hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,582 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.

2004 Toyota Sienna steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #39

Nov 152007


  • 50,000 miles


Approximately 20 months ago, began experiencing very difficult steering. Steering acted as if loss of power steering. Difficult to turn and would not return to neutral always, especially in cold weather. Near accident when steering would not return to neutral as expected. Last summer, steering improved in warm weather. This winter, constant problem and did not go away with return of warm weather. From what I have seen on this website, very common and expensive problem.

- Parma, OH, USA

problem #38

Jun 122009


  • 111,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. When the contact started the vehicle, she noticed that the steering column became very stiff and difficult to maneuver when turning. There were no warning indicators illuminated prior to the failure. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop and the mechanic stated that a shaft was failing. The repair would cost $375. The contact is currently waiting for the parts to arrive for the repair. She is in the process of notifying the manufacturer. The failure mileage was 111,000 and current mileage was 112,000.

- Franklin, IN, USA

problem #37

Nov 272008


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that the steering was binding. The steering wheel locks in different positions while driving, which makes steering difficult. The dealer will repair the vehicle, but not under warranty. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 58,000.

- Brattleboro, VT, USA

problem #36

Feb 172009


  • miles


2004 Toyota Sienna steering. Steering suddenly binds while attempting to turn. Very hard to steer at times. Hard to control. There is 2 to 3 seconds delay and slight acceleration lag even when taking off from a stop. Couple of times I was close to run into accident.

- Ridgewood, NY, USA

problem #35

Apr 022009


  • 74,000 miles
The universal joint at the bottom of the intermediate steering shaft has rusted and is seizing. This problem occurs at varying degrees dependent upon temperature and humidity. At its best, steering is a little difficult and unpredictably responsive. At it's worse, steering is nearly impossible. It feels as though the power steering is alternating between working correctly and actually working against the driver. This alternation occurs in about 30 degree intervals as the wheel is turned. This makes for very unpredictable driving and may lead to a crash. I have researched this online and found that many people, particularly people in high road salt regions, are having this problem. Toyota has created tsb ST001-07 concerning it, but does not consider it a big enough problem to cause a recall. I am amazed that a known problem that could cause the car to be un-steerable is not serious enough for Toyota or NHTSA to designate a recall.

- Hartland, MI, USA

problem #34

Mar 302009


  • 31,500 miles
2004 Toyota Sienna steering. Steering suddenly binds while attempting to turn. Very hard to steer at times. Hard to control.

- Chicopee , MA, USA

problem #33

Mar 202009


  • 79,000 miles


Steering binding or increased steering effort on Toyota 2004 Sienna. Steering requires extra effort while turning, and does not always return by itself (requires effort to return to 0 degrees). This condition varies (different effort at different points in the turning arc) from turn to turn, making it a hazard for driving. It is similar to partial loss of power steering midway through a turn. Seems to be getting worse. I understand there is a tsb to fix this problem, which I am trying to obtain so the problem can get fixed correctly. (don't want to be overcharged for unnecessary work).

- Geneva, IL, USA

problem #32

Feb 232009


  • 42,000 miles
Steering suddenly began to bind when turning at low speed and increasing difficult to steer, especially in cold temperatures. Dealership found rusting knuckles on steering shaft and installed new shaft. Vehicle had only 42,000 miles. Never had a problem like this with 2 previous Toyota, one of them eleven years old! very unsafe and expensive to repair. My opinion Toyota should recall.

- Hyde Park, NY, USA

problem #31

Feb 012008


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. While driving 5 mph, the contact noticed that the steering was tighter than normal. A repair shop checked the steering fluid level for leaks. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the rack and pinion failed. The dealer replaced the rack and pinion at the cost of $1,500; however, the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer and they stated that the failure could be due to the intermediate shaft pump. A report was filed with the manufacturer. The manufacturer stated that there was no tsb to explain how to repair the vehicle. The failure mileage was 41,000 and current mileage was 41,500.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #30

Feb 202009


  • 41,000 miles
Steering is binding on my 2004 Toyota Sienna. The dealership that I brought the vehicle to said they found no tsb for this vehicle yet this sight said two tsb's exist. The dealer charged me over $1400 and the steering problem still is not fixed.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #29

Jan 102009


  • 67,000 miles


I have 67,000 miles on my van and I am presently on my 3rd set of 4 tires (12 total) averaging 20,000 miles for one set. I have a lifetime wheel alignment on the car when purchased new and have alignment checked every 5,000 miles. Never had a vehicle with this type of horrendous tire wearout which must be the suspension on the vehicle, I appear not to be alone due to numerous complaint. Can a recall be done based upon the unusual tread wear and frequency of customer complaints.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #28

Jan 012009


  • miles
We have a 2004 Toyota Sienna. Once the weather turned cold we experienced severely hard turning. It is ok in the neutral position, however when steering left or right it is not only hard to turn but it will not return to neutral without much effort. Very dangerous.

