My 2011 4x4 DC SB has play and vibration in the steering wheel when driving bumpy roads. It was even more obvious this past weekend when driving a dirt road out to a remote trailhead in the Sierra. Apparently, I'm not alone as a search on this forum finds numerous people, who have all experienced the same issue. I took it into the shop about 2 weeks ago for the 6 month service and after explaining to the service advisor, was told the mechanic didn't find anything wrong.
When I went back to pick it up, I demonstrated it to the mechanic and he did feel the play. We compared it to another Tacoma that was in service and its steering had no play. So he orders a new intermediate steering shaft.
Today, I took the car in, then get a voicemail from the service advisor saying that they put in the new steering shaft and nothing changed, the steering still had play. He also mentioned that they called the "technical people at Toyota" and they mentioned this issue has been brought to their attention and that this is normal with nothing mechanically wrong with the car. He said they were instructed to put the original intermediate shaft back into the car.
I don't have any issues with the advisor. He's been been pretty cool and helpful and sounds like he's just following orders, but I'm wondering how I should proceed since there's clearly a problem. When I went back to pick up the car, I brought along a copy of the TSB along with numerous comments from these forums where people have mentioned the TSB solved the issue. Unfortunately, the advisor had already gone home for the day. I left copies and asked that he call me tomorrow.
If play in the steering wheel is "normal", why would Toyota issue a TSB in the first place?
Anyway, here's the voicemail I received from the advisor. Can some of you give it a quick listen and give offer some thoughts/suggestions? I previously had a 2001 Pathfinder and after 170K miles, it's steering was rock solid compared to my Tacoma with less than 5K miles.