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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
20 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,926 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.

2008 Toyota Sienna engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Sep 122014


  • 85,000 miles


Pulled into parking lot at about 15 mph. With my foot on the brake, I slowed down to about 5 to 10 mph to pull into the parking spot. All of a sudden, the vehicle accelerated as if someone had pushed the accelerator all the way to the floor. My vehicle went up over the sidewalk and into the side of a building causing extensive damage to the building. My car was not damaged too badly only about $1,300 as estimated by the appraiser.

- Cohoes, NY, USA

problem #36

Mar 282014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
My wife was parking our 2008 Toyota Sienna with our 3 young boys in the automobile. She slowly brought the vehicle to a complete stop; never using gas, just covering and tapping lightly on the brake. Once the automobile came to a stop my wife pressed the brake a little more in order to put the vehicle in park. At that moment the vehicle accelerated incredible fast, jumped over an 8 inch concrete parking lot divider and crashed into a tree about 10 - 15 feet from the concrete divider. We are certain that this was a "sudden unintended acceleration" incident caused by some mechanical, electrical, programming or other defect in the '08 Sienna. This was not "driver error"! my wife did not confuse the gas pedal and the brake. This was not caused by a floor mat obstructing the gas pedal. This was caused by some type of a design or component defect. How can w be so certain? my wife and I have parked in this parking spot (located in our apartment complex) hundreds of times. To park in this parking spot you first have to make a left hand turn at a stop sign. This stop sign is about 30 - 40 feet from the parking spot, which requires that you make a sharp right turn. Once you press the accelerator slightly to make the left at the stop sign, you do not use the gas again. You simply tap and cover your brake until you make the right into the parking spot. Our vehicle came to a stop. In fact, upon "stopping" one of our 3 boys removed his seat belt immediately before the vehicle accelerated out of control. I'm asking for assistance from someone within Toyota or the NHTSA with knowledge of this flaw. My wife and kids were "fortunate". but this is a "fatal flaw" and something must be done.

- Heathrow, FL, USA

problem #35

Nov 242013


  • 146,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving approximately 1 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and caused the contact to crash into a tree without warning. The contact stated that the brakes were depressed but failed to stop the vehicle. Also, the contact mentioned that the failure recurred on two other occasions. The contact was not taken to a hospital and there were no injuries reported. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to a private mechanic but there was no diagnostic performed. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 146,000. The VIN was not available.

- Stowe , VT, USA

problem #34

Dec 012012

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 16,875 miles


Just notified of sudden acceleration. Hindsight - starting fall 2012 remote starter died, no warmup, my boyfriend and I experienced engine racing when van was cold multiple times, only way to stop it was hand control brake, foot brake was not enough. Planned to have checked but Dec.1 2012 at the tanger outlet mall in canonsburg pa. I am paraplegic, my minivan is modified with foldout ramp- passenger side sliding door for wheelchair and then I transfer into the drivers seat. All the van handicapped parking spaces were filled but it was early so I parked in a regular space with an empty space next to it so I could get out. Few van accessible handicapped spaces is common so I used regular spots before as long as someone was with me who could back the van up far enough for the ramp to deploy. When my mother, my sister-in-law, my friend, and I returned to the vehicle a pickup truck was parked next to us. My sister-in-law got in the vehicle to back it up so the ramp had room to come out as she had done often. We stood behind the pickup truck waiting for her to back up. All of a sudden the vehicle flew backward so fast that before we could yell stop my vehicle had slammed into the SUV parked across the aisle so hard that it pushed the SUV into the car parked in front of it in the next row. My sister-in-law was completely shocked as were we, it was so fast it was almost like watching a cartoon. My sister-in-law kept saying "I don't know what happened", she thought all she did was put her foot on the brake and put it in gear. Not knowing about sudden acceleration in Sienna's all any of us could think was her foot had slipped even though she has been driving for 25 years without a similar incident she couldn't understand how it could happen, was sure it didn't. the police were called and a report filed. Because one of the welds from modification was broken my vehicle was totaled.

- White Oak, PA, USA

problem #33

Sep 012012


  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while traveling approximately 6 mph, the contact experienced erroneous acceleration due to simultaneously depressing the brake and accelerator pedals. The contact crashed into a curb before the vehicle was brought to a stop. There were no injuries. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the pedals could not be adjusted. There were no injuries. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 85,000.

- Richfield, MN, USA

problem #32

Aug 102012


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated while driving approximately 10 mph and making a turn he depressed the accelerator pedal but the vehicle began to hesitate and it did not respond. The failure occurred while making a left or a right turn. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician was unable to duplicate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage wa 50,000.

