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 1 of 6)

problem #119

Jan 062017


  • 136,800 miles


While driving at 55 mph or faster, generally on a right hand bend, the vsc will activate pulsing the brake and violently pulling the car to the left and towards oncoming traffic. The skid light goes on, and the car beeps until you are out of the turn and then it goes away. This problem has been intermittent for about 6 months but has gotten much worse and more frequent in the previous 2 months. It has been to the dealership several times and they do not know what to do. There are no error codes. The best they can say is "you're going to fast..." which is a wholly unacceptable answer considering we are going the speed of traffic and no more than 0-10 over the speed limit.

- San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

problem #118

Aug 232016


  • 133,750 miles
The vsc traction control system activates on it's own. Driving the van it automatically comes on and brakes the van, dashboard light and beeping noise comes on. Brakes you automatically causing the van to veer to the right. This malfunctioning devise with the yaw system is continuing after many trips to the local Toyota dealer. They currently have the van and are replacing part after part and the problem still persists. Contacted Toyota headquarters and filed a complaint with them but they say there is no recall on this van. Checked on line and found many other Toyota Sienna owners who are experiencing the same issues as we are. This is a dangerous safety hazard which can cause an accident. As of today's writing the problem has not been diagnosed by Toyota.

- Redding, CA, USA

problem #117

Dec 012014


  • miles
Beginning in winter of 2014, my steering wheel began to squeak when I turned it and seemed harder to turn. My steering wheel did the same thing this past winter,2015. Noticed squeaking and more difficulty turning when just beginning to back out and beginning to drive forward and for a few blocks after.

- Biloxi, MS, USA

problem #116

Jun 172016


  • 154,000 miles


Unexpected vehicle stability control activation while driving resulting in automatic braking and unexpected steering pull. I have been experiencing this issue over the past 4-5 years. There have been times where this issue has led to almost striking vehicles around me. I have brought the vehicle to a Toyota dealership, but they have not been able to fix the issue. On several online bulletin boards, other owners of Toyota Sienna have complained regarding the same issue. I just read in the news that similar issues are occurring on 2001-2002 Toyota sequoia.

- Dublin, CA, USA

problem #115

May 312016


  • 165,000 miles
On numerous occasions, we have had the vsc indicator light turn on while driving on dry pavement while on the highway, which caused the car to apply the brakes and also swerve. Our car is AWD so the first time it happened, we thought there must have been black ice on the road (even though the road appeared dry). It first happened about three years ago, although it is happening more frequently now. We drove home yesterday through the mountains and it happened four times on our two hour drive. It mostly happens while going downhill for us, and has happened at speeds of 70 mph - 30 mph. It has happened while turning (both directions) and going straight. It is very scary for both my wife and I, and I feel unsafe with her driving our car with our four children. We've taken it to the dealership and they want to charge us lots of money to try to fix what they "think" the problem is. I have spoken with other Sienna owners who have experienced the same frightening experience so know it is not just our car, driving, etc.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #114

May 102016


  • 145,000 miles
Vsc sudden activation on curves 35 mph. Beeping noise slip sensor comes on.

- Daly City, CA, USA

problem #113

Nov 252014


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving at 5 mph through water, the steering wheel seized. The contact stated that the failure was intermittent. The contact stated that the failure only occurred when the vehicle was driven through standing water. The vehicle was not taken to be diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure was 140,000.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #112

Jan 192016


  • miles
See engineering investigation EA08024; should be re-opened!!

- Lexington, MA, USA

problem #111

Aug 312015


  • 264,888 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. While driving at 35 mph, the vsc and the ABS warning lights illuminated intermittently. The contact also stated that when the failure occurred, the front of the vehicle began to swerve into other lanes while the rear of the vehicle went in the opposite direction. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the steering sensor was replaced, but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 264,888.

- Chalfant Valley, CA, USA

problem #110

Jan 202012


  • 65,000 miles
2004 Sienna le: Failure of driver side front suspension spring in January 2012, passenger side in January 2013. Each spring cracked causing vehicle to drop while in motion. Metal in cracked areas appeared porous possibly suggesting flaws in metal during manufacture. 2013 failure included crack near middle of spring, with a sharp broken piece sticking out close to tire. Thankfully occurred while parking/at low speed; failure at high speed may have resulted in puncture of tire/loss of vehicle control. 2012 failure included crack near top. Photographs of the 2012 spring are available upon request. Vehicle is in good condition, with only ~65,000 mi at time of first incident. Driven on paved roads, light loads. Body rust free with minimal surface corrosion of unpainted/undercarriage items. Contacted Toyota in 2012, filed case. Was informed similar issues had not been reported, failure was not covered. Noting extreme hazard posed by broken spring puncturing tire, encouraged further evaluation. Obtained/replaced at my cost spring from local Toyota dealer, had aligned. Contacted Toyota in 2013 regarding second failure. Noted was second occurrence/extreme hazard posed by puncturing tire, encouraged further evaluation. Obtained replacement/had aligned at my cost. Recently contacted Toyota; no new information available. Broken springs can result in loss of vehicle control as can tire puncture. Failures I experienced occurred at low speeds; if at higher speeds, results may have been catastrophic. Noting light use and excellent condition of vehicle as well as appearance of the broken springs, Toyota parts staff and outside mechanics indicated that manufacturing issues may be cause of failures. Replacement springs included different color coding; parts staff indicated this may correspond to more recent production, suggested that new parts may be of better quality.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #109