- North East, PA, USA

problem #27

Jan 152009


  • miles
2004 Toyota Sienna. When turning the steering wheel in either direction, it becomes difficult to turn, jams, and fails to turn back to the correct driving position.

- Ridgewood, NY, USA

problem #26

Feb 022009


  • miles
Corrosion of steering intermediate shaft universal joints. Steering got progressively worse and would bind when turning the vehicle. Very hard to control the vehicle while driving and making turns.

- Whitman, MA, USA

problem #25

Dec 012008


  • 99,500 miles
2004 Toyota Sienna steering binding, does not return to neutral position. NHTSA PE08041 addresses this problem as corrosion of universal joint on intermediate steering shaft. Muller Toyota of Washington, NJ 908-638-4100 confirmed intermediate shaft needs to be replaced, cost $575 invoice #L75877. Have not replaced shaft yet, is Toyota going to recall this defect?

- Washington, NJ, USA

problem #24

Dec 152008


  • 61,000 miles
I began experiencing a stiffness in my power steering on 12-15-08. I checked the power steering fluid level and it appeared to be low. I added a few ounces. Two days of driving later and there was no change. I took the van to the Toyota dealership today, 12-18-08, and they identified the problem as corrosion to the flex joint of the intermediate shaft of the power steering rack and pinion. They did tell me that the situation could degrade to the point where power steering could fail. Cost of repair was quoted as $500 plus $70 for related/required front-end alignment. The root cause was said to likely be water entering the seal of the joint, causing rust to form on/around the bearings. Other reports of road salt being the cause, seem to suggest that under-carriage cleaning would, in fact, prevent the corrosion. This dealers position is that the high-pressure spraying of the under-carriage was, itself, causing the corrosion to begin.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #23

Nov 052008


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. While driving 15 mph and turning the vehicle, the steering column began to fail. The steering became stiff and then loosened too much. As a result, a crash could have occurred. The dealer stated that they were unaware of any failures with the steering column. The contact inspected the vehicle himself and determined that the lower universal joint on the intermediate shaft was failing and covered with rust. The vehicle has not been taken to a dealer for inspection and repairs. The manufacturer stated that the vehicle needed to be taken to the dealer for inspection. The failure mileage was 100,000 and current mileage was 102,000.

- Killingworth, CT, USA

problem #22

Nov 212008


  • 47,000 miles
Just over a year ago I started hearing a sporadic sound when making a left hand turn. When I brought it to the attention of the dealer' service department during regular maintenance, they said they found no problem and unfortunately did not indicate the complaint on the service record. I don't believe they took my description seriously at the time. The sound disappeared for a while but reappeared consistently when cold weather arrived this fall. Three weeks ago the steering started to become very hard. It took a week to schedule an appointment, 4 days to receive a part and 5 more days to "fit" the repair in with an estimated cost of $500. They wanted us to wait an additional four days and at first implied there would be no option for a loaner car. Our car has 47000 miles on it and unfortunately we do not have extended warranty. When I presented the original noise, it would have been under warranty. I refuse to drive the car as I nearly had an accident when I tried to turn the wheel and had difficulty. We are still making payments and combined with nearly annual run flat tire replacement issues, this seems a unreasonable repair.

- Plymouth, NH, USA

problem #21

Nov 302008


  • 55,000 miles
The steering has become stiff on my 2004 Sienna causing unexpected response when steering. My mechanic tells me it is the steering intermediate shaft and that there is a bulletin ( ST001-07) on this. The Toyota dealership states that this is not a safety concern. The vehicle is at 88,000 km and exceeds the 36 month 36,000 mile limits. When I purchased this used vehicle (in January 08) from the dealership it came with their total satisfaction warranty which does not seem to clearly state anything that is covered.

- London, 00, USA

problem #20

Nov 182008


  • 54,472 miles
I had taken my Sienna to the dealer to fix the last recall for the liftgate. They must have done an inspection and told me I needed to replace the warn control arms at a cost of $1,755 and the high pressure power steering hose at a cost of $699. I was there in April to have work done and none of this was mentioned. I have 54,473 miles and asked at what mileage do the control arms usually break down and I was told simply at any time.

- Bayonne, NJ, USA

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