really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,864 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.

2003 Toyota Sequoia steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Toyota Sequoia Owner Comments

problem #17

Jul 272005


  • 120,015 miles


I have had my rotors and brake pads changed a few times due to a conspicuous issue with my vehicle. At braking times during any slight "hard" stop, coming from either highway or street speeds the vehicle starts to vibrate on the front end. Tires seem to be wobbly and shake quite a bit. Nearly had a few accidents due to this phenomena. Have taken my vehicle in for servicing at reputable repair shops and have had rotors "cut" and new brake pads installed frequently. Have even had to buy new tires, even though not needed, based on dealer recommendation. Seems there is an issue with these Toyota vehicles after having done some research and spoken to a few other Sequoia owners. Catastrophic brake failure is a possibility on these vehicles. Will it take an injury or even a death to finally have someone delve into this issue?

- Aloha, OR, USA

problem #16

Feb 022015


  • 139,525 miles
I notice on June 2, 2015 when I turn left or right that its hard and I took it into Toyota on June 20, 2015 and they told me it was the steering extension shaft. I also took the Sequoia in because even thou my gas tank was full the gauge said it was empty, and when I took it into Toyota they said it was fine. But it keeps doing it and now I put gas in it because I don't want to run out on the fwy. It can cause an accident.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #15

Aug 122014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
We had a steering leak, so we brought our vehicle for repairs. The mechanics discovered that our frame had advanced and unsafe levels of erosion and breakdown, far beyond the age and considered care of the vehicle. We found there was a frame recall on our make and model, but Toyota is saying it expired two weeks before (July 31st). We were never notified once about this or any other recall for the Sequoia, but receive other notices for our other Toyota regularly. Toyota is doing nothing to assist in repair or trade in (we purchased as a certified pre-owned Toyota from a Toyota dealership, mcgee in hanover MA three years ago) and we are left with a family vehicle that we owe $6K on, yet has no sale or trade in value due to it's compromised state, and one we can't drive our children in. We invested numerous repairs due to the vehicles age recently ($2K this winter, along with new tires, etc), anticipating this, like other Toyota we have owned, would get us a couple more years. After opening a case with Toyota and reaching out to the dealership, we are left frustrated and with no options, and stress and cost are accumulating as we deal with car rentals, etc.due to the fact that we don't have a car and cannot afford total replacement at this time. Sincerely, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Woodstock, CT, USA

problem #14

Jul 312014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 161,980 miles


The vsc, and trac, and brake lights all lit up while coming into an intersection, where I heard a grinding clunking noise in the drive train, as I tried to stop the vehicle, coasted through the intersection, made others braking to avoid me as I steered away from them. This has happened intermittently over the years but this was the scariest, as it happened going into an intersection. It has happened backing out of our driveway several times, on the highway several times. Toyota doesn't want to tie this issue to the recall regarding the vsc ECU trac light recall from several years ago. I've tried unsuccessfully to escalate this issue with Toyota motor co.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #13

Jul 312014

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 161,980 miles
We bought this 2003 Sequoia limited 2 wheel drive new, and it has been a good car over all. But the vsc tracs, brake lights have flashed on and off sporadically at different speeds, when driving and or when braking. They usually don't effect the car, but recently we have experienced them all coming on when braking, and we seem to loose power and the power steering is lost momentarily until we come to a stop, and shut it off for a few minutes. This happened most recently last week when coming into an intersection driving about 30mph, and all of the vsc, trac, and brake lights abruptly came on, there was a grinding noise, and it seemed to have lost electrical power, trying to come to a stop, I could not stop in time for the intersection, but was lucky enough to avoid being hit by cross traffic, it could have been a lot worse. It sounded like something fell apart underneath. I inspected it and saw nothing, but know that this is a major safety issue that Toyota should address and pay for being a recall item. I called the Toyota hotline and was given a case number for this issue, which was a recall in 2010. Took it to the dealer, and they weren't able to replicate the issue. Stated it was a bad computer, and some vsc module sensor" didn't state Toyota would cover the cost or help with the cost. Even though this has been a known issue with Toyota Sequoia's for years, and was a recall item. This is a safety issue that could result in a major accident. Why would Toyota not cover the cost to fix this if it is a recall item? I want it fixed but with the miles I have on it, don't want to spend much money on it, especially an item that is a recall problem with many like mine. What should I do? wait to have an accident, hire a lawyer, and sue" frustrated Toyota owner in Texas.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #12

