really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
11 / 0
Average Mileage:
148,656 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.

2002 Toyota Sequoia steering problems

steering problem

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2002 Toyota Sequoia Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

Aug 152014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 146,000 miles


Last month, while traveling home from summer vacation on flat ground, at approximately 60 mph, the vsc, trac lights came on in the dash. There was a terrible grinding noise from under the car and beeping inside the car. The car pulled hard to the right and decelerated abruptly in the middle of a busy highway. Thank goodness I was able to pull into the turn lane and limp into a gas station. This occurred three more times over the next 500 miles until I got home. I took it to the dealer, they replaced the yaw sensor. Only 3 days after that, it happened again. Took it to the dealer, they replaced two brake sensors and a master cylinder. Today, five days after that, it happened again. This time, thankfully at only 25 mph with no traffic. This is a very scary, dangerous problem that Toyota should not be ignoring. It has been recalled in the 2003 model, and should be in the 2002 model as well!

- Weatherford, TX, USA

problem #31

Jul 022014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 181,000 miles
While traveling down the interstate at 65 mph on a flat, even surface under good weather conditions, the vehicle stability control unexpectedly engaged, the vsc trac and trac off lights illuminated. The vehicle's brakes engaged, the steering began to pull to the right, a grinding noise occurred, and the vehicle became very difficult to control. This is not the first time this has happened. The last time was approximately 3 weeks ago (also highway travel at 65+mph). Before that, it had been a while. This seems to be a completely random occurrence. However, this poses a serious problem and with two small children, it is extremely concerning. Based on what I've read, this is common in this model year vehicle. Not sure why a recall has not been made.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #30

Jan 082010

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
Makes a grinding noise, brakes on one side and pulls to one side. Skid indicator light, trac off light, and vsc light all come on and stay on. Vehicle decelerates momentarily, then resumes normal driving. Lights stay on until you turn off the vehicle.

- Griffin, GA, USA

problem #29

Jun 132014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 226,111 miles


On interstate twice doing the posted speed 75mph I heard a grinding, vsc antilock brake lights come on, vehicle suddenly pulls to the right. Luckily I gained control and avoided a major accident. Have had brakes checked and now told its the sensor. Very costly repairs. Toyota should have a recall on this issue. Could cause a deadly accident.

- Denison, TX, USA

problem #28

May 232014


  • 130,000 miles
In the fast lane I-10 East mm 110 driver tire and spindle fell off and went under car skid across 4 lanes with my 3 kids 8-4- 7 weeks and wife.recall already been done happened on pass side 10K ago also supposedly replaced could have killed all of us went to Toyota the first time and was told "we'll it has over 100K mi" does that mean after a Toyota has 100K mi the front end will fall off and possible kill everyone, keep in mind recall was already done once I don't believe it.I have owned Toyota's all my life my father has worked for them since 78' I have his 85 4runner with 360K on it and I am a mechanic myself and have turned dozens of people to Toyota's this is not acceptable I will be getting a lawyer and buying a Chevy on Tuesday.

- San Juan Capo, CA, USA

problem #27

Mar 032014


  • 109,000 miles
I have a 2002 Sequoia, a couple of weeks ago while driving at 35 mph my brakes locked. I took it immediately to my brake guy; he looked it over, put it on the machine, found nothing. I left thinking it might have been something on the road that I missed seeing, that set off the traction sensors. A week went by without incident before it happened again; this time at 40mph on a flat clean highway. The trac off, vsc trac & the slip indicator light came on while the front end shook violently and pulled hard to the right. I was unable to adjust the brake, as it felt locked and my steering column, while vibrating madly was near impossible to turn, it was like driving an old style truck without power steering. I went to another brake shop, they hooked it up to the machine, and again nothing showed up!! today, five days later, while driving home with my children on a major highway doing the posted 65mph it happened again. I was suddenly unable to maneuver my vehicle, the brakes locked, the steering locked, and my vehicle pulled to the right. I just held on and prayed as my car pulled off the road, thank heavens the ground was flat. I have only been that afraid for my family's safety once before, and that was in the middle of a tornado. Toyota has a serious problem here!

