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Toyota Sienna Water Leaks



  • RUN as fast as you can from a TOYOTA! Especially a Sienna.
  • kimberlyorchidkimberlyorchid Posts: 3
    edited September 2012
    Oh no. I've got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as I read through your final post. We just bought a used 2008 Certified Toyota Sienna (8 passenger) on August 24 in Mars, PA from Baierl Toyota.

    It sounds like this may be the van you had so many problems with. What color was your van? Do you remember about how many miles it had on it when you traded it in?

    We haven't had leakage issues yet, but keep it in a garage and have only been driving it for a few weeks.

    I am hoping it's not the same van, but it seems like it probably is:(
  • yinzermamayinzermama Posts: 18
    edited September 2012
    Not sure if my answer posted - 39k. but i forgot to mention it was blue.

    do you have the 3rd row up or stowed?

    and yes it was baierl.
  • kimberlyorchidkimberlyorchid Posts: 3
    edited September 2012
    It is definitely the same van. Right now we have 2/3 of the third row stowed and 1/3 up for my son to sit (I keep the other 2 kids in the second row so everyone has their own space-ha, ha!).

    You mentioned having some information regarding your experiences with Toyota and with the dealers in trying to solve your water problem. Any information you can offer regarding this vehicle and your experience would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for posting what your experience was and also what you knew about it being certified and resold. It was pure chance that I came across your post. I'm lucky I did. We did buy the full bumper to bumper warranty, though I don't know if it will apply to this problem.
  • I emailed you - just letting you know.
  • Looks like you (yinzermama) have already reviewed the dealership - if kimberlyorchid would like to do so as well, here's the link to their page: tml

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • yinzermamayinzermama Posts: 18
    edited September 2012
    Yes, I have. I have also in the last week or so learned that responding to negative reviews as if you are concerned or looking in to the matter is suggested as a means of turning a negative review into a positive, a la reputation-saving websites. Bob Bairel has not gotten back to me despite having contacted him in both writing and via phone (both before hearing from Kimberly). Waiting to see if this car still leaks at which point we will have more information.

    It's possible they fixed it and only told me there was no leak in the hopes that I would go away - but it doesn't make a lot of sense if that's the case. All I am going on is what they told me (and which I have in writing so to the best of my knowledge is true)

    I have also reviewed them at dealerrater - which caused a statistically questionable number of positive reviews to come flooding in shortly thereafter. Could be coincidence... or maybe not.
  • Well, you did a great job of following up on the comment left by the dealership, indicating that their comment was potentially just for show, since they won't respond to you personally.

    While I have no insight into those specific reviews on, other reviews that we have seen published there have not been accepted here, so we know that their standards for acceptable reviews are, um... different than ours. They may be bogus, or maybe they asked a bunch of satisfied customers to post reviews there to help "bury" your review.

    In any case, thanks for taking the time to review them and follow-up with comment on our site. We have seen some issues resolved, and reviews updated, as a result of genuine efforts on the part of dealerships to communicate with dissatisfied customers, and I'm sorry that your situation has not been one of those... yet!

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • i'm actually a little embarrassed that my comment was rather flippant and sarcastic but i can't edit it. :-/

    as for the other reviews, I suspect it is a little of this, a little of that. some of them are flat out made up - too few details, too many praises. some are real, but why do they happen to appear now? and at least one I suspect is the same story being posted twice.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    edited September 2012
    Before I purchased my Certified van last year I went over to the service department and requested a full data-dump. All repair orders, a short commentary on outcome, and the charges back to Toyota national for warranty reimbursement are available for the download. You just have to ask!

    Now I have to say, my 35 month old van with a mere 20,053 miles and in seemingly cherry condition had not lead an exemplary early life. Poor thing must have been built on a Monday. And third shift at that. At first I was taken aback by the issues, but after reading it over in detail and then spending a full hour (at least a half hour of it under the van) going over the vehicle again in excruciating detail, I decided to move on to the closing. We've doubled the mileage, and so far, so good. Fingers crossed....

    Net is that I went into it with my eyes wide open. I know they might have hoodwinked you, but you can still have the last laugh with data in hand proving they lied.
  • fibber2- do you happen to know if the dealer makes any additional money from the certified extended warranty - or is that a flat fee that goes right to corporate? (I know that you can price shop for new car extended warranties - not sure if this is similar?)
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Not sure if I understand your question, but this is my understanding of how the used car process goes:

    The dealer buys you used Sienna for say $14K. He can send it to auction and hope to recoup what he paid you, and if he’s lucky, make a small profit.

