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Toyota knows that it's got a problem with the Sienna minivan's doors. The Japanese automaker issued a "warranty enhancement" for the Sienna's front doors back in October to deal with complaints that they wouldn't stay open. They're now covered under warranty for five years or 100,000 miles. Apparently some rear liftgates have a similar problem of not staying open or being difficult to open in the first place. While a rear liftgate closign on your head is not life threatening, Toyota says it's aware of 14 minor injuries among 34 total complaints.

As such, the Japanese automaker has announced another new warranty enhancement that will cover the rear liftgate on 585,000 Siennas from 2004-2006 for a total of six years or unlimited miles. It will also reimburse any owners who have already paid to have the the liftgate repaired.

Business Week quotes Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong saying that the part in question isn't defective but is "susceptible to degradation." Fair enough, and considering the company is aware of only 35 cases so far, we're impressed it's gone so far to ensure owners who could potentially be affected in the coming years are covered.

UPDATE: Post changed for clarity on difference between first warranty enhancement for the front doors and the new one for the rear liftgate.

[Source: Business Week]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know the what exactly the situation is here, but to me it sounds like someone got a little too corner-cutting happy and bought some really cheap struts for the door rather than spending a bit more for something quality.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love how Toyota spins these things... Let's clarify: They are extending the warrenty so they can call it a warrenty service. This way they can avoid another headline that says, "Toyota recalls again."

      They are masters of PR and marketing. I don't know who is running those departments, but they are the best in any industry. They certainly have the auto media bending over backwards.
      • 7 Years Ago
      on another note, that is the most bland looking thing I've ever seen. It's got zero personality.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's a minivan., they all look like that. Perhaps you were expecting a Ferrari?
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's even pretty bad for a minivan I must say. Atleast the GC looks different. I think it even looks good.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Fair enough, and considering the company is aware of only 35 cases so far, we're impressed it's gone so far to ensure owners who could potentially be affected in the coming years are covered."

      Nothing like getting kudos for something the company is supposed to do. Reminds me of the Chris Rock skit... "I take care of my kids....no S@#T...you're suppose to take care of your kids!!!"

        • 7 Years Ago
        Toyota has the best spin machine in the business..."ah, yes, our quality has become crap, but have you seen how we'll fix it later?"
        • 7 Years Ago
        Remember last year, the dude with the Mercedes who was quoted $7000 to fix his sunroof - took it down the street and the local guy pulled a pebble out of the track - and worked fine.

        What's $7000 anyway, right?

        My local Chrysler dealer has always been extremely good to me and my family, which is why we continue to shop there.

        To the post at hand, it's great that they are taking care of it - but it does pose questions of how many are like this, and why are they over-extending themselves.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Warranty performance is part of quality and _certainly_ part of customer satisfaction. One of the reasons Lexus and Saturn do so well is their willingness to approve and perform servicework under warranty and in a manner that's fair to the customer and the shop.

        Voluntary recalls, published extended warranties and "grace periods" being honoured are all things that help improve customer experience. I might not have blackmarked Saab if GM hadn't given me such grief over getting my plugs and throttle body repaired after it was fouled by incorrect engine management.

        One of the reasons VW and MB do so poorly in North America isn't just their quality, it's the abysmal treatment of their customers and dealers when it comes to repair work. The Asians have generally been pretty good; the Germans spectacularly bad.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM use to use struts on the hoods of its cars. Some of those hoods were huge. Toyota owners are just going to have to learn a lesson from rednecks, get a two by four and prop that sucker up
      • 7 Years Ago
      The same issue happen on our twice. We have also replaced the pinch sensors once on the left and twice on the right. Since ours is a 06 the repairs have been covered but more than anything it is the annoyance of have to go back to the dealership 4 times.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Now if the doors were falling off of one of the big 3 vans how hostile would the posts be?

      It`s ok to have problems with a Toyota.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Toyota's don't have problems, they have tsb's and courtesy adjustments.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Let's see here ... I had a '94 Grand Caravan that I drove until last year. Yes, I had to replace a transmission -- at 144,000 miles. But NEVER -- and I mean NEVER -- did I EVER have any problem with the doors or liftgate. When I sold the van with 214K on the odometer because I needed a truck, the doors still opened and closed like they did when the van was new.

      My wife presently drives a 2002 GC Sport, and at 97K, it's still good and solid. We've NEVER had ANY problem with it, and it runs like new. Gee, go figure that one.

      I had considered making my next van a Sienna, because they're practically built in my back yard. Somehow, I don't think I'll be doing that now.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I`m on my second Chrysler minivan and both have been the best vehicles I`ve owned.
        I say if you want a great versatile vehicle that does all things well the Chrysler minvan is still the vehicle to beat.
        We tried to go to a suv or cross over but the minivan still wins.
        Its now perceived as not cool, people are so silly.
      • 7 Years Ago
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Made my morning, because I have seen this happen on my neighbor's van - MORE THAN ONCE!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is it unreasonable to expect doors to work properly for a vehicle's lifetime? Toyota apparently thinks so.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As an owner of a 92k mile 2004 Sienna. I have had the driver door issue repaired. What happens is that the door hinge only has a weak weld that stresses overtime and fails. This is a definite design problem. It is not that the door doesn't stay open, it is that the door hinge may fail and break off.

      The dealer has been very good with the repair work and I have no complaints.

      The only other problem I have had during the 92k miles is that the left sliding door auto lock broke. I am still very happy with the vehicle and plan to keep it to at least 120-150k miles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I remember when gas struts never lasted a long time. Back when hatches weighted about a hundred pounds, it really hurt when one came down on you. Try getting whacked by a hatch from a mid 1980's GM J car. that left a mark
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