If you own a 2008-2013 Toyota Highlander vehicle, you may have noticed a clunk, pop, or knock-type noise when turning the steering wheel left or right. Don’t worry, it’s not just you! A significant number of consumers have complained that their Highlander vehicles are making these noises—ranging from interior rattles, to a popping noise when turning the steering wheel, to a “distinct clunk” when turning or accelerating the vehicle. As the vehicle gains more miles, consumers have noticed that the “clunk” becomes more and more audible. Below are just a few of the multitude of complaints describing the clunking, popping, and/or rattling noise consumers experience when turning their steering wheel in a Highlander:
While turning the steering I feel a klunk this happens always when [I turn] the wheel. Frustrated really need your help.
This vehicle has a knocking or clunking sound when turning the steering wheel. This is a common complaint on Toyota Highlanders but vehicles when out of warranty. This is a defect in these vehicles and should be fixed by Toyota free of charge.
The vehicle has around 37K miles and started to get a bump or thud sound when turning to right and turning over all begin to get sluggish. I took it to the [dealership] has in Houston and it was diagnosed with a drive shaft problem and required a expensive repair and front end alignment. I questioned the service rep as it seemed to be very low mileage for a issue researching it seems that this is a Highlander defect and should be covered by a recall. If this car had 80k or more miles I might be of a different opinion but this car is way too new to have an issue like this especially on such an important element like steering. This is an obvious engineering and manufacturing problem and a replacement part that will only have a 1 year warranty is not good enough.
There is a clunking noise when turning at low speeds. My mechanic says there is a defect in the design of the steering shaft. He said this commonly occurs with this model Highlander, something supported by numerous complaints about the same issue. Toyota denies responsibility and won’t issue a recall, though it is a safety risk. Continue reading