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Toyota Sienna Sliding Door Problems



  • I have a 2004 LE, so "only: had to replace the passenger side door cable and motor. Several thousand dollars. Given the number of complaints here and on the NHSTA site, It's obvious there's a major problem with these sliding doors.
  • Maybe the Attorney General is a better place to complain if people get no responses from NHSTA. I guess someone has to be in an accident where the lack of a functioning door leads to a fatality for them to care.
  • Another possible recall... regarding the power steering problem with the Corolla.

    ""We have yet to be contacted by the NHTSA regarding what has been reported in the press about a power-steering issue in the Corolla," Toyota spokesman Paul Nolasco said. "Should we be contacted about any investigation by NHTSA related to any of our products, we will cooperate fully."

    NHTSA has said it is looking into complaints from drivers about difficulty with the steering in 2009 and 2010 Corollas which say they can wander while driving on highways."

    I am having the the same problem 3 weeks ago during rain and I have sent my complaint to NHTSA. They have not contacted me yet.... Maybe they will look into it when there is fatality first... What are we ... a bunch of guinea pig ( we pay them to test their product).... Wake up NHTSA.....
    I am really really pissed.......
    Full story:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We all know e-mails aren't always read, or can get caught in spam filters.

    Please file a formal complaint here instead:
  • Sorry,
    I did file a formal complaint through their website. I think they are just pinpointing certain model and years and ignore others. I think NHTSA should check all the Toyota parts for all the models. Like check all the brake system, gas system, electrical system on all the model and see whether some parts being used on other car models that are not in the recall list. I do not know... I could have dumped this van and buy other brand and go on with my life. It is just that I felt being cheated by Toyota and I do think a lot of you feel the same.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The more they get reports, they more they're forced to look in to specific issues, especially the more common ones.

    I think NHTSA should check all the Toyota parts for all the models

    Keep in mind they have finite resources. They need our help to narrow it down - a lot.
  • Today, I filed a safety complaint with NHTSA/ODI for the door not closing. If I slam it really hard, I can get the front latch to engage, but the rear will not close. This is NOT the power sliding door. I have seen this problem posted on the internet in several sites and it is a VERY SERIOUS SAFETY RISK. Thanks to another posting on this website, it is clear that this is a BASIC DESIGN FLAW. Toyota tried to save $$ by selected a metal that rusts and then they coated it with plastic. Over time, the plastic wears and moisture enters. As more time passes, the rust develops and grows. This results in swelling and interferes with the latching. The mechanism sticks and the latch WILL NOT ENGAGE. It looks like Toyota has known about the problem for a long time (since 2000) and they have not fixed it.

    Last night, I had to drive a great distance with my child in the van while the DOOR WOULD NOT CLOSE. It was dark and I had trouble seeing well since all of the interior lights were on. PLEASE FILE A COMPLAINT ASAP if you have or had this problem. Here is the link:

    I took this to the dealer immediately because it is a MAJOR SAFETY RISK and they told me that this was an "isolated incident" and they will not cover the repair. I have 80K miles and they said things do wear out. I get that things wear out, but the things that are VITAL TO SAFETY must be ROBUST and cannot wear out in 4 years. This is much different from the upholstery wearing out!! This is a serious DESIGN DEFECT. If they do not pay for the fix, I will be buying a new car that is NOT a Toyota.

    Here is what to do to get your door to close until you get it fixed: use a screwdriver in the rear latch mechanism to LIFT the jammed latch UP (yes, it is covered with black grease) WHILE YOU ARE HOLDING THE DOOR HANDLE OPEN. It will probably take a little work to get it up and out of the way, but the latch area must be open. Then you can release the door handle and the door will close.
  • I am one of the many with a power sliding door that does not function, neither by power or manually. I consider this a safety issue not only because of possible entrapment of my 2 young children who ride in the back seat of this vehicle everyday, but because they must now exit the vehicle traffic side, not street side. And as many of you know, this is a very expensive repair which Toyota will not cover. Our van also has the front driver door weld problem. We feel deceived since we carefully researched vans before purchase, and this vehicle had glowing reports from many consumer and automotive sites. Seeing that complaints to Toyota and NHTSA don't seem to bring a solution, I wrote to Consumer Reports,, and was happy to receive a response within a few days. I don't know that anything will come of this, but it is another avenue we could all try. Another option is the Center for AutoSafety,
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did you also file a complaint with NHTSA? Hopefully they see a pattern and force Toyota to cover all these door complaints. The front door problem had to be addresses, for instance.
  • I have filed a complaint with NHTSA. Thank you.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2010
    Actually, thank you. ;)

