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!