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Toyota Sienna Brakes



  • Thanks Fibber. Unfortunately I found out late afternoon yesterday via my telephone representative that Corporate Toyota will not help me in this situation. I was told that a Master Brake Cylinder failure, though rare at my mileage, does have some track records of failures at my mileage. Yes, most occur in the 150k range, but a few have failed around 47k.

    So, "it's rare, but not as rare as you'd think". They declined to help. It surprised the Service manager at the dealership. He took me aside and said that in his time at the dealership he hadn't seen one fail at all. I was his first.

    So I wrote a letter and mailed it this morning to Toyota USA. We'll see where that takes me.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,743
    It's not likely a singular master cylinder failure at 47K. I could see them denying a claim if you had zero brake system issues up to that point.

    It's that this has likely been a nagging problem for quite some time now, and that this master cylinder problem has also wiped out one set of rear brakes, and has now taken out a second set. This issue in total has cost you closer to $2500, right??
  • orionreplayorionreplay Posts: 10
    edited August 2013
    Yes. Back in January/February of this year we had a complete, wholesale take out of both our rear brakes (42,500). The brake mechanic then thought the Master Cylinder, but the rarity of it just seemed too distant to him. So he chose to fix the problem in hopes it was also the cause. He had told me that if it occurred again that Toyota needed to be involved for deeper diagnosis and maybe a chance at some Toyota coverage. ($600)

    I called Toyota back then asking if they knew of anything regarding a 2010 Sienna and brakes. They said no. I was told it sounded like general wear and tear. I accepted their explanation.

    Fast forward to 47,450 miles and we had the right rear tire seize again. So I took it directly to my closest Toyota based on that last advice from the mechanic. They kept the vehicle for three days and it took them two of the days to just diagnose the issue. They elected to pursue the master cylinder, which they didn't even keep in stock. On the third day the part had arrived and they fixed. ($1,800 total)

    Meanwhile, I was calling Toyota Corporation. In the end, they said No. They still considered it general wear and tear. Oh, but if I had purchased the extended warranty when I got the van, this would have been covered.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,743
    Yes, I think it kind of sucks the way they are treating you. You got to replace the rear brake system twice, in part because of questionable advice.

    But they brought up a valid point in the very last line of your presentation. I paid $1400 for an extended (8 yr / 125k) warranty. When the steering intermediate shaft started knocking, and the HVAC fan motor started squeaking, and the power port fell into the dash at under 60k miles, they covered it all, no questions asked. Around $900. So what's the value in buying this insurance, if they would have done it for free just by my complaining that these things shouldn't happen?

    One could argue that you had exactly the same options I had. You chose to self-insure, while I bought the policy. So far I'm still in the loss column, and in the end so are you. Just another way of looking at the cost of ownership.
  • I agree. My thought process when I bought the Toyota in 2009 was, these things don't happen with a Toyota. This will be my 200k mile vehicle, like my inlaw's Camry (175k and counting). So I declined. Was the dealership telling me their product wasn't a good product?

    When I bought my diesel Jetta in 2011, I had an oven and a fridge go on us between the 2009 Toyota purchase and 2011. I had gotten the Sears warranties on those two items and it more than paid for itself. So with that in mind, with the Jetta purchase, I got the extended warranty from VW.

    When this happened to my van with the Master Cylinder, it was the dealership service manager who told me to try Corporate. When I picked up the vehicle he didn't know they had already said, "no". When I told him, he admitted that in his time at the dealership he had never had a failure of this sort. This was his first and hence, why they didn't even have the piece in stock.

    I have now also paid money to USAA for their version of an extended warranty for the van. I'm not having this happen again!
  • Hi all-

    As you may notice, I have just registered myself in this forum, and hope this is the right place for what I am about to say and some else might have encountered the same issue with their Sienna 2013 or will. Here it goes:

    I've recently had a very SCARY experience with my less-than-6-month Sienna LE. My family was about to embark on a fishing trip and every one was seated and we were ready to go. As I put the car in the reverse, and backed out of my driveway (our house is on a high ground), i did the natural thing as I always do. that is, I was applying the brake as I was backing out. However this time, the brake system was gone, i mean, not there at all. The backup monitor displayed the emergency message: "Check the brake system. Please contact the dealer immediately." the Car kept sliding backward until it hit the curb on the other side of road. Long story short, in the end, The brake system came back online and started working after I restarted the car the 3rd time. The experience is pretty traumatic, and none of us wanted to step into the car. we had the car towed in to the dealer and the Dealer service manager called back and informed me that they have found nothing wrong with the brake system. But this is not very comforting.

    Now my questions are:
    1. has anyone else here experienced the same problem?
    2. What shall I do in this case?
  • haniffhaniff Posts: 2
    I also have serious brakes problem with my Sienna 2007 XLE. It is scary and I can imagine how you feel. Please see my post. If we unite we may get Toyota to fix some of their problems before some lives are lost
  • haniffhaniff Posts: 2
    edited August 2013
    I have a Sienna 2007 XLE with 82,000 miles. Most of them are highway miles. In the past two months my brakes pedal kept getting softer and going to almost the floor. I took it to a repair shop and they said it was air in the system and bled the breaks while I waited. It got worst after that. I went to Toyota dealer and then they tried one entire day bleeding it using computer without any luck. Their conclusion was that the brakes master cylinder was bad and needed to be replaced. Toyota sells and recommends to replace the entire system including the booster. A repair cost of $1700 approx. At the beginning, the dealer said it was impossible to have a bad master cylinder on such a vehicle, however then they changed that statement. They also assured me that someone changed the brakes cylinders on the back brakes because these are not the original ones that Toyota installs at the factory. Well, this made me even more worried. I never had any work done on this vehicle except oil and filter changes. Did Toyota install the incorrect parts on my van? This is the first vehicle ever to have a master cylinder failure, and the consumable parts (breaks pad, rotor and drums) are like new! Am I now subject to an unexpected breaks failure at anytime? My van is at the dealer right now; it will be ready within 3 days and I will get it back with about $1,700.00. I called Toyota and their answer was that that was normal because no one else complained, and it is up to the dealer if they wanted to give me a discount on the repair. I would like to appeal to all of you Sienna owners to call Toyota and let them know of your brakes problems. From what I have read, I am not comfortable anymore in that vehicle and it will be on the market soon. Are you interested? You have a deal here. Thanks.
  • Haniff,

