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Toyota Sienna Power Seat problem

cerrmj1cerrmj1 Member Posts: 2
edited December 2013 in Toyota
Here is a FYI for the group. My 2006 Sienna developed a problem with the power 3rd row seats where they will come up out of the seat well, seem to lock into plact but the seat backs will not come up.

Some research indicates that this is becoming a frequent issue with the 2006 & 2007 models and the seat tracks were redesigned in 2008.

Toyota has a TSB0183-09 that has information about how to 'fix' the problem by replacing the seat tracks.

In my case, we have used these power seats very infrequently over the almost 4 years we have had this van.

The dealer wanted $1300 to fix the seats and their process is to send the van to a local auto upholstery shop to have the seat tracks replaced.

I wasn't happy with this and the dealer made a call to the Toyota zone rep who said that they would not help with the fix.

I called Toyota Care (1-800-331-4331) asking them to help with the fix, explaining that they have a defect, have published information (TSB) about the defect and how to fix it, and redesigned the part in a later model so they should stand behind their product and at least pay part of the repair costs. They said NO. That the van is out of warranty and their is nothing they will do. I asked if there was some kind of appeal process and was told NO - that was their final answer.

So, I decided to call the local auto upholstery shop that the van would be sent to and talk to them about it. I was told they have fixed 'a lot' of these seats for the Toyota dealer. He said that their labor charge is $150/seat. He also mentioned that he had recently installed a new seat track and and found that the new track had the exact same problem. He said he was able to make an adjustment and get it working. He suggested that I bring him the van and let him take a look and that he might be able to get it working again without replacing the seat tracks.

I took the van to the Upholstery shop and he found that there were 2 springs broken (one in each seat). He replaced the springs and adjusted the seats and everything works correctly now. Total cost: $200. Sure beats $1300.

I wanted to share this experience with everyone. I would suggest finding out from the dealer who they would send the van out to and then contact that place directly to see about having them adjust or repair your seats.



  • kylefeikylefei Member Posts: 2
    Hello Cermj

    Thank you! This exactly happened to me, even the dealer quotes are similar. I went to a dealership, they charged me $180 for inspection and then one thousand and so to replace it. I checked several auto repair shop but they have no clue what to do to fix it. I was about to call the dealer for repair and saw this post. Funny how its hard to find posts related to this issue because you said its frequent issue. Anyway, my english is very limited and I didn't understand what a Upholstery shop is? Do you live in Los Angeles? If you are, are you able to recommend the shop you went to me? I am desperate to have it fixed.

    Thanks a million in advance!

  • cerrmj1cerrmj1 Member Posts: 2
    Hey kylefie, Sorry, I don't live in LA. I would suggest asking your dealer if they would be sending your van to an Auto Upholstery shop for their $1000 fix. If they will tell you then call up that place and talk to them - show them my post and ask if they can fix it by adjusting the seats or fixing broken springs, etc...

    Otherwise, I would suggest looking in the yellowpages and under Auto Seat Covers, Tops & Upholstery for some shops.

    Here is a link to that search in the LA area.

    LA Auto Upholstery

    Good luck.
  • agnostoagnosto Member Posts: 207
    Wow, wow, and again wow, a $1300 fix ("hypothetically broken 3rd row seat motors" on our family 2006 XLE Limited diagnosed from Leith Toyota dealership in Raleigh, NC) down to $0, fixed it ourselves by lightly pushing down three little tension metals (see pics from below web links)


    kudos to the people posted detailed pics on the above web links...

    My advice to consumer is be aware and always do extensive search online that will save you thousands of dollars...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    3 seconds left in the game, down by 5, agnosto hikes the ball, he drops back, here it comes, it's a Hail Mary pass....it's....it's....it's a TOUCHDOWN!

  • tpknjtpknj Member Posts: 1
    You saved us a TON of money! THANK YOU!!! We spent 2 hours at the dealer, who couldn't fix the problem, and after all that, 2 rubber bands did the trick. We Love You!
  • wileydwileyd Member Posts: 2
  • wileydwileyd Member Posts: 2
    Happened to me also. I took my van to RK Toyota in Hampton, VA and they told me it would be $1300 to repair the seat track but I wanted a 2nd opinon so my wife and I search online and found the fix. So she went to office Max and purchase a pack of rubber bands for $1.89 and followed the instruction on this site and the sets were back in operation in a matter of minutes.
  • michael_wmichael_w Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem for my 2006 Sienna
    The dealer in Atlanta asked for $2000. With the proposed approach of this thread, I fixed the problem with rubber bands.

  • gvondogvondo Member Posts: 1
    I had the same problem with my 2006 Sienna. - larger of the third row seating was stuck with the back down. I used the links above to fix the problem. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    I can't believe the Toyota dealers can't tell you about this. I would be pissed if I paid anyone more then $20 to fix this problem.
  • handrichhandrich Member Posts: 2
    I didn't go to the dealership first because I really didn't want the agony. So, I did the online search and wound up here after looking at a few articles. Anyway... I followed the link to your pictures and found your solution a very simple fix to the problem.

