really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,240 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.

2005 Toyota Tacoma steering problems

steering problem

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2005 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Jun 052014

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


The following is the dealer inspection report for my truck: "found extreme corrosion to frame. Tow hook and driver side sway bar mount unable to re-attach due to frame perforation front cross member missing (rusted off) found hole in left side of frame. Steering rack mounts extremely perforated, ready to detach. Do not recommend driving vehicle due to extreme damage to frame" truck purchased new, single owner, well maintained....updated 06/10/14

- Volcano, HI, USA

problem #21

Mar 062014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
While driving steering suddenly got hard. Then it was normal again for a bit. I noticed that after making left turn it was hard to steer right and vice versa when turning right. Checked power steering and was good. Research on forums suggested a exposed knuckle on a part 45203A called shaft, steering intermediate, no.2. after lubrication to the knuckle area the steering has improved though not 100%. part should include at a minimum grease fittings for lubrication, preferably a type of protection from exposure to the elements such as a rubber boot. This loss of steering may result in the operator losing control of vehicle.

- Niles, MI, USA

problem #20

Apr 242014

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
While turning into a mild corner, steering started binding up, had to really pull on the wheel, as if power steering went away. Steering wheel would not return, had to pull it back to straighten out. I know my wife would not have been able to pull it to get through corner.

- Hinsdale, NH, USA

problem #19

Feb 012012


  • 110,000 miles


2005 Toyota Tacoma first issue is the steering, on several occasions while turning the steering has "locked up", the steering gets extremity hard to turn in the middle of driving. After my own research I discovered the universal joint on the steering shaft will lock up or get extremely hard to turn if not greased. The joint is open to the elements and has no protective boot over it. There is no maintenance procedure from Toyota for the joint. This is extremely dangerous and could cause a crash. If the operator does not have the upper body strength to force the steering wheel to turn when the joint locks up it may cause an accident. This issue is often misdiagnosed by mechanics cause expensive unnecessary repairs (new steering rack). The second issue is frame rust. The frames are a poor design, have no protective coating and are made of inferior metal. A simple internet search for "Tacoma frame rust" will show plenty of horror stories of frames literally rusting away from the bottom of the truck. The oldest 2nd generation Tacoma (2005 production year) are now 9 years old, a frame on a 9 year old vehicle having rust issues is completely unacceptable. This is a serious safety hazard. Along with the frames rusting away all components attached to the frame can fail. (leaf springs, shocks, motor mounts etc). Toyota did the right thing with the 1st generation Tacoma that had this issue. They issued recalls and bought back trucks. Consumers were led to believe the frame rust issues were corrected on the second generation Tacoma but they were not. As of now Toyota is handling frame rust issues on a case by case basis. Some people are fighting to get new frames and some people are left with a truck that is rusting away with no help from Toyota. Frames rusting away to the point that a hole the size of a hand can fit is a major safety issue.

- Glen Rock, PA, USA

problem #18

Oct 072013

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • 178,000 miles
While driving I noticed the steering wheel would stick when rounding a curve. Then it would be ok. After further investigation and about 200 more miles the steering wheel had a lot of play in it moving from side to side without moving the tires. Further investigation showed the universal joint for the intermediate steering shaft had no bearings left in it. Scary..

- Tunnelton, WV, USA

problem #17

Sep 272013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 64,770 miles
Friday, September 27, 2013: While maneuvering out of my driveway, and through the 90 degree turns out of a suburb in Washington state on the way to I-5 northbound, the steering of my well-maintained 6 speed manual 2005 access cab Toyota Tacoma trd 4WD felt alternately stiff and loose, as though the wheel was ratcheting. The wheel failed to return to center, requiring constant effort through all points of steering, with special care required to overcome the high and low peaks in resistance. Negotiating turns has become an imprecise, physically demanding and therefore unsafe exercise. While I have an appointment with the local Toyota dealership to address the issue, at my own expense, the issue seems to be a common complaint on the website, and is likely associated with a faulty universal joint in the steering assembly. The faulty part has been identified as "steering intermediate shaft, " part# 45203-04020. The redesigned part meant to address the defect has been identified as part# 45220-04020. The redesigned part is said to include a protective boot meant to protect "universal joint #2". this problem sounds to me every bit as serious as the gas pedal/floor mat interference recall for which I received a recall notice in recent years. This is a loss-of-control hazard that needs immediate attention, and should be addressed by Toyota directly as a safety recall. Loyal customers like myself should not have to pay out-of-pocket expenses for the repair or replacement of faulty materials, poor engineering, defective workmanship or the unsafe conditions that result from any of these oversights. Ignoring this particular problem, (which is commonly being misdiagnosed as power steering or rack and pinion problems on many Toyota Tacoma forums), could result in fatalities or serious injury.

- Everett, WA, USA

problem #16

Mar 012012


  • 75,000 miles


While driving the steering became very difficult to turn to the left or the right direction. This is caused by a faulty design of the steering shaft universal joints. The frame is also rusting very badly and I am concerned about the integrity of the vehicle.

- Crystal Lake, IL, USA

problem #15

Oct 032011


  • 50,000 miles
Excessive rust began appearing on the frame of the vehicle at 50,000 miles. Reviewed rust with Toyota dealership (4 times over the last 3 years) and this vehicle is not included in any recalls for a rusty frames. My concrete driveway is now stained with the rust coming off of the vehicle. Frame and bumper is now rusty and getting weaker as the rust continues. Vehicle now has 90,000 miles and frame is covered in rust. Very concerned about the integrity of the frame. Additionally, I needed to replace the steering knuckle on the vehicle -- due to excessive wear - due to extreme rusting.