Jan 222013


  • 107,433 miles
Received a letter from Toyota for a limited service campaign, for rusting of the frame. I took my Toyota to koons Toyota in annapolis, md. They called me the next day and said it failed for rust. There was a hole in my frame and Toyota would replace the frame at no cost to me. Then they called me to tell me it would cost $6,400 to replace everything under the vehicle, because it was so rusted out that when they took the parts off they would crumble. Two days later they called and told me it would cost $6,900 to replace parts. They called last night and said it would cost me $7,845 and they could not guarantee the price would not be higher.they sent me pictures of my frame and there is a large hole in the frame. My question is shouldn't I get my truck back in working condition without me paying for anything? I contacted Toyota in ca. And talked to the rust specialist, and he said they would not pay for my parts. My husband and I are retired and live on a fixed income. We can not afford to pay for the parts. The truck has been paid for once, why should I take out a loan for a truck that has been paid for. The dealer also asked us to come pick up my truck if I would not authorize to pay for the parts. When I picked up my truck today, they said if anything happened to the truck while I was driving it home, they would not be responsible, because I didn't get it fixed. Please make Toyota recall these rusted trucks back. The rusted frame also includes Tundra, because they use the same frame. Thank you.

- Lothian, MD, USA

problem #11

Aug 102012

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 133,432 miles


Frame is completely rusted and cracked in various areas.

- Clintondale, NY, USA

problem #10

Jul 212012

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • 84,000 miles
I took the Sequoia to a mechanic to repair a clunking noise in the front and squeaking noise in the back. Upon examination, the mechanic noticed unusually advanced rust and corrosion for a vehicle of its age. For safety reasons, the mechanic warned against driving the vehicle until repairs were made. Mechanic had to cut out front passenger control arm bolts, rear shock mounts, and other hardware due to the corrosion. Mechanic noted that future repairs will require the same cutting and replacement of new hardware. This corrosion issue may be related to the 2000-2003 Toyota Tundra recall of 2009, since the Sequoia shares the chassis and manufacturing facility with the Tundra.

- Columbia, MO, USA

problem #9

Aug 232011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. While driving approximately 40 mph the vehicle suddenly accelerated and the steering wheel locked causing the vehicle to crash into a wall at his residence. The vehicle was towed to an auto body repair shop. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The contact previously experienced a failure with the rear axle detaching from the vehicle. The rear axle was replaced and the vehicle was repaired. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #8

May 052011


  • 62,685 miles
I own a 2003 Toyota Sequoia with a severly rusted frame. It has aprox. 16" long rust hole in it aprox 1-2" wide, just under drivers floor at bottom of frame, right where the rear transmission crossmember attaches to frame. I have owned the vehicle since brand new (purchased in Sept. Of 2002) and vehicle has just over 63,000 miles. Vehicle has never been involved in an accident. I made an appointment at local Toyota dealer where vehicle was purchased and serviced and the Toyota "fts" inspected it and took several pictures and documented it on 5/5/2011 and reported findings to factory and deemed my vehicle "unsafe to drive due to perforation in frame". I was instructed by Toyota fts to contact Toyota corporate headquaters and see what can/will be done by Toyota. After 3 calls over a 2 week period Toyota told me that they would do nothing to correct this concern although the Tundra has the same issue with rusting frames and Toyota is replacing them under an extension of the warranty and both vehicles use the same chassis type and are made in same plant. Upon research of this issue (via the internet) I find that I am not the only one with this issue and Toyota seems to be treating all of it's Sequoia owners in the same fashion.please look into this issue before someone who does not know their frame has rusted and possibly breaks causing loss of control possibly injuring or killing it's driver and or passengers. Toyota knows of the problem and their failure to properly protect their frame from rusting through due to enviromental conditions that are seen in certain parts of the United States (as stated by one of the customer service rep's that I had spoken to) when refering to the Tundra and I feel that Toyota is once again trying to exclude itself from any problems to the Sequoia. This issue needs to be addressed as it was on the Tundra and include the Sequoia.

