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2009 Sienna headrest's design

nws_readernws_reader Member Posts: 4
edited April 2014 in Toyota
After driving for a couple of weeks, we noticed that the front seat headrests are curved too outward. Unless you are the Hunchback of Notre Dame, you can't comfortable rest your shoulders and head at the same time. I removed the headrest and re-inserted it facing backward and now it's very comfortable (of course, I can't adjust the height of the headrest since the notches are on the wrong side). The original back side of the headrest is flat.

Do others feel the same? Could Toyota have improperly designed the headrest or put the notches on the wrong place?

On my 2003 Matrix XRS, the flat side of the headrests are facing forward. Just yesterday, I tried to re-adjust the height and noticed the notches are on the wrong side and I don't recall changing both of the headrests around. Did Toyota install them the wrong away or did I switch them and don't remember it ... my memory has indeed been failing me a bit lately.

If anyone has a Matrix, I'll be curious to know which side is the flat section.


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    yatesjoyatesjo Member Posts: 186
    I think a lot of how comfortable or uncomfortable a headrest is depends on how far the occupant reclines their seats. My wife hates the headrest design in most modern vehicles because she sits very upright and the headrests push her head forward. I tend to recline a lot so I'm never bothered by the head rests... except that I can rarely reach the headrest to put my head comfortably on it. For my wife, when we test drove the 2008 XLE with leather seats that was the most comfortable of all minivans, but she finds the 2008 LE (cloth seats) we bought a little less comfortable, though still more comfortable than the Ody (we won't even talk about her impressions of the Dodge seats- I'll just say she couldn't get out fast enough).

    Of consideration, too, is the safety aspect of the headrest. When the vehicle is rear ended the headrest is the primary protective device to prevent head and neck injury. It needs to be in the right place at the right time to prevent or reduce injury. To my wife, our 2005 Legacy has the most comfortable headrests of any newer vehicle we've test driven but it also has active head restraint technology that pushes the headrest forward in a rear impact collision. While the Legacy/Outback gets 5 star rear impact rating, the 2008 and previous Sienna's were dinged on rear impact testing because the passive headrest didn't do enough to catch and arrest the head's motion. It is possible they might have redesigned the headrests in 2009 to improve that rating without adding the expense of active headrests... and in the process made them less comfortable for people like you and my wife.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Bingo, nowadays they are really more of a whiplash-prevention-device and less an actual place to rest your head.
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