really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 3
Average Mileage:
122,808 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.

2001 Toyota Tacoma steering problems

steering problem

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2001 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments

problem #13

Aug 212016


  • 200,000 miles


My wife recently had a wreck, she was going 45 mph, the truck went off the road, crossing over center line, after making impact with the dirt with the front end of the truck, the truck lost it's steering, from there the truck flipped 5 times on it's side, it finally came to rest on it's side, 5 feet away from a house. She had to be cut from the truck. Her L2 exploded in her back, she's now having to learn how to walk again among other things from extreme nerve damage. She just recently left the hospital/rehabilitation from an extended stay. Still upset about not knowing what caused the wreck, we decided to look up the truck to see if there had ever been a recall dealing with what exactly happened in her wreck, this is when we found out about the lower ball-joint failing causing the actions of loss of steering, accidents, and accidents with flipping. An investigation has yet to be done on the truck, we're hoping this complaint will inspire an investigation, but also educate anyone with this year and make of truck, that this is what could happen possibly to anyone.

- Inman, SC, USA

problem #12

Mar 192016


  • 169,970 miles
Rust seems to be coming off by the handfuls and pieces thick enough that I am concerned. I looked under my truck and among other things, metal lines (brake, steering, not sure), the gas tank, and steering linkage became my biggest concern. By the thickness of rust I have gotten from my vehicle I am certain it is not surface rust. How much will something rust before it becomes a failure, especially with a line under pressure such as brake lines? the last time I filled up I noticed gas leaking on the concrete. I am not sure if it is coming from the tank itself or not.

- Letohatchee, AL, USA

problem #11

Jun 012014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2001 Toyota Tacoma. While driving 50 mph, the steering wheel shook and the vehicle swayed. The failure occurred on several occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 10/23/14 updated 10/24/2014 the consumer stated the recall notice for the failure was sent to the wrong address. The manufacturer would not assist with the repairs. Updated 4/20/2015 updated 7/8/2015

- Kingston, IL, USA

problem #10

Apr 242014


  • 215,000 miles


After being driven on the highway approximately 60 miles, the 2001 Toyota Tacoma truck was being backed into the driveway when steering suddenly locked. Upon inspection, it was determined that the front passenger wheel was no longer attached to the car. The lower ball joint had failed. I determined that Toyota issued a recall for my vehicle model and year (NHTSA campaign number: 05V225000) for this issue, with the following consequence: The lower ball joint may separate from the knuckle causing loss of steering control and a crash could occur. It seems that our vehicle experienced this issue for which vehicles were recalled by Toyota. However, when I called Toyota, I was told that our VIN was not included in the recall and that Toyota was not willing to do anything. We had to spend the money and time to fix the failed ball joint and are considering replacing the driver side ball joint prophylactically as we no longer trust the wheels to remain on our truck. I have never seen a wheel come off a car. If the wheel had disengaged from our car 2 minutes prior, when the vehicle was moving at highway speeds, the consequences could have been severe. I am very disappointed that Toyota is not including our car in the recall - even though the exact same issue for which the recall was issued (for our vehicle model and year) occurred on our car. If the accident had happened at high speeds, someone would have died and a lawyer would be contacting Toyota and NHTSA. Perhaps the recall needs to be expanded!

- Idaho Springs, CO, USA

problem #9

Oct 052013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
Severe shimmy when driving, and swaying to either side. I then took the truck to Toyota where they found out that the entire steering control system is corroded to the point that the vehicle can loose control at any time. I will be forced to change the yoke and eventually the rack and pinion.

- East Brunswick , NJ, USA

problem #8

May 202013

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • 197,000 miles
Upon making a turn into my driveway the lower left(drivers side) ball joint seperated from the knuckle causing loss of steering. This in turn made the front wheel fall into the vehicle.

- Terryville, CT, USA

problem #7

Feb 092013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 223,079 miles


I had made a left turn onto freeway entrance ramp, started accelerating to get up to speed. At approximately 30mph there was a loud bang/pop noise and the vehicle front left dropped down. I hung on to try and keep vehicle under control as it took an sharp left hand turn towards a pole. Even though the brake pedal went to the floor I was able to some how get the vehicle stopped before the passenger side hit the pole where my 1 year old daughter was riding. I had the truck checked for recalls in late 2008 when I purchased it. The report said ball joint recall was VIN # specific and that this truck was not in the VIN range. After the incident happened, I called Toyota hotline for assistance and even though this is the same condition, and part that is failing on the vehicles in range they said, "that sense the recall is VIN specific, there's nothing we can do, and we can't just add a vehicle to the recall". so, now I'm stuck with a wrecked vehicle, but very thankful that I didn't hit the pole where my daughter was sitting. This needs to be addressed and all Tacoma's that contain this style ball joint be fixed before some one does get killed.

- Salida, CA, USA

problem #6

Oct 122012


  • 215,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Toyota Tacoma. The contact was driving approximately 55 mph and experienced a complete loss of power steering assist. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where the engine was turned off. The contact inspected under the hood and noticed that the power steering reservoir was empty. He then dispensed power steering fluid to the proper level. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who informed the contact that the rack and pinion would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired by an independent auto mechanic. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 215,000.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 232011


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while reversing and attempting to park at approximately 1 mph, the front driver's wheel made slight contact with the curb. As a result, the contact lost control of the steering. The contact inspected the vehicle and noticed that the driver's side inner and outer tie rod connection tread was corroded and fractured. The contact replaced the driver's side inner and outer tie rod himself. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Woodstock, NY, USA

problem #4

Jun 082004


  • 51,001 miles
Truck 'wanders' and won't track straight without continuous correction with the steering wheel. Especially bad when hitting bumps or on 'rain grooves' or other uneven surfaces. Difficult to maintain lane discipline and especially scary in construction zones with narrow lanes and concrete dividers nearby. Had front end aligned (no help), new tires put on (no help), new shocks installed (no help), tires balanced (nicer ride, but still 'wandered'), front end aligned again (minor improvement) and finally some new tires (again...no help.) there is 'play' in the steering wheel and there is a recall and a tsb from Toyota for this year and model truck for 'worn lower ball joints'. but when inquiring with two different dealers, I was told both times that "my" truck was not affected. It sure feels affected!

- Kerrville, TX, USA

problem #3

Jun 182008


  • 69,455 miles


The frame on my Toyota Tacoma has extensive rust. Toyota has recalled vehicles with rusted frames for the years 1995 to 2000. The same thing is happening to newer vehicles and the danger is still the same. Rust keeps getting worse and soon it will be a safety hazard.

- Sanford, ME, USA

problem #2

Aug 052001

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
My 2001 Toyota Tacoma was involved in a accident. At the trial the accident reconstruction person said he could not understand why the crash happened that it looked like some one had yanked the wheel very hard. The trial was for manslaughter and it took place before the recall. The truck was never inspected by a mechanic. I feel this was the cause for the accident.

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #1

Oct 112004


  • miles
Difficulty steering, lost control of vehicle, vehicle rolled over several times

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

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