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 4 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #147

Jul 242012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 84,000 miles


Steering has clunking noise when turning at slow speed and can be felt in the steering wheel. The forums are full of complaints on this issue which point to "intermediate steering shaft". although there have been no fatalities connected to this-it is a safety issue and on the large scale it should be recalled by Toyota. What happened to Toyota culture of honor?

- Waverly Hall, GA, USA

problem #146

Feb 072012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Intermediate steering shaft problem. When on slow speed. The steering makes clunking noise when turning both direction. Sometime it makes you feel it is so loose that the wheel not turning at all. What happen if I am driving on the road and the wheel won't be able to turn. Many many have complaint with the same issue and not a single solution. It must be the problem of the design or defective materials!!

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #145

Jul 192012


  • 136,000 miles
We just had our 2006 Rav4 state inspection today and the dealership told us we needed to have the front inner tie rod replaced since it has become unstable. They said this cannot be replaced by itself since it is attached to the steering rack, so we will need entire rack replaced, resulting in $2400 in repairs. The dealership also said this should be replaced within the next couple of months for safety reasons, since it can go out of alignment at any time. We've also heard knocking when we turn the car for the past couple of years and have asked about it, but never been given an explanation as to why. The dealership now says this could be the cause. If this is a problem of integrity with the part and not a wear & tear issue then I think this should definitely be a recall since it is a fault of the dealership.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #144

Aug 302007

RAV4 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles


2006 Toyota rav 4. consumer states issues with front steering, suspension and drive train the consumer stated the problems started with an abnormal noise in the steering system and continued with other problems associated with the steering, front suspension and drive train. Various front end components had been replaced 10 times. After the steering shaft was replaced for the second time in August of 2011, the vehicle is now performing as designed.

- Weddington, NC, USA

problem #143

May 252012

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 70,162 miles
Heard abnormal mechanical rattle from the front end going over rough streets in san francisco. Took vehicle in suspecting suspension issue to capitol Toyota of san jose. Diagnosis was steering rack has a known part issue, internal to its design, nothing the dealer could do, as factory did not allow them to open the part up, only replace it. Dealer was unable to tell me if the car was safe or not to drive. Said only thing they could so was replace the entire steering rack at $2000 +, which is outrageous. They said if I had extended warranty they would swap it out, and this is done all the time for this model and year! this car is serviced regularly and not driven off-road. This is a design defect that could pose a threat if the steering were to lock up/fail while driving, yet Toyota refuses to address the issue and says its wear and tear. At 70K miles? this part should last 200K. There are many reports online of issues with the steering system. One such report: www.aboutautomobile.com/tsb/2006/Toyota/Rav4/steering tsb number: 00506nhtsa number: 10020124tsb date: September 1, 2007date added to file: July 24, 2006 failing component: Steering summary: Electric power steering: Mil on dtc U0105 & U0121.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #142

Mar 272012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 84,986 miles
Intermediate shaft faulty after first couple years of owning vehicle. Clunking noise and clicking feel when turning vehicle. Toyota did not want to cover repair. Owners have to pay to get it fixed which wasn't cheap. Now, after 6 yrs of owning the vehicle, I feel it starting again. They said this was dangerous if left unfixed. It could lead to steering wheel malfunction and loss of vehicle control while driving. This should be recalled by Toyota since it's a manufacturer's defect. I don't think it's fair for the vehicle owners to have to deal with this when all we wanted was a safe and reliable vehicle.

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #141

Sep 012010


  • 45,000 miles


My Rav4 began making a clunking noise when turning the steering wheel. The dealership identified as a steering column issue. Toyota has issued a tsb about it, but does not cover the repair, even though it's a design flaw (and safety issue) on their part. This problem should result in a recall. See Toyota tsb ST001-08.

- Claremont, CA, USA

problem #140

May 082012

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 98,600 miles
There is a defect in the steering shaft that results in an audible thump that is felt through the steering wheel when turning 90 degree corners at low speeds. This does not happen on the highway, but rather pulling into parking spaces, turning at intersections, etc. My local Toyota dealer lubed the steering shaft at 87,169 mi, and the problem is back again in 11K miles. I know that Toyota has recalled several vehicles in the last year or two for steering-related problems, and I feel that this issue with the 2006 Rav4 should be added to the list of recalls. Thank you for your help. Updated 06/25/2012

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #139

Mar 012011


  • miles
I have 2006 Rav4 with steering clunking noise. I spoke with my local dealer in atlantic city NJ and he told me that they are aware of this problem but there is not recall. I have to pay out of my pocket for something what is factory problem. I think Toyota is aware of this problem and should also initiate a recall for the steering problems.