Jun 122015


  • 61,250 miles


The steering angle sensor, pn# 89245-08011 failed. The van can not be driven over 23 mph. The brakes come on automatically over 23 mph and the engine will not respond to accelerate. The steering seems strange (anti-lock brake light coming on) but I was able to keep the van in my lane of traffic. I am concerned that this sensor or others will fail and the van will automatically apply the breaks and loose power preventing me from maneuvering the van to the side of the road. I do not know what would have happened if I was travelling at highway speed. I consider this a major safety problem.

- Dayton, OH, USA

problem #108

Mar 092015


  • 118,500 miles
I was making a right hand turn from a highway onto a side street; my passenger side front tire and hub cap scraped the curb when the steering suddenly became stiff, making the turn difficult. The steering fluid level was checked and was within the normal range; we topped it off anyway, in case that was an issue.

- Williamstown, NJ, USA

problem #107

Mar 072014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
At varying rates of speed, on dry roads, my van's vsc and traction control icons will illuminate on the dash, the acceleration will cease and the brakes will pump 2-4 times, and the steering will stick. Originally, this occurred only on roads that curved however the frequency of occurrence is increasing and it now occurs on straight roads as well.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #106

Mar 162015

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 114,553 miles
Immediately after turning the steering wheel in either direction while driving, it pulls back in the opposite direction in a jerking motion. I have to hold the steering wheel tightly at every turn and anticipate the jerking of the wheel so I do not cross over to the wrong side of the road or off the road. I took my van to diagnose the problem at my local auto repair shop and was informed that the universal shaft was corroded and needed fully replaced. Both joints were rusted and stiff which is causing the erratic movement of the steering during turns.

- Covington, KY, USA

problem #105

Nov 062010

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 59,510 miles
My 2004 Toyota Sienna have a noisy steering and stiff steering in cold weather when turning at low speeds.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #104

Jan 312015

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I have been noticing that my 04 Sienna is very had to steer, it seems that steering is getting stuck if I try to change lane I have to pull steering.

- Union, NJ, USA

problem #103

Dec 202014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
I took my 2004 Sienna in for two recalls to a Toyota dealership last Saturday. Upon doing their standard inspection on the entire vehicle, the service advisor informed me of a serious safety issue with a corroded universal joint on the steering shaft that could seize. I declined this service and am investigating what to do. I came across Toyota tsb ST001-07 that states 'in areas where road salt is used during winter months, some customers may experience a slight increase in steering effort, which may gradually become more noticeable over time'. this describes my Sienna's operation for past winters, but I never gave it much thought. What troubles me is that the service adviser insisted I replace the shaft right away, whereas NHTSA action number PE08041 states that 'Toyota has not determined that a safety defect exists in the steering system of the Toyota Sienna vehicles and provided test data showing that the effect on the steering effort is minimal, even for parts with relatively severe corrosion.' As an interim solution, I will spray the universal joint with a penetrant, a recommendation I read online.

- Wantagh, NY, USA

problem #102

Nov 072014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
While driving on interstate vsc warning light came on, beeping and alarms heard. Engine slowed down and I felt like the vehicle was out of control. The vehicle swerved like it was hydroplaning on a dry highway. Called our repair shop immediately. Car was towed and research was done on the history of the problem in other Toyota mini vans. I was told there were reports of this happening in other vehicles but not enough for a recall to be issued by Toyota, recommendation by the report they found was to replace a sensor which is what was done. That was just over a month ago and the same problem occurred again tonight on a side road going approx 30 mph on dry road. Van is back at shop again tonight. I will be calling the 1-800 number for Toyota, I do not understand why there is not a recall on this issue. Both incidences could have resulted in an accident. Tonight I was driving with my child in the van. This issue could have placed her life in danger had there been an accident.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #101

Nov 212014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 148,000 miles
The steering on my 2004 Toyota Sienna was not working correctly. The steering was binding, requiring an increased effort to turn the steering wheel from neutral or return to neutral after turning. I checked the power steering fluid. It was fine. I looked up the issue and realized that this has been investigated. According to the report, my problem has been caused by the steering intermediate shaft. It is binding/locking because of the corrosion of the steering intermediate shaft universal joint.

- Avon Lake , OH, USA

problem #100

Nov 222014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 245,000 miles
While making a U-turn the steering did not recover to straight ahead position. The steering felt like it was binding. The vehicle kept turning, leaving the road surface, almost striking a stone wall. Nothing was hit. More effort than normal was needed to correct the steering. Air temp. Approx. 20F. Once home I inspected the tires, power steering fluid, power steering belt, alignment, leaks. All were normal. I googled the problem and found the tsb file on the steering shaft knuckle (U-joint) corrosion problems. I crawled under the vehicle and found the steering shaft and knuckle corroded. I liberally sprayed the knuckle and shaft with wd-40 which corrected the problem.

- Pomfret, CT, USA

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