hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
123,739 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Dec 262014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 155,495 miles


Sudden deceleration of vehicle: 2004 Toyota Sienna xle. The vsc engages, without warning, on smooth, dry roads and when cornering or negotiating a curve. We are the original owners and have never experienced this until the first incident in late Oct. 2014. We did not take any action because although road conditions good, we were rounding a sharp bend in the road and assumed this had something to do with the incident. Vehicle speed was approximately 25 mph as the vehicle suddenly decelerated, the vsc light came on and a rapid beeping alarm sounded. The vehicle pulled to one side and steering the vehicle became extremely difficult. The whole incident, start to finish, lasted approximately 5 seconds. The next incident happened in early December 2014. Again, all the above described things happened, except vehicle speed was approximately 35 mph going around a gentle curve in the road. I did some research and found many complaints concerning this issue but do not see any recommendations or recalls officially issued by Toyota. It appears most of the dealer recommended repairs did not correct the problem. Today (December 26, 2014), this same issue happened five times within 40 minutes. My wife managed to get the vehicle home and we called our local Toyota dealer, described the issue and they informed us they have never received any complaints concerning rapid deceleration of this model year, before our phone call. I've scheduled an appointment for December 30, 2014 to have the vehicle checked out and have recall work done concerning the "shift lock solenoid assembly". will update after appointment.

- Hampton Bays, NY, USA

problem #22

Nov 072014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
While driving on interstate vsc warning light came on, beeping and alarms heard. Engine slowed down and I felt like the vehicle was out of control. The vehicle swerved like it was hydroplaning on a dry highway. Called our repair shop immediately. Car was towed and research was done on the history of the problem in other Toyota mini vans. I was told there were reports of this happening in other vehicles but not enough for a recall to be issued by Toyota, recommendation by the report they found was to replace a sensor which is what was done. That was just over a month ago and the same problem occurred again tonight on a side road going approx 30 mph on dry road. Van is back at shop again tonight. I will be calling the 1-800 number for Toyota, I do not understand why there is not a recall on this issue. Both incidences could have resulted in an accident. Tonight I was driving with my child in the van. This issue could have placed her life in danger had there been an accident.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #21

Jul 122013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
In the early summer of 2013, I was traveling North on I-15, approx 5 minutes to St. George, Utah on a beautiful clear day when the car began to swerve and the yellow skid light came on and the emergency beeping sound alarmed and the car slows down on its own--I no longer have control over accelerating the speed of the car. It frightened and alarmed me and my passengers. Within about 5 seconds the light went off and the alarming beeping sound stopped and now I have control of the speed of the car. I have traveled that road several times since and the same incident has occurred at approx the same spot. However, in 2014, during my travels to and fro on this same highway where the speed limit is 65-75mph, the incident occurs in several other spots along I-15 North and southbound. The skid light and the alarming beeping sound even went off when coming to a stop going approx. 5mph. The indicator light and alarm sound seems to be getting more and more sensitive. The same incident has been occurring this year every day on my way home from work at the same spot on I-215. Even though the speed limit is 65mph, I have to slow down to less than 50mph in order to avoid this occurrence. This creates a very hazardous situation since I am slowing down for apparently no reason to the cars behind me who are traveling at the speed limit.

- Henderswon, NV, USA

problem #20

Oct 172014


  • 14,200 miles


While driving the vsc activates, the brakes engages, the cars slows down and it make it difficult to control. It has happened to me more than 10 times. Mind you its on a dry surface and no curves. Very scary I drive it with nobody inside just in case... thanks

- Nyack, NY, USA

problem #19

Jul 112014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 120,500 miles
On clear, dry pavement at moderate (50mph -60 mph) highway speeds, the traction control has unexpectedly engaged. This has occurred multiple times on both slight banking turns and on straight sections of roadway. Previous to each incident the vehicle was under predictable driver control with no sudden steering changes; yet the traction control activated causing sudden braking, difficulty steering, audible alarm sounds, and dashboard traction control light illumination. The vehicle is difficult to control during the 5- 10 second durations. Continued safe driving can only be done by manually disengaging the traction control system. I note that tires were recently replaced and front end wheel alignment was performed.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #18

Nov 182013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
On numerous occasions, (the first incident occurring November 2013 and most recent 6/23/2014), the stability//traction control system suddenly engaged. Most of the incidents occurred while on the freeway with speeds between 50-55 mph, usually on straightaway sections, sometimes during a gentle bank usually toward the right. On all occasions, the roads were dry and the driver was not applying the brakes at the time. Without warning, the brakes suddenly engage causing the van to feel like it was lunging forward and making it difficult to control the vehicle. A series of rapid beeps would occur and the traction sensor would illuminate. The entire episode would last for several seconds. During these episodes, the vehicle is difficult to control and passengers/other drivers are in danger.