- Crawfordville, FL, USA

problem #26

Mar 122003

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 10,000 miles


I have had an issue with my vsc/trac off light since we bought it. The light would come on at seemingly random times, stay on until I restarted the truck - we were told it was not something we needed to worry about by the dealerships in fort worth (fort worth Toyota). Recently (2/2014 & 3/2014), as I was coming down a hill in our neighborhood, approaching a stop sign, there was a grinding sound and the vehicle would seem to be stopping instead of accelerating - and the vsc lights came on again. I immediately pulled over and stopped; I couldn't see anything wrong under the hood or near the wheel wells, which is where it sounded like it was coming from. It did not continue and did not happen again for about a week. The next time it happened I was on the highway at about 70 mph. It grinded for about a second and slowed me down abruptly, then stopped grinding. Pretty hairy situation, going 70 and having your brakes slow you down. I have not had the issue looked at by a technician yet and am not driving the truck. In researching it, I found hundreds of online complaints and a recall for the 2003 model year on your website. [NHTSA campaign number: 10V176000 ] obviously, the 2002 model year should have been included, as I am seeing the exact same problem.

- Granbury, TX, USA

problem #25

Oct 022013

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 50,100 miles
Vsc track system activates unexpectedly under normal driving conditions producing a very loud grinding noise of the front brakes and for about 15-30 secs the brakes won't work. This problem causes the steering system to suddenly pull to the right side with a significant reduction of speed. Extremely dangerous when it has happened on high traffic volume highways. Reported this situation to Toyota Corp. And they replied that they don't have any campaign or recall for the condition described. Toyota customer experience provided me with incident no. Xxxxxx-xxx303 for my complaint report. It is worth to mention of the hundreds of Sequoia owners complaining of this problem on social media websites for vehicle complaints and yet nothing has been done by Toyota.

- League City, TX, USA

problem #24

Oct 312013


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Sequoia. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the vehicle began veering to the right abnormally. The contact also stated that the vehicle would exhibit an unusual grinding noise. The problem ceased after the vehicle was powered off however, the failure was recurring. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who was unable to diagnose the problem. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 114,000.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #23

Apr 272010


  • miles
My traction lights have been on and have remained on for several years now. My husband says my panel looks like a christmas tree. I have contacted the dealership to see if there was a recall but was advised there is not. I haven't had any issues, until this past weekend, other than not realizing I had engaged my emergency brake since the light constantly stays on. I nearly wrecked this weekend. It was dark and raining. I had to apply the brakes to miss another car, the brakes locked up and started sliding out of control. Luckily I was able to get it stopped in time to avoid another accident. My traction control doesn't work either, I guess it went out when all the other control lights went out. I just wonder if the airbags work, hope I don't have to find out the hard way. I keep reading numerous complaints on the 2002 model but haven't seen a recall. Appears there was a recall on the 2003 model for the same issues. My steering column is broken. I had it checked out several years ago. Apparently the main metal component is broken and therefore my gears engagement doesn't light up when I am in drive. If someone else drives my car, they don't know what gear it's in. I ready many complaints about the same but no recall. My rear hatch handle has broken 2 times now within a year of the other which costs me $100 to repair each time. It appears to be cheaply made and plastic and it can't be repaired without a lot of labor to dismantle the rear door plate on the inside to install a new handle. My main concern is the electronic stability control system.

- Lincolnton, NC, USA

problem #22

Aug 222002

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • miles


I have owned my Sequoia for years and the approximate mileage is around 122,000 miles. I purchased it brand new and the first time I had an issue with the traction control was around 2005. I took it to the dealership and explained to them what happened. I was driving down the road and my speed was around 40 miles per hour. The weather was sunny and the roads were dry. I ran across a rough patch in the road and all of a sudden the wheels locked up, there was this awful screeching sound, and the steering became hard. It was like I had no control over the vehicle. Next thing I knew, the skid traction control lights were on. After I turned the vehicle off and restarted it, it looks like it had reset itself. Of course, the dealership could find nothing wrong. This has occurred again through the years and each time I take it in for service, I complain about the same problem. Today I have it in for service again and mentioned it yet again. I asked if they could just disconnect the skid traction control because I have come close several times to losing control of the vehicle. The service manager explained to me they could not disconnect it. Well, the way I figure it, Toyota will wait until after someone is killed or badly injured and they are sued before they will do anything. I have contacted Toyota America to no avail as well as the ntsb.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #21

Oct 162013

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 1,000,210 miles
Vehicle was traveling at 65pm all of a sudden the trac control light and vsc light came on, was unable to control the truck due to the steering wheel getting light. Pulled over and stopped called Toyota customer care they states we are own our own with that problem.

