Toyota Motor Corporation Sienna

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Poor Solution to a Known Problem
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CINCINNATI, OHIO -- The door stop on the front driver side of my 2004 Toyota Sienna has failed. I have 118,000 miles on the van as I drove to work 22 miles round trip until I retired.
Based on discussions with the dealer, Joseph Toyota, where I've had the maintenance on the van performed since purchase, a weld inside the door broke. It was admitted that this is a known issue to Toyota as well as a design flaw. But as my van has over 100,000 miles, Toyota will not correct the door. To make the best correction, the door has to be replaced; a $1,600.00 five day process. To make an "okay" correction, the cost is $500.00 and a two-day process. Since this was a known issue, I'm wondering why, when Joseph Toyota had my car for a body repair on the same door several years ago, the initiative wasn't taken to address the weld at that time before it broke.
This Sienna is not my first vehicle, I've owned several other brands, but it is the first to have a door weld break and all my cars were driven over 100,000 miles. I am very disappointed with Toyota.
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FoDaddy19 on 02/17/2012:
Usually, unless there is a recall, they won't do anything about it. Just because it's known issue, doesn't mean they are going to proactively do anything about it. TSB's are different compared to recalls in that respect.

Another good example of this was the Ford head gasket recall fiasco. A lot of people paid to have their head gaskets replaced on their 3.8L engines years before Ford actually issued a recall on them.
Terminator's ghost on 02/17/2012:
Without a recall, they aren't going to do something like put an extra weld on the joint in anticipation it may fail - it doesn't work that way.

It would, however, be perfectly logical to do what you suggest.
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dishonest or incompetent?
Posted by on
SANFORD, NORTH CAROLINA -- My 2000 Sienna suddenly started consuming oil so we took it to Fred Anderson Toyota in Sanford to find out why. They changed the oil, replaced a gasket and said bring it back in 1000 miles for an oil consumption test. That's what I did. Thing is, the van doesn't use oil the first 1000 miles after an oil change. But it uses a LOT between 1000 and 2000 miles. So at 1000 miles the dealer says it's not using any oil, there's no problem.

A thousand miles later, it's using oil and smoking on start up. I couldn't take it in the day I noticed the smoking, so I added some oil and took it in a couple of days later. Since I had added oil, the dealer said they couldn't confirm that it had used any oil. In their opinion, there was nothing wrong with the van. They would, however, do another oil change and we could do another oil consumption test "if" it used oil again.

This answers was not acceptable to me, so I came home and did some research. That's when I found out about the oil gelling issues that these Toyota engines have had. I went back to the dealer with this information. They assured me that they checked for engine sludge and there was none. Still, when the zone manager was at the dealer, we had him look at it also. He said that Toyota had very strict rules regarding documentation for oil gelling and that it wasn't the dealer's fault if they couldn't confirm there was a problem.

I have no choice but to keep driving it. I have to have a vehicle that can accommodate 4 kids in car seats. While on an out-of-town trip, the van starts smoking tremendously and the smell of something burning was quite strong. I had hours of driving before I got home, so I added oil and drove home. I took it to the dealer the next day. I get the same story, "We don't detect a problem." They said that because I added oil, they can't confirm that it is using oil! By this point I've decided that they aren't incompetent, they're just trying everything they can to avoid admitting there's a problem that will require a fix at their expense.

Once again they changed the oil and told me to bring it back when it starts using oil again. They told me not to add any oil to it and don't worry if I run it without oil (yeah, like that won't void they warranty).

