fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
50,100 miles
Total Complaints:
41 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (13 reports)
  2. the dealer replaced the intermediate steering column (5 reports)
  3. they will install a new steering shaft assembly for $600.00 (4 reports)
  4. TSB 0318-08 (4 reports)
  5. dealer says it needs part # 45620-42090 (3 reports)
  6. needs a steering shaft assembly according to dealer-wheeler (3 reports)
2007 Toyota RAV4 steering problems

steering problem

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2007 Toyota RAV4 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #41

Jan 182020

RAV4 Limited AWD V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles


We purchased the 07 RAV4 from a friend whose relative passed away. It had really low miles, under 8k. Soon after we purchased it we noticed that when you turn the steering wheel from side to side or just turn in general it would make a clunking sound. I believe we took it in to Toyota dealership and they said it was the intermediate steering shaft. I don't think the part is all that expensive but of course they charge a lot in labor. I was told that there's nothing wrong with the steering shaft and it won't do any harm, it is just going to make that sound sometimes. We never had it fixed.

One other issue we had (this was at 48k miles) was the transmission started acting up sometimes but for the most part it ran fine. I was about ready to take the RAV to a transmission shop and see what they thought was wrong with how it was shifting gears. Right before I was about to have it looked at we hit a deer with the car and insurance deemed it "totaled" so we never investigated what the shifting problem was.

Whoever gets that vehicle next or decides to fix it is going to be in for rude awakening when they start driving it!

- Memphis R., Aspen, US

problem #40

Jun 012017

RAV4 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,847 miles

Clunking sound when turning the steering wheel. Seems to intensify in warmer temperatures (during summer). The steering feels a bit stiff and you can feel the vibraitons transmit through your hands when steering.

- Janusz G., Calgary, AB, Canada

problem #39

Aug 012015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

heavy rattle in front end on rough roads

Steering gear apparently failed in under 50,000. I bought this car in the US, but I live in Mexico. Toyota USA wouldn't do anything about it. They referred me to Toyota Mexico. Toyota Mexico failed to answer two letter I sent them about this problem.

- dyett, Ajijic, Mexico

problem #38

Dec 162015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 112,000 miles


Loud clunk and steering wheel shake while backing out of a driveway and while doing extreme right and left turns. The dealer advised to replace steering shaft and others for $1375. I reached out to Toyota and after 3 weeks of interactions I was offered a partial cost which I refused. I bough this SUV in 2007 and within 2 years (~30000 miles) the same problem occurred and the dealer replaced it under warranty. This is a product defect and safety issues. I would like to see a national recall on this part and have Toyota cover the repairs before someone is injured or killed.

- vjshenoy, Bensalem, US

problem #37

Jul 102015

RAV4 Sports 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

Well Toyota should be looking into this problem and have a recall.

- Edwin L., San Sebastian, Puerto Rico

problem #36

Jan 212015

RAV4 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

I have 2007 Toyota RAV4, This is my first Toyota car. Recently, I found clunking noise when I turn steering wheel slowly. I am a little bit worried because I am not sure if it is a safety issue or not. Plan to go to the Toyota dealer to see what they say.

- x, Waukesha, WI, US

problem #35

Nov 162012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles


Car is 5 years old and costing me a fortune . This is my first Toyota and most likely the last if I can't get Toyota to help pay for this.

- Mary Jeanne R., Burbank, IL, US

problem #34

Oct 302013

RAV4 Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,313 miles

Clunk noise from L/R steering and excess play in steering diagnosed again..and (Cost me $59..at dealer).. as problem with steering shaft/intermediate steering shaft ..was quoted $428 to correct..The same problem occurred in 2009 @ 27,477 miles at which dealer replaced steering shaft and intermediate shaft @ no Charge as was under warranty..under tsb 0318-08 and TSB327.. using part Nos..45221 & 45260.. I believe Toyota has another problem with replacing defective parts with defective parts( or bad TSBs) ..never had this kinda problem with any other toyota or vehicle..this should be under a recall as I refused to pay again for a same issue..utterly ridiculous.... fess up Toyota..

- John H., Southampton, PA, US

problem #33

Mar 052012

RAV4 Sport

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

I had bought my 2007 Rav4 from Craigslist at 58,000 miles in Dec 2011. A couple of months later I started to hear a clunking noise when I turn slowly. There is also a pop when the steering wheel returns to the normal position after a turn. It's definitely annoying, but I worry about safety issues.

My brother is a mechanic and he said I have to go to a Toyota dealer. The car is way past the warranty period and I am having to fork over $1000 to get this problem fixed. From all the complaints on here and other forums it is obvious this particular issue is common to this make and model, and Toyota should recall.

This also makes me wonder if the first owner of the car had this issue and fixed it. Then sold it to me. If that's the case, it is a recurring issue.

I have always trusted the reliability of Toyota cars. This will be the last Toyota I will buy. So disappointed in their quality.

- Dana G., Mountain View, CA, US

problem #32

Sep 012008

RAV4 Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles

clunking noise in front end when backing up and turning

Thinking I was buying a good dependable car I am disappointed that a problem with the Steering Intermediate shaft noise would mean a bill of $2,400 to repair. The noise started with only 4,000 miles on the car. Not thinking it was a problem, I continued to drive it. As of today (2/22/2013), my 2007 Rav 4 Limited only has 21,000 miles on it. It has always been maintained and driven very lovingly by a senior citizen. Never been off the pavment or on a rough road. Being on a fixed retirement income I planned to pay for my car and drive it forever - NOT have to spend $2,400 to repair a problem which should probably have been recalled for safety reasons. After reading some of the complaints regarding this problem, I'm almost afraid to drive it! I'm not going to ignore the pricey repair charge. I'll will fight to get something done to repair it reasonably and let Toyota know they are endangering precious lives by not issuing a recall on the problem. After years of believing Toyota was a safe, dependable car, as of right now, I'll buy another make in the future.,


- Linda H., Phoenix, AZ, US Minor Outlying Islands

problem #31

Oct 192010

RAV4 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,635 miles



Update from May 8, 2019: the knocking noise still the same when turning the steer wheel.

