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Toyota Sienna Sliding Door Problems



  • The thread at is getting longer by the day. There is also a website up now for Sienna owners to reference and take some action to get Toyota to address this issue.

    Good luck to all and I hope it gets recalled soon!
  • Thanks to Hoodlum2 for the lead to
    Based on what I learned there I e-mailed my dealer again. I had reported the noisy check strap problem in May 05.The warranty expired and he would not fix it and Toyota Canada would not fix it as well. That is until today. I was just advised that Toyota Canada is fixing this problem under warranty on vehicles under 60 months old.
    Maybe the video on U tube had something to do with Toyota's change of mind.
    I have made an appointment with the dealer to have the door repaired.

    Thanks again
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Keep us posted on how the repairs come along. Good luck.
  • That sounds like good news. Hopefully it will be extended in the US as well.

    I would encourage everyone to keep the pressure on Toyota for your repair. And if your car is under warranty, take it to the dealer to have the door checked.
  • I have the door weld defect on my 04 XLE and now the passenger side door will not open - I was told by the dealer Toyota would go 50/50 on the door cost of about $2,200. This is not wear and tear - this is a manufacturing defect. I currently own three additional Toyotas and have had no problems. My family has 8 additional Toyotas currently owned. This is not a typical Toyota. I am shopping for a Honda hybrid this week and next week I am taking the Sienna to a body shop - having it repaired and trading it in for an Odessey. Don't buy the Sienna.
  • hause7hause7 Posts: 153
    Good luck on the Odyssey, my neighbor just traded in his 06 Odyssey Touring for an 08 Sienna, his odyssey was in the shop for many of things including a transmission failure that left his wife and son stranded on highway 12 near my house. The other problems he had was power steering problem, Vacume house problem, and some problems with the liftgate not opening. I have had no issues with my 04 Sienna Limited AWd with over 65,000 miles on it.
  • Just an update on my Failed Spot Weld Drivers door. I successfully had the door replaced this past week by Toyota Canada at no cost to me. I had the broken door fixed once by a local body shop but it failed again. Toyota ended up replacing the whole metal door. I am glad Toyota finally recognized it was their responsibility to fix this as it was a manufacturing defect. The bad thing is I am truly disappointed in this whole experience. I have a totally different view of Toyota then when I bought the van. I was convinced Toyota treated their customers better then this but have learned otherwise.
  • If anyone has had the cable motor assembly fail on their powered slider doors make sure the dealer addresses the root cause of the problem. Mine failed and they replaced the cable/motor assembly. 10 months later it failed again and now I am paying to replace the failed latches. The reason it failed is because one of the 2 latches fails to release the door and the door tries to cycle open or close. My door started to open and/or close intermittently. It turns out that the solenoid on theses latches stick preventing the door to open or close. The latch that holds the door open cost me $252 to replace. The door handle latch assembly costs $700 plus installation labor. I am surprised these latches are not interlocked to prevent the door from cycling before they release. This is important because once your warranty expires, even though you've had problems or reported problems about it, Toyota won't fix it at their costs.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just get an extended warranty with that Odyssey, especially the more options you get with it.

    Consumer Reports rates the Sienna higher overall in reliability. Good luck.
  • We've had the same problem. Paid over $800 to have both the front and rear latches replaced. Now we are having the same problem three months later. This is a sefety issue Toyota needs to address. If there was an accident and kids could not get out of the car because the door latch won't release. Our warranty had just expired - 3 yrs, 2 months only 24,000 miles. Our dealership split the cost with us, but Toyota should have paid for repairs since it is a safety issue!!!! Now we have to get it fixed again.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    Doesn't the door allow for manual opening? On my XLE Limited there are switches under the dash for disabling the power doors, which allow you to open them in completely manual mode, as if there was no power. Recently my wife left the doors open with lights on and forgot about it, so there was not enough power to open the doors and the system simply disengaged, as if the doors were completely manual. I thought it was pretty smart. The rear tailgate, however, was a different story. The latch back there is completely electronic, so no power = no open. Our 2004 Odyssey did not allow you open the doors manually, at least not without really abusing the door. You pretty much had to pull against the motor and cable assembly that normally opens it, and it felt like you were abusing it (we had to do it a couple different times).
  • I have the same problem with both of the sliding doors in my sienna minivan. They both froze yesterday due to snow. My children, with their snowy boots, have to climb over the front seats to get to the back. Even after driving around for 45 minutes with the front and rear heat on full blast, the doors would not open. When I called my local Skokie, IL, Toyota dealer, he told me the problem is I live in Chicago. I guess that means Toyota should only sell to the sunbelt states.