So this morning my husband called them to tell them we were bringing the van back in. They said they would look at it, confirm it's low on oil, document it and add some oil. That's it! When he asked what happens after that, they said they would contact the zone manager after they confirm it's using oil and he'll decide what happens next. So, I'm heading out the door to Fred Anderson once again. So they can see that the oil is low and add some more. Have I mentioned that the dealership is 45 minutes away? I no longer have any hope that anything will be done to fix my van. This is the first Toyota I've ever owned. I can promise you I will never own another one. If I had it to do over again, I would have bought the Odyssey instead.
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Mad Eye Moody on 03/08/2004:
Check the recalls for them with Consumer Reports, or even on their corporate website. I had some experience drawing up some papers in regards to the sludging issues their engines experienced. The Sienna seems to be prone to MANY problems. There are some great resources online for class action suits going on, problems, recalls etc... Good luck.
gman3fan on 03/08/2004:
I empethize with your oil comsumption problem. However 50% of your frustrations are self inflicted by you adding the oil when it was low.
Anonymous on 03/15/2004:
First of all STOP adding oil, Toyota does a good job usually with their vehicles but you may have difficult problem to diagnose. I don't believe it is a sludge problem because you said the engine smokes and then loses oil which makes me believe the engine is burning the oil. The sludge problems Toyota has experienced in the past usually don't smoke the engine just quits without any warning. I assume you have full documentation about your required services and you complaints about oil loss. Toyota comes with a 5/60 powertrain warranty and if the motor runs out of oil and you have documentation of your services and maintenance Toyota will replace the engine under warranty. Good Luck
Narg on 11/24/2008:
I've found Toyota's are very hard to fix. Go American made on your next vehicle, you'll be surprised at how good they are today.
old fart on 11/24/2008:
Narq... not to put too fine a point on it but this review is 4 years old..the car has probably been junked by now...As a matter of fact, the Sienna is a year 2000 model..I'm sure it's been junked!
MRM on 11/24/2008:
I was not a member back then nor did I know about this great website!
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Toyota Paint Jobs
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I bought a new 2006 Toyota Sienna. About a year ago I notice little orange specks on the paint job. Most were on the lower portion of the car, but some were on the top of the car. I took it in and the dealership wrote it off to "rail dust". I asked, what exactly is rail dust. I was told when trains go by on tracks the wheels and rails shoot out little sparks/chips of hot steel that can attach to a car melting into the paint and can give and orange appearance. I live 3 blocks from a Metra station and I have to ask how do all the cars that park at the station not get this. My car is 3 blocks away. I didn't believe that is what it was so I started checking other Siennas in parking lots about the same years. What I found is that all the white metallic Siennas had some degree of the orange specks on them and some of the light metallic blue Siennas. That’s when I knew it wasn't "rail dust". When the district manager for Toyota wouldn’t do anything I called their corporate office in CA. After about a week they came back and said sorry, nothing they could do and offered no additional explanation for the issue. I believe it to be a paint defect, but I am guessing that not enough people complained about it so they are sweeping it under the rug. I wonder how many other people were treated the same way.
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Toyota Moon Roof Disaster
Posted by on
This is my fifth 9and last) Toyota. Too expensive to run!!!
I have owned a 2004 Sienna with moon roof for 7 years with less that 50,000 miles on the odometer. Last week the roof got stuck in the open position and the local Toyota dealer had to remove and disassemble the entire roof to deactivate the motor and close the roof. It took three days and cost almost $700 and now I can no longer open the moon roof. Other manufacturers usually offer a hand crank option. $700 to just close the roof is disgusting!
The Dunlop Run-Flat tires come without a spare and cost more than $400 each to replace. I have had to replace the first after 15,000 and again at 40,000 miles. Am now using Michelins but no room to store a spare.
Do NOT BUY any Toyota Sienna with these tires and a moon roof. Complained to Toyota but never received a reply
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Afarro on 11/19/2010:
I had to same experience with the run flat tires - that kept going flat. I had to carry around a 12 volt inflater and finally gave up and bought regular tires - but now also have no spare - still have my inflater though.
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Van bottoms out when towing
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WINNIEPG -- Hi there,

