Toyota Sienna Minivans Investigated


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 2004 and 2005 Toyota Sienna minivans for potential problems with their power liftgates. There have been 14 reports of the liftgates unexpectedly closing. A total of 142,418 Siennas are included in the investigation. This doesn’t appear to have anything to do with user error; the investigation is focusing on a faulty seal that could cause the high-pressure struts that raise the liftgate to leak, causing it to close unintentionally.

Toyota is cooperating with NHTSA and says it is performing its own investigation of the problem. Because there is no recall associated with the investigation at this point, Sienna owners who haven’t experienced a problem must wait until the investigation concludes before having their vehicle serviced.

[Toyota Minivans and SUVs Investigated, Detroit Free Press]

By David Thomas | December 7, 2006 | Comments (83)
Tags: Safety, Toyota


thats quality for ya!!!


beats whatever the hell GM offers, oh wait... they don't any more...

yeah they now offer crossovers that will be a hell of a lot more successful than a damn sienna


sure they will...


It's a pretty big deal when Toyota has a problem isn't it? When the Big 3 do, it's hardly noticed. Why? It's expected and common.

actually most toyota recalls float underneath the radar because of public perception on how absolutely nothing goes wrong with toyotas...the big deal is always with american..thanks!

While I usually enjoy all of your comments on other stories it's getting a bit tired that every time there is a post about quality or safety issues we get the same exact comments. We're trying to provide relevant information for those who need it, not a forum for people to bash a brand repeatedly in the same manner. Let's try to elevate the discourse a bit shall we? Like, how long does an investigation take before they start recalling these vehicles? We've seen recalls over less than 14 incidents before.


Good point Dave. I'm guilty. I will keep my posting relevant. I love automobiles. Regardless of brand/make. They all have their own cliques.



I'm a mom and not a car person at all. I just googled this because honestly, I was almost really hurt by the rear door of my van. The rear door started to close while I was getting our some packages and when I applied pressure to get it to go back up, it just kept dropping down. It took all my strength to duck out from under it and it came down with full force. If my arm or anything had been under it, I would have had serious injury. I tried a couple times to open it and it goes up but then immediately comes down again just like there is a leak in the struts as described. Thanks for having this site, I'll get my car to the dealer and make sure he registers this incident with the company. I feel really lucky that I wasn't hurt and that it didn't happen to one of my kids. Thanks again.

Amy Smith

Hi, this exact same thing has been happening to me. I have 3 young kids & I'm desperately worried they'll get trapped. Even after contacting Toyota corporate & the dealership, neither seems concerned about a lawsuit. I work out and am in good shape, yet this door is so heavy that I can hardly back it off of me when it decided to come down. I would love to hear if you got this resolved as I am having major difficulty. Thanks!


teach you to buy a toyota huh?


Should of bought a chrysler minivan,mom,sister owned them since the 1990's,get new one's every 4 year's,never any problem's,3.3&3.8 6cyl,power lift gate never failed or crushed anyone,power sliding door's work flawlesly,they average 70-100,000 mile's per van,comute to work eveyday,aunt has a toyota same problem with lift gate and toyota refused to fix it,plus her tranny went out at 12,000,needless to say the toyota was traded for a town&country!


Same problem with my 05 sienna, had struts replaced 4 months ago... still falling without warning on me and my children...very dangerous...dealership claims to have fixed this problem today by resetting a computer... still it did fall on me when i stopped for groceries on the way home ..i am furious how i was dismissed at the dealership!


Has anyone had a problem with non-power assisted liftgate? Our struts in 2005 Seinna failed after only two years and a half years of regular duty - dealer says it isn't their problem - struts are over $250 Each!

My Sienna has had one major problem in 141,000 miles of driving. Around 44,000 miles the transmission started to slip between first and second gear. Although we were out of warranty the dealer stepped-up and fixed it for free. The real kicker was they provided us with a free loaner which turned out to be a new Sienna. Given this experience I would not hesitate to purchase another Toyota as it's been far more reliable than our last two vehicles (JGC & Montana). As far as the liftgate issue we have not experienced it. Even if we did the difference would be in how our dealer reacts when we bring it to our attention. If he/she were to ignore or automatically assume it was our fault we would then purchase our next vehicle somewhere else. I think Detroit brands can and are reliabe but what they are lacking are mainly dealers who take responsibility. I know there are good ones out there but in my 23 years of buying cars the Toyota and Nissan service managers seem to act as if my problem is their problem. My experience with GM and Chrysler is the exact opposite.


