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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
74,848 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 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #22

Oct 212006


  • 37,000 miles


Right sliding door cable snapped and stopped opening automatically. This happen right after warrranty ended and they would only repair it for 2000 +.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #21

Sep 012008


  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that the motor for the driver's side sliding door failed. As a result, the door can no longer be shut and the vehicle cannot be driven. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and will be repaired at the cost of $1,600. The failure and current mileages were 58,000.

- Ralligh, NC, USA

problem #20

Nov 052008


  • 68,960 miles
1. no unusual events to vehicle. Usual school drop off of passenger. Powered sliding door was activated for opening on Nov. 5th 2008. Door is well lubricated and no other symptoms of failure were noticed before failure. 2. powered, rear, sliding, passenger side door (rh) will not open fully. Door cannot be opened in manual over-ride. Door only opens 4 inches, then jams. Difficult to close after jam. 3. root cause of failure is shedding cable jacket jamming door center hinge pulleys. Door will require a new motor, cable assembly, center bracket no 1, and center hinge.

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #19

Feb 072008


  • 50,000 miles


Initially the dr side low beam headlight would not light. Dealer replaced bulb and ECU module. Warranty replacement. Cause was reported the ECU failed. Months later the dr side low beam headlight failed again but after the one year repair work warranty. This time it was reported to be the bulb and was replaced, dlr. Would not warrant the work, even the extended warranty supposedly did not cover. Cost to cust. Was $395. Currently the passenger side low beam headlight has quit working, several months ago and cust. Bought direct replacement bulb and installed it. That did not remedy the problem. It appears that the ECU for the passenger side low beam headlight may be faulty. It has been reported that costs for the ECU and dlr labor to replace would cost about $800. This seems to fall in the safety category and should be a recall and warranty work. Different dlr states that they can diagnose for $125 and determine the problem. Oh what to do! please help. All for seemingly a burned out headlamp. The service attitude and associated costs by the mfr. And dealers are piracy to say the least. I wouldn't mind paying my way but this seems to be a problem that is more widespread than just a few. Even in some other models. Unconscionable policy!

- Vacaville, CA, USA

problem #18

Jul 162008


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that the air bag warning indicator flashes intermittently on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer approximately three times and they stated that the wiring in the seat back needed to be replaced. The current mileage was 52,622 and failure mileage was 47,000.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #17

Jul 082008


  • 69,000 miles
The right power sliding door cable on the 2004 Toyota Sienna le broke. The car was 5.1 years old, bought new in 2003, and had 69,000 ml. On the day of problem. No indications on a sliding mechanism were prior to the incident. As always the door was activated by the remote control. It did not open on several attempts. When I approached it and tried to open by the handle I saw the cable being rusty and broken. The dealer worked with Toyota on the issue and Toyota offered to pay 50% of parts and labor, but my fee is still above $800. Toyota refused to cover it entirely, although the problem is well known to them. no extended warranty on this part was offered by Toyota. I can not use this door in any way until is repaired, even if I set it to act manually, it won't open more than 1/2 ft. The only way my two children can get in/out the car is from the left side door. Where one's car seat is installed. Needless to say this is a serious safety issue as the left side is the one to the road and children jump out or run to the car in a blink of an eye.

- Lansing, NY, USA

problem #16

May 152004

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 0 miles


"battery saver" feature is only partially in my 2004 Toyota Sienna. The owners manual and the Toyota service manual state that "if any door is left open, then the room lights should go out after 20 minutes". this feature is only partially operable as the ignition key cylinder lights and the two front personal lights do go off, but all other interior lights remain on with an open door. Toyota has taken no action to correct problem. When a door is inadvertently left open, the battery will discharge, removing the ability to start the vehicle. There are numerous reports of this problem on the internet.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 152004

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,134 miles
On 5/29/2004 I purchased my Toyota Sienna. I started having "mysterious" lights coming on at all different times. On 7/15/2004, I went out to my car and it wouldn't start. This was the beginning of a nightmare. Since then my car has been in the shop at least 6 times for this problem. I have not had my car start at least once a month since I purchased it. I would usually just jump the battery but they could never tell me the reason why it kept on happening. There were times that I couldn't even leave my doors open for 5 minutes without it wearing the battery down. When the battery is checked it is always fine. When the battery is fully charged I have the interior lights turn on for no reason. They have put in a new battery and replaced the jbl audio switch because that had been shown to turn on intermittently and drain the battery/engine. Neither of these solutions have worked. They finally told me that my car had too many "bells and whistles" (which all are factory installed) and that I need to connect to a car charger when I come home or to go on long drives at least once a week.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #14