    I've been encouraging people to do that for a while, now it actually seems to be working. Reported problems are up more than 33% since all the attention in the media.
  • I had the same problem with the steering on my 2004 sienna when it rained actually when I drove thru a puddle the power steering would go out. so much for safety! They eventually they did fix the problem it has something to do with loose belt. The power steering belt is loose and needs to be tightened or mreplaced the goodyear belts are aweful buy the toyota brand or gates brand belts. See if that fixes the problem. Good Luck
  • Silicone wont last nor does Bear Grease nor do the other random band aide and chewing gum suggestions they made over the past few years. I was told this new weather stripping was covered as a replacement due to the design flaw although they went so far as to say they couldnt use the term "design flaw". The weatherstripping change has completely resolved the problem it has been on the car for over a month in freezing weather and the doors have not frozen up once. They are feeding you a crock! go elsewhere to another toyota dealer or demand to speak with their toyota service rep they fixedf mine and they did it for FREE! I agree and showed them at our dealership where the newer models do not have this same design flaw if it wasnt a problem then why did they correct it? UGH I so hate toyota
  • The lock on the closed sliding door of my 2004 Sienna will not slide to the unlock position. The service manual tells me the first thing I need to do is remove 2 screws that face forward INSIDE the door jam. I cannot remove anything else to get to the lock until I remove them and I cannot open the door to get to them until I fix the lock mechanism. Any thoughts on how to get to the lock mechanism inside the door while the door is locked shut?
  • The plastic cover plate can be pryed open with a flathead screw driver.
    There are a number of plastic barbs molded into the cover that secures the molding besides the 2 screws.I would start on the edge at the back of the van moving around the top to the front. You may then be able to see the other barbs and push them back with a screw driver. There are also 4 barbs around the handle. 2 of mine broke but it still pops back in place. Make sure the lock is open other wise the cover is trapped behind it.
    Once the cover is accessible you can manually manipulate the linkages hidden inside.
    I have had the same problem. I have left the screws out so I can pop the cover off anytime so I can operate the door while I release the rear latch mechanisim with a screw driver. There are some little white plastic bushings in the latch. 1 of mine has broken consequently the rear latch is not released when the door tries to cycle open. Toyota replace the motor in my door but never resolved the root cause of the problem...the latch bushings broke. they want $800 CDN to fix it now!
    And I had the extended warranty but that doesnt cover door parts..go figure?
  • Sounds like way too many malfunctions with toyota sienna sliding doors to not be a defect. Please complain to them and the government in writing maybe they will be forced to fix it. I had a message from my dealer (same door problem same price to fix) that said they had the 2011 Siennas in and wanted me to see them. WHen I told them that I would not buy a Toyota again based on my experience with this one, they left me a voice mail that said they would take $800 off the cost of a new one since that is what it would cost to fix the old one!
  • I would not buy any 2011 Sienna again.. enough with this manufacturer... You would not know what kind of money trap they will have in his one. My other car a Nissan Morano (2009), I have been driven since 2007.. no problem what so ever, smooth and powerful...
  • I agree with you, my 2005 Toyota sieena has the same problem both with the manuel and power sliding door. I can't afford how much it is to fix it because the car is not worth it. Safety is my priority and my two children climb in and out of the car through the hatch. There is definetly something wrong. It happened for a while would work then not then finally both doors didn't work. I was only over 1000 miles on my 75,000 when I took it to a Toyota dealership in Rochester NH and they wouldn't fix it under warranty. Toyota needs to stand by it cars and they are not. I will not buy another Toyota car because of this and am very frustated over it. If we all file complaints maybe they will take it into a recall. Please take the time to complain because if not it's a very expensive complaint.
  • This morning I opened the driver's side door with no problem, but would not close either manually or automatically. On closer inspection the rear mount has considerable wiggle to it compared to the other door. I discovered that one of the bolts on this mount has sheered off. So the door will open, but not close. Has anyone else experienced this. This is our first issue with our Toyota. Yeah, we have had the frozen door problem in cold temperatures. Not sure how this bolt would sheer off when we only use the door in the electric mode.
  • I had this same problem last May. The bolts pulled through the sheet metal and the expensive fix will eventually result in the same problem. I posted my solution on May 26, message 269. Here it is:

    This sounds like the problem I had. Two of the three bolts on the rear latch of the sliding door had pulled through the sheet metal, preventing the rear part of the door from latching. I used two washers and slightly longer bolts. I left the piece of sheet metal that had pulled through in place to position the bolts. The order on the new bolts is, new washer (slightly bigger than the hole, small cone shaped washer that is actully the sheet metal that pulled through, and insert into hole. The threads start so deep inside the door that you will need longer bolts than what came with the car to accomodate the new washers. Even though I used hex head bolts (easier to get in), and the bolts stick out more than the original, there is room and they do not hit anything when the door closes. I did not weld anything and it just took a few minutes. The door works as well as new. Tools required: star screw driver to remove the orignal bolts and hex wrench set to install new bolts. Tools and part are available at most hardware stores. Since I had both tools, it was less than a $5 repair and stronger than the original.

