive replace the steering intermediate shafts. I paid them $571.70 for this. I believe that there should be a recall on this. I look forward to Toyota reimbursing me for this expense.

- Bernardston, MA, USA

problem #174

Jul 312013


  • 68,182 miles
Heard a clunk-type noise when turning the steering wheel left or right. Was told this was a steering shaft noise (steering intermediate shaft noise T-sb-0318-08). Called dealer to see if this was under warranty and found out it was not. Asked if problem under a recall and also found out it wasn't. asked dealer if it was safe to drive car as is since not under a recall and dealer said they could not make a comment on safety concerning this problem. ------I feel anything linked to steering is a safety issue and Toyota should initiate a recall over this problem.

- Duluth, MN, USA

problem #173

Jul 192013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • miles
I have had a clunking noise in my front end since I purchased the vehicle when making turns. They could never hear it till now and now they are saying it is a performance and safety issue and will cost $748.74 to fix!!! noise in the steering shaft. If this is a safety issue it should be a recall and no-charge.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #172

Aug 012012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 13,000 miles
After buying the car in 2006, a couple years later I started having issues with a clucking noise in the steering wheel. Toyota said it was the intermediate shaft problem. They replaces the part 3 times and the noise came again after some months. I called Toyota they did not help, they want me to pay for the repairs and in between one thing and the other one almost a years passed and they did not resolved the problem. I researched online and the are thousand of peoples with the same problem. I believed that this may be a hazardous defect that may cause an accident.

- Homestead, FL, USA

problem #171

Jul 072013


  • 43,116 miles
While driving on a Suburban NJ road at around 30-40mph, the vehicle lost steering control out of the blue. The car veered into the left lane, I attempted to right the car and simultaneously hit the breaks. The ABS response kicked in, and the car veered drastically to the right, going off the road, across the sidewalk, and finally coming to a stop in the woods. The repair shop discovered that the cause of accident was a broken tie rod of the back right wheel, that had been broken for a while because the sleeve encasing had rusted over. The damage to the car totalled $10,000, and the shop would have totaled the car if the milage hadnt been so low.

- Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #170

Jun 132013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 56,069 miles
Intermediate steering shaft popping; techs say the intermediate steering shaft is worn out. There is only 56,333 miles on this Toyota Rav4 2006. There has been others since at least 2010 that have been complaining about this problem. There is no reason why a car of this age and low mileage is having problems with the steering shaft. There needs to be a recall on this particular problem as this complaint has been sent to you before and even people have called you about it. Thank you,

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #169

Feb 212010


  • 77,000 miles
I was driving by 88 St and 94 ave in miami, Florida went through the train tracks, and heard a loud noise, like an explosion, and the car started to shake and move to the left lane, thank god there was no cars coming, so I finally control the vehicle, I look for a reason of the explosion, and then drag...literally to a shopping plaza, where I noticed the tire behind on the driver side was almost separating from the vehicle. I called my son, and he send a tow truck, later a mechanic would tell me that the inner tie rod broke. I noticed months before that the car made funny noises from the suspension. I called the dealer sent an E-mail to Toyota usa warning them, they told me to go to the dealer. They didn't care what I said to them, I went three times to them, Toyota usa insisted to go to the dealer. Three years later Toyota usa sent me a warning brochure about the inner-tie rod problem and how to do the alignment on the rav 4 but when I bought the car they never said anything about doing this procedure. I did the alignment for the rav 4 in a place that has all the certifications, in my opinion the rav-4 has a defect involving the suspension ( after shocks) and the inner-tie rods, I hope this helps find the reason of this problem. And how to get reimbursed for all the expenses that I went through this..

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #168

Apr 022013


  • 78,000 miles
Started noticing "clunking" sound when turning steering wheel. Had my mechanic check and he was able to identify steering shaft issue and said it could also iinvolve rack and pinion but that could not be verified without further labor.

- Shelby, OH, USA

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