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Over 100,000 people have read about the intermediate steering shaft problem. If you are like me (a lurker), you haven't posted, but you may have tried to deal with it on your own. (either calling or visiting the local dealer). This may or may not work.

Long story short....I got my intermediate steering shaft replaced at no charge by Toyota and my local dealer, after my 2007 RAV4 V6 Base was out of warranty (only 34 months, but over 50K miles), but I had to work for it a little bit.

I called the Toyota National Customer Service line and they helped me. More importantly, they told me that Toyota needs people to call them to report problems like this instead of just complaining on forums. They can't read all of the forums all over the internet.

On issues like this, even your local dealer has his hands tied somewhat by the sheer cost of fixing all of the problems for “free”. Toyota must be held accountable and each of you with the problem needs to step up and call them.

Toyota's National Customer Service line can tally our complaints and this helps Toyota make a decision to fix the problems through a recall campaign.

So here it is: Call 800-331-4331

I'm not saying that your problem will be fixed like mine at no cost to you, but I AM saying that without calling, you are not helping yourself or your fellow RAV4 owners. Only through this process can we change things and get them to recognize the problem. If all 106,000 plus readers call up, the recall can't be far behind and all of our fellow RAV4 members and everyone else will benefit.

Step up on this one....I was glad I did.

Good luck!
 

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In US, http://www.toyota.com/help/contactus.html

Customer Experience Center
If you'd like to discuss your experience or share your comments,
Toyota's Customer Experience Center representatives are happy to assist you. Phone: 800-331-4331
Fax: 310-468-7814
Mon - Fri, 5:00 am - 6:00 pm PST
Sat, 7:00 am - 4:00 pm PST Or send correspondence to:
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
19001 South Western Ave.
Dept. WC11
Torrance, CA 90501

In Canada, no "Customer Experience Center" number like USA,
but just Toyota Canada 1-888-TOYOTA-8 number.

Last year I argued with Toyota Canada and a local dealer.
None of those people helped or offered free or even half priced repair. I fed up.

Later then when I heard Lexus or Toyota's all the accel pedal and other issues' recall,
guess what I felt? I was sooooooo excited. :)
because I was not the only victim of the T. crappy quality.

I really hope US victims got it fixed for free.
and it will make T. Canada do the same soon or later. Amen.
 

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Check for a loose axle nut first!

2007 Rav4 Sport V6
63,000 miles
Single-owner

Our family-driver Rav4 began exhibiting symptoms indicative of an issue with the steering shaft or rack and pinion at roughly 61,000 miles. Initially the clunks would only occur when transitioning from a parked state to reversing down a driveway, or when turning the wheel from neutral in either direction. We took the car to an independent garage with a reputable owner, and though he could not reproduce the issue while the car was on the rack, he saw the service bulletin to replace the steering intermediate (lower and upper) shaft and performed the service. Though the steering felt tighter, the sound remained but was often difficult to detect.

Over the course of a few hundred more miles, the clunk sounds gradually became worse and could be reproduced quite easily when parked by turning the wheel in either direction, or by driving forward or in reversing from a stop. Driving over small gravel even produced a rattle noise. Since the intermediate shaft had been replaced recently (and with a superior part), my worst fears that the issue may require serving according to the rack and pinion service bulletin were coming to the forefront.

Our local Toyota saw the vehicle and initially recommended that the intermediate shaft be replaced. Upon finding out that it had been replaced, and quite recently, they did some thorough investigating with microphones while test driving. This testing resulted in a focus on the control arm and wheel assembly, and eventually the realization that one axle nut had backed-off by 1/8 of a turn and needed tightening. Upon tightening, the clunk issue was resolved! What a simple and inexpensive fix!

I recognize that not every case on these forums is a result of a loose axle nut, but this is too important not to inspect and verify before having either of the steering clunk service bulletins performed (the intermediate shaft replacement or the steering rack and pinion replacement). Since most cars' axle nuts are secured via a roll pin whereas Toyota has chosen to produce an axle nut which requires a punch be driven to secure the nut in a groove on the axle, many owners could find a loose or improperly installed axle nut to be an issue. I don't much care for this design as it seems difficult to punch the nut with enough force to seat the axle nut, but to avoid creating a nut which will strip the axle threads upon removal (the rear axles had to be replaced due to this issue). In any case, besides the clunking, a loose axle nut is also a safety issue. Check it out!

-Ben
 

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I hate the nut punch solution. Once I wanted to re-torque the nut, but could not undo the punch without destroying the nut.
 

