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 5 of 11)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #127

Sep 082010


  • 40,000 miles


My 2006 Toyota Rav4 has a clunk noise when turning the steering wheel at slow or no speed. The repair costs are very high I was told by the local Toyota dealer it was the steering column and it would cost close to $800 to repair. I've researched this issue online and have found hundreds of thousands of people with the same complaints. I work for VW and know that when there is an issue that affects this many vehicles and a steering concern that there is always a safety recall issued I don't understand why Toyota has not addressed this issue already. Is it really going to take another " gas pedal " incident to make them take care of it?

- Holtsville, NY, USA

problem #126

Sep 012011

RAV4 4WD 6-cyl

  • 51,000 miles
2006 Toyota rav 4 sport has chronic problems with intermediate steering shaft. Low speed turning produces a clunking sound and unstable sensation in the steering column.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #125

Aug 232010


  • 26,600 miles
Heard a clunking noise in steering wheel. Arranged service appointment with dealer. Dealer said it was necessary to replace complete steering rack and steering shaft with "an intermediate shaft". $2.563.64. I was not advised what would happen if not replaced. I contacted Toyota and was told it was too bad that my warranty had expired. I understand others with 2006 & 2007 Rav4S have had same issue. Safety issue? no recall!

- Township Of Washington, NJ, USA

problem #124

May 242011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 64,443 miles


I took my 2006 Rav4 into the leith Toyota dealership in raleigh, nc for the accelerator pedal recall. Service manager calls me and said that there is a banging vibration and noise coming from the steering column when the steering wheel is turned. (this did not exist before.) the manager said there is a technical service bulletin on the manufacturers defective design and that failure to correct the problem could result in an accident. This repair is nearly $400 and is not covered under any recall nor my now expired warranty. When I next drove the Rav4 the banging was so strong that the front seat passenger could feel it. I call Toyota customer care program, who confirmed the technical service bulletin but said that the problem is not a safety issue and that I should contact the dealership to inquire about them paying for the repair. The dealership said that the repair is not covered and that Toyota customer care would contact me as to what further would be done. After waiting more than 60 days for Toyota to call me, I called customer care again only to be told that nothing more would be done. I asked to speak to a supervisor, but none was available. I was told that a supervisor would call me back within 24 hours. 30 hours later Toyota customer care left a phone message for me to call them back. I have also had electrical problems that have caused this Rav4 to loose power and stop while traveling down the road and the battery goes dead about every two months.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #123

Jan 012011


  • 48,000 miles
There is a very loud clunking noise when turning steering wheel. Noise is getting louder and feels like steering is being affected.

- Gainesville, VA, USA

problem #122

Jun 212011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 42,900 miles
2006 Toyota rav 4 - steering - I have presented my vehicle for inspection at a local Toyota dealer service company last week on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 for a noticeable "clunking" sound coming from the steering column and front end. The service manager scheduled a 2nd visit for my vehicle on July 7th, in order for a service mechanic to test drive the car. He first told me that the unit would need to be "opened" and re-packed with grease to make the noise go away (without batting an eye). On the second service visit July 7th, the mechanic said the unit would require a rebuilding with at least $ $400 of parts. This is the case after I brought the vehicle in with 43K original miles on it. After I had a third party look at the same issue, they said that it did not present a danger, however, new tires and a front end alignment were suggested to see whether any improvement would be noticeable.. afterwards, I started my investigation of this matter, whereby, I now know that hundreds of cases have been previously reported, and, the manufacturer, Toyota, has "passed the buck" on the blame and repair, charging as much as $ 1,200 for the steering on the 2006 rav 4 model to be repaired. Sounds like a "scam" to me. Just because no one has gotten hurt yet, doesn't mean there isn't a problem here. Cars are controlled through the ability to "steer" the vehicle. In October 1976, I survived an accident in my brand new Ford granada, when the "suspension arm" nut was sheered off when taking a curve on a local road with the vehicle at 20-25 mph. Three people walked away from an accident that took out the whole front bumper, back to the driver's side door. As the car was repaired, Ford Motor Corp. Gathered all of the accident photos from the body shop, preventing disclosure of a potential problem (back before the "lemon laws" were put in place). Do not let this problem slip away. The lives of owner / operators + passengers are at stake !

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #121

Jun 222011


  • miles


I own a 2006 Toyota rav 4 with steering shaft issues. The shaft makes grinding/knocking noises when turning the vehicle. The dealership notified me of this issue and stated that I should replace the shaft. I argued that Toyota should cover the costs, but they would not concur. I started researching the issue online and discovered a technical service bulletin (tsb) for this exact issue. They have even already developed a new intermediate shaft to correct the issue. It is clear that they recognize this as a design/engineering issue. Furthermore, this defect could eventually lead to the vehicle not being able to steer, which is a safety issue. This in my opinion, merits a recall.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #120

May 222011

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
Steering column on Toyota 2006 rav 4 showing signs of bad U-joint/thrust collar bearing. Car has 43,000 miles and makes loud clunking noise from steering column when turning. Toyota has a tsb but says it is not yet a safety issue so no refund and no price cut on $500 repair. If steering column U-joint fails what happens to steering"?"

