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 3 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #167

Apr 092013

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 84,000 miles


I have always believed in Toyota's reliable vehicles till I bought my Rav4. Lately I have had the unfortunate experience of having to replace all six coils with new ones, because Toyota maid a bad design for the 2006 Rav4. And now I need to replace the steering shafts because they are bad too. Toyota please help with covering the cost of parts and labor.

- Burbank, CA, USA

problem #166

Apr 012013


  • miles
I heard a loud popping sound in my steering each time I turn. I went to the dealership and I was just told I needed to get it repaired. I have been researching online and noticed that several owners are experiencing the same problems. I have no information regarding safety but feel that since it appears to be a widespread problem Toyota needs to have a recall and have this issue addressed. We should not wait until tragedy happens before action is taken.

- Baytown, TX, USA

problem #165

Feb 272013

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 102,512 miles
Over the course of the past 2 months I have heard a quiet popping noise coming from the back right tire area when I make turns. I actually visited a Toyota dealer 1/8/2013 because there was a lower suspension arm recall on my vehicle. They "inspected" and put a sticker on, and a worthless clamp (might as well been a paperclip) on the the tie rod. On 2/27/13, I took a few co-workers to lunch and they noticed a loud pop every time I turned a corner or hit any uneven spot in the road. When I pulled into my parking spot at work I got out and looked at the rear right tire and it was slanted only slightly. Later in the day, I backed out of my parking spot and heard a very severe pop and the tire made a whooshing noise as it was making contact with the tire well. The vehicle was out of service at this point. I got my vehicle toed to a nearby shop, and they found that the tie rod on the rear right wheel was bent severely. The mechanic that was inspecting my vehicle was not a dealer, and agreed that the "fix" Toyota developed for this recall issue was worthless, and agreed that I could have been seriously injured if this had failed on the highway. I have a photo of the bent tie rod, and visited the shop to see for myself this afternoon. I truly think that Toyota's fix should have been to replace everyone's tie rods. People's lives are still at risk! I plan to submit my charges to Toyota for reimbursement.

- Beach City, OH, USA

problem #164

Jan 112012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the steering wheel made a loud noise whenever the wheel was turned. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 50,000 and the current mileage was 55,000...updated 03/18/13

- Kihei, HI, USA

problem #163

May 012012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
The Rav4 has a well-known problem with the driver's side sun visor in which it will not stay in place. The visor frequently and without warning abruptly drops to a straight-down position. In this position it impairs forward visibility, and for tall drivers it can block the view of the road completely. There is also a widely-reported problem with the steering (there are 166 reports on this site at the time of my filing) which is noticed in the form of a knocking or clunking noise which can also be felt in the steering wheel. Many owners, including me, are concerned that this could be a precursor to a steering component failure.

- Foothill Ranch, CA, USA

problem #162

Dec 162008

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 46,499 miles
A noise came from steering wheel. This had been going on for sometime. Toyota replaced R&R steering intermediate shaft. Eventually steering wheel airbag had to be replaced due to severance of the spiral cable. No doubt these were related. Unknown to me at the time of the repair Toyota issued a technical service bulletin on 2-8-08 covering this issue. They refused to reimburse me for the repair. The defective part started to fail from the day I bought the car. Both of the issues are safety related items. Waiting for the steering to fail would be absurd. A look at the internet shows this was a widespread problem for this model year of the Rav4. Please issue a safety recall for the steering wheel problems for the 2006 Rav4.

- Scituate, MA, USA

problem #161

Dec 162009

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 64,559 miles


Steering mechanism was not smooth in movement and made popping noise. It appears by searching online that several other owners have had same trouble. Fortunately, we never had an accident due to this manufacturer's defect. We had repair performed at adams Toyota lee's summit, mo. Dealership replaced defective lower steering intermediate shaft. Repair was corrective and cost $262.85 before taxes. Thank you.

- Lees Summit, MO, USA

problem #160

Jun 012010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • miles
When making slow turns to the left or right, I hear a clunking sound coming from behind the steering wheel. A mechanic I took the vehicle to recently found that the steering shaft is failing. This is the second steering shaft that has gone bad; I had the first one replaced 4 years ago with a supposedly improved version. Evidently, whatever changes were made to the design did not prevent the same problem from occurring. I started to hear the same noise approximately 2 years after having the replacement installed.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #159

Jul 062012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 69,300 miles
2006 Toyota Rav4, consumer stated within 3 1/2 months after oil, total oil leakage occurred. The pistons, rings and gasket had to be replaced. On Feb 2, 2012 the consumer had an oil changed. On June 1, 2012 the oil warning light illuminated and the dipstick was completely dry. The consumer believed the oil leak was over a period of time and not just suddenly within 3 1/2 months. The technicians who performed the oil changed every 3-4 months should have noticed the shortage of oil, especially on Feb 2, 2012. Also, the steering wheel shaft assembly was replaced.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #158

Aug 022007

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 16,000 miles
Get a clunking in steering, , took it to dealer bad intermediate steering shaft.. they have a tsb on it, , but wont fix due to it currently being out of warranty, am concerned about steering issues and causing a accident. Toyota has been aware of this issue and wont recall, , has to think steering probs can be a major risk hazard, , since they knew about it in 2008 read forums.. and seems to be a major widespread issue notjust mine..will it take someone getting killed before this is brought to light?

- Plover, WI, USA

problem #157

Oct 152012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 6,500 miles


There is a knocking in the steering I took it to a garage they said it was a shaft in the steering column that Toyota had a bullentin out about it. I called Toyota and they said they have not heard of this problem but according to myself doing research there is a problem and I feel this is a safety issue.