    Thank you!
  • notacarpersonotacarperso Member Posts: 1
    Thank you so much for re-posting the pictures and explaining how to fix this problem. I am re-posting the link to the pictures that helped me again because this fix really does work. I went to the toyota dealer who quoted me $1K for parts and labor. Then I called a local upholstery shop that was not aware of this problem. When I finally looked up how to fix my third row seats that had been stuck for months with the below link to the pictures, it worked in less than 5 minutes. My husband was shocked that I actually fixed it!


    good luck to everyone!
  • jjcam5jjcam5 Member Posts: 1
    Thanks for the post Bob! I have a 2008 Sienna. I bought the Toyota extended care warranty when we bought it new and am getting a lesson in just exactly what it covers!
    I have the same issue with the folding rear seats. This is the second time I have had it in to be fixed. It seems to be intermittent.
    The seat was stuck down for a month, after we jiggled the wires it suddenly worked again. Now my AUX port is no longer working. I live near several Toyota dealers so I shopped around when I bought this van. We ended up buying in the next town over. First, we learned that not all dealers have the same protection plans. I thought that if I bought a Toyota at the dealer the protection plans they sold me there would be Toyota affiliated. I bought the Resist All Fabric Protection and the local dealer will not honor it, so I have to go to the other dealer to take care of any fabric issues. Not a big deal, but would have been nice to know up front. Also, if anyone is thinking of using the Toyota Extended Care Warranty please understand that there is a difference between the parts and labor it covers and the diagnostic fee. I didn't understand that diagnosis of the problem is not considered labor. Not a nice surprise at the end of the day.
  • stljohndstljohnd Member Posts: 1
    I love the internet... and you folks who took the time to put the solution on the net. I just placed 2 rubber bands as shown in the pictures and now have a functioning 3rd row seat again.

    Thank you

    Thank you

    Thank you

    agnosto, you should set up a pay pal account for people to donate some of their savings to you.

  • stokerstanstokerstan Member Posts: 1
    The internet and you guys are great. I used the rubber bands as shown in the photos and it worked.
    I searched the internet on a whim because I was planning on taking the van to the shop tomorrow.
    This is the second time the internet helped me with vehicle problems the first was with my GMC car key fob. It quit working on my car and I found some info on the internet and it cost me abot $10 and my keyflob now works.
    I so stoked now.
    Like the previuos message
    Thank You
    Thank you
    Thank you
  • lconeylconey Member Posts: 6
    My third row seats are stuck in my 2006 sienna. I see that you all are talking about how to fix it. I am a novice at these things and do not know how to find the links you all are talking about. Can you help me with step by step instructions. I am a sr. citizen and can't spend thousands to fix. Any help is appreciated.
  • lconeylconey Member Posts: 6
    Thank you to all. We were able to fix our seats at no expense, but thanks to all who bother sharing their experiences.
  • gmafgmaf Member Posts: 1
    Thank you for re-posting the links/pictures on how to fix this problem. I went to the Toyota dealer and left my car. When I got home I decided to goggle this problem and was surprised to find the rubber band fix. The dealership wanted $719.00 to fix the problem (replacing the bottom piece). I told them I wanted to check out the rubber band option and they looked at me as if I were crazy. They charged me a $95.00 diagnostic fee (why or why didn't I google first). Brought the van home and gave it a try. Yes, I could do it manually by depressing the black knobs -- but the two rubber bands worked just fine. I was amazed that a 68 year old woman could figure it out -- it was sooooooo easy. Thank you again!!!!
  • david_jaworskidavid_jaworski Member Posts: 1
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR POSTING THE FIX WITH PICTURES!! Our single seat has been down for 2 years - just never have had the need to fix it. But yesterday the other side did not come up - so turn to the WEB and the rubber band fix works PERFECT!!
  • omar707omar707 Member Posts: 1
    thank you , thank you, for the pictures men this pics save me hounders the dlls a least 600 or 700 dlls. now i can put back my seat back..... yeeaaahhhh
  • kjjhalakjjhala Member Posts: 1
    Thanks! The rubber band trick really works.
  • brettpavelbrettpavel Member Posts: 1
    Thank you so much. It absolutely works! In two minutes I fixed something the dealer here in Fort Collins, Colorado wanted $650 for! And it would have only broken again! My wife thinks I'm a genius, but I gave this forum the credit. Thanks for the member who submitted pictures. It would have taken awhile to figure in out without them, but it truly is a miracle fix!
  • ken114ken114 Member Posts: 4
    Amazing! Several months ago, both our 3rd row seats got stuck. My wife took it to the dealer and we left it overnight. They charged a diagnostic fee, something like $50-$100. They couldn't figure it out and wanted $1,200 to fix it. So she has been driving it around since then with the seats down. We want to use the 3rd row this summer, so I found this forum, read agnosto's post and pictures and used four hair bands to fix it in just a couple of minutes. I couldn't believe it was so easy and I am impressed with Agnosto for figuring it out. Two lessons: Never trust the dealer and always check the internet.
  • peggie3peggie3 Member Posts: 1
    Hi freinher,

    I just fixed mine. When the little seat died, and the dealership said "$700", I decided to just live with it. Today the big seat died too.