I have an 04 Sienna and my stuts/shocks are out on my lifgate, but it is not power. I have an LE, so I have to manually lift it. I have been searching for cheaper replacement parts through salvage yards and such because I do not want to pay Toyota over 200 bucks for them. They went out about a year ago and Toyota refused to replace them. Said I had to pay.


I have a 2005 Toyota Sienna Mini Van - it appears as if everytime it rains, i am collecting water in the way back storage area. Anyone have any idea what could be causing it?


I have 2004 model and these are gone. I went to dealer and he wants 2x250 ea canadian. This is totally nuts, golden!

peter w

this just happend to us; very serious. if the kids were under when this happend someone could have been very seriously injured.


I also am having troubles with my rear lift gate on my 04 Sienna XLE. Today I may have dislocated my shoulder when it closed on my all of the sudden. I am so upset, if my son was under it who knows what could have happened. Any advice besides to trade it in???


Following up to my above post about the faulty lift gate.....
I just called TOYOTA CONSUMER AFFAIRS, after a 15 min. taped phonecall it sounds like things are going to be taken care of. You MUST call Toy. at 1-800-331-4331 and make a claim, take the claim to your toy. dealer and it should be taken care of. My 04 is way over the warranty period (due to high miles) and they still are covering this expense. I highly recommend calling them prior to taking your vehicle in to the dealer though, they (the dealer) really paid attention to me when I told them I had a claim # from Toy. Consumer Affairs.


I have a Braun handicapped conversion van. This is wonderful when you are closing it automatically and the hatch starts closing and then opens. Being in an electric wheelchair I can't do anything to fix this and have to yell for help. Not very good for a disabled person.
I have spent three full days this week at dealerships to have this problem fixed. To have struts that need to be replace because of a defect needs to be addressed as a recall. Don't believe Toyota is letting this go with no attention to safety.

My 2005 Sienna Minivan is in the dealership right now having the rear door struts replaced since the power read door closes unexpectedly. This is a major safety issue as the door is a very heavy door and can close on a child's head, arm or leg. Please follow the above suggestions and call TOYOTA CONSUMER AFFAIRS AT 1-800-331-4331, demanding a RECALL on this safety problem. I truly believe many more cases have not been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The struts cost nothing as compared to the injuries that could occur.


We have an 04 Sienna with the same rear door issue---it has closed on my wife several times causing bruises to her back as it pressures down. My wife took the Sienna in to have it checked this morning... I found this site just in time... they were going to charge $130 just for a diagnostic. I called her back just in time to tell her we needed to place a claim at 1-800-331-4331 and then take that to the dealer. Luckily she was able to have the attendant go stop the procedure before they charged us.

Our only other problem is a loud squealing noise when the air conditioner is turned on. We took it in to have it fixed a few months ago and they said it was the belts-- replaced those, but the loud sound has started again...


I have Sienna 2004 model and the lift gate failed last weekend. I called TOYOTA Canada as recommended, but they said they never heard of this before, and ask be to go to dealer since my car is out of warranty.
Their reason is the car is out of warranty and there is no recall, so they can do nothing about it except filling a complain.
What can we do to push them to recall?


THANK YOU to the people who have shared their experiences. The rear liftgate of my Sienna did the exact same thing to me yesterday, it almost pinned me before I could drop to the ground to escape. Had my 3 or 5 year old been there, there's no telling what might have happened. I followed the advice I found here and called the 800 number above (after I went to the dealer this morning where the service guy told me it was my problem). Toyota Consumer Affairs is contacting the dealership for me to see if we can't resolve this. I'm so thankful for the internet where consumers can share information like this, it really is valuable. I'll let you know what happpened. Btw, I'm in CA.

I've had a similar issue with my 2004 Sienna. The bigger problem seems to be the drivers side door welds that are coming apart on late model Siennas. The repair costs over $2,000 with the replacement of the door and is not covered under extended warranty.

More information can be found at:


As a Toyota Sienna owner -2005 with 23K mileage
I am wondering how people decide they have a door weld problem. The Toyota tech bulletin pictures do not seem applicable to my vehicle. I have no popping noise on door operation but do get some creaking noise from the drivers side on what "seems" to be coming from the non-powered sliding door.