    My letter to Toyota produced a response via a phone message. They had received the letter and included it in my file for my established case number. But being a voicemail, that was all I learned. The caller, Alan, said if I wanted to ask any questions I could use any representative when calling Toyota Corp.

    Your story sounds similar to mine. Except mine started at 42,500 miles. I did not go to Toyota originally when the problem first occurred last February, because USAA towed the vehicle to the nearest brake place. They wouldn't authorize a 30 minute tow to the nearest dealer. So I called Toyota Corporation then and was assured this was "normal wear and tear".

    When it occurred again, I purposely drove the van to that dealership trying to use the brakes as little as possible. I wanted a dealership to be involved.

    The backlash I received this time from Toyota Corporation, was 1.) I had called before for a similar problem and chose not to use an authorized Toyota dealer for the fix, 2.) I hadn't regularly maintained my Sienna at a Toyota dealership, and 3.) I should have bought the extended vehicle warranty.

    To them it was "End of Story". In my written letter I took exception to #1 and #2. Due to the towing and due to the Sienna passing, without a single discrepancy, the official Toyota dealership 20-point inspection when my vehicle was seen recently. I take great care of my vehicles and due my own servicing.

    As for #3, that is correct, as I described earlier in this thread. I hadn't gotten the extended warranty. In August 2009, I didn't think it would ever be needed. My trust was obviously misplaced.

    Clearly Toyota is cutting corners to maintain a level of profit on each purchase. Cheaper components. The answer is now from Toyota Corporation: you didn't buy the extended warranty to cover our sub-par components. You are expected to purchase it and I had not.

    I have done the phone calls and sat on hold. I have written a letter. I don't know if I'll ever get any satisfaction. As I told the service manager at the dealership, for a $1,005 part, Toyota Corporation would lose this customer forever? He just grimaced and smiled. He wasn't going to reply.
  • ealgy08ealgy08 Posts: 1

    So what has Toyota said about your van? Have they resolved the brake problem? Your story is exactly the same as the incident we recently had with our brand new Sienna 2013 AWD Limited Edition. We just puchased it July 3. We started our van and drove down our driveway and within minutes the brake did not work at all - it froze along with the gas pedal. It felt like I was pressing my foot against something really stiff. We then turned left to go up the hill and the vehicle rolled back down without any braking system. The same emergency message came on and I immediately turned the engine off. I waited a few minutes and restarted the engine by stepping on the frozen brake pedal and then tried 5 times to push on brake pedal and finally it released itself. The emergency message went away and I immediately called Toyota. It was VERY SCARY because I had my two young children in the back of the van...luckily this all happened at about 30 km/h rather than 100 km/h. The dealership said this was the first they've heard of it - ya right! They made me fill out a bunch of forms for Toyota Canada. They checked the van and said it was probably the brake booster (I then told him to explain it in normal terms). They were going to let me drive the van home but I refused knowing I have to drive my kids everyday. He then came back and said they'll contact Toyota Canada for more inspection and gave me a loaner car. What is up with this brake issue with Toyota - they need to get this brake problem resolved for all their models before more accidents/deaths occur.
  • We have heard nothing from Toyota, except for a survey that was received for the work done to the van. I praised the people doing the work and the dealership for helping how they could (not my original dealership), but I still questioned the quality of the original cylinder and boost package.

    I do know my written letter was received as I received a phone call, well after hours and it had gone to my voice mail.

    I have honestly never experienced anything like this and feel like a tiny gnat buzzing around a sleeping giant. I'm not sure what else I can do to get anymore from Toyota in terms of help or a simple explanation. We had to spend a good portion of our saved money for our vacation in September to pay for the repair. Stupid things like this always come up at the worst times!
  • snuesnue Posts: 3
    I bought my Sienna van XLE, new, in Feb. of 2004. 160K miles later, it is still a champ with a few old age issues. I TRULY thought Toyota had a lifelong fan in me because of my great experiences. However.... I had the broken weld in the driver side door issue. It got my attention (the clunk was just annoying for many months) when my driver side window wouldn't go down. LH side sliding door won't close on upward hill (so I just push it shut- I'm not paying +$1000 to repair that). The seat warmers broke years ago. My emergency brake just broke a few months ago. I pushed the foot pedal down and it went down all the way and a bolt flew off inside of the car. The shop I am currently taking it to said they had another van, same year, with the same problem. Grrrrr. No recall notices yet, but I guess there is a (shoot. not a recall but an advisory????) notice out on the transmission-popping out of gear?

    Has anyone else had this emergency brake issue?
  • I know its been a while siennaman, but my 99 is doing the exact same thing as you have described, did you every come up with the solution ? Thanks Russ
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