We bought a Toyota Sienna van almost 2 years ago and have been fighting with Toyota for get a hydralic lift put in the rear suspension so our boat doesn't bottom out when towing. Toyota will not pay for our repairs. They say where at the maxium towing capacity. We also have the older version of the Toyota Sienna Van and we have no problem towing our boat with that one. The Kilometers are a little hight on it so we don't like to tow with it but we do. The problem with the new Siennas is that the third seats fold in and therefore have more weight at the back of the vehichle. Toyota did pay for our friends installation of a rear suspension air bag but won't pay for ours even though we bought the van 2 months earlier. I will never buy another toyota again due to the poor customer service they have.]]]
Karen Schellenberg
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Slimjim on 04/24/2006:
Your friend got lucky I agree. From what it sounds like, that boat isn't very small and clearly that vehicle wasn't designed to tow it. Unless their specs say it can safely as equipped, I can't see how you would expect them to cover modifications for your towing capability.
CobraCat77 on 04/24/2006:
Why didn't you buy a truck to tow this boat of yours?
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bad main seals
Posted by on
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- I purchased a used toyota sienna van with 55,000 miles on it in febuary 2003, on Nov. 2 2004 for the van started smoking profusely out from under the hood when you stopped at a stop light or parked. we took the car in for service to find that the car has a bad main seal on it. The cost of the repair is going to around $1500,roughfly 10 hours worth of labor for 10 dollar rubber seal,what's wrong with this picture?
I have three problems with this; one is that I purchased this vehicle because of the so called good customer reviews Ha! Ha! baloney!;secondly I do realize that this was a used vehicle when I bought it but , the problem I have is that the car lost 3 and a half quarts of oil and the low oil warning light never came on, which means that
instead of facing a 1500 repair I would be facing rerplacing an engine;thirdly after reporting this matter to Toyota Motor Corporation all they had to say was that they are sorry,(and sorry they are)rather than doing what they should do and that's recall everyone the 2000 toyota vans and replace the oil sensor units which are apparently bad on these vehicles along with improving the main seals which can cost the consumer a significant amount of money in unnecessary repairs and at the same time saving them (toyota motor corp.)face and their so called good reputation to fade. It,s apparent that there are others who are experiencing the same problems and toyota seems to be ignoring it. I will gladly change my 3cents worth depending on how they respond to my concerns, which have not been very favorable so far.
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TXRoadTrip on 11/03/2004:
Yah and the main seals are bad in their trucks also. Just had it fixed by a great mechanic.
Hint: Don’t take it to the dealerships they just break something else. I will write a review on it – when I have more time.
TXRoadTrip on 11/03/2004:
They ripped you off on labor and costs.
Call Toyota 1-800-331-4331 and send in a complaint to them. Option 3 then 1 I think.
Anonymous on 11/04/2004:
Exactly how long do you expect a manufacturer to warranty their vehicles?
TXRoadTrip on 11/04/2004:
Not too sure about what you know about vehicles and mechanics but from talking to mine mechanics it's rear for main seals to go out. I talked to 3 different mechanics about this. And this seems to be an inherent Toyota problem. Also his mechanics ripped him off for the time they said it took – look in the book and it should have not cost him 1500.00.
TXRoadTrip on 11/04/2004:
Sorry error correction on mine to my.
Not too sure about what you know about vehicles and mechanics but from talking to my mechanics it's rear for main seals to go out. I talked to 3 different mechanics about this. And this seems to be an inherent Toyota problem. Also his mechanics ripped him off for the time they said it took – look in the book and it should have not cost 1500.00.
TXRoadTrip on 11/05/2004:
Sorry rear in this sentence is rare. I was busy and did not have a lot of time to type.

mechanics it's rear for main seals to go out.
bossdawg on 03/27/2005:
you need to have this vehicle checked for engine sludge toyota has had a problem with oil not drainig back to the oil pan because of the design of the cylinder heads this allows oil to puddle in the heads and cake or sludge.if this happens it also will cause the vent system in the engine to not operate properly thus creating high engine pressure and you guessed it rear main sel leak this however may not be your problem but putting a new rear main in it if it is will only result in big expense and the seal as well as others will only leak has issued many service bullitens on engine sludge..ant this has been going on since late dosent haooen to all the toyota engins just some..but you can have a bore scope run in it to see if sludge is the problem generally speaking rear main seals don't leak on toyota vehicles
fourbrrl on 05/10/2007:
the "sludge" problem is not a toyota problem, it's an oil QUALITY problem. none of MY customers with toyotas have "sludge" problems. of course they use QUALITY oil and REGULARLY change it.
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