    -Four rubber bands
    -Five minutes
    -Problem solved.

    Someone posted pictures, but not instructions. Here is what I did:

    -Bring the seat up as far as it will go.
    -As it can't complete, it will beep at you for a minute, but that will stop.
    -There's a plastic panel covering the mechanism.
    -Grab the top part of the plastic panel and snap it off.
    -Hook the rubber bands on, like these pictures

    https://picasaweb.google.com/115415928983491960863/Sienna3rdRow?fgl=true&pli=1#5- 513145845065302562

    (There are four pictures. Click through with those light grey arrows)

    -The seats will go up now. Unbelievable.
    -Snap the plastic panel back on.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Kudos for documenting that fix. There aren't enough people who take the time to do that nowadays. :shades:
  • chinmoychinmoy Member Posts: 1
    My problem is slightly different. My single rear seat will come up and work properly. The 2 seat(larger seat) is stuck in the well. The back rest come up but the seat itself is stuck in the well. Has anyone faced this issue?

    Thanks in advance
  • centurion1centurion1 Member Posts: 1
    I have an 04 Sienna XLE and the drivers seat won't move forward and back. There are 4 motors under the seat and Toyota won't sell the motors separately. You have to buy the entire base with all 4 motors for $1400. The motors don't have individual part numbers so I can find the part. I know that it's the motor in the front of the seat but no one has the part. I've spent hours on line and calling. Anyone have any idea on how to find the motor?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Do it the old fashioned way - junk yard!

    Parts recyclers. Sorry.
  • pq5hpq5h Member Posts: 1
    My 2006 Toyota Sienna xle limited- 3rd row seats suddenly stopped working last week. Both big and the small seat come out of the well and latch (first part of the opening mechanism), but then fail to open (the two folds-base and the back stay folded). The electronic button makes a beeping noise for few sec and then stops.
    Went to the dealer and wants $1800 to fix the problem. Wants to change the tracks?? if the track were a problem, it would not do the first part of the unfolding ???but then I am not an Auto mechanic. Any ideas???? thanks. I saw a fix posted on the the internet-http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f216b9e-, but I am not sure I understand how they fix it and where the rubber band go? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    Unfortunate - I didn't see this post until now.

    Hate it when dealers lie to customers. Of course the 4 motors are available separately.

    Part numbers are: 8580160010 / 8580160020 / 8580160030 / 8580160040 and on line they seem to sell for around $275. But here's the catch: which motor is which? None of the parts diagrams I looked at spell that out clearly!!! I'm leaning towards 8580160010 as the others mention some function and this one is devoid of detail, but that's just a guess.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    Go back a page to post #27, click on the link to the Picasa photo page and follow the sequence of 4 pictures. Basically it looks like they are pulling down on the retainer on the end of the cable.
  • dannypham24dannypham24 Member Posts: 1
    thank you. You saved me $900.00. Dealer want to change the whole car seat frame.
  • porthmeusporthmeus Member Posts: 1
    It sounds crazy, but it worked like a charm! I've had the same trouble - rear power seat would rise and latch, but the seat back would not come up. Two rubber bands later, everything is fixed.

    I will definitely be back to this site when other issues come up. Thank's for saving me a bunch of money!
  • cyclingkencyclingken Member Posts: 1
    Peggie, thank you SO MUCH. You saved me thousands of dollars! Both rear seats were not working, and I'm not much of a mechanic, but I thought I'd give the rubber bands a try, and after five minutes of work, the seats are just fine. I was first trying to hold that little tab down with a finger, but thought it could get pinched as the seats were powering up and down. Four rubber bands are a GREAT solution.
  • orbob71orbob71 Member Posts: 1
    The dealers told my brother it would cost $1200.00 When I look at it I thought the lever should be pushed the other way. Thanks for your help 4 rubber bands from my R/C airplnes and 5 minutes they work. I told my brother I would only charge $600.00. Right no pay. LOL
    Thanks agin bob
  • deborinquendeborinquen Member Posts: 1
    Can You please send me the link to those steps with the 3 Rubber Bands?
    Please send to [email protected]

    Thank You
  • as128as128 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, I have exactly this same problem, where the drivers seat won't move forward and back. It moves in other directions, but absolutely nothing happens when I try to move it forward or back.

    Did you ever figure out exactly which individual motor did the trick?

  • as128as128 Member Posts: 2
    Hi fibber2,
    Did you ever find out exactly which part is it?
    Thanks in advance!
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    I'm sorry, Adam, but the original poster never came back with any further comment and I didn't come up with any additional documentation about which motor.

    My suggestion would be to CAREFULLY place your hand on each motor and see which one never runs when you cycle the power seat controller. You will then likely have to unbolt the seat to gain access for removing the motor, and HOPEFULLY the motor will have the part number on it.
  • rickytoonsrickytoons Member Posts: 1
    Absolutely brilliant. Friggin' Toyota, don't they have enough problems. Followed your directions and it works like a champ. Looks like there is a wire harness that pulls that sensor up. The rubber band fix is pure DIY'ers at their best. Thanks so much for sharing.
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