Mar 012007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Power sliding door inoperative stopped working not really sure of the date it stopped working(our lease was approaching the end) as we found sliding door to be too slow and not safe therefore we turned it off. We leased vehicle and therefore returned it. Toyota parkway in hamilton, Ontario, Canada service performed a diagnostic test to tell me the cable and motor on the power door needed replacing. We were informed it would cost over $2,000 to fix the door(cable and motor) I was given the option to take elsewhere for a quote. Where I had it fixed said there was nothing wrong with the motor it did not cost me $2,000. I returned it to Toyota with the door working. I spoke to the general manager (parkway Toyota) and he mentioned there were problems with the power doors. He refused to cover my costs as I did not have it fixed at Toyota. I was not told that they would take care of it in the beginning. Both sliding doors freezing shut in cold weather- passengers had to go out the hatch door I have heard of melting ice pooling on the door but nothing done to correct. We returned vehicle fed up by this point. Too many recalls and issues for a Toyota.

- Hamilton,On,Canada, 00, USA

problem #13

Jan 252007

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,500 miles
- the contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact explained that the rear door liftgate did not stay open when used. The contact would push the key fob to open the automatic rear door and the door would open. After a short period of time they would close without warning. The door normally has a chime to alert the contact when the door is closing, but when it closes in error there isn't a chime to alert the contact of the closing. The contact has been hit several times because of this failure. Updated 2/27/2007 -over the past few weeks the rear door would close immediately after being opened. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but hey did not fix it.

- Newton, MA, USA

problem #12

Jan 172007

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


Auto powered rear door; when powered opened will open all the way and a few seconds later suddenly close without warning. It has happened a few times, only in cold weather. This has happened after Toyota fixed the hatch studdering problem. I was injured (bruised) in the head due the door hitting me as it automatically closed by itself (note it did not stop closing after it hit my head).

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #11

Dec 012006


  • miles
Intermittently the back lift door on our 2004 Toyota Sienna xle minivan closes unexpectedly. So far, no one had been injured by the closing door, but we have had a couple of very close calls. This happens when only the door has been raised using the remote control and most often on cool wet days..

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #10

Nov 052006

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
The owners manual of my 2004 Toyota Sienna indicates that there is a safety feature that turns off the lights after a period of time, if the door is left open. However, it doesn't work correctly, and my battery has been drained numerous times.

- Toronto, On Canada, 00, USA

problem #9

Mar 022004

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 3,724 miles
: the contact stated while driving out of a driveway at 5 mph, the vehicle stalled when acceleration was attempted. The engine warning signal illuminated. The problem had reoccured frequently at any speed. The dealership was not able to duplicate the defect in nine times the vehicle had been taken to correct the problem. The contact decided to obtain a second opinion from an independent certified mechanic who observed the coil ignition assistance burned out and the fifth cylinder was misfiring. The second opinion was ratified by another dealership. The contact expressed the dealership delayed the required repairs until the vehicle remaining warranty were exhausted. The dealership was now ready to make the repairs.

- Wesley Chapel, FL, USA

problem #8

Aug 242006

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,500 miles
The right rear automatic door closure mechanism exploded sending plastic shrapnel forwards hitting my wife in the face. She was sitting sideways with her feet out of the van she reached backwards and pressed the close button located on the pillar. There was a big noise that sounded like a rock hitting the van. We looked for damage to van then discovered the broken cable dangling and the door would not close. Luckily my wife had sunglasses on.

- Tillsonburg, 00, USA

problem #7

Mar 052006

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles
The rear deck lid on my 2004 Sienna xle limited van has a remote automatic open & close feature. I used the auto open and while placing items in the rear storage area, the deck lid closed (under power) without command, striking me and my son. The auto-stop feature didn't engage until I pushed very hard against the lid. As soon as I let go, it came down again. There were no prior incidents or any unusual behavior to indicate a problem with the operation of the deck lid. The lid hasn't worked since and it won't stay open without someone holding it. A week after the incident I found a Toyota technical service bulletin BO0003-04 that states "back door stays for 2004 model year Sienna vehicles have been redesigned in order to provide improved resistance to seal damage and prevent leakage." I checked my back door stays (gas or hydraulic filled struts) and they were both leaking. I checked the internet user forum "" and found several similar complaints from Sienna owners in the U.S. and Canada. In my opinion, the uncommanded closing of a rear deck lid in a mini-van constitutes a serious safety hazard. Just a guess, most mini-van owners have or Transport children. There is no way a child could have stopped and reversed the lid that closed on me and my son. This should be a recall issue, not a service bulletin that Toyota is not required to disclose and in fact, can charge to repair.