    Or he can decide to keep it on his lot, and advertise it for whatever the going rate is for a basic dealer used car. Maybe $16k? Remember that he has to offer some kind of warranty, probably 3 months / 3K miles. Some level of reconditioning and any breakdown repairs are out of his pocket – a genuine risk to him given his narrow profit margin.

    Or he can up his investment and go for certification. Making the necessary repairs (to meet brake remaining & tire tread remaining standards), doing the reconditioning, plus the inspection & certification fee probably runs $2k or more total, including the flat fee to Toyota for certification. He now has $16k into the van, but the marketability is greatly enhanced by the 1 yr / 12k mile & 7 yr / 100k mile anywhere in the USA warranty, totally on Toyota with no risk to the dealership. He lists the van on the Toyota Certified site and gets great regional coverage. He advertises it for $19k, accepts $18k. He walks away with $2k profit, and absolves himself of further risk.
  • yinzermamayinzermama Posts: 18
    edited September 2012
    The dealer gave me $11,500 saying all they could do was send it to auction where it would be "buyer beware." We were getting to the point where we were considering the leak may not be fixable.

    I found the car on their website 4 days later for $16,988 - call it $17k. It was not listed as "certified" at that point. It actually still had the stickers on the back that I traded it in with which highly points to nothing having been done - just a very quick "Let's get this puppy listed!" When I emailed to buy it they answered immediately and said yes it was in stock and ready for sale. Then when I explained who I was the manager called me and said oops, it's not supposed to be listed.

    I had just had new brakes put on and a sort of road-trip check-up as we had just taken a drive to Michigan. It was due for inspection. Other than that it didn't need anything other than a looksie and the the leak fixed.

    Once it came up as certified the pictures changed - the car had clearly been detailed, and I know it costs something for the certification, but since they tell me they didn't find a leak, I don't think they put much more into it that that. (Question is still - is car still leaking???)

    The buyer says she paid extra for a "wrap" warranty which I assume is above and beyond what normally comes with a certified used car? So I know if you buy a new car you can get an extended warranty and then you have a choice to buy it at your dealer or shop around on line and usually find it much cheaper. So I'm assuming dealers make some degree of profit just from selling an extra warranty.

    Does that apply to this "wrap" warranty for a used car as well? She has said it is through Toyota - which if I understand it would mean the dealer might be getting some money to sell the warranty, and then is off the hook for actually paying for repairs as she could now take the car to ANY toyota dealer and they will be reimbursed.

    To me it looks like the reason they wouldn't sell my car back to me was not liability on their end, but there was too big of a chance to make a much bigger profit off of someone else. I knew what they paid me for it, I knew what work it needed (or not), and I wouldn't/couldn't have bought the warranty. I'm sure there's got to be some sort of wrinkle with getting a new warranty on an old car you just happened to buy a second time, but who knows?

    I can't even figure what this extra warranty is - I thought all certified cars came with a year warranty, but I can't quite tell from Toyota certified website if their "highest level of warranty coverage" is something above and beyond that or what. Do you know anything about an extra warranty for a certified toyota? I thought it already had one built in and that was the point of buying a certified car?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    edited September 2012
    So my stab at the numbers was a bit off (they bought it from you for less that I estimated), but you get the idea of how this flows, and it sounds like the dealer looked at all or tried all the options: auction, his lot with minimum done, and certified.

    So as I said, the basics used warranty would typically be 3 month / 3k miles.
    Certified bumps that to 12 months / 12k miles bumper to bumper, and 7 yrs / 100k miles powertrain - nation wide.

    You can certainly buy more coverage, and I did so on my CPO van. On the day of sale I negotiated a 7 yr / 100k miles Toyota Platinum, $0 deductible (almost a bumper-to-bumper) plan for $1,100. That wasn't a bad deal (did some homework up front), but after my wife and I talked, we realized that with some of my concerns on the van, plus our projected use, we might benefit from more coverage. I called them back to ask about the 8 yr / 125k mile Platinum plan, but the manager didn't want to withdraw and redo the paperwork.