- Galloway, NJ, USA

problem #138

Oct 152011

RAV4 4WD 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Purchased a 2006 Rav4 sport 4WD V6 back in the summer of 2006 and the car was doing great up until last year (2011) when I noticed the steering wheel starting making this strange clicking noise. I brought the car in back in October of 2011 and they told me it was the rack and pinion making the noise and that over time I could possibly lose steering. They told me it would cost over $2,000 to fix. I asked if I could just drive it until the problem worsened and they seemed to say that was probably ok that it would cost the same to fix so I let it go. Fast forward about 6-8 months (April 2012) and now my car is making a knocking noise when I turn right (as described by almost everyone else on the web with this problem). I brought it back in again and they told me it was the same issue and there was a service bulletin put out for this exact problem. They told me it would still cost the same price to fix and I thought that was insane how Toyota knew about this problem with so many others and refuse to fix it. It sounds like this is a faulty part on all Rav4's around 2006-2007 (maybe more?). most companies will realize they used a faulty part to make a product and replace it free of charge to keep the customer happy. That is not the case here. I called Toyota's national customer service phone line and spoke to a nasty person who spoke very condescendingly to me. He kept trying to avoid the issue at hand and eventually just said there was nothing he could do because my car was out of warranty. He filed the complaint with the rest of everyone else and went on his way. I am pretty saddened by this since the automotive industry just went through a painful time how can they turn around and act like this to loyal customers?

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #137

Jan 012010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 44,502 miles


In 2010, I complained to the Toyota dealer about knocking noise while driving and turning the steering wheel. After two years the noise became more noticeable and the Toyota mechanic informed me that the lower intermittent steering shaft has excessive play due to worn-out splines. Correction: Replace lower steering shaft ($359.--). I declined repair since I found that this is a common defect in the 2006 and 2007 Toyota Rav4 model and a recall would warranted. I feel this is a safety issue with the possibility of loss of steering. The mechanic did not think so.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #136

Aug 152009

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota rav 4. the contact was driving 25 mph when the steering wheel failed to turn properly. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 52,000 and the current mileage was 120,000. Updated 04/27/12

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #135

Sep 012006

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
Intermediate steering linkage makes a popping noise. Condition has been addressed under tsb St 001-08: However this condition has grown steadily worse and we fear may lead to steering failure. Toyota dealer will not repair under 36,000 mile warranty as 36 months have elapsed since our purchase of this new car. Please add our complaint to your data base with the hope that Toyota can be forced to issue a recall for this factory steering defect.

- Lihue, HI, USA

problem #134

Nov 102010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
Clunking sound ( and feel) coming from steering column when turning either left or right, particularly at slower speeds. Clunking is worse in colder weather, but has been happening more often as time passes. No loss of steering ability - yet. Why is this not being addressed by Toyota" a simply internet search indicates it is a well known issue and yet Toyota will not take care of this. Dealership was not interested in speaking to me about this as the car was out of warranty, other than to fix the problem at my cost. Must we experience a serious accident to get Toyota's attention"

- River Falls, WI, USA

problem #133

Dec 152011


  • 28,000 miles
There's a weird clicking/grinding noise coming from my steering when turning. I was making a U-turn (not even 5mph) when I first heard it and has heard it almost everyday since. Its terrifying while driving to think that my steering can fail. My mechanic will let me know if it can be fixed and how much it will cost. I have to say... I'm considering trading that sucker in.

- Fort Lee, NJ, USA

problem #132

Aug 172011


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the steering wheel would exhibit an abnormal clicking sound when turned. The failure recurred whenever the steering wheel was turned. The dealer inspected the vehicle and stated that the intermediate steering shaft needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 20,000 and the current mileage was 29,000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #131

Apr 152010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Steering makes a "bumping" sound when it is turned in any direction. My son commented that he noticed it in 2010. Last week my mechanic mentioned it and said that it should be fixed. Another mechanic at the same shop also mentioned it to me after he drove the vehicle.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #130

Feb 062006

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
While making a turn of a highway exit, my steering wheel locked, on the 4th day of owning my brand new vehicle. Not only was I talked down to and treated rudely by Toyota staff, I was dismissed, as if this was not a serious concern. Toyota did fix the vehicle, and assured me that this would not happen again. Only a few months later, my car was back at Toyota, will rotten struts, on a 6 month old vehicle. Again the struts were replaced, but there was no help from Toyota will acknowledging that this vehicle was clearly faulty and dangerous to drive. 2 years to the month of purchase, the steering wheel locked on me again while driving, this time Toyota replaced the computer, being sure to state a different reason for the same issue, to insure that my vehicle did not qualify for the lemon law. Now, less that 2 years after the 2nd instance, the steering wheel locked for a 3rd time while driving. I am very lucky to be alive, and that in all 3 instances there were no other vehicles in close proximity to me, and I was on an open road, where I was able to come to a stop before seriously injuring myself or others. After this many repeat serious issues, I can't understand how no one at Toyota cares to further look into the recall of this vehicle or replacement of. If I had actually crashed or god for bid been seriously injured, I'm sure that my claims would have been taken seriously. Why does someone have to die, before Toyota can take responsibility for a defaulted vehicle?

- Hawthorne, NY, USA

problem #129

Oct 052011


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated that the intermediate steering column failed while driving 35 mph. In addition, the vehicle exhibited a noise from the steering column. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the noise was coming from the intermediate steering column, but there were no recalls for the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified who advised that they were investigating the problem. The manufacturer offered no assistance. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 54,000.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #128

Sep 262011

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
Clinking and grinding coming from the steering wheel. The dealership informed us it was the steering shaft is worn and would cost between $800- $1000 to repair. This is not covered since the warranty has expired. The dealership reported it's a common problem. I feel this is a safety issue and needs to be looked at.

- Greensburg, PA, USA

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