    This has been a progressive problem since the first year we bought this '04. At first only the non-power door side would freeze shut, but now the power side freezes shut too. It seems to happen more readily as well. I bourght my minivan to the dealer at least twice. They applied generous amount of ? lubricant to the edges where the door slides, but this has not helped.

    Also, once the door freezes shut and I try to open it , the door must release enough so that the sensor registers it as open. This translates into the open door alarm going off all the tiem as well as the interior lights going on and off depending whether I goup or down slight inclines. Talk about distracting for the driver.

    Let me know if you know how to fix this problem or I will have to move to Florida.
  • My Toyota replaced the door seals 4-5 times. What a hassle when doors freeze shut, my kids have to climb over the leather seats. I afraid if they should choke on candy I won't be able to get to them in time. I went to far to contact Toyota Corporate overseas to help me, but they passed me to Toyota Corporate in California. She tolds me it was weather related, I said no Kidding! and she/ Toyota could not help me OUT! I asked them what do I have to do to get some action? Contact Fox 5 News? national Highway safety association? I was told by her do whatever I want. So I will be sent mass emailing to Major TV networks and all my friends about how Toyota has no concern for children safety.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280

    Hold on - This is a problem that affects ALL vehicles and is a consequence of leaving a vehicle parked outside during freezing weather. The fact that they are sliding doors exacerbates the problem, because there is more contact area and it is much harder to slide a frozen door than it is to pull one open, as when opening the front doors. That is it! It's not the fault of Toyota, or Honda (yes, the Odyssey's doors will do the same thing - I also own one of those and can speak from first hand experience) or any other manufacturer. It is a very simple thing to understand. Sliding door + freezing wet weather = stuck door. I've owned three different minivans (98 Montana, 04 Odyssey EXL-RES, 07 Sienna XLE Ltd) and ALL OF THEM WOULD DO THE SAME THING. There is a very simple lesson to learn here - if you live in an area where you frequently deal with freezing weather and for whatever reason, find that you must park your van out of doors where it will be subject to liquid H2O and and sub 32 deg F temperatures, maybe you need to consider that this will be a potential problem and go for something different - like a Pilot, or a Highlander. Doors will freeze, and the more contact area, the more ice will form and the harder it will be to get it unstuck. Throw in the fact that the electric motor that opens the door is going to have to work harder in the cold and you have the scenario you are all griping about. The sliding electric door is not a perfect invention. It's a machine we are talking about - keep it in perspective. By the way, of the three vans I've owned, the Sienna's powered doors are BY FAR the best engineered and the only ones to automatically release and go into full manual mode if they lose power like when your kids leave the lights on. And they are the only ones I know of that allow you switch off the power mechanism and open manually with no resistance from the electric motor and cable assembly.
  • Today my car is at the dealer's service. They are putting silicone on all the seals. I have great doubts that this will fix the problem. Again I'm told this is a weather problem but not everyone with a minivan is having this problem. It seems to me most Siennas are not having this problem but some are. For those that have this problem, it creates a huge safety problem and inconvenience. I think it is a good idea to contact the media because it may be the only way to move Toyota. They finally are addressing the front door slider weld problem, but only after there was a video on U-TUBE.
    Have you read there was a weather stripping recall? I asked Toyota sevice and they said no.
    I read that Consumer Reports has downgraded Toyota Sienna to #5 due to poor response to consumer complaints. The Odyssey is now #1.We purchased a Sienna due to their great reliability record, presently I am sadly disappointed.
  • Dear person who sounds like you are getting a kick back from Toyota.
    Many people around where I live own minivans, their doors are not freezing. Hmmm. Sounds like this is not as universal a problem as you would like eveyone to believe. Don't you get it. If I knew then what I know now, that my kids would have to climb over the front seats to get to the back and that I would be driving around with my alarm door going on and off as well as the interior lights, yhea, Mr. Brilliant,I wouldn't have bought this minivan. But seeing as it doesn't look like Toyota plans on reimbursing me $30,000, I would like Toyota to fix their problem.

    Oh, by the way, I just got off the phone with Toyota service and one of the honest service guys told me THIS IS a problem the Siennas are experiencing. It is a problem with the material the weather stripping is made out of.

    This is not just a problem with the motorized door. It first started with my manual door. Both doors freeze shut now.