My wife got bopped on the head by our 2005 Sienna LE's lift gate. Our Toyota dealership's answer was that it will cost us around $200.00. We just replaced both AC units last month. Toyota picked up the tab on the faulty AC parts, but it still cost us @1,200.00 for labor! Our interior's plastic covers keep falling off. I believed in Toyota quality, but now have serious doubts. We bought this vehicle less than three years ago.


I began experiencing problems with the liftgate on my 2004 Sienna in August of this year about 5 weeks after the regular warranty expired. (3 of those weeeks the car hadn't even been driven) The dealer told me the pistons were gone and that it would be about $500 to fix. I have contacted NHTSA and Toyota Consumer Affairs. Toyota is contacting the dealer, but I was basically told that anything outside warranty is my problem. This is definitely a defect and needs to be recalled before someone gets seriously hurt. I have also had problems with the drivers door. The inside panel came detated from the door along the bottom. This was fixed under warranty. Also, the door check needs to be replaced. I complained about the problem while it was still under warranty and all the dealer did was put some gunk on it. The problem with the noise it makes when the door is opened or closed has only gottten worse, but I am now being told - too bad I'm out of warranty. Had many Toyotas and thought they were great, but between the doors and the tire recall it is making me tink twice about staying with this car.


I have a 2005 Sienna and and I'm experiencing the same problem with the tailgate and it is extremely dangerous.As others have said,it takes all my strenghth not to have the thing fall down on me.
I brough the car to my mechanic and he called the dealer. Not only did they tell him each strut would be $180,but they were very difficult to find.
I just got off the phone with Toyota consumer affairs and the guy would not issue me a claim.He claimed he knew nothing about this being a problem. My car is way over warrenty due to high mileage,so basically there is nothing I can do,but pay a huge amount or get decapitated one of these days.


At 65K miles my air conditionig compressor started to make a horrible noise. Turns out that the AC compressor needs to be replaced. It has now seized at 67K miles. Toyota has no sympathy. I have read about there being an internal Toyota issued service bulletin that basically acknowledges a design defect and recomends adding an inline filter screen (to filter out all the remaining metal after the compressor chews itself to bits)when replacing the compressor. COMPRESSORS ARE SEALED COMPONENTS. THEY CANNOT BE MAINTENANCED, AND THE SHOULD NEVER SELF DESTRUCT IN UNDER 100k MILES! Toyota does not want to help me. Even worse. There are no after market parts. The compressor is $700.00 and only available from the dealer and that does not include the clutch which is an additional $250. The drier is molded to the condenser. They have to be replaced as well. That is another $350.00, only available from the dealer, and does not even begin to cover labor. If I repair it (remember the old one has torn itself to pieces and I actually saw what was left of one at an AC repair shop the other day) it will not stay working for long as there is absolutely no way to guarantee that ALL the little metal particles will be flushed out and the new one will be destroyed by the first little metal particle that gets in. Not to mention that I have been told that the whole system is poorly desinged from the start and wont last any longer, another 65K miles, if replaced.

I have spoken with the manager at my local Toyota dealer, a guy named Cliff at Toyota of Tampa Bay and he outright told me that even though I had bought my last two Toyotas from his dealership, I was not a loyal service customer and therefore Toyota would not help me with this matter. The car is out of Warranty by 35K miles. This was again reiterated by a customer service manager for the Toll Free Toyota complaint line.

This should not have happened! The van is now basically worthless for trade in value. Its not worth fixing. It has other issues as well, such as leaky front struts that need replacing before the first set of tires even wore down.

This vehicle is a Lemmon! Toyota's attitude is horrible. I have spoken with 4 mechanics locally who have seen this same problem a total of 11 times in the past few months in my local area alone.

My email address is
If there is anyone out there in the same situation or that can help, please contact me.

Robbie O

Wow.. and I thought I was alone! My 04 Sienna limited, had the same power hatch issue. I bought a replacement pair off ebay for 130 and replaced them myself. I wish I would have found this page sooner. I doubt Toyota will even consider reimbursing me!

Christopher Vlangas

I just took my 05 Sienna to the local dealer to have the lift gate looked at. They said that my struts were bad and they would cost about $450.00 to replace. I did not order the parts because I wanted to research the matter. I'm glad I found this blog. I called the number listed above and the representative said that she was not aware of the problem, but would have the local dealer research the problem and call me within 3 days. We'll see what happens.

Karen Hoffman

Has anyone had a problem with the passenger-side, rear automatic door? I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna LX. My friend has also had the same problem. The motor has burned out at 37,000 miles and just under 5 years old. I am just trying to find out how common this is.

