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2011 Toyota Sienna Seats

I want to point out a safety concern I have about my 2011 Sienna Limited. When tipping the middle backrest forward to allow passengers into the rearmost seat, the middle seat will slide forward to maximize the passageway. Once the backrest is tipped back in place, the seat must be PUSHED ALL THE WAY BACK to lock it in position. If this is not done, the seat track allows 8-12 inches of free travel back and forth that is hazardous -- particularly to small children who are not able to even touch the floor with their feet. This has happened to us on 3 occasions, once with my 5-year old suffering a minor injury when her legs were pinned to the driver's seat during braking.

It is also possible to get the seat into this danger mode simply by lifting the seat adjustment lever and slightly moving the seat forward past the forward locked position. This scenario is possible when trying to accommodate extra leg room for a rear seat passenger -- thus leaving the middle seat free to travel ALL THE WAY forward without the passenger's knowledge.

We have reported this to our dealer, to Toyota of NA, and to the NHTSA. Toyota refuses to acknowledge the problem. I believe this is a major design flaw that you can so easily leave the seat in such a dangerous position.

There is another post here (mommy hate http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.f210245/6) where a user reports the seat sliding on it's own -- this could be the same problem. We thought it was sliding on it's own, too. Maybe it is, or maybe it's just sooooo easy for the seat to get into this unsafe mode.

Please post your experiences and please elevate the problem to Toyota.

Comments

  • lasik1lasik1 Posts: 3
    We waited an extra year to trade in our '05 Ltd on a new '11 and have decided to look elsewhere as the new lounge seats are much less useful to us and our 5 /7 year old kids. In our '05, we have the two middle row seats right next to each other for our kids and the passenger side aisle is open so their friends can climb right in to the back, or my wife can plop packages back there easily w/out moving seats. On the '11, the " airplane" seat can't move over and must be slid forward each time to access the back, and even the salesman had a slow go of it. Also, the seats can't be folded forward when not needed to increase rear legroom. I'm glad the wife in the TV commercials can lounge back there, but its a deal killer for us.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 2nd row doesn't tumble forward any more, either. And even the 3rd row does not face rearward for tailgate seating.

    They did add a backup cam on the LE and 3-zone climate control. Trade-offs, I guess.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 289
    Unlike an "airplane" seat, Toyota says the '11 Sienna 2nd row lounge seats are not to be reclined when the vehicle is in motion. If you notice their ads and brochures, they all show the vehicle in park while those barcoloungers are reclined. Not sure where the value is in this "feature."
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