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #119

May 232011

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
Toyota Rav4 steering noise.

- Puyallup, WA, USA

problem #118

Mar 112007

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
Like many other 2006 Rav4 owners, I have experience the so-called "clunking" noise with the steering column. This appear to be a know problem (design flaw) with this model, yet Toyota fail to take full responsibility and initiative to correct the problem. Do we have to experience such catastrophic events as the "acceleration issue", before Toyota decide to do something about it?

- Stoney Creek, 00, USA

problem #117

Mar 012011


  • 45,000 miles


Toyota Rav4 makes popping and clunking noise when steering wheel is turned. This is due to looseness in the intermediate shaft splines and joints (total cost:$468; part numbers 45221-42071 [steering intermediate shaft] and 45260-42090 [steering shaft assembly]). this is a potential safety hazard and Toyota refuses to issue a recall. It is a product defect in steering intermediate shaft as evident by the tsb issued by Toyota.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #116

Mar 152007


  • 20,000 miles
Toyota tsb-0308-08 for a steering clunk on 2006 and later Toyota Rav4's should be a recall, before steering goes out in these vehicles. The tsb indicates that "beefed up" steering shafts have been produced to solve the problem. But many cars are now "out of warranty" because the dealers claimed not to be able to hear the noise. Now that many of these cars are out of warranty, the cost to fix is excessive. Toyota needs to address and fix this problem on all affected vehicles before there is a fatality from it. Any Toyota forum on the internet has scores of complaints from Rav4 owners, and stories of indifference on the part of the Toyota dealers. Problem: Steering audible clunk and the fell of the clunk, while turning left of right at low speeds.

- Bartlett, IL, USA

problem #115

Feb 152011

RAV4 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,106 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota rav 4. while driving approximately 35 mph, the contact stated that she heard a loud popping noise as the vehicle became stiff and difficult to steer. The dealer informed her that there was a technical service bulletin issued for the failure but no recalls. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who performed a diagnostic test which concluded that the steering unit needed to be replaced. The contact did not inform the manufacturer of the failure nor was the vehicle repaired. The current and failure mileage was 38,106. Updated 6/8/11 updated 01/05/2012

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #114

Jul 152006


  • 8,000 miles
Clunking noise coming from front end any time I do a slow turn. Sounds as though something in the steering mechanics is slipping out of joint.

- Va, VA, USA

problem #113

Dec 272010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 32,000 miles
Intermediate steering shaft has to be replaced due to normal wear. We understand that many rav 4 and other Toyota models have the same problem or failures and must be replaced. Is this a possible recall issue. Updated 01/20/11 updated 07/26/11 status update 08/30/11. Staus update 10/06/11.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #112

Jan 022011

RAV4 4WD 4-cyl

  • 63,607 miles
2006 Toyota rav 4. problem began on Jan. 2 2011. While slowly turning left I detected "clunking" sound in the steering column. Every time I turn left I hear this noise, and knowing Toyota has had some steering wheel problems in the past I became extra nervous. I went online and found quite quickly that this is a well-known problem with rav 4S but no recall can be issued until there are enough complaints, and owners are paying up to $1000 to get this fixed.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #111

Jan 162007

RAV4 4WD 6-cyl

  • 26,737 miles
My 2006 rav 4 has had a series of front end problems dating from Jan 2007 to April 2009. It had been in the shop 9 times (warranty work) with numerous parts being replaced before Toyota had their southern California rep come and look at it. They ended up replacing just about all of the front end component parts except the steering. That was the 10th time the car was in. Now after 21 months the sound is back and I can even feel vibration knock in the steering. This car was purchased new in July 2006. Mileage at the first sign of trouble was 4847. Mileage in April 2009 was 26737. Current mileage is 41800. I don't feel safe driving this car with the feeling that something is going to break while I'm making a sharp turn.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #110

Dec 222010

RAV4 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
We had the Toyota dealer check a noise in the steering on a 2006 Toyota Rav4. They diagnosed the noise as noise from the steering shaft. Since the vehicle was out of Toyota warranty, tsb ST001-08, they refused to fix the issue. We contacted the extended warranty service and they also refused to repair the issue. The extended warranty service indicated that the part would have to physically break before it could be fixed. Researching the issue indicates that there have been no accidents or injuries yet due to the defect. When an issue indicates a possible failure we like to have it repaired before damage occurs.

- Fernandina Beach, FL, USA

problem #109

Dec 212010

RAV4 6-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
On my 2006 Toyota Rav4, I can hear and feel a clunking or popping noise and sensation in the steering wheel while turning. The feel is as if the linkage(s) in the steering wheel have some interference or have become prematurely worn to the point where they are rubbing on each other and produce a popping sensation in the steering wheel while turning. The popping noise/sensation occurs every time I turn the car through turns greater than about 45 degrees, left or right. The sensation started about two years ago when the car had about 30,000 miles on it. The car currently has about 67,000 miles on it.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #108

Jul 172010


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Rav4. The contact stated while driving at low speed and turning the steering wheel, he would hear an abnormal knocking sound. The failure would only occur when driving at low speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the steering shaft bushing had dried out. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 48,000.

- San Deigo, CA, USA

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