Dan M

Same thing with our 2004 Sienna XLE rear door bought August 2004. The first sign was the door wouldn't open up all the way and you would hit your head because you were used to it being higher. Now the door goes up and comes right down a second or two later - takes a lot of force to stop.


The power doors on our 2002 Sienna XLE were downright dangerous. It took a huge amount of force to stop them from closing. They didn't back up when met with resistance.
As I was taking my kid out of the childseat, the door started closing. I shielded my kid from the closing door and it bruised my shoulder!
I complained to Toyota many times but the response was always "Operating normally". I even asked the dealer to stop the door from closing with his hands and when he did so, he was surprised at the force required but the diagnosis was "this is normal".
The power doors on the Odyssey and Chrysler minivans immediately back up when they detect the slightest resistance.
I really don't think Toyota have much regard for the safety of their customers.
The doors malfunctioned many times, sometimes not opening or closing, or stopping half way and getting "jammed".
We got rid of the Sienna eventually which rattled itself to pieces anyway, and now have a Honda.

Denise Amundson

I began having the lift gate trouble Oct. 22, 2007. My daughter had a fender bender and I thought that might have caused it. I also noticed that when it was cold, the doors did not open all the way up. THis must be related. My car had 38k on it. Bought in May 2005. I also noticed that I need more resistance against the side doors as well. I almost got squished. I have not filed a complaint, yet. But I will. THis is not acceptable to me at all. Someone suggested the motor or the actuators having a problem, but I don't know anything.

sam schlesinger

please listen carefully i own a 2004 sienna that one day came crashing down on my head while onloading a few heavy boxes it really hurts but trust me toyota does not give a flying hoot about this problem remember the japanese will never admite foult on anything i was on the phone so many times with toyota personal from all levels the answer is your warranty has expired. the dealer gave me a $475 dollar price tag to fix..but on one of the blogs someone posted that at autozone you could bye the struts for $25.99 each so i did exactly that he was correct the part # c95160 - it took me 2 minutes to install them i still dont know why they look to rip you off with $450.00 by toyota it really a shame..for me toyota is history


'Karen' wrote:
The driver side slider on my 2005 Sienna XLE sticks quite often. At first this problem only appeared if it was cold outside, first thing in the morning. Then it was if it was cold and rainy. Now it's any given time but worse when it's cold out. The remote works the door just fine but it can take multiple hard yanks on the door handle to get it to open. The mechanics at the dealership have greased the cables and done whatever they can do without removing the door. I've been arguing with this dealership over the fact that the door opens okay, when it opens. The problem is in the handle. If I pull on it and it does not open, and then I try to use the remote to lock the car, it senses that the door is not closed and won't lock. Also the feel of the handle not quite engaging when pulled is obvious. Not, apparently, to the geniuses at the dealership, who don't have to have to remove the door because, as it was put "There are a million little parts in there". Brilliant.


About 1 month ago, the lift gate struts on the 2004 Toyota Sienna went bad. The van has a power liftgate and was extremely dangerous being the liftgate is heavy, and the power close does not reverse all that easily. Ifg a young child was under the liftgate when it came down, they would be seriously injuried, if not by being hit by the liftgate then by the closing mechanism. Very dangerous!
Of course, the warranty had just expired. So, I called the dealership...$380 to replace the struts. THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE and TOYOTA SHOULD REPAIR THESE. I called the toyota customer affairs line (1-800-331-4331) and talked with a representative. The first rep acted like it was a "new thing" to him and wasn't interested in helping all that much. I then called back and got a different rep. After describing the issue, the rep (Adam) talked it over with his supervisor and they agreed to reimburse me for the cost of the repair. I was given a case number and Adam contacted the local dealership to have the repairs completed in a timely manner. After having the repairs, I faxed proof of payment, my case number, VIN, and repair invoice...reimbursement was sent.
If you are having the liftgate problem, let Toyota know about it! It is a safety issue they need to know about, and fix. Who knows, you may have the repair made for free.


I own a Toyota T-100 truck I have had for 12 years. Thing is a dream, nothing ever goes wrong. We bought a 2004 Sienna XLE limited this year--used. Same problem--Back lift-gate crushing my wife and kids. Called Toyota, they offered to cover the parts, but want to charge $150 to put them on!!

They snap on in five minutes!!

They refused to give me the parts so I can install. I will check with autozone, if they have them here in FL, then, if I can't find them, I'll probably pay it. Ridiculous.


