The Toyota RAV4 has been a top-selling compact SUV for over two decades thanks to its reliability, versatility, and value. Even stalwart models like the RAV4 can develop issues over time. “Toyota RAV4 electric power steering problems” have recently begun cropping up for some owners of newer models featuring electric power steering. 

This advanced system makes steering easier but has caused headaches for some drivers. 

In this article, we’ll outline the most common electric power steering faults with the RAV4 and unpack why the dreaded electric power steering warning light illuminates. From sensor malfunctions to column issues, we’ll explore the leading root causes and solutions for power steering woes with America’s best-selling SUV.



The 12-volt battery that powers all of the RAV4’s electronics, including the electric power steering system, is often the culprit when steering issues arise. A weak or Dead battery that can no longer deliver consistent power is the most common trigger for electric power steering problems and the dreaded warning light.

With insufficient juice, the sensitive steering components sputter and fail. Telltale signs like flickering headlights or sluggish cranking when starting point to battery trouble, which frequently crops up after 3-5 years of use.

A new battery can also spur electric power steering faults if corrosion prevents a clean connection. Battery terminal ends become encrusted with whitish-green build-up over time. Cleaning them off with a baking soda/water solution restores contact. A battery showing early failure within the 1-3 year warranty period qualifies for a free replacement.

When electric power steering problems strike without other systemic electrical issues, testing the battery is always the sensible first step. This can diagnose if an underlying weak or dying battery is the trigger, signaling the need for a replacement to restore confidence in all systems relying on ample battery power, steering included.


A concerning recall has been issued for particular 2019-2020 Toyota RAV4 and 2020 RAV4 Hybrid models related to a water leak issue that impacts the electric power steering system. Specifically, water can infiltrate the steering gearbox, leading to a complete loss of electric power steering assist. This poses a severe safety risk by making it very difficult for drivers to steer correctly.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the details on exactly which vehicle identification numbers (VINs) are impacted. Owners of potentially affected RAV4s should immediately check the NHTSA website by VIN to see if their vehicle is covered under this recall. Getting the recall repair done promptly is critical to prevent electric power steering failure and ensure safe steering ability is restored.

This fix seals up the water leak issue and replaces any damaged electric power steering components. As always, staying on top of recall alerts and completing all recommended repairs is essential for the safety of both RAV4 owners and all on the road.



Owners of Toyota RAV4 models should watch out for the electric power steering (EPS) warning light, which looks like a steering wheel symbol with an exclamation point. This dash light indicates a fault in the EPS system – either a complete failure or degraded steering assist. An RAV4 EPS issue typically stems from two common problems: a weak car battery or a water leak infiltrating the steering gearbox components. With the EPS impaired, drivers can struggle to steer the RAV4 properly.

This poses a serious safety hazard on the road. As soon as the EPS warning light appears, have a professional diagnose the specific cause. Your local Toyota dealer can inspect for a low battery or water intrusion leading to corrosion or short circuits. Getting the root issue repaired right away is crucial to restore normal electric power steering function.

Never ignore the warning signs of EPS problems, as this compromises the RAV4’s steering reliability and your ability to drive safely.


 The RAV4 electric power steering system offers numerous advantages in terms of control and safety on the road. While occasional malfunctions may arise, prompt action can help resolve these issues efficiently. The dashboard alert serves as an early warning signal, prompting users to check the battery first before seeking professional assistance. By addressing any 

RAV4 Electric power Steering problems swiftly and effectively, and drivers can continue to enjoy the benefits of this advanced steering system without significant disruptions. Stay proactive and ensure your Toyota RAV4 remains safe and reliable on the road.


What’s the difference between electric power steering and traditional hydraulic steering?

Hydraulic steering uses power steering fluid to assist with turning the wheels, while electric power steering utilizes an electric motor for assistance. 

What are potential causes of electric power steering problems?

Potential causes of electric power steering problems can include a weak battery or water damage from a leak.

Are there any recalls related to electric power steering?

Yes, there have been recalls related to electric power steering issues in some vehicles. One notable example is the recall for particular 2019-2020 RAV4 and 2020 RAV4 Hybrid models due to water leakage that could impact the electric power steering system.