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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,457 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Toyota Sienna electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments (Page 3 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #60

Oct 312011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles


The power sliding door on the passenger side stopped working. The buttons do not open or close the door. The door is so heavy that it cannot be opened or closed easily. The cable that moves the door snapped and visible (hanging outside the body). We had the extended warranty for 7 years and the car was serviced regularly, but this problem occurred after the extended warranty expired. The dealer says the whole motor, not just the cable, should be replaced, asking for more than $1500 for parts and repair. Snapped cable, loose and visible moving parts outside the body of the van, and a heavy and hard to operate "power" door present a safety problem, especially with the kids going in and out of the passenger side sliding door. I would appreciate it if you could take a closer look at the issue and have Toyota own up to its design problems. This issue has its own forums online, has its own facebook page and it seems that Toyota will not listen one customer at a time.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #59

Dec 072011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
Electrical motor and cable that controls sliding door (driver side) has corroded and broken. Door inoperable posing safety concern.

- Twinsburg, OH, USA

problem #58

Mar 182011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles
2004 driver's side sliding door cable broke, causing the door to be unable to close. Due to severely cold weather in Iowa, the door was forced shut to allow the vehicle to be operable. Door motor replacement cost estimates range from $1300-1500. A few months later the passenger side door started exhibiting problems opening and closing. Turned off the motors from the inside compartment. One time when the drivers side door was opened, a piece of the door assembly shattered the rear 3/4 glass panel.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #57

Sep 172008

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 72,890 miles


The left power sliding door on my Sienna failed. While out on errand with a friend's child, I could not shut the power sliding door. Had to drive to my home with the child strapped into their carseat in the back and the door open. Took it to dealership and they said the motor failed and it would cost $1900+ to fix the power or $300 to turn in into manual door. Husband looked on internet, found instructions to take door apart and fixed himself as this was a very, very common problem. Sure enough, the problem was not the motor, you can hear it run to this day, and it was the cable used to slide the door - there was stripped plastic shielding bunched up on the cable which kept the door from running on the cable. This is very dangerous as the door did not respond to the power button and would trap a child in it. Second issue is the weld on the driver's side door making popping sounds. My husband looked and the weld was coming off and the metal underneath the weld had actually torn!! he took the welded piece off so that the door would be operational. Once again, the door can close unexpectedly on a small child without warning without door being replaced. Third issue is the sonar which comes and goes without warning. I try to leave my sonar on all the time, but in process of backing up, will realize the sonar has turned itself off. It comes and goes-sometimes will just beep on and off and on and off while driving down the street without anyone else around the car. Fourth issue is when the car is cold, the back hatch door will rise and then immediately come down forcefully on your head (it runs with a motor). All of these issues are listed all over the internet as problems with this car and everyone is told by Toyota that is you don't have a current warranty, they will not fix it for free. These are design flaws and safety issues!!!!

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #56

Feb 082011


  • 89,600 miles
The electrical doors fail due to cable issues. The repair estimates exceed $1500. We fixed one door only to have the second door fail and jam close completely. Now we only have one sliding door that can open which seems very unsafe. After looking on line to see more than 900 complaints for this item, thought I would report. Customers are frustrated with the lack of help from dealers and Toyota.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #55

Jan 102006

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles
The electric door (passenger side) intermittently worked for years, sometimes it worked, sometimes it did not. Finally it quit working. The rear fan goes on and off at will. There is an electrical short. My rear tail light on driver's side is always out, even after replacing it multiple times. The trunk door lost all its hydraulic lift and actually hit me in the head. It has no hydraulics left now and is very hard to lift. The lighted buttons by the front windshield where you operate the garage door, electric door - burnt out at probably 37,000 miles and were ridiculous to replace. The door locks are all screwed up. Hard to unlock the driver's door manually with a key, have to unlock from passenger side. The door clicker does not work. Batteries have been replaced multiple times and the clicker quit working shortly after, again an electrical short of some sort"?" so no clicker, no electric door, no trunk lift, no dome lighting, no tail light, not to mention all the recalls that van had (extra tire, seatbelts, door issues). I had to replace my radiator?? cause it was leaking. Van currently has 126,000 miles on it. It is by far the worst quality vehicle I have ever owned. I have owned an 80S Toyota corolla which was fine, Saturn, Acura integra, Ford Explorer, also Mazda, 2001 Chrysler 300M (horrible also), there is no doubt that after reading all the posts on the edmunds site about this 2004 Sienna van, it should be recalled for electric door problems and all door problems.