    Good luck.
  • dodong12dodong12 Posts: 1
    The first 3 years of owning my 2006 Toyota Sienna LE in Nov 2005 I did not encounter real problems but as soon as my manufacturer warranty expires problems start popping up. One by one.
    1. Front Passenger Door Popping when opening and closing - got fixed because there was a recall on it. Toyota dealership also replaced the 2 shocks on the back door because it won't hold the door when opening. that's the 2nd.
    3. Airbag lits on the dashboard. They said airbag on the driver side is open. They're charging me $2,000 to have it fix/reset. Gosh! I cannot afford it so problem still there.
    4. Two weeks ago, I noticed my RPM went wild up to the red mark while I'm driving 70mph on the freeway and somehow felt a loss on my speed. When I exited, I felt the surge during turnings but no indication on my dashboard for engine or transmission failure. The next day I went to Toyota dealership in Temecula, Ca for check up and after road test with the manager and inspections he advises me that my transmission is about to go bad. Total cost for parts and labor, they're charging me 5k excluding tax. Naturally, I seek for 2nd opinion elsewhere and mechanics was puzzled because there should be messages on the dashboard when something wrong with the car specially engine and transmission. However, they replaced my tranny for 2400 hundred including tax. Of course its a rebuilt.
    Yesterday, is my 5th major discrepancy with this van. my power sliding door quit working. Did I bought a lemon van? Please advice.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Your case is not common, but it's a reason why I'm considering an extended warranty. There's so much that could go wrong (e.g. power doors).

    Technically, a lemon is a repeat problem in the first year, 3 times to be exact.

    So no, not a lemon, but you have had bad luck. :(
  • I have a 2001 sienna. My problem seems to be different than those posted ie cable not broken, latches working etc. The door opens fine but when the buttons are pushed to close, the door tries to move further back. If you pull the door to close, the door moves one foot, then returns to full open position. I have taken the interior panel off to inspect and find nothing amiss. Is there any experience with these symptoms? Is the computer controller possibly to blame?
  • dunkin2dunkin2 Posts: 5
    Contact number to complain on these doors on Toyota 1-888-327-4236, there are many technical service bulletins on the door but Toyota isn't fixing the problem.
  • mred1976mred1976 Posts: 3
    Just purchased a 2006 sienna limited ,Drove 30 minutes and stopped at store. sliding door jamed. returned and told it is broken 1500 for repair . Cable damaged but you cant replace cable, have to replace entire motor and clutch also which was working fine.makes no sense.
  • jjllcaljjllcal Posts: 31
    My advice to you is to file a complaint to

    I have encountered more problems than you and the Toyota dealer do not care at all.
  • Hello
    My 05 sienna sliding door siezed and I was forced to cut the cable in order to shut the door. The Toyota dealer quoted $2100 for the fix which is consistent with other quotes posted on edmunds. I registered a complaint with Toyota and NHTSA both and of coarse Toyota stated that this is an isolated incident and would do nothing for me...sounds like Toyota gave me the same company line they gave the victims of unintended acceleration. This wont get fixed until someone is injured or killed. By the way, the door shut on my child while parked on a hill.
    I spoke with a Toyota dealer mechanic on the side and he said "oh yeah, this is an 80,000 mile problem". He said I am lucky because I got an extra 9,000 miles before it broke (my Sienna had 89,000). I will be "Moving Forward" with the 2011 Honda Odyssey.
  • macdukepmacdukep Posts: 14
    I filed a written complaint with the NHTSA. I also wrote to Toyota. I got a letter back from Toyota asking me to call their 800 number to discuss my complaint. I called a few times, and hung up after 20 plus minutes on hold. Their recording says try their online contact which I also did. I Today I was on hold 60 minutes before a customer service rep answered and said the door problem is not a proven defect so ta ta- you are on your own. All of us with door complaints are on our own unless we can get someone to listen. Since Toyota is inundated with "real" safety complaints" (i.e. sticking accellerators) they are not going to entertain our complaints of sticking doors. But to me it is a safety concern: About a month ago, my drivers side door malfunctioned (after having it to the dealer TWICE for the recalled front door problem). My two sliding doors and hatch would not open (because it was cold and rainy and they freeze shut in those contitions) and the only wan inot or out of the van was the passenger side front door. All of us from front and back seats had to crawl to the passenger door to exit. Now thank goodness we did not get in an accident or have a fire in the vehicle that day or we would have had a lawsuit ! Please keep letting Toyota and teh NTSHA know of your Sienna problems on a regular basis. Maybe one day they will take responsibility insetad of treating us like we are trying to pull something over on them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Please keep letting Toyota and teh NTSHA know of your Sienna problems on a regular basis

    Yes, definitely, here's the link again:
  • dunkin2dunkin2 Posts: 5
    please everyone who is encountering problem please keep complaining. I called that 1-800- number from Toyota and that gets you no where. What is it going to take for something to be done. My children and family can't get in the car becausee both doors, manuel and power doors won't open. Go on facebook, go to AG, go to National Highway Safety department. Whatever just keep complaining. It's crazy that car doors malfunction like this.
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