- Locust Grove, GA, USA

problem #31

Nov 062012

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 59,687 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that the vehicle suddenly accelerated while the brake was depressed and caused the contact to crash into the rear of another vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 59,687...updated 12/11/12 the consumer stated the dealer was notified. The dealer directed the consumer to a local body shop to have the vehicle diagnosed. There were no failures found in the brakes but the mechanic did notice something unusual. The vehicle was taken for repairs. Updated 12/13/2012

- Orlando , FL, USA

problem #30

Sep 142012


  • 35,000 miles
Making left turn into parking spot. The car was going very slowly then all of a sudden the vehicle exhibited an unintended acceleration. Vehicle was abruptly steered in opposite direction to avoid collision with car parked in front and applied brakes aggressively. Incident happened in elementary school parking lot. Fortunately, no one was in the immediate vicinity. Vehicle taken to Toyota dealer and was unable to find problem or replicate it.

- Sunderland, MA, USA

problem #29

Aug 202012


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving 3 mph and attempting to park, the vehicle abnormally accelerated, which caused the vehicle to crash several times. The contact attempted to control the vehicle however, the vehicle crashed sideways into a building. The air bags did not deploy. There were no injuries reported however, the vehicle was not drivable and was towed to the dealer. The dealer had not yet diagnosed the failure. The manufacturer was notified of the failure who filed a case on behalf of the contact (case number 1208222975). The failure and current mileage was 50,000.

- Dallas , TX, USA

problem #28

May 252012


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact was stopped in a parking space when the brakes were depressed and the vehicle accelerated to approximately 25 mph. The vehicle crashed through the parking sign and into a tree. The contact continued to depress the brakes and shifted into reverse. The vehicle then reversed and crashed into another tree. After the contact activated the emergency brake, the vehicle came to a complete stop. The child in the rear passenger seat sustained bruises to the neck and shoulders. The contact sustained neck and shoulder injuries, and bruises to the right leg. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician stated that the floor mat could have possibly caused the failure. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and advised the contact that an inspector would be sent to inspect the vehicle to determine the cause of the unintended acceleration failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Richland, WA, USA

problem #27

Jan 142008


  • 16 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated while driving, the rpms increased and the vehicle lunged forward. The failure was intermittent; however, in May 2011, the contact applied the brakes but the vehicle suddenly accelerated. She shifted into neutral and turned the vehicle off in order to stop the vehicle. The same failure occurred 45 minutes later. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer but the dealer could not find anything wrong. The contact called the manufacturer regarding the failure; however, they offered no assistance. The current mileage was approximately 45,000. The failure mileage was 16.

- South Easton, MA, USA

problem #26

Nov 152010


  • 20,850 miles
There is an intermittent lag in throttle response after pressing on the acceleration pedal for approximately 2 seconds. During the lag period, the vehicle does not accelerate. This is a problem that is then followed by a lunge in the vehicle, almost as if the vehicle"S electronic acceleration system, ?drive by wire, ? is trying to catch up with the depressed acceleration pedal. This has occurred at very inappropriate times, where we would have to suddenly apply the brakes abruptly. The nature of the defect is unusual and not only poses a safety problem while the vehicle is lunging, but also poses a serious safety issue, if we were trying to merge on a limited access highway. Being that a vehicle traveling on a limited access highway may be traveling at 60 mph. That vehicle will travel approximately 176 feet in that two second lag time of our vehicle"S acceleration system.

- Clarks Summit, PA, USA

problem #25

Oct 102010


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while attempting to park, the vehicle it suddenly accelerated forward. The contact applied the brakes abruptly and was able to stop the vehicle from moving any further. On a separate occasion while driving 20 mph, the vehicle accelerated independently and caused the contact to crash through a fence, causing damages to the vehicle front end. There were no injuries. The contact called the dealer but no action was taken. The contact believed the vehicle was extremely unsafe to drive. The failure mileage was 25,000.

- Newville, PA, USA

problem #24

Aug 092010


  • 60,500 miles
Pulling 2008 totally Sienna into parking spot. As I was turning my steering wheel towards the left into the parking space, the van suddenly accelerated forward at a high speed and crashed into a car parked adjacent to the space I was attempting to park in. Witnesses observed the event. After appropriate reports were taken, the van was taken to a Toyota dealer where I was told that my vehicle was not involved in the recall. I believe that my car make and model were just entered into a database. Not sure a mechanic even inspected the accelerator.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #23

Oct 172007


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that there was a rattling noise in the passengers side sliding door. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who installed a rubber lining but that did not resolve the failure. The contact stated that the doors were not properly aligned. The throttle control has also malfunctioned. The contact stated that when the accelerator pedal was depressed the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably. The dealer stated that the vehicle was functioning normally. The contact stated that the vehicle also began pulling to the left, but that has not been diagnosed by the dealer at this time. The current mileage was 83,000.