- Compton, CA, USA

problem #6

Feb 032005

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,189 miles
Battery saver feature discussed in owner's manual for 2004 Sienna does not work. Sliding door inadvertently left open for 3 hours while visiting country friends. Battery drained to point engine would not turn over. Had to connect battery charger in cold rain to crank. Owners camping out with this vehicle may find themselves stranded and could possibly result in loss of life.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #5

Feb 132006

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,300 miles
While driving on dry pavement, sometimes, but not always, after leaving snowy driveway, the 2004 AWD Toyota Sienna's traction control light came on. This was accompanied by a very loud alarm. The traction control system then activated causing the engine to brake and the ABS to continuously brake until the vehicle decelerated to appx. 9 miles per hour. The light and alarm would then go off. The whole scenario repeats when speed exceeds appx. 9 miles per hour. This puts the driver in a very dangerous situation. The vehicle is very difficult to steer when is it rapidly braking. This happened both at low speeds, start-up speeds, and on the highway when I was going 40-50 miles per hour, again, on dry pavement. The only safe option is to pull off to the side of the road. After driving for anywhere from 3 minutes to 15 minutes, the problem mysteriously disappears. The next time the vehicle starts, it may or may not malfunction in this way. The tires are in good condition and at appropriate inflation levels. There does not appear to be any snow or ice on or inside the wheels when this is happening.

- Newport, VA, USA

problem #4

Jul 172005

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Pages 155 and 156 of my 2004 Toyota Sienna states "to prevent the battery being discharged, the lights will automatically turn off when the key is removed and the door is left opened with the switch at "door" position for 20 minutes or more." However, when my side door or rear hatch is left opened, the feature does not work. I informed Toyota's corporate office in California of the problem and was told that my complaint was the first time they heard about it. I told her that I found it hard to believe my complaint was the first since I read about the problem on various online message boards. She said information on message boards cannot be verified. I later discovered that my complaint was not the first because others have complained about the problem to Toyota as well. It should be noted that the previous generation of Toyota Siennas had the battery saving feature on all doors. When I called the dealership (gateway Toyota in NJ), their showroom specialist (maryann) agreed with me that the interior lights should turn off after 20 minutes if the doors are left opened. When I demonstrated the problem to them, they called Toyota's corporate office to report the problem. The person from gateway Toyota said Toyota's official response was that the battery saving feature only applies to the front doors. When I called Toyota again, I was told that it was a misprint in the manual and they were working on it. When I asked for a definition of "working on it", I was told that Toyota was working on revising the manual but not fixing the problem. I had learned that people who have purchased a 2004 Toyota Sienna after me had their manuals altered in such a way that the areas mentioning the battery saving feature had been covered up by a white piece of paper. I was also informed that Toyota corrected the problem on their 2005 models.

- Freehold, NJ, USA

problem #3

Aug 112004

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
Radiator ruptured and the engine overheated; hose replaced in steering column recall; rust protective tape recall; dvd screen replaced and the entire dvd player replaced(screen still not easily visible in middle row); passenger seat belt replaced; middle passenger seat belt failing; gasoline smell inside of car with ac on recirculation; driver's window fell inside door in snow storm and was not considered a safety issue to get a loaner vehicle even though the vehicle could not be locked; tires completely bald and leaking under 30,000 miles, dvd player must be at a high db volume and when returned to radio/cd will almost deafen you; interior lights have to be manually over ridden or will drain battery; car hesitates 1-2 seconds when trying to quickly accelerate and then lurches forward alarmingly; cruise control is not functioning; waiting to have fuel mixture sensor replaced. I was not informed of first 2 recalls until I my engine overheated. I did get the rust recall and a sticker on my sliding door informing user of danger of having middle windows open while opening the middle door could catch a head or other extremity. Toyota dealer service manager says mine is the only 04 Sienna experiencing any problems except for the recalls on the radiator; the steering hose; the rust tape; and the middle seat belt. Not so according to all I have read here. Most of the problems have occurred between 22,000 and 34,000 miles; the dvd screen always failed to lock into a good position for the middle row viewers.

- Golden, CO, USA

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