- Willington, CT, USA

problem #7

Sep 222009


  • 68,000 miles


The trac/vsc lights on my vehicle illuminated and my car's brakes and steering failed for about 30 seconds, at this time my vehicle skidded a few feet to the right and I hit the curb. This was is a school zone and luckily no children were hit. Internet searches say that it is a faulty skid control ECU that will cost $1500 to $2000 to replace. I cannot afford to replace this and will be forced to unsafely drive the vehicle.

- Hewitt, TX, USA

problem #6

Oct 102006


  • 56,535 miles
Vsc/trac off & ABS failure requiring computer and yaw sensor replacement. I took my 2003 Sequoia to the local dealers service dept. In 2006 because the lights mentioned above were on. They could not find anything wrong. I told them the car was making a loud noise and the steering wheel was pulling to the side - very hard to control. They could not mimic the problem and told me there was nothing wrong. I argued with them, but lost that argument. Luckily for me the battery needed replacing in a few months, and when replaced problem went away. Now that my warranty has expired (last month) the vsc/trac off and ABS lights are on again. I didn't rush it in because of my prior experience or I would have had it in while it was under warranty. Now they want $2200 to replace computer and yaw rate sensor. I see this is a very common problem and I am very unhappy with the service department and Toyota. I contacted Toyota and they refuse any responsibility although this is a very well know issue. It could be very dangerous under the right conditions. Luckily my driving is in a very small community and I don't drive very fast.

- Lompoc, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 102007


  • 83,106 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Sequoia. The contact stated that the ABS/dsc warning light intermittently illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer assured the contact that the issue was nothing to worry about and was not a big deal. The issue was later discovered to be a communication error between the skid control and the ECM. The service dealer stated that the ECM should be replaced; however, the steering angle on the vehicle was also off and a re-calibration was performed. Afterwards, while driving between 30-40 mph, the contact depressed the brake pedal and heard a loud thumping noise. She felt vibrations coming from the brake pedal. While slowing down and switching from braking to acceleration, the vehicle hesitated to accelerate and coasted momentarily until reaching full acceleration. The failure mileage was 83,106 and current mileage was 99,000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #4

May 042007


  • miles
'2003 Toyota Sequoia vsc/trac/ABS indicators based on edmunds.com forums an increasing number of problems may contribute to uncontrolable accidents if this electronic computer is not fixed. Toyota dealers inidicate if an issue, car will resort back to conventional brakes & steering but examples on this were showing falsely. This appeared to need a fix immediately as the item was. Ball joint) recalled about 1-2 yrs ago, and now the problem was surfacing again.

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #3

Dec 232005

Sequoia 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
2003 toyotya Sequoia, steering angle sensor, part of the vehicle traction control. System activated unexpectedly at very low speed after which system turned itself off. Low speed prevented injury or property damage. Car is currently in shop for replacement of steering angle sensor.

- Snow Camp, NC, USA

problem #2

Jun 092004

Sequoia 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
Brake system will grab and throw car into skid, but parts are failing intermittently. The switch on the dashboard does not shut it off. Consumer had no control of vehicle. It has been in the repair shop, and found out steering angle sensor was bad, and replaced it. Also, computer was defective. The vehicle's computer was replaced also. The technician could not confirm what failed first, why either failed, or why he could not find any trouble over one year ago, when consumer noticed blinding lights on the dashboard. The consumer feels that this is a safety hazard because drivers do not have control over this active 4 wheel drive system. Also the dash control will not shut off vsc (vehicle skid control), nor any other fuse, switch, wire, or other vsc's.

- Spanaway, WA, USA

problem #1

Nov 252003

Sequoia 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
Our 2003 Toyota Sequoia has the vsc, traction light, emergency brake light, and trac off light are all coming on. The dealer told us that we need a brake job and the problem that I have is that this will be the third set of brakes in 25,000 miles. I have been reading quite a bit on this same problem with other Sequoia owners on the edmunton's website forum and it is concerning to me for the saftey of my family and my self not too mention the brake jobs at every 7,000 miles. The dealer tells me that this is normal for brakes with heavier vehicles but that has not been my experience with SUV's in the past.

- Foothill Ranch, CA, USA

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