- Saint Cloud, FL, USA

problem #20

Sep 062013


  • 98,000 miles
Power steering started leaking and lost fluid in drive way. Question: Are there other complaints on record and is there a possible or pending recall for this safety issue. Nothing noted on the Toyota site. Based on my internet review there seem to be lots of people with Toyota power steering & leaks problems. Will have to get this fixed this weekend at local shop but want to pursue and go after Toyota is possible. Will save parts as evidence. Thanks ben C.

- Farmingdale , NY, USA

problem #19

Aug 232011

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 105,500 miles
The vsc/trac activation and system warning lights came on while the system intermittently activated, locking up/letting go of the right rear tire while on dry level pavement and driving forward. I took it to a shop, which found a problem in a steering sensor, "the computer" and possibly a wheel sensor. They suggested that the system be disabled until it could be troubleshoot in more detail. I had them disable it so that it could be driven without the danger of a wheel locking up on the highway. It is still disabled, with dash system warning lights on during operation.

- Prescott, AZ, USA

problem #18

Jun 102013

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Driving on dry, straight highway when vsc light and trac light come on and beeping started. Vehicle starting trying to engage 4WD I think...lots of grinding in the front end and steering shaking. Went on for about 2 minutes then stopped. Vehicle not easy to control when this happened. Has happened multiple times since. Taking to mechanic this week. Not safe for wife and kids to be driving.

- Amity, OR, USA

problem #17

May 292013

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
During rush hour, a vehicle before me abruptly stopped. To avoid from hitting them I swerved to the left hitting a wall divider when the front left wheel caved in having me and my family swerve all the way to the right into another sound wall. What I tried to do was hit the brake before going head on into the wall but the gas pedal was stuck causing us to accelerate into the wall. Luckily there were shrubs and bushes to help the car go into a slow as we slid across the wall. I dont know why the gas pedal decide to get stuck and accelerate us into the wall but im hearing from other Sequoia owners that they have had the same problem with their pedals and that needs to be checked out as soon as possible.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #16

May 162013

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 160,200 miles
I was driving on a highway around 10:30pm, and all of a sudden I hear grinding noise and vsc/trac light goes on. Reduced speed because I felt as though I may lose control of vehicle. Vsc/trac light stays on, then goes off. Less than 30 minutes later, I hear beeping noise and vsc/trac light comes back on. This same incident has happened a week ago, where I pulled over the side of the road thinking it was a flat because I felt like I was losing control then too, but no flat. Trac control issue then too (hearing grinding noise). Concerned because it seems I may lose control.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #15

Mar 222013


  • 125,500 miles
My vehicle frame was replaced by Toyota due to a recall. When I got the car back, I noticed a whining sound, but did not think much of it since the mechanic said it might take a month for the frame to settle. I returned one month later to have the whining sound checked and was told the power steering lines were rusted and needed replaced at the cost odf$ 750. Toyota assured me that the Sequoia should last a long time!!! I no longer feel safe driving this vehicle. I wonder if the rusted power steering lines are part of the rusted frame recall. I have really loved my Sequoia, but I do not want to pay for any more repairs!!!! please let me know if others(either the Toyota truck frame or Sequoia frame), have had a similar problem.

- Trafford, PA, USA

problem #14

Mar 162013

Sequoia 8-cyl Diesel

  • 143,663 miles
My wife and I were on the way South I-405 from work to go to the church. I made exit at fairview, and then left on baker street. I felt the steering wheel was very heavy and uncontrollable. The car crashed. There was no other car involved. My breast and head are in pain right now.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #13

Mar 042013

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 324,000 miles
Traveling home at normal speed the vsc/trac lights came on and the vehicle began vibrating and making a grinding noise. After stopping on the side of the road, I turned the vehicle off and on to possibly reset the vsc/trac. It seemed to work briefly but it started to do it again. We attempted to take the vehicle to the store and the problem started again. We noted audible alerts and the vsc/trac lights illuminating, grinding from what seemed to be the passenger side front tire. He had to pull off to the side of the road; however, found it difficult to control the vehicle. The speed was estimated at 35-40 mph, dry conditions with no obvious road conditions or issues. This problem had been noted several time randomly over the past two years, but has seemingly been resolved by turning the vehicle off and back on. This was the first time that the issue has persisted, and the increased difficulty in steering.

- Carleton, MI, USA

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