- Hartly, DE, USA

problem #22

Jul 282010


  • 25,000 miles
1. engine lights came on alerting us to a problem (check engine, service engine, etc.). after alleged repair, spouse drove to families house approximate 600 miles away and found a significant amount of oil had leaked from the system - oil had been changed as part of the fix. A second dealer, at the new location, "fixed" with the same hose again, with similar results, though my spouse only drop 120 miles. She is unable to continue the trip home due to this issue. 2. after taking to dealer, was told the vvt oil line was a known faulty part and needed replacement. Was not a "formal" recall, but was considered an internal recall to Toyota that needed to be fixed for "free". both dealerships claimed to have fixed the problem, though the engine is still leaking a significant amount of oil. There is a significant amount of data on the web that addresses this oil line and the associated issues. 3. part was replaced, but with same type (part number, composition, etc.). basically, a "new" bad part was replaced. Furthermore, the first dealership installed various gaskets and seals incorrectly, and still gave the car a safe rating for a 600 mile trip. The second dealership merely replaced a bad oil line with another bad oil line.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #21

Jul 102010


  • 35,000 miles
This happened yesterday July 10, 2010 Saturday in the regional parks parking lot. Since it's unpaved so there was rocks and dirt on the ground so I was driving extremely slow to come to a stop at a spot to park I was driving way below 5 mph and even slower when I was about to come to stop as I also know outside of the wire fence, beyond the narrow road, it was a cliff with a substantial drop of elevation; and I have my whole family in the car. I was driving a Toyota Sienna mini van which I have been a loyal customer and a big believer of the quality. Just around the time the car is about to stop, all of a sudden, it sped up forward in such a force we were all pushed back against the seat back, I immediately moved my foot to the brake and press all the way but it was not responsive and did not slow the car. Instead, the car sped up and went through the wire fence at about 45 degree angle, while I was steering towards left to avoid it with very little effect, and dropped down the slope onto the road, all the while kept speeding up, and then got across the road and hit a wooden pole on the road side by the cliff straight on. Then the car stopped and the brake seemed to work again as my right foot was pushing all the way down on the brake for the whole time so I shifted to park, turned off the engine, and then open the door to tell people coming up that we were fine. Someone called the high way patrol and the officer arrived later to take the case and later transfer the case to the park police for report. The car was towed to a body shop and most likely is totaled. We have insurance coverage so the financial damage to us wasn't big. But we are really concerned of what has happened. We were so lucky to have escaped the drop down the cliff and extremely lucky that we did not hit anyone along the way, even though it was only a few seconds (maybe 3-5 seconds) but this was a crowded park and there were many bikers biking along the road.

- Pleasanton, CA, USA

problem #20

Jun 052010


  • miles
I have a 2008 Toyota Sienna AWD. Saturday afternoon I was driving East along lee highway in arlington, va (probably moving at about 30 to 35 mph) with my two small children, and I slowed as I approached the intersection with harrison street (which is a rather busy intersection). My traffic light was red, so I needed to stop. I applied the brakes fully, and the car continued to slow, but it did not stop fully. I released the brake and then pushed it hard all the way to the mat, but the car still continued to inch forward. I became frightened and threw the car into park and hit the emergency brake. The car seemed to stop, but I turned off the ignition just in case. I was a few minutes from home, so I drove home with my hazards on and parked the car. I have not driven it since. I called the dealership that has been primarily servicing the vehicle (koons arlington), and was told to call Toyota headquarters - 800.331.4331. I called this number for headquarters, but after remaining on hold for over 5 minutes with no end in sight and without hearing a live person, I hung up and tried the dealership again. A service representative told me to have the vehicle towed to the dealership, which I did early this morning. I am awaiting a response from the dealership. I emailed them for a status update earlier this afternoon.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #19

Apr 062008


  • 12,573 miles
TL- contact owns 2008 Toyota Sienna. As the contact was pulling into their driveway at 10 mph with the brakes depressed, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The vehicle was placed in park and the engine continued racing. The dealer stated that nothing was wrong with the brakes or accelerator after test driving the vehicle. There were no repairs made to the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were 12,573.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #18

Apr 282010


  • miles
2008 Toyota Sienna acceleration hesitation this minivan hesitates from driver acceleration for 1-2 seconds intermittently at very low speeds. However, the problem can be reproduced very easily by making a corner turn at low speed, and increasing acceleration after the turn. The minivan will not respond for 1-2 seconds before 'jumping' into the acceleration. The biggest safety issue with this is a left turn across an oncoming lane of traffic (similar to a corner turn). If I am coasting to the intersection for the turn, the minivan does not respond to the driver input for acceleration to get out of the way of the oncoming car (until through the intersection). Knowing this defect, I compensate for it, but an unsuspecting driver could have an accident with this defect.

- Franklin, MA, USA

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