- Brecksville, OH, USA

problem #54

Nov 182009

Sienna 6-cyl

  • miles


The sliding doors will not open when outside temperature is below freezing. If you need to enter and exit the vehicle you must crawl through the front seat. The automatic door will sometimes open without being manually activated. The air in the rear will automatically come on and shut off after a few seconds without being manually activated.

- Reidsville, NC, USA

problem #53

May 232009


  • 69,033 miles
Tire pressure monitoring system is not working and Toyota has made up various excuses as to why the light does not go off during a flat or "blow out" or that it is working properly. Recently I was extremely nervous during driving and found after pulling off and stopping at a Honda dealership that I had an undriveable tire. Honda was not sure why the light did not go on but said it was unsafe to drive and would not hold air so I could not get to Toyota. Beside the 9 tires I have replaced the latest tire cost me a rim also. I am assuming that this was due to the flat that I did not know that I had. Something needs to be done about the run flats and especially the tire pressure monitoring system before someone is killed or severely injured. Please do something about this very serious problem.

- Fishkill , NY, USA

problem #52

Sep 282011


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that the instrument panel was cracked across the front. The dealer was notified and of the failure who referred her to the manufacturer. The manufacturer was contacted and a complaint was filed. No other assistance was offered. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Niceville, FL, USA

problem #51

Oct 032011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
Power sliding passenger door no longer operates with the keyfob remote, or the door switches. The door will open if the handles are used to disengage the door.

- Clark, NJ, USA

problem #50

Mar 032011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles


Power sliding door of Toyota Sienna le 2004 fails to open. Happened when car battery ran out of power. After battery was charged by an aaa mechanic with jumper cables, power door could open and close again. After driving the van for a few miles, power door started opening and closing by itself. Very, very dangerous as van was being driven on a busy highway. After I pulled up on the side road, power door kept opening and closing, but not getting successfully closed by itself. I helped the door close successfully by pushing it fully to closed position. Door is stuck in closed position since. Electronic controls and manual knobs don't manage to open the door.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #49

Jun 132011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • miles
6/13/2011 I brought my 2004 Toyota Sienna to the cedar rapids Toyota to check the electrical right sliding door as it was hard to open using the electrical system and manually. Toyota applied white grease and the door was less hard to open. No electrical check was performed. 7/9/2011 that same door would not open electrically and, while opening it manually, the door made a strange noise; then, the rear quarter glass of the wing window shattered. The electrical sliding door stayed stuck in a semi-open position. Being late Saturday, it could not be repaired and had to drive home with that door open, shattered glass all over the floor and seats and the deafening beeping automatic sound/signal that indicating a door is open. 7/11/2011 the car is taken to Toyota of fort worth. A supervisor was called in and, despite no investigation whatsoever, the conclusion was that nothing could be done and that I should bring the car to a body shop because it didn┐┐T look like a mechanical/electrical failure. I took the car to the body shop (sterling fort worth.) once the door was stripped of its components, the body shop found that the door┐'s power slide control motor was noticeably chafed with cables linking the motor to the door all twisted. The motor was replaced but the issue recurred and also the second motor showed chafing and twisting, not allowing the door to work. The body shop concluded that the cause of the problem is the sliding door control module which controls the motor. For safety reasons I agreed with the body shop to disconnect the motor to allow the manual use of the door. Both body shop and Toyota conclude that the issue cannot be resolved because of a design flaw which does not allow for the installation holes of the module to line-up with the door. Toyota specified it does not have a manual or a design to share with anyone to fix the issue.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #48

Sep 292011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
Electric sliding van door has failed on passenger side, will not open or close. Manual sliding side door on driver side is very difficult to open and close. Very dangerous in event of crash or fire. Dealership estimates over $1000 to fix. There are over six hundred similar complaints at please help. Thank you.