- Whitman, WV, USA

problem #156

Oct 102012

RAV4 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that whenever he turned the steering wheel, sharply he heard a popping noise. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for a diagnosis and the contact was informed that the intermediate string shaft assembly would need to be replaced immediately or the steering would fail. The manufacturer was notified but offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 71,000....updated11/21/12 updated 11/30/2012

- Philpot, KY, USA

problem #155

Jun 012012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that when driving at 5 mph or below, or when in park, the steering wheel would exhibit loud clunking noises. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer or an independent mechanic for diagnosis. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 60,000. The current mileages were approximately 95,000. The VIN was unavailable. Updated 11/1/12 updated 11/1/2012

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #154

Dec 122011


  • 59,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the steering failed. The contact stated that the steering was very sluggish and the steering made a cracking sound. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The contact stated the problem was getting progressively worse. The failure mileage was 59,000 and the current mileage was 69,000.

- Kinnelon, NJ, USA

problem #153

Sep 202012


  • 75,956 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, there was an abnormal knocking and thumping noise heard from the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised the contact that the steering shaft assembly needed to be replaced. The dealer replaced the steering wheel and also informed the contact that there were no recalls for the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who confirmed that there were no recalls for the vehicle. The failure mileage was 75,956.

- West Orange, NJ, USA

problem #152

Sep 072012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
Steering feels loose and rattles over bumps. Toyota said no credit for outside of warranty. Cost to repair with redesigned parts is $1,900. Vehicle has been exceptionally maintained and should not have any steering problems. I am original owner and have all service records. Toyota said this is not a safety problem but the loose steering feeling does not inspire confidence. Toyota said I could continue driving with the problems and that it would only be an annoyance. This is a product defect. Toyota has redesigned the replacement parts for the intermediate steering shaft. This is evidence the original design was defective.

- Carlton, OR, USA

problem #151

Mar 012007

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 11,500 miles
Early on in ownership of the vehicle a light 'clunking' noise could be heard while turning the vehicle. Noise progressively became worse. I repeatedly reported the incident twice to the dealership - Toyota lake city, seattle, wa, prior to expiration of vehicle warranty. Every time I was advised the dealership staff was "unable to duplicate the issue". currently, the noise is extremely loud, and there's a 'popping' feel in the steering column/steering wheel, coupled with a loud clunk. I'm concerned for my, and my family's safety, however I don't have $800 to repair an item which shouldn't be having issues. Note: I have a 2010 Toyota Rav4 VIN#[xxx], which is beginning to experience the same issue as 2006 Toyota Rav4. I have researched this issue and Toyota is fully aware of the issue via tsb# ST001-08. Toyota has developed a "new" steering shaft which remedies the issue. This should be a recall, for it impacts a large majority of the Rav4 owners - another Toyota issue which they know about, but try to hide! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Thibodaux, LA, USA

problem #150

Nov 062008

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 34,168 miles
Had a clunking sound in steering column when turning and backing up. Steering shaft was replaced under warranty. Problem returned and repaired on Aug. 27,2012 at 73,852 miles and cost $720. I have been driving for 50 years and never had a car that had a steering problem like this. I was told that if I didn't have it repaired the steering column could lock up. I see there has been alot of complaints about this problem in 2006-2007 Rav4's can someone look into this?

- Montville, NJ, USA

problem #149

Aug 012010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Steering wheel "clunks" at relatively low speeds - clunking increases over time. Concern is if steering fails as a result. Toyota's fix is to replace intermediate driveshaft and an alignment. Apparently this is a pervasive problem on a number of Rav4 model years (based on hundreds of postings on internet discussion sites, at least one of which claims failed steering resulting in multicar crash). Per these online discussions, some Toyota dealers have stated it is a serious safety issue, some have not. Given this problem has existed for a number of years (Toyota has two service memos issued on the problem and even developed new replacement parts), if the NHTSA has investigated this issue and determined there is no consumer safety issues, is that conclusion available to the public? would appear this would be proper to disclose, as consumers get very concerned with a potential loss of steering and its potential crash ramifications.

- Mandeville, LA, USA

problem #148

May 152012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
There was a rumble in the rear @ 40 mph. I had maplewood Toyota check it 2-3 times, they said they couldn't hear it, car was fine; they checked the trans oil once and said it was fine. It's a closed system-you never need to change its oil. (I had asked this question several times over the years and they always told me that I never needed to change the trans oil & the manual does not list it either). They took it for a drive and checked it good-said that 1st gear was going, but it was fine to drive-come back when I couldn't stand the noise and they'd put in a new trans for $4,500. I was going out of town, they said ok, car will be fine. Since the rumble was so loud, 3 days later I got a second opinion at a transmission specialist's shop recommended to me by several friends. They put it up on a rack and tested it with a stethoscope type device. They said that the bearing was very bad and that I should not take the car out of town or drive it as it was not safe to drive and could stop at any time. They replaced M, w/S, U240/24E 00-up (cork); filter; bushing, A40 series pump; tc, Rav4, med stall, ink 14; center gear bearing, etc. When the Toyota technician checked the trans oil, I realized that it was not "a closed system"! also, the oil was black and I now know that it should be red. I think I should have been changing the trans oil all along and my transmission probably would not have failed. I think they should order a recall on all these transmissions - and pay for the work that I had to have done before my car failed on a freeway somewhere. A transmission should last forever, especially since half of the miles have been freeway miles and I drive my car very gently. I just put in new brake pads for the first time recently and there was still 20-30% left on them. Previously I had to pay Toyota $400 to repair the steering column-another defect that should be a recall.

- North Oaks, MN, USA

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