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I completely agree with Bss51. I had the same issue, took it in to Toyota, with a Intermediate Steering Shaft issue. Knuckle joint wearing. Not coverd by warranty unless before 30K. BS! That shouldn't wear out before 100K at the soonest.
Called Toyota Customer Service and opened a complaint file (1) and they said they would call be back within two days. I gave them the dealers name and the service attendants name. They called the dealer, but don't know the out come. BS about manager being out of the office all day. BS. The dealer isn't he one to eat it. Toyota is.
Called DOT to file a complaint claim and did that. Be warned the phone operators are government employes.
Bottom line is, DOT will never look into or do a recall notice on anything until they personally get official complaints from you/us. Period. File a complaint with them first, then come bitch on a forum. Just bitching on a forum does nothing in cases like this.
Oh, here's sa good idea. If you have a FaceBook account, complaint there. All of your friends will see it, they'll tell their friends, and eventually Toyota will feel the warmth.
 

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No luck but at least I voiced my opinion

Over 100,000 people have read about the intermediate steering shaft problem. If you are like me (a lurker), you haven't posted, but you may have tried to deal with it on your own. (either calling or visiting the local dealer). This may or may not work.

Long story short....I got my intermediate steering shaft replaced at no charge by Toyota and my local dealer, after my 2007 RAV4 V6 Base was out of warranty (only 34 months, but over 50K miles), but I had to work for it a little bit.

I called the Toyota National Customer Service line and they helped me. More importantly, they told me that Toyota needs people to call them to report problems like this instead of just complaining on forums. They can't read all of the forums all over the internet.

On issues like this, even your local dealer has his hands tied somewhat by the sheer cost of fixing all of the problems for “free”. Toyota must be held accountable and each of you with the problem needs to step up and call them.

Toyota's National Customer Service line can tally our complaints and this helps Toyota make a decision to fix the problems through a recall campaign.

So here it is: Call 800-331-4331

I'm not saying that your problem will be fixed like mine at no cost to you, but I AM saying that without calling, you are not helping yourself or your fellow RAV4 owners. Only through this process can we change things and get them to recognize the problem. If all 106,000 plus readers call up, the recall can't be far behind and all of our fellow RAV4 members and everyone else will benefit.

Step up on this one....I was glad I did.

Good luck!
I just got off the phone with them. They said the TSB is simply an addendum to the repair manual and not an extension of any pre existing warranty. In other words, I have to pay to have this fixed since its outside the 36k 3yr warranty. :(
 

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Over 100,000 people have read about the intermediate steering shaft problem. If you are like me (a lurker), you haven't posted, but you may have tried to deal with it on your own. (either calling or visiting the local dealer). This may or may not work.

Long story short....I got my intermediate steering shaft replaced at no charge by Toyota and my local dealer, after my 2007 RAV4 V6 Base was out of warranty (only 34 months, but over 50K miles), but I had to work for it a little bit.

I called the Toyota National Customer Service line and they helped me. More importantly, they told me that Toyota needs people to call them to report problems like this instead of just complaining on forums. They can't read all of the forums all over the internet.

On issues like this, even your local dealer has his hands tied somewhat by the sheer cost of fixing all of the problems for “free”. Toyota must be held accountable and each of you with the problem needs to step up and call them.

Toyota's National Customer Service line can tally our complaints and this helps Toyota make a decision to fix the problems through a recall campaign.

So here it is: Call 800-331-4331

I'm not saying that your problem will be fixed like mine at no cost to you, but I AM saying that without calling, you are not helping yourself or your fellow RAV4 owners. Only through this process can we change things and get them to recognize the problem. If all 106,000 plus readers call up, the recall can't be far behind and all of our fellow RAV4 members and everyone else will benefit.

Step up on this one....I was glad I did.

Good luck!
That is good info but you should know that NHTSA has a link for this. They have hundreds of legal owners with horror stories (cost wise) but seem uninterested in a recall untill there are some serious or fatal accidents related to this defect. As another complaint stated "They have issued 2 upgraded parts to replace the original. Isn't that proof that Toyota knows it's a defective part?" There should be a class action lawsuit at the very least.
I have a seperate question. Is there a way to tell whether it's the intermediate shaft or the rack and pinion? Preferably something that doesn't require disassembly.
Thanks
 

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I tried to remove the intermediate shaft but it was too tight on the spline. Funny thing was-when I reinstalled the bolts and tightened them the problem went away. I can only guess the bolts weren't tight from the start. After all the grief reading the numerous TSBs I will be selling this 06 Rav and never consider another Toy product.
I did try to work w Toy nat'l service dept (when I thought it was broken) and they basically said tough luck. 84k mi AWD junk
 

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my knock started at 4000 miles on my rav4 it is about time toyota looked at this fault how can they let this problem go on is it safe to keep driving with this fault ???
 

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Please complain here

I tried to call and complain to Toyota. I had it "escalated" as many times as I could. The dealer offered 15% off the $700 repair. I will probably just swap the part myself. It doesn't look too difficult. I won't be buying another Toyota any time soon though.