- North Adams, MA, USA

problem #14

Apr 022013


  • 77,376 miles
I was driving down a county two lane road. As I approached a slight curve, the power steering seemed to fail and the truck ran off the edge of the road. I immediately slowed the vehicle, and with lots of muscle I steered the vehicle back onto the road. I jumped out of the vehicle to check for damage such as a leaking steering hose or broken serpentine belt. Not seeing any immediate damage, I slowly drove the vehicle about a mile and a half to my home. After a through investigation of the steering system, I discovered the intermediate shaft that attaches the steering column to the rack & pinion, had a frozen/binding universal joint. This universal joint is exposed to the elements and does not have a lubrication fitting. This item is not mentioned in the manual under periodic maintenance. Under a different circumstance, such as my wife driving the vehicle, this incident my have caused a lot of damage to the occupants and others around the vehicle.

- Black Creek, WI, USA

problem #13

Mar 252013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
The Toyota Tacoma became difficult to steer, as though the power steering was failing. To negotiate the vehicle through a bend in the road I had to exert significant amount of force on the steering wheel and had to manually force the wheel back to center. This momentarily inhibited me from keeping the vehicle centered in the lane. This problem has since recurred intermittently. On inspection I was able to determine the cause of the impaired steering control to be corrosion of the universal joint #2 steering intermediate shaft part # 45203-04020. On searching for a remedy I learned this part has been redesigned to address the problem, and the replacement part is 45220-04020. Application of penetrating oil to the steering intermediate shaft universal joint has reduced the severity of the problem but not permanently resolved it. If this problem occurred while a younger, older or otherwise physically weaker operator was driving they may have had difficulty keeping the vehicle in its lane.

- Milford, OH, USA

problem #12

Feb 102012

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles


The steering all of a sudden became surprisingly hard to turn as if the power steering failed. This is a common occurring problem in this make and model of truck and is a safety concern. The onset of this problem is incredibly fast which could lead to serious crashes and injuries!!! the cause is a faulty part design (part is exposed to the elements and seizes) and needs to be remedied asap. The faulty part # 45203 - 04020, intermediate shaft.

- Canonsburg, PA, USA

problem #11

Jan 012013


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph, the steering wheel suddenly became extremely difficult to maneuver. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that there were rusted components within the steering wheel. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000. The VIN was not available.

- Westmoreland , NH, USA

problem #10

Sep 062012


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while driving approximately 10 mph and completing a turn, the steering wheel slowly returned to a straight position. The failure recurred whenever the contact was attempting a turn in either direction. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Oak Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #9

Apr 022012

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Sudden onset of steering intermediate shaft U-joint seizing making steering difficult. Also lost return-to-center of steering. This could pose a serious risk of over-steering into oncoming traffic when making a left hand turn at a tee intersection. The unprotected U-joint is exposed to striking of road debris and salt spray. The U-joint does not have grease fittings or any obvious means of lubrication. Internet research suggests this is a very common defect for Toyota Tacoma with approximately 75K or more miles starting with model years 2005 and newer.

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #8

Aug 122011

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
I have a 2005 Toyota Tacoma prerunner 4X4 with only 83,000 miles. There is recurring issues with the front wheel bearings going out. Front left has been replaced 3 years ago, then front left stub axle was replaced less than a year later under warranty by Toyota. The right front wheel bearing also went out 2 years ago and were replaced and now the left side is going out again.

- Santa Fe, TX, USA

problem #7

May 012010


  • 77,000 miles
TL contact owns a 2005 Toyota Tacoma. While driving at 10 mph, the contact stated that the steering wheel became very difficult to turn. He had to manually pull the steering wheel back in position when making turns. The contact stated that the failure was intermittent at first but now it was more frequent. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The failure mileage was approximately 77,000. The current mileage was approximately 78,000.

- Gouverneur, NY, USA

problem #6

Feb 272010


  • 68,100 miles
I was driving about 40 miles per hour my 2005 Toyota Tacoma on the freeway in light rain. The steering completely went out of control and my truck began fishtailing. I tapped on the brakes lightly but the truck continued accelerating faster. I ended up hitting the concrete barrier and was placed in the ambulance. I now suffer from lower back and possible torn ligaments in the neck. Before the accident there has been a couple of incident where the steering veers of for no reason and sometimes the steering shakes when I drive.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 232009


  • 59,000 miles
I noticed occasional stiff steering for a few months which gradually became worse with time. Eventually seemed like complete loss of power assist steering. I found that it was the intermediate shaft which contains a universal joint that had become seized. I had this intermediate shaft part replaced at a total cost of $885. The new part ordered from Toyota was different from the original in that the new part had a boot protecting the universal from dirt dust and debris.

- Dingmans Ferry , PA, USA

problem #4

Jan 182006


  • 1,500 miles
I have a 2005 Toyota Tacoma trd 4X4 they have replaced my front wheel bearings 6 times know my front diff, the transmission once and my rear end.

- Frazier Park, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 012005

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2005 Toyota Tacoma. The contact hears metal grinding when making left turns. The failure has been occurring ever since the vehicle was purchased. Toyota stated that they do not know how to repair the failure, however the vehicle should be safe to drive. They also stated that they do not consider it a safety hazard. Toyota stated that this is a failure dealing with the trans-actual and transfer case of the steering column. The problem still persists. The current mileage is 38,000 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Omaha, NE, USA

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