- Highland, MI, USA

problem #47

Sep 082011


  • 109,000 miles
Power sliding door cable broke due to the fact it is exposed to the elements of the rain and snow and ice causing the cable to rust and break door will not open this is a safety issue Toyota needs to address this issue if there was an accident this could be deadly for my family if they can't get out!!!!!!!

- Greensburg, IN, USA

problem #46

Sep 132011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
Failure of electric sliding door cable. Cable that pulls electric sliding door open rusted, failed and snapped in half. Failed cable now hangs outside the vehicle (below the rear passenger's side window) dangling from the door track.

- Cambridge, VT, USA

problem #45

Jun 082011


  • 88,000 miles
Passenger side automatic sliding door failed to open when using remote as well as when it was manually attempted to open. Good thing we have one manual sliding door...though this door is automatically locked when gas tank door is open. Updated 08-29-11 updated 3/08/2012

- Youngsville, NC, USA

problem #44

Jun 152011


  • 82,000 miles
Most recently, passenger side automatic door stopped mid-way, I closed it manually, drove a couple of feet and turned off the car. Then the car would not start. Door is not working automatically only manually. Started easily with jumper cables but continues to not start on its own most of the time, usually when engine is cold it won't start on its won. This happened about 8 months ago and dealer said it needed a starter even though I showed printout from tow truck showing it wasn't the starter. This also happened some time before that and dealer said I needed a new battery and that seemed to fix the problem temporarily. This has been a problem since I first purchased the car and the dealer did not fix the problem.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #43

Aug 242010


  • 78,500 miles
We had used the automatic overhead button to open the rear driver's sliding door. After our children got in the car, we tried to use the button again to close the door, however the door stopped midway because the cable came off it's track. We were not able to close the door while the cable was off the track, so we had to cut the cable and remove it in order to shut the door. We can only use the door manually now, however, it is extremely difficult to open and close, especially on the slightest incline. This is a safety issue for whoever is sitting in the rear seats, typically my children, for if there is an accident, it would be extremely difficult for them to get out. Apparently this has been an ongoing problem for years with the Toyota Sienna's and Toyota will not fix the problem.

- Warrington, PA, USA

problem #42

Apr 252011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
Passenger sliding door failure. Cable compromised due to design flaw that stripped it of its insulation. Despite being garaged, this caused the cable to fray and then rust, making the door inoperable. This includes manually, as the cable catches on a roller at the door hinge in the sliding track. Additional fear is that consequent motor strain may cause additional failure/expense/fire. The cable failure causes it to bind on the hinge roller and prevents the door from both opening* closing. In an accident, you will not be able to exit the vehicle from that side if necessary. Door did open partially and then would not close without great exertion. Thankfully, my wife was able to force it closed before having to take the highway with our children inside and an open door. Once the part fails, the door can not be made operable without major repair. Toyota has tsb EL004-004 on this issue that covers our particular VIN, but will not cover the repair out of warranty. Cost of repair is approximately $2,000 and the fear is that many, like us, will not have the part repaired due to this cost (and anger over *acknowledged* design flaw).

- Dunn Loring, VA, USA

problem #41

Apr 012005


  • 8,000 miles
Item 1-- this is an AWD model with run flats and no space for a spare tire. The low pressure warning for the tires is revolution based, and therefore doesn't activate due to the stiff wall run flat tires. I have had numerous occasions where the tires were very low with no warning, and two occasions where the tires had zero air and were ruined with no warning, and the first indication was a roar and sudden very bumpy ride. These 2 events happened at city speeds, but I fear this event at interstate speeds. The later models were equipped with pressure sensing devices (not revolution sensing). The vehicle has only 38K miles, perfect condition, and I just renewed my extended warranty for 6 more years, so would like a recall retrofit to pressure sensing for safety and peace of mind. I had thought Toyota would develop a fix, but to no avail. I have this documented on Toyota service invoices and the factory rep has reported there is nothing Toyota can do. Item 2--- when pulling out from behind a vehicle to pass and flooring the accelerator, there is a full second of hesitation before the down shifting/acceleration begins. This has caused two near misses. This is documented with Toyota, but all I've been told is that it is caused by "drive-by-wire" (?), which I assume is an electrical signal as opposed to a mechanical throttle cable, but again, Toyota says there is nothing they can do.

- Mobile, AL, USA

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