    Also I think VULCAN4 is right; the best thing is to go to the media. I would be happy to add your email. It is nice to know Toyota has ringers monitoring forum emails. Who else would waste their time trying to deny a problem that exists for these minivans. I am not here to bash Toyota. But apparently all the vans do not work alike. Do you think that is possible???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Make sure you keep the door seals clean and dry.

    If you don't have lithium grease around (use it sparingly) try talcom powder.

    My Miata's doors freeze shut all the time, it's a pain.

    No problems with our Sienna (yet).
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    I am not getting any kick backs from Toyota. I am simply pointing out that it IS NOT unique to the Sienna. I have owned the beloved Odyssey, as I said, as well as the much unbeloved Montana. Both were subject to door freezing. Odyssey is also subject to a whole slew of other issues (electrical, tranny, etc.) and I don't even need to waste my time pointing out the myriad issues with the GM minis.

    So are you trying to tell me that the Sienna uses a unique form of weatherstripping that causes it to glue the door shut at a higher frequency than other vehicles? I understand the frustration - it must be a huge inconvenience. I'm just pointing out that if ANY car is out in freezing wet weather, it will do the same thing. I did not say you are bashing Toyota, I just pointed out that you seem to be blaming them for a problem that is not unique to them or the Sienna. There are plenty of other folks with other brands of minivans that are experiencing frozen door issues. Of course you are not the only one having the problem. My point is that if you are parking it out in freezing wet weather, how can you expect the doors not to freeze? Unless you are telling me that parking in your garage causes the same problem :confuse: I doubt it. The only remedy might perhaps be to find some kind of lubricant that doesn't allow the ice to adhere to both surfaces. I just think you would have this problem regardless of what you are driving - the sliding doors are just making it more of a problem.

    You can use my email if you want to, but I don't see how it will help your cause so I don't know what your point is. If you think going to the media is going to fix it, then do it. But be sure you have come to the right conclusion first because if you can't prove that Toyota is at fault, then what? If Toyota used an inferior form of foam rubber for their weather seals, then they should fix that. I don't see that being the case is all I am saying. Possible, yes. But more likely is that other minivans are having the same cold weather door freezing issues. Do a search like I just did and see for yourself.

    BTW - our doors have never manlfunctioned and we've had several nights down in the teens already this year. Ours is garaged. I haven't added any lubricants to the seals so far, just what came with the van when we bought it in August.
  • I am very happy for you that you have a garage to protect your car, obviously you won't have the problem of H2O + freezing temps. I am not as fortunate as you, my car is parked outside. Yes your right, when I had to park it in an underground garage for may hours yesterday, it did defrost and the doors once again functioned. But since Toyota doesn't sell their minivan with the caveat that you must keep it in a garage in the winter and never park it outside if you work or must go shopping while it is snowing, I think you make a mute point.
  • By the way, maybe you have an '08 minivan and not the 'O4 that I have anyway...or maybe there is a problem with SOME of the minivan doors freezing. That is the point after all, some cars may have problems. If you park your car outside during a snow storm and your doors don't freeze, than you do not have the same problem that I am experiencing!!!

    With regard to the weather stripping, I was just repeating what the service guy told me. I have no idea what is really wrong with the doors. It is not my area of expertise.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    I don't believe any manufacturer sells their car with a disclaimer: "Warning: Doors may freeze shut in freezing weather conditions." You obviously live in a harsh climate that brings out this problem. Maybe that warning will start to appear in owners manuals as a result of this problem. But the point I am making is that it is not a defect. It is a predicted outcome based on the weather conditions and fact that it is a sliding door. I have had this happen before with our previous two vans, I am just fortunate now that I have a garage. Not that I am rubbing that in, just illustrating that it will happen with any vehicle that is parked out in freezing wet conditions. Going after Toyota might force them (as well as all manufacturers) to to print the warning I suggested, but we need that about as much as we needed restaurants to add the "Warning: Coffee may be hot" See my point? The Toyota service guys admission to you that other Sienna's are experiencing this problem means nothing more than he has heard the same complaint from other people in your area, presumably because they also park outside in freezing wet weather. Again, since all Siennas are made with sliding doors, you would expect that if you are having that issue, so is everyone who parks theirs outside. Sorry, I'm not trying to be rude, I just don't think it's the manufacturers fault in this case, but it is kind of a gray area. I really don't know how they could fix it, other than find a way to keep the weather stripping material from sticking, which is what it sounds like they are trying to do.

