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Old 06-29-2019, 12:44 PM #31
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Lol ok let me go ahead and provide a more detailed response:
1. My vehicle currently has 30,173 miles on it
2. The issue did begin around 15k miles and I felt it would be best to just bring it in upon my next service as this didn't affect the performance of the vehicle in a way that would hinder my ability to drive it. That was at 20k.
3. I reported this to my local Toyota dealership in December of 2018. The service advisor took a picture of the steering wheel and had it inspected by the local Toyota warranty individual(I think they are called DSPMs). Toyota declined to replace it under warranty and deemed it outside influence.
4. I was unsatisfied with the results of this as I know another individual who had a Hyundai who had the same issue. Hyundai replaced their steering wheel no questions asked. I called Toyota corporate and opened a case to which they denied it as well.
5. I had given up at that point until my most recent service. The dealership asked me how happy I was and I said, "I'm happy with everything excluding the steering wheel." His reply was, "I had another guy come in and tell me he was having the same issue." This got me thinking that maybe this actually is a more common issue with this truck.
6. I called Toyota Carlsbad and told them about my situation. I was told that this problem is quite common on the Prius.
7. I started this post and have obviously received several responses of other 4Runner consumers who are having this issue.
8. I opened another case to which I was denied yet again.

Between my wife and I, we have bought $150k in Toyota vehicles over the past 4 years. I've never had to take any of our vehicles in for warranty repairs and the first time I do I get push back on a crappy steering wheel. Obviously I could easily replace the steering wheel by paying for one but why should I?

And to answer a previous post, I don't drive my car any differently than the past six cars I've owned. I'm not a woman so I don't have a massive diamond ring on my hand and my wife doesn't drive my car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GripT4R View Post
You did not answer my question...

How many miles are on the truck?

You may be making this harder on yourself if you are communicating to Toyota with responses like the above.

If the issue started happening at 15,000 miles or 8 months old...why did you wait until now to try and have it replaced under warranty after 2 years?
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Old 06-29-2019, 05:48 PM #32
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The 31st post should have been the 1st post.

Sounds like since you are so close to being out of warranty, and have backed down twice already, they are going to try and drag it out for a little while longer when they can "sorry, your warranty is expired, we can sell you one for $777.00 plus labor if you like?"

I would suggest being up their ass about it until it is fixed. Raise hell on the show room floor.

Possible go to different Toyota dealerships. Nothing says you have to take it where you bought it.
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Old 06-29-2019, 06:00 PM #33
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I certainly didnít intend on litigating the matter over a forum but rather to just ask if other people were having the same problem. But if you read the first post I specified that they wanted to charge me roughly that amount.
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Old 06-29-2019, 09:04 PM #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socal410 View Post
And to answer a previous post, I don't drive my car any differently than the past six cars I've owned. I'm not a woman so I don't have a massive diamond ring on my hand and my wife doesn't drive my car.
It doesn't take a massive diamond to scratch the hell out of the wheel. My wife's nephew drove with his wrist draped over the wheel and his watch band scratched that wheel to shreds on top.

That said, if you really feel that it is a manufacturer's defect, then write the letter - not an email - an actual letter that somebody needs to sign for and ends up on somebody's desk instead of ending up on page 20 in 5 seconds.
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Old 06-29-2019, 09:50 PM #35
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People complain that a vehicle costing 40k shouldn't have this problem...well, a 40k vehicle these days is not built to the same standards as a vehicle costing 40k from the 1990's.

Good luck finding top grain leather products in any vehicle in the 40k range.

I'd buy a leather steering wheel wrap for 20 bucks that looks and feels OEM for 20 dollars on amazon and call it a day.
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:57 PM #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblah View Post
I'd buy a leather steering wheel wrap for 20 bucks that looks and feels OEM for 20 dollars on amazon and call it a day.
I agree with this and I will probably do a preemptive strike and put one on before any damage shows up. On my other truck I put a wheelskin on and it was great quality. When I first did it the wrap was not tight around the posts but over a short time the whole thing shrunk up and it fits real tight and the gaps at the posts all disappeared.

Good luck to the OP, this should not be happening at all.
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Old 06-30-2019, 11:54 AM #37
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Idk if I would agree with that. The interior quality of modern vehicles is immensely better than what it was in the 90s let alone 15 years ago.