I have a 2004 Sienna and had struts replaced a couple years ago under warranty. This winter the lift gate started coming down on it's own again. Dealer was no help at all. Today I opened the liftgate with the remote and was walking to the car with my hands full. I was watching where I was walking because of the ice and snow. The lift gate started down without any audio warning and I walked into it full force. Nice blooding gash across my forehead. Read these blogs and called TOYOTA CONSUMER AFFAIRS at 800-331-4331. Wasn't on hold long at all until Heather came on the line. I have a claim number, her full name and the statement that Toyota will be calling me after this Wednesday. She said my case is being considered a Product Liability case and Toyota will definitely address it with me. I do not yet have a promise to fix the vehicle but it looks positive.


Thanks for all the posts regarding the lift gate! I had a similar problem where the lift gate fell on me, then opened itself, closed itself, opened and closed. It was absolutely the weirdest thing. I called the dealer who knew immediately what the issue was...struts needed replacing. And, Toyota won't cover this. I called the number listed in the earlier posts. Toyota said they do not currently have a recall on this issue. They said they may if more people complain!


Thanks for all the posts regarding the lift gate! I had a similar problem where the lift gate fell on me, then opened itself, closed itself, opened and closed. It was absolutely the weirdest thing. I called the dealer who knew immediately what the issue was...struts needed replacing. And, Toyota won't cover this. I called the number listed in the earlier posts. Toyota said they do not currently have a recall on this issue. They said they may if more people complain!


After having the same problem with my 2004 Sienna, I found some replacement liftgate cylinders at a very reasonable price at Auto Zone $26 each.
I just installed them an they work perfectly. They are made by "Mightylift"
part # C95160/ 4994ML

Nancy Scee

I went to Toyota of Hollywood, Fl yesterday reference the lift gate of my 04 Toyota Sienna closing on me. After leaving it to be looked at I was advised that the rear shocks needed to be replaced and it is not covered by the extended warranty (cost over $400.00). I did not have it done. Glad I found this website, for I will be calling Toyota Consumer Affairs to make a claim.


Ok, I'm Dan, from above, (own a T-100 and also a 2004 Sienna LTD XLE with the same lift-gate problem). I bought the "mighty-lift" struts recommended on this site. They don't work for my power lift-gate--probably ok, if you don't have the power gate. They are about an inch and a half shorter than the factory models, causing the edge of the gate to be about three inches lower when fully opened. Causes motor to engage and close the gate as soon as it is opened.


Thanks for all the comments on the Sienna. I too have a 2004 Sienna XLE and experienced this same problem with the liftgate coming down. We were about to pack the van for a Christmas vacation when it broke and so we had to use a snow shovel to keep it open. I have owned many Toyotas and never expected this from them. So I called the consumer line and did get a claim # and the dealer ended up splitting the total cost 50/50 with me. Although after reading oall the comments I will be calling the NHTSA since this is a safety issue and should be a recall by Toyota.


I have been experiencing this problem on my 2004 XLE for a couple of years, most of the time when the weather is cold. And I live in Ohio- it's cold a lot. Today, I almost got crushed, that door was coming down so hard that I couldn't stop it. I called Customer Affairs (Thanks everyone for the info) and got a case #. The funny thing is that when I told the dealer about it before (when it was under the three year warranty) the door worked fine for them and they told me I was more or less out of luck because it wasn't malfunctioning at the time (it was a warm day). I swear, if this door comes down on me again before the customer manager calls me back, I'm driving it right over to the dealer and asking them to stand under it while I try to open the darn thing.

Fred Savage

Water getting into the back of my '04 Sienna. Don't know where it's coming from, but what a mess! Any ideas? Thanks


Add my wife to the list of 05 Sienna owners who have been nearly decapitated by the vehicle, and who is at this very moment on the phone with NHTSA.

Toyota has been useless, and my wife has been essentially told that her leased vehicle should not be brought to the dealership that leased it anymore for service.


Everyone must contact NHTSA if you are having this problem to inform the government so that action can be taken on this very important issue and problem.

It is not enough to think calling Toyota Consumer Affairs is OK. They however have their own agenda.

For the safety of families with minivans, please contact NHTSA if you are having this problem.

Chuck Miller

I had the same issue as everyone else here. It's unbelievable how dangerous this thing is to my family. I can't understand how Toyota disregards the issue after so many instances of the same problem. Such a part shouldn't go out after such a relatively short period of time -- and result in health hazzards that the company chooses to ignore by not issuing a recall.


