• Oct 24, 2007
The hits just keep coming for Toyota Motor Co. After a pair of new problems with its all-important Tundra pickup were brought to light this week, a reader sent us a link to this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that reveals the automaker will voluntarily fix the front doors on 600,000 units of its Sienna minivan (current model shown above) built between 2004 and 2006. Apparently there may be an issue with the door check mounting panel on both of the minivan's front doors. The door check mounting panel is the piece that keeps the door open, and if the part fails the door can swing freely and unexpectedly shut – obviously a concern for parents with kids. Toyota has traced the problem back to bad spot welds performed at the automaker's Princeton, Indiana factory.

Toyota will be sending out letters on Nov. 2nd to owners of said Siennas explaining the problem and offering to fix it. To do so, Toyota will offer what it calls a "warranty enhancement" to these vehicles, covering the cost of these door repairs on Siennas up to five years old with 100,000 miles or less. Though a bad spot weld on the door check mounting panel would normally be covered by the Sienna's standard warranty, that only lasts 3 years or 36,000 miles. Toyota has also said that it will reimburse owners who have already had the doors repaired on their own, in some cases at the cost of thousands of dollars.

Curiously, Toyota is not calling this a recall. Of course, what automaker wants to refer to a problem with one of its vehicles as a recall if it doesn't have to? As long as Toyota takes care of the Sienna door problem to the satisfaction of its customers, they can call it a Happy Happy, Joy Joy Service Encouragement Bulletin.

Thanks for the tip, DarkKnight67!

[Source: JSOnline.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 53 Comments
      wns
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unfortunately, Toyota is not taking care of this as they should. They did not send the notice to all of the Sienna customers, as we're finding out. A lot of people have the issue showing up after five years but well under the 100,000 mile extended warranty. They are causing other people to jump through hoops to 'verify' that the popping issue with the driver's door, really is from factory defect. I've driven over 300 miles, so far, to have this issue looked into, and will have another 300 miles to have it taken care of, not to mention, be without a car for 3 to 5 days. The nearest dealership is 75 miles away from us and a round-trip is 150 miles. Toyota has agreed to pay for half and even sent my a copy of the notice. Half will leave us with over $1,000 for our part to pay for this, not to mention the miles on our vehicle, the hours of driving there and the time without transportation. There's a facebook page if others are wanting a class-action suit for this issue. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Toyota-Sienna-Van-Door-Weld-Issue/101820339938012 and there are other discussion forums regarding this issue.
      sayitainttso
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am having problem with the front passenger side door pop when opened and closed. I googled the problem and found this site. I wonder if anyone else with a 2009 Sienna had this problem.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota isnt supposed to offer quality like "everyone else"- thats the whole point of their existence. The idea that people are making excuses for them by saying any large automaker should be expected to have quality problems is bogus. That excuse didnt stick when GM was having quality issues and recalls so it doesnt apply to Toyota, especially since Toyota's engineers, managers and workers are supposedly far brighter and more dedicated than their counterparts in Detroit.

      Get over it indeed.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Remember when Toyota used to make crappy cheap cars that we all laughed at and made jokes about? Yesterday.....hahahahahah lol just making a joke and taking a cheap shot.....
      • 7 Years Ago
      that's nice and all, but will Toyota also offer a quality selection of rubber nipples???
        • 7 Years Ago
        because they suck too?
        • 7 Years Ago
        But... Toyota, and other non-Domestics, mean quality!

        Domestics have horrible quality, and another made by Japanese companies is God! Right?!

        /endsarcasm
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota is definately making news lately, unfortunately its just a small circle of auto enthusiasts that read it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agreed! It seems bad news for Toy isn't "newsworthy". If this happed to GM, Ford or Chrysler products, it would be a major story.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Has no one argued yet, as per usual with Toyota; that these defects are intentional as a way to really "wow" their clients with their superior service departments.