    Another point: If the windows and doors of your house freeze shut after an ice storm, whose fault is that? Or is it just an unfortunate result of something that is beyond anyone's control? As I said, if it turns out Toyota uses a different kind of weather stripping than everyone else uses and this is causing the problem, they should fix it. I just don't think that is the case. Whoever is first to invent a suitable rubber compound (or other material) that will not react this way will be a very wealthy person.
  • Obviously weather is the culprit, but if it was raining and the rain came througth the roof of your car, you would probably expect the car manufacturer to fix the problem.

    I can't help but question your motivation in your responses to me,when I look back at your other postings especially #32 with regard to the front door weld issue, you poo-pood that problem as well. Now, Toyota is finaly fixing that problem all though they go short of calling it a recall.
    Maybe you don't get kick backs, perhaps you are directly on the payroll, get free minivans... I don't know but I suspect something else motivates your responses. ALso, you have alot of free time don't you. Well, I am done for now, if anybody else besides"gotoyota" has something useful to post of if you are experiencing similar problems with your sliding doors , please post a response.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    You are turning this into a personal attack. I am not on Toyota's payroll and I have no motivation other than balancing your irrational posts with some logic. If you read my other posts, you would see that I also own a Nissan Maxima and still own my 2004 Odyssey EXL-RES. I picked the name gotoyota after my first two, more generic choices had been used already. I like Toyota, but I guarantee they have no idea I even exist. Deal with it.

    The Sienna door weld problem is there, yes, but it has not happened as frequently as some people make it seem It has been very isolated relative to the total number produced, and kudos to Toyota for stepping up and fixing it, as well they should since it is obviously a defect.

    You have made up your mind so I am not going to waste my time debating the rest of your silly comments. Good luck with your case.
  • gotoyotagotoyota Posts: 280
    I can't help but question your motivation in your responses to me,when I look back at your other postings especially #32 with regard to the front door weld issue, you poo-pood that problem as well. Now, Toyota is finaly fixing that problem all though they go short of calling it a recall.

    I did not "poo-poo" that claim. As I recall, I did say it was a problem they needed to fix. I just countered it with my assertion that this is not happening on a huge percentage of the vans, as some of the claims suggest. Toyota DOES owe it to their customers to fix this problem, whether it happens on .1% or 100% of the cars. The reason I responded the way I did was because the context of the discussion WAY BACK THEN was that some people were saying "don't buy the Sienna because the door welds ARE GOING TO FAIL." I was pointing out that statistically speaking, that was not correct. Also, I personally know 4 people who come immediately to mind that drive Sienna's - three are '04's and one is an '06. None of them have ever had any problems and love their vans. The person who has an '06 lives in an area where temperatures frequently hover around -10 to -15F during late December to mid February, and they have never mentioned anything about their doors freezing. They do park in a garage however. Just FYI...
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    I can't believe what I'm reading. I live in Va and when we have the occasional winter storm where water freezes along with rain and snow, the doors on my Camry freeze. Folks, it has nothing to do with the seals or how the car is made or how much more area there is on sliding doors.
    All vehicles are affected by freezing weather. If you have a garage then put the vehicle in the garage. If you know a storm is coming then disable the power doors and leave them unlocked. It's a lot easier to open them in the morning after a storm or freezing weather. Let's use some common sense and stop putting blame where there is none.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree, and already mentioned the same thing happens to my Miata.

    Note the Miata has frameless windows so there is notably little surface area. Doesn't matter. They'll still freeze.

    Plus with those tiny door handles, it's hard! I try the other door, then push the doors out from the inside with my feet! I have foot prints to prove it. :D
  • Dear Toyota salesperson (per your bio)--it is you who are unbelievable, why don't you save it for the showroom. The person from our Toyota dealer at least admitted there was a problem with the Siennas, which Toyota is fully aware of, however Toyota is doing nothng about it.
  • I am sure there is not alot of freezing whether in Recife, Brazil.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Yes, I am unbelievable. Thank you.


    Did you also see in my bio that I am a Master Sales Certified consultant? I have nothing to gain by posting here. I do it because I enjoy helping people. If there is a problem with any Toyota and I'm aware of it, I'm the first one to inform members here.

    I'm a straight shooter as some of the hosts will tell you so I don't come here to feed you bs. And who was the person from your Toyota dealer and which "problem" are you referring to? I been referring to the so called "freezing door" problems which happen to any car foreign or domestic.


    Seems to me you have contempt for salespeople, and just want to pick a bone with anyone. If that is the case then you are picking on the wrong guy.

    How 'bout them Cowboys?!!
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