Does anyone know if this issue pertains to the regular struts that are on the 05 Sienna? I don't have power struts (which is what I've heard is the main problem) and both of mine have already given out. Hopefully if there is a recall it won't be on just the power struts.
We are not hard on our vehicle, I am a bit disappointed with this particular problem, however at least it is something minor. Thank you.

Last week I had the rear door stays on my '04 Sienna replaced for the fourth time since buying the van in July/03. The first 2 times were under warranty, so it wasn't that big a problem. The third time however, I had to pay because I had exceeded the warranty milage although not the time limit. What distance travelled has to do with door stay failure I don't know. Anyway, after having a meltdown at the dealer's service counter when I found out it would cost over $600 to replace them, the dealer agreed to supply the parts at cost which dropped the cost to ~$400. I then called Toyota Canada to complain about the problem, and after some discussion,Toyota agreed to pay half of the $400. Then, last week, just under a year since I paid to have them replaced, I had to have them replaced again, but fortunately they were still covered by a 1 year parts warranty and it didn't cost me anything.

After the third time I called Transport Canada to report the problem because I think it is a very dangerous defect since the door absolutely refuses to reverse and could seriously injure a child. The investigator said he appreciated the input and said they were sharing data with the American NHTSA who were already investigating the problem. I haven't heard anything since. I guess the government agencies and Toyota are waiting for someone to actually be killed before a recall is issued.


Follow up to my Jan 29th post. Toyota has extended the warranty on the liftgate struts. I went through several on site contacts with toyota reps prior to this happening. Our 04 Sienna was finally fixed (again) but I'm forever soured on Toyota and doubt if I would buy another.


04 seinna power sliding door
cheap cable broke
dealer claims its part of motor
$1300.00 to repair
what is up with that


Dan here, again.

Fought w/ Toyota again--called the customer service line and one of the ladies figured out that the warranty had been extended--they are paying for it.

Dealer is another story: They called Toyota and got a hold of an operator that couldn't find the warranty extension--dealer didn't fix the van.

I had to bring it in another day and put the service guy on the phone w/ Toyota to get it covered. I don't know how long the coverage is for. . .

For any of you who are experiencing a hesitation in your transmission, there is a service bulletin out on it warranted up to 80k under the emissions warranty that will reprogram the engine / transmission computer and replace the brake actuator in some models w/ laser cruise control. Service bulletin TC007-03.

Getting that one done this week. . .

Good luck!


I'm a Canadian who purchased a US 2005 Toyota Sienna. Had the same tail gate strut problem described by many people above. I called the US TOYOTA CONSUMER AFFAIRS at 800-331-4331 and was told that the lift gate struts are now covered under a 6 year unlimited milage warantee enhancement. The Canadian dealership had a hard time figuring out the paperwork, but once that was sorted out the work was done without any cost to me.


I have the misfortune of owning a 2005 Sienna. I had the same issue - the rear door caving on my head. Just one of MANY problems - 3 sets of tires in 42k miles, dangerous snow load dump in snow conditions, sensor alarm malfunctions, etc., etc.

The faulty struts are very dangerous - I'm very fit and strong and it was difficult to stop the door from crushing me.

After talking with several Toyota dealerships who "knew nothing about this issue" I finally found one that had heard about it, and agreed that it would be covered. After reading this blog, I called Toyota and got an incident number, scheduled an appointment, made sure that the service department at that dealership had the part with my name on it.

Upon arrival, the service advisor had suddenly never heard of this problem. Worn down, I left the vehicle for service, and figured I'd work it out with Toyota Customer Care through the incident report. The dealership replaced the struts. When I picked up the vehicle, they said they had found a there was a service "campaign", and that they had decided to do the work at no charge. Wasn't that nice of them?

As I live over 3 hours from the closest dealership, I tested the rear door before leaving. Suddenly, the auto rear door feature (which worked fine when I dropped the van off for repair) wouldn't work. The service advisor said that because he hadn't seen it work when I dropped the van off, they wouldn't assume responsibility.

I drove over another hour, and walked into the dealership where I bought the car. The next day they determined that the shocks that had been replaced had been installed improperly, causing pressure on the sensor system, which made the "auto feature" not function (it kept opening back up).

They fixed the problem. Two complete bust days of waiting around for about 30 minutes of work, and the door works properly!

I recommend: Getting an incident number from Toyota Customer Service, calling NHSTB, demonstrating that the auto open/close feature works prior to leaving the car for service, and check that your door works properly before leaving the dealership.