    I made a few calls and found a dealership in Danville, Illinois that sold me the 8/125 / $0 deductible Platinum plan for $1400, and cancelled the dealership purchase. I saved $100 in sales tax buying out of state.

    Buying more coverage is a purely personal decision. Irrational, maybe, but I like to have a cap on my liability, so it works for me.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    edited October 2012
    Well, I learned a few things today about CPO programs. MSX International, a provider of outsourced business solutions for the automotive industry, put out a summary booklet on the state of the industry, giving specifics on each brand’s program.

    For Toyota:

    It does require a vehicle inspection completed by an outside party not affiliated with the dealership. (So exactly how ‘independent’ is that agent??? I was told it was dealership staff, but maybe they consider an independent on retainer that does this daily as one of their own??? Who knows....)

    Not all Toyota dealers participate. Participation is currently around 95%.

    The fee paid to Toyota is only $450 per vehicle. (Quite a bargain, when you consider the liability the manufacture is assuming.)

    Dealer must sign a Participation Agreement – legal T&C’s.

    Vehicles can be up to 7 model years old, and up to 85k miles, and have a clean Carfax history.

    While each program has their own specific checklist, the generic one published in this report lists “Odors”, “Carpet”, “Weatherstripping”, and “Water Leaks” as points of scrutiny.

    Toyota certified over 330,000 vehicles in 2011.
  • yinzermamayinzermama Posts: 18
    edited October 2012
    Wow. $450. So they made even more profit off this than I thought. I would have thought it would be more like $1000-1500 to slap the certification on.

    So it has been confirmed the car was sold still leaking. I don't know who did the actual certification. I know that if you sat inside the car you could go through carwash after cawash and not realize the car was leaking if you didn't know where to look. They could have passed this car on to another party and casually said hey look it over - and the 3rd party might not have caught it if they weren't told to look for it. There was some discoloration to the carpet and some smelliness to the pad but it wasn't too bad as mostly we kept it pulled back to keep from getting wet with a cloth diaper in the well to catch the leak (this was the 2nd carpet). They could have cleaned the carpet first then sent it to the 3rd party, who knows.

    The dealership stands behind their right to refuse to sell a car to any person they choose, and insists that this (not selling my car back to me) was done to protect me - they also say the car was sold leaking due to a "miscommunication."

    I'm usually pretty good - possibly to the point of being overly lenient - about giving people the benefit of the doubt but it is hard not to see this whole thing as entirely profit motivated. Even if you want to argue that the service records don't make the issue too clear - they are kind of cryptic, and I had the car to independant places that would't report it the same as well - I have emails with the dealership mentioning the leak when the car first went up for sale, predating the sale to the new owner by over a week. I don't understand how they can get back to me with a straight face and tell me the car didn't leak. That would be one heck of a thing for me to have been imagining for the last 2 years. Lousy, lousy experience all around. It's all well and good to say the warranty will protect the new owner but what if the problem ultimately can't be fixed or what if the new owner doesn't discover it until the warranty is up? Garage-kept, that could very well have happened.

    And this dealership is HUGE. How often does this happen?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    edited October 2012
    At only $450 per vehicle, I was surprised too. It seems that the company takes on a big burden for under $500. Perhaps there is also some fee associated with being a CPO dealer? Or maybe Toyota feels that this boosts used car values and lease residuals to an extent that the fee collected and liability is inconsequential to the grand plan.
  • I have a 2008 Toyota sienna van that has a Braun mobility package added to it. Problem started last fall-- apparently water had leaked into the van, gotten under floorboards and was standing in junction boxes that contain wiring for handicap ramp. After spending $5000 for repairs-- and thinking water got in thru the sunroof - it happened again! It had been sitting in the driveway during a storm-- mechanic cleaned out water , checked sunroof drains and window seals and couldn't find leak. Noticed water standing in floorboard again yesterday! It has been in the garage, no rain exposure! The last time it was driven was 4 days ago and I did have the AC on full blast! Please help! I'm at my wits end! I don't even know where to take it since the Braun mechanic couldn't find the leak!
  • I am the person who purchased the 08 Sienna that this original thread was posted about. The leak was fixed by removing the roof rack and sealing between two body panels on the roof that meet up under the roof rack. Apparently there was a crack between the panels, which is where the water was coming in.
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