Again, I'm not asking for top notch quality just something that'll last through the comprehensive warranty

Quote:
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People complain that a vehicle costing 40k shouldn't have this problem...well, a 40k vehicle these days is not built to the same standards as a vehicle costing 40k from the 1990's.

Good luck finding top grain leather products in any vehicle in the 40k range.

I'd buy a leather steering wheel wrap for 20 bucks that looks and feels OEM for 20 dollars on amazon and call it a day.
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Old 06-30-2019, 05:56 PM #38
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I have a 2018 and it has begun peeling on the top
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:04 PM #39
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exactly where mine is pealing.

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I have a 2018 and it has begun peeling on the top
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:35 PM #40
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Quote:
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Idk if I would agree with that. The interior quality of modern vehicles is immensely better than what it was in the 90s let alone 15 years ago.

Again, I'm not asking for top notch quality just something that'll last through the comprehensive warranty
Interior design and soft plastics have gotten better, but the quality of the material (such as leather) has gotten worse due to cost cutting and/or been replaced by soft plastics and pleather.

Also my second point was 40k back in 1990 bought you a lot more than 40k today, so the vehicles arenít even in the same class anymore.

So I chuckle when someone says they are disappointed in what their 40k bought them. 40k is the new 30k....lol

If you want better quality interiors, Toyota will point you to a Lexus.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:59 PM #41
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There are cheap corollas running around from the late 80's and early 90's that still don't have steering wheels peeling.

My 2015 corolla base model with 98k miles has a steering wheel and interior that look showroom new.

Are you saying that toyota used better quality steering wheel material in their economy car vs. the 4runner of the same year? I bet its the same material, just different lot numbers due to the mixing of the material before being injected in the mold and cured.


Toyota needs to own up to their crappy $8 steering wheel that they charge $770 for and replace it under warranty. Literally as Simple as that.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:00 PM #42
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I was a the dealer this morning for service and brought this up when I checked in, they ordered me a new steering wheel, no questions asked.
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:31 PM #43
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Good news! Local dealer got the ok to replace my steering wheel under warranty. Getting a new one this week.


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Old 07-24-2019, 12:58 PM #44
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My 14 Tundra did this too
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:26 AM #45
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Mine too

I have two 5th generation 4Runners and a Tundra.
The Tundra and 4Runner I drive both have this problem. Both started around 20,000 miles. This obviously makes me think it is something about my driving style (holding the top center) that causes the problem.
Being said...
The top and bottom of the steering wheel is made from vinyl and the sides are real leather. On mine the black finish is rubbed off and showing the sub white uncolored vinyl at the top. Toyotas are great cars and I have driven them for years. I think it is kind of cheap of them that somehow it makes financial sense to make the top and the bottom of the steering wheel out of vinyl and not just make the whole wheel from leather. I had a 2003 4Runner and the whole wheel was leather. It did fine for the 13 years I had it. Mixing vinyl and leather on the seats as a cost saving measure has been going on for years. Some bean counter at Toyota figured that the majority of people must hold the wheel at 2 and 10 or 3 and 9 and that they can get away with making the top and bottom from vinyl!

Toyota did warranty my 4Runner steering wheel but I could not ask to warranty the Tundra wheel because I had put it on myself. (Same exact Toyota factory wheel).
They did not change out the 4Runner wheel but instead gave a decent amount of service credit at the dealer as compensation. I accepted that because I figured a new wheel would just do it again.
I have had reasonable luck repainting it/re-dying it with kiwi leather dye. It comes in a shoe polish foam tip. I taped it off and put a drop cloth so as not to drip in the wrong places. It dries surprisingly evenly for a foam applicator. The kiwi does wear off over time but takes quite a while....it does not come off on your hand. They use the same stuff to dye purses and shoes. It is a little bit shiny but dulls with use.
There are after market wheels that have leather accent sides and plastic top and bottom that are as little as $200. Its not that hard to switch it out with a $15 wheel puller, some YouTube videos and some courage. Once mine gets very bad I am going that route. Or maybe you could get a shop to do it for $150 or so.
I think if the whole wheel was leather it would not have had this problem. I do agree with a lot of others that Toyota picked the wrong place to cheap out. It is right in your face everyday!

For what is worth.

Last edited by StevenB1962; 09-10-2019 at 10:28 AM.
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