Good Luck!

I have a 2000 Sienna and have had trouble with the automatic right side sliding door for several years. The door will open and then not close when I hit the button. It just wiggles a little and clicks. I have to turn the automatic function off and close it manually. I have had it in for repair at least 4 times. They have cleaned the connections and replaced the motor at various times. The door usually appears to be fixed and then stops working within a couple of months. This last time they couldn't get it to work after 2 days of attempts so they gave up. Does anyone know what the problem might be? I would guess that I am not the only person with this problem. Also, do you know how to get the dash reset so the power door light goes off? The light stays on regardless of whether I have the power door on/off button (to the left of the steering wheel) in the off or in the on position.


Is anyone having problems with the Sienna electric sliding door? Mine has jammed several times when someone tries to open the door as it is unlocking. I have to take it to the dealership and have them open it.


I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna LE with 69,770 miles. I have had zero problem until yesterday when the rear hatch cylinders failed.It is not a powered gate. Lucky for me and my wife I was holding it when it started to drop. Especially lucky was that I found this blog by accident. I called a dealer north of Pittsburgh, Pa to ask if there was an extended warrenty. He said I should bring the car in to check and he thought it may be taken care of under an extended warrenty. I then called 1-800-331-4331 number that was posted on this blog. Happy to say Toyota is going to cover this problem at no cost to me for 6 years regardless of milage.The dealer thought the cost may be $60.00 per strut if not covered.


04 Sienna LE power sliding door cable broke.
Anyone has a solution for this? Did Toyota help?
Bought my car in may 2003, has 69,000 miles on it.


I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna Mini Van - I, too, am collecting water in the way back storage area everytime it rains. The Dealership claims that it looks like we had a rear-end collision at some point..which we have not! Has anyone been able to fix a similar problem...ours still leaks!


We've experienced a similar leaking/water collecting problem in the rear luggage compartment.


I am a Canadian and I bought a used 2004 Sienna last July. This spring the automatic door quit working. My friends own a Sienna too and also had the same problem with the door, although they had theres replaced by Toyota Canada because there is a bulletin out for it that will replace it under 150,000kms, I bought my van with 149,000 and have 171,000. I had to get an inspection done and you wouldn't believe what it took to get it inspected, rear brakes needed to be done, my drive shaft was ready to fall out, the emergency brake pads needed replacing and the cables were siezed on it. I am a mother with 4 boys and another on the way, and if I knew then what I know now, I never would of bought this vehicle, it is junk.


I own an 02 Sienna and have had a lot of trouble with the pass. slider. When it was new the computer board had to be changed and had continuous problems since. I had it looked at before warranty was up, but the dealer said it just had to be cleaned and it would be fine - NOT! After complaining about it they changed the board for me for $200 instead of $600 wich seamed fair for a car with 92,000 miles. Hope it will work now.

anthony caubarn

TOYOTA finally issued a recall of the tail or hatch STRUTS, of course free of charge. just make sure they havethe parts available. they made me go there even after i verified over the phone about hte availability of the struts and lo and behold, after waiting for 1.5 hours in Frank Smith Toyota ( Mcallen/ TX) they come to tell me they do not have the parts. This incident is another one of the many i have encountered with Toyota in general. This will be my last purchase of any Toyota.

Dan Gabel

We had a scary day with our '04 Sienna: The passenger side rear door fell off! You read that correctly. There was no event that proceeded this near catastrophy. We held it on with a bungy chord on the way to repair.
Scary- especially with my two little ones inside. Warrenty wore out at 77,000. We have 88,000. Toyota offered to pay for it, but not the labor costs. Not cheap at $900.00
The whole thing sickens me. Any advice - I will take it.
I would not recommend a Toyota again.


Lift gate issue persists in our 2005 XLE Limited. Was told by the Toyota dealer it was the motor problem, and cost $ 840 to fix. I am glad to read about the info and will contact Toyota Consumer Affairs. Stay tuned.


I bought a 2007 Toyota Sienna Le with the dual power doors. We purchased brand new. Here is what we went through. 1)Running on 3 cylinders. 2)Bad airbag sensors 3) endless power door issues.not closing(twice). not opening (once)sliding open on accelerating . (thank god my kids were not with me)

I traded it in for a GMC so far no problems at 6k miles. More than I can say for the Toyota. Oh by the way all these issues took place in 2 years and 37k miles. I will never purchase a Toyota again.

j s

I have 2004 Sienna. My passenger side sliding door cable snapped two months ago when I had 95K. I was seeing rust for last 3 years, but dealer keep saying everything is all right. I guess, dealer and Toyota hidden info from us. They should have at least indicated to us.