      Funny part is, they people who own these vehicles will still look at the brand and report 0% defects.
      • 7 Years Ago
      To quote the author (with my own emphasis):

      "Apparently there MAY be an issue with the door check mounting panel on both of the minivan's front doors. The door check mounting panel is the piece that keeps the door open, and IF the part fails the door can swing freely and unexpectedly shut – obviously a concern for parents with kids."

      Just because they are voluntarily fixing 600,000 units doesn't mean that all 600,000 will fail eventually if left to their own devices. Certainly, there has been alot of bad publicity for Toyota lately. But after my recent and MANY problems with my previous late model Ford vehicle, I very happily traded it in for a Toyota this past Saturday. One of the reasons: I talked to many people who actually own Toyotas (as opposed to those who like to make vague generalities like "Toyotas suck!") and they all had very positive things to say about their vehicles. Toyota may have taken some hits lately, but they are still winning the battle. I have no personal vendetta against any of the Big 3 (or whatever 2.x they are this week) but after seeing and owning several over the last decade I say no thanks, though I like what GM is doing lately.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And the hits just keep on coming, Toyota aquired their sterling reputation for quality by having inhouse recalls, and avoiding public scrunity. Looks like they are still trying to pull the wool over the publics eyes, only this time it's cheap domestic cotten. It's time to pull back the curtain and expose the pretenders for what they are, "makers of ordinary vehicles with suspect quality and less than spectacular styling", in other words "run of the mill". Say ba-bye Toyota, say ba-bye.
      • 7 Years Ago
      hah rome is burning
      • 7 Years Ago
      What does force a manufacturer to call something a "recall"?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Robert,

        if NHTSA gets enough complaints, they have the power to start a recall.

        it's just ducky that Toyota puts a 100,000 mile limit on what they will repair without cost. I assume those folks that have over 100K just don't matter.

        if NHTSA starts a recall, it will include ALL Siennas that have this defect, regardless of mileage.

        the one standard Japanese manufacturer method of stonewalling owners is to tell them "we have received few/no complaints about this". this makes the owner think this is an unusual condition, and the manufacturer will not cover it. I can only imagine how salted roads will accelerate this condtion.

        on a humorous sidenote, I just stopped and looked at a 1990 Dodge Caravan on the way home today. it was totally beat, with 396,000 miles. they were asking a whopping $300 for it. interestingly, it still ran great, and the doors stayed open by themselves!!

        AZMike
      chuck
      • 7 Years Ago
      owned an 83 tercel for a 150 plus thousand miles, had on issue and on new years eve at that. the ignitor went out at two years old. toyo paid every thing towing replacement and our hotel room and taxi's. had an 85 camry until ninety two. 185,000 on it with never a repair or issue. maintaince yes. traded it in 92 for a new camry. good car, had one issue, bad throttle body, toyo replaced it at no cost to me and the wife. 99 bought a tacoma. still have it, 148,000 miles on it, never a repair. in 02 traded the 92 camry for an new one. totalled it 8 months later and got another one, still have it. only has about 45,000 miles on it. it has had one issue. throttle body again. toyo took care of it again at no cost to me and the wife. i wont pat them on the back for not being upfront about issues but it has been my experience that they build good products. thats not to say that no one else does too. and its not to say that anyone doesnt make some errors along the way. if we are honest about it and like it or not we have to thank the japanese for what they have done with the american car. even with their issues the american cars have done nothing but improve over the years. not at all the same attitude they had in the 70's when they burned us all on numerous rides. its our responcibility to make sure we take care of the ride and theirs to make sure that they dont screw us intentionally. so much energy gets waisted here talking about the issuse with each other and not with your congressman or consumer group to put a stop to all companies issues with their products. its one thing to miss something, we all makes mistakes. if we own up to them then we are doing what we should. but when we knowingly make a mistake and leave it to the consumer to pay for it with money or their life. then they shouldnt be able to conduct business period. well thanks for letting me share some thoughts. good luck to you all what ever you own and take care of your rides
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