- ruby450, Hillside, IL, US

problem #30

Aug 042011

RAV4 2.4L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

The steering wheel noise happened not once but twice. The first time I had to a have a new transmission installed and it went away. bout a year or 2 later the steering wheel started making the sound again. I just traded it in for a New 2012 RAV 4 but I got a V6 this time

- leers, Portland, OR, US

problem #29

Feb 012012

RAV4 Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles

click to see larger images

clunking/noise when turning the steering wheel

as you can see from the picture, very serious accident. i lost steering and control of the vehicle and the went into oncoming traffic and I was hit by two other trucks. Thank god no one was seriously injured. But as I read about this same steering problem with other people, my insignificant little klunk in the steering became a huge and dangerous safety problem. I love my Toyota and had no major problems with it ever. I have it serviced for regular maintainence and recalls and anything else at the same Toyota dealer. I took good care of my car. I thought I was doing what I should as a car owner. I really think that Toyota would have told me about this problem or noticed something was wrong. I really hope someone can reach out and let me know if I should do anything or is Toyota liable for anything. That is one question. My second concern is reaching out to other Toyota Rav 4 owners to let them know what could happen if this issue is not addressed. Good luck to all and be safe!

- Steven K., Mount Prospect, IL, US

problem #28

Apr 302011

RAV4 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles

researched problem and found original shaft had design defect. newly designed shaft available for about $500.00. This is a design flaw and should be resolved by Toyota at no charge. A recall should be implemented. Toyota says it presents no safety issues. I say "what the hell does that have to do with anything". If I buy a newer vehicle with low miles and it has a design defect it needs to be fixed through a recall. Hopefully the governing bodies will force a recall.

- Joseph B., Beverly Hills, FL, US

problem #27

Mar 162011

RAV4 LTD 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

After the muffler fiasco and Toyota resolution (see previous post), I'm now dealing with the clunking sensation through the steering wheel while turning at slow speed. According to Internet posts this is related to an intermediate steering shaft problem and Toyota fix TSB 0318 08. This started some time ago (40K) and seems minor now (55K), but after reviewing posts on carcomplaints.com, it confirms my concern that this is prevalent and something that needs to be fixed since it will become worse overtime. Since this is not part of the 60K Powertrain warranty I know their first comeback will be that it is not covered under warranty. It seems to me though that if not addressed that this would be a safety issue and should be covered under as a safety recall. I have not yet brought the vehicle in for repair, only preparing for what Toyota will be saying to me and how I might be able to address the situation. Other than the terrible exhaust system, this steering issue and an intermittent radio connection problem, I'm quite satisfied with this vehicle. I'll report back later on how the intermediate steering shaft issue turns out.

- bulaien, Waukesha, WI, US

problem #26

Nov 012011

RAV4 Limited 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,421 miles

Started noticing noise in steering wheel - popping sound - took to Toyota for side air curtain recall - they check noise and stated it needed new shaft in steering column at a cost of $500+ - oh by the way, they had part in stock. Must be a real known problem to have the part to fix.

Toyota is starting to build junk - watch the news

- Blly V., Lakeland, FL, US

problem #25

Aug 192011

RAV4 Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 172,812 miles

Experienced knocking and popping noise with vibration in the steering column when turning the steering wheel. This condition worsened over the course of a few weeks and eventually became constant. The dealership's service department determined the noise was coming from the steering rack and not the intermediate steering shafts and recommended replacement of the steering gear assembly per T-SB-0308-08 "Steering Rack Noise". The steering gear assembly was replaced at a cost of over $1700. This resolved the problem. I contacted Toyota about this issue and they were not willing to assist in the cost of repairs since the vehicle was outside of the 36,000 mile / 3 year warranty.

- rav4_mn, Pine Island, MN, US

problem #24

Aug 282011

RAV4 Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

It will cost $1,300 to fix this problem. This is clearly a manufacturer defect, which Toyota should cover. The mileage was about 35,000 when we recently asked for it to be checked out. I have been waiting to hear back from the dealer who has been servicing this car for more than 4 years.

Update from Nov 7, 2011: The steering made noise when turning it all the way left. However, it had been loose for a while.

- Jacqueline A., Bethesda, MD, US

problem #23

Jan 032011

RAV4 Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,026 miles

Had Toyota look at it twice and they had no idea but said it was nothing to worry about. It has gotten worse so I had an independent garage (that I know does quality work) look at it and said it needs new rack and pinion. Total cost with labor is $2,700. I am concerned about it as a safety issue. Will talk with Toyota again now that I have this info but over phone they said if warranty covers it, it must be fixed by dealer. Why would I trust the dealer to fix it if they couldn't even diagnose it the first two times? After reading this site and finding out how many others have this problem and that it comes back after being fixed I may just trade it in.

- eko, Westport, CT, US

problem #22

Nov 092010

RAV4 Sport V4 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles

I was just disappointed with my car. I mean, I love my RAV4 but I thought Toyota is a brand that you can trust when it comes to car. Apparently not. Not with what I'm going through right now. It's only 3 years and 2 months and only has 37000 mi on it and it's causing this trouble already?!

- cutepoison9, Petaluma, CA, US

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