Japan have torched Australia 60-52 in their Paralympics wheelchair rugby bronze medal match on Sunday (August 29).
The Steelers were again a shadow of the team that won the last two Paralympic gold medals.
They finish without a Games medal for the first time since 2004.
Captain Ryley Batt again led the way with a game-high 27 tries, but otherwise the Australians were no match for their arch-rivals.
While Australia came into the Paralympics with gold medal expectations, they lost key player Michael Ozanne to illness during the tournament and won only one of their three pool games.
The United States beat Australia convincingly in Saturday's semi-final.
Australia briefly hit the front in the first term on Sunday, but Japan repeated the pattern of their pool match by quickly taking control.
The Steelers were five down at halftime and trailed by as much as 10.
"We're disappointed we couldn't pull out more wins or make games closer," Batt said.
"We tried but we've had a really good run, we've won two gold medals, we've won a silver. "
Unfortunately, teams can't be at the top forever."
Australian Associated Press