If you have had this problem and live in the US. Please take a few minutes to file a complaint here.

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml

It will only take a few minutes and with enough complaints it may become a recall. I plan to take it further and print up a flier to put under the wiper of any RAV4 I see in a parking lot. It will inform them of the issue and provide the phone numer for Toyota and well as the above link to file a complaint.

If you would like to participate in the "flier campaign" to warn other owners I have a ready made flier you can print out. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1194095/Rav 4 Flier.pdf

Thanks.
 

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Why wouldn't it be legal to inform people of a possible safety issue with their vehicle? And why wouldn't you want to know? A lot people who aren't computer literate could be driving problem cars and not know about it. It's a public service and certainly free speech. Or have we given that right up too?
 

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I tried to call and complain to Toyota. I had it "escalated" as many times as I could. The dealer offered 15% off the $700 repair. I will probably just swap the part myself. It doesn't look too difficult. I won't be buying another Toyota any time soon though.
You could buy a GM truck:

GM truck steering column clunk - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information

Or a Jeep:

Annoying noise/clunk in Steering Column

Or a Dodge RAM:

clunk!-steering shaft? - Dodge Diesel - Diesel Truck Resource Forums
 

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Why wouldn't it be legal to inform people of a possible safety issue with their vehicle?
I see it as littering.
And why wouldn't you want to know? A lot people who aren't computer literate could be driving problem cars and not know about it. It's a public service and certainly free speech. Or have we given that right up too?
Had you read this thread, even the first few posts, you would have found that relubrication often cures the problem. You would have found it is not a safety issue. I understand you would like repairs after your warranty runs out, but littering parking lots is not going to help.
 

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I guess I have just been spoiled. I have owned several Hondas, two Nissans and two Toyotas. All have had well over 100,000 miles when I sold them. One of the Nissans has 275,000 miles. All of those cars never needed anything other than scheduled maintenance. I swapped my Ford F250 for the RAV4 because I got fed up with the constant repairs. I believe a car shouldn't go through metal brake lines on a regular basis. The F250 broke down more than any other vehicle I have ever heard of and the first one I ever had the pleasure of having the fuel tank fall out of in a parking lot.

This issue really seems to be caused by a defective part. I had a small issue with one of my Hondas that was out of warranty. The gearbox had a slight notchy feeling shifting into third when the car was cold. This was a known issue with this model. Honda repaired the transmission, and gave me a loaner while it was being repaired for free. Thats customer service. When it comes time to get a new car the Honda dealership will be my first stop. I really don't mind paying extra for quality. Perhaps Toyota should start charging more and improving quality control and customer service. I just want a no hassle car to last a reasonable amount of time before needing repairs.
 

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I had a problem a few years back with the local newspaper delivering the free newspaper to me. I asked them to stop throwing the papers in my driveway several times and they wouldn't stop. I filed a littering complaint. When it got to court it was thrown out because of the first amendment. I went into court certain they would end up with an expensive fine, I was totally wrong. When I had time to calm down and contemplate the big picture, I realized that all of us having the right to free speech was more important than me being annoyed. I think I'm safe trying to inform fellow RAV4 owners of a potential problem.

I had read the thread. I understand that some people have had luck lubricating the part. I prefer to have all maintenance and repairs to my vehicle done at the dealer. This way everything is documented and I have done my due diligence with regard making sure the vehicle is safe. Should I (or the future buyer of the vehicle) ever be involved in an accident I have documentation stating that the vehicle was properly maintained.

I appreciate all the expertise represented on boards like this. The problem is that I am unable to verify the qualifications of the people posting. I don't feel comfortable acting on repair advice from an unverified source. Don't get me wrong there is certainly value in discussing issues like this.

If any of my loved ones or myself were injured because I tried to save a few dolars on a repair I couldn't live with that.

My position is that this is a steering component as such if it is not working 100% it is a safety issue. If 10% of the people who have had this problem took the time to file a complaint at Home | Safercar -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) I wouldn't be surprised if a recall was issued. Especially after the news of their record fine for delaying a recall Toyota fined $17.35 million for U.S. floormat recall delay | Reuters

There is strength in numbers. If you agree with me, please take the time to file a complaint.
 

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As much as I would like to help you, I can't report mine, as it was repaired free under warranty per the TSB. I wish the defects covered in TSB had some kind of extended warranty, but they don't. Probably room for some customer protection legislation.
 

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my rav4 had no problems BUT only when i got to 45000 miles the clunk started IM JUST WAITING FOR THE RECALL AS SO MANY RAV 4s HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT THE CLUNK/KNOCK i should think toyota must have the message by now and will want to look after there customers or loose them on there next change of car i love my rav4 but still want to feel safe in it will wait and see--ron uk
 
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