I have an 04 Sienna LE (over 150K miles)and started experiencing hot air coming out of the AC. Toyota dealership "flushed" it for free. However, it remained broken. I don't want to bring it back to the dealership if they failed to diagnose the problem in the first place. I went to Kwik Kar and they will replace my AC compressor for less than 900.00 (including labor).


My Sienna 2005 trunk power lift door just drops down and it appears the struts are not working at all.

Will check with dealers today to see if Toyota could do courtesy fix for this.


My Sienna has 189k and I recently had the same problem. My mechanic replaced the ac compressor for $650 and that fixed the problem. I got four quotes ranging from $600 for a used compressor to $650, $925, and $1175 for a new compressor. My mechanic always gives me great prices if he's done the job before and the fact that our family takes all of our business there. I'd say $900 for a new ac compressor is a fair price. This was our first significant repair so we have no complaints.


My 2005 Sienna trunk strut at driver side was bent , and I can not close the backdoor anymore. It is very dangerous. Toyota should recall Sienna . USA Govmy should do something as well.

will betts

the rear back door of our sienna was closing on us as well- very scary. if this starts to happen to you, disable the motorized function immediately- there is a button left and under the wheel.

after reading this blog, i got the support lift parts from autozone. cost me $56 and about 2 minutes of labor. i am not totally helpless with mechanical stuff, but i am no means an expert and i often get into trouble overestimating my capabilities (see definition of human male...) this was the easiest repair i have ever done.

the autozone website is very easy to use- you put in your car info so it chooses the parts that match.

this is a great option if you can't get toyota to pick up the bill. that they would charge $400 for this repair is absurd.

Thanks to the folks who gave this tip on the blog!

and i have to say i still love this car.


I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE with low mileage. The rear power liftgate has repeatedly tried to crush me. The liftgate starts to lower without warning. Then the power closing mechanism engages and draws the liftgate closed -- with you under it. Since purchasing this vehicle new, I have taken it to the dealer every quarter like clockwork. I also have religiously responded to recall notices, including the one on the power liftgate. Now I am told that (a) the extended warranty for the power liftgate failure has expired, and (b) the previous service on the liftgate in response to the recall was covered by a one year warranty, which expired one month ago. The dealer said that the cost of repair would be in excess of $600. I called Toyota corporate and expressed my concern about what is a serious safety defect. I have not yet had a response. I intend to also notify the NHTSB. As has been noted by others, the problem seems particularly severe during cold weather -- when the sliding left and right doors also freeze up. The Toyota dealer advises that, regarding the freezing doors, Toyota has never advised the dealers of a fix for the problem, which apparently is epidemic with owners of Toyota Siennas in colder climates. Nothing in any literature I received from Toyota at the time of purchase advised me of these issues. In general, I love the Sienna and have had good service from my dealer. Notwithstanding that, I would have great hesitation in buying another Toyota Sienna unless its use was limited to warmer climates -- and if it did not include a power liftgate. In fact, my wife was so paranoid about this vehicle that, when she replaced her own car 18 months ago, she absolutely refused to consider a Toyota. It is very unfortunate how, such a seemingly very correctable problem, has created so many dissatisfied customers.

bob fleming

I have a 2004 Sienna LE with 115,000 miles on it. My 12 year old accidently closed the automatic door on my 10 year olds hand about two years ago. I had to take a crow bar to it to get my son's hand released. Thank God he is ok. Toyota dismissed this issue, explaining children are not to operate automatic doors. Now, about 40,000 miles later, the door will not open automatically nor manually. The motor tries, but to no avail. I think it may be the rear latch will not disengage. Can anyone help me? Thanks, Bob


I have an '04 Sienna XLE. Had the rear door door struts replaced by dealer under recall. Now when attempting to close the door either manually or electrically it will start down and move about 12 inches from the top and then reverse and go back up. Had it looked at twice by the dealer. "Probably the weather." "Needs to have time to adjust." Bull. Anyone else have this problem.
I bought the van in '04 and ALL the maintenance has been done by the dealer.
I will return it to the dealer and get it fixed or I will take my business elsewhere.


I heard the only problems it has is a thing about it's door. Probably should get a professional to fix that.
Phillius |

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