- Aiea, HI, USA

problem #17

Apr 182014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles


Starting from a stop and accelerating up to approx 20 mph, ABS tracs vsc lights illuminated with beeping alert, and activation of brakes causing a sudden deceleration. The road was dry, level pavement, no ice, no gravel, driving straight and the brakes were not being applied. There were no conditions that would necessitate the traction control. As the brakes were not being applied at the time of the incident, the rear brake lights would not have illuminated. Therefore, any driver behind our vehicle would not have been alerted to the sudden deceleration which could have resulted in a collision. Fortunately this was not the case. This is the 2nd time that this issue has occurred with this vehicle. The first was in Nov. 2007 (46000 miles in the vehicle). Toyota service was not able to find a fault, no codes stored and not able to replicate at that time. They said that they would have a corporate contact get in touch with me. I never heard from them. Nothing was resolved. There are at least two tsbs related to the vsc issue (tsb BR004-03 and BR008-04). Neither was implemented.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #16

Feb 282014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 96,956 miles
Summary: Sensor in stability control failed and falsely reported crisis situation, causing computer to seize control to slow vehicle and change course. Long version: While driving straight on city street, suddenly vehicle slowed and pulled to side, stability control light and audio alarm activated, heard grinding noise that sounded like ABS. Condition persisted if driving over 5-10 mph. Crawled to nearby non-dealer repair shop. Diagnosis/solution: Steering angle sensor reporting wheels at 250 degrees when actually straight ahead, would not recalibrate, circuit integrity otherwise good, sensor was replaced. No residual problems noted so far since then (one day). I have the failed sensor. This sensor problem was cause of a production change and tsb BR008-04 in the first year. Obviously Toyota has known about this problem for years, but no recall. Other accounts exist on line of people who have had this happen. This is a major safety hazard. It's the mechanical equivalent of riding with a driver on lsd who is braking/swerving to avoid hallucinations. I was lucky to be going slowly on an uncrowded street, but at higher speed or crowded conditions this could be a disaster. Toyota has not been terribly helpful so far, but discussion will continue....

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #15

Oct 142011


  • 20,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vsc and the traction off light illuminated causing the brake to engage independently. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 20,000.

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 132013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 205,000 miles
My car is a 2004 Toyota Sienna AWD xle limited. The vehicle will activate the vehicle skid control (vsc) without warning while driving on smooth dry roads. The effect is for the vehicle to apply brakes strongly to specific wheels pulling the car strongly to one side. This happens most frequently while driving winding roads and in corners. It has become more regular it it's occurrence and has happened on relatively straight sections of highway most recently. A similar situation occurred approx 2 years ago. At that time the retailer repaired it by adjusting the steering sensor used by the vsc and stated that this should be done periodically dependent on alignment work done on the vehicle. This solved the issue at that time. It is very dangerous both to the vehicle which requires great effort to maintain control and the vehicles following it which are at risk of rear ending the effected car. The Toyota retailer initially indicated that a catalyst failure was the cause (yes they said this). I was told that the cat failure could induce other brake and engine related failures. The cat was replaced and the vsc failure has resumed. At this time no failures of any kind are indicated. I have researched this topic and find about a dozen identical failures on 2014 Toyota Siennas documented in various user forums. As there are only a few documented on the NHTSA site I am concerned that the situation is under reported. Many of these user forums indicate that the symptoms were reported to the manufacturer. My most recent trouble report case number from Toyota is [xxx]. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Solvang, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 262012

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 161,000 miles


Vsc (vehicle stability control) is activated in curves at speeds between 25 mph and 60 mph. Surface is dry and curves are gradual with appropriate and safe driving speeds. The vsc light goes on and warning buzzer goes off. The brakes shudder and the vehicle is de-throttled. Vehicle control is reduced for 3 to 5 seconds and then the vsc deactivates. Concerned that this will be a problem when the road surface is slick. Dealer could not find malfunction codes and could not duplicate problem so no fix. This situation occurs almost every day at least once. Keeping incident log. Web sites indicate this could be steering sensor calibration. Dealer cleaned sensor parts and this did not resolve problem. Contacted Toyota and they said to continue working with the dealer. Tsb is out for yaw sensor failure and steering calibration.

- Fairview, NC, USA

problem #12

Apr 062012


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving between 20-30 mph, the traction warning light illuminated as the vehicle began to jerk violently. The contact also stated that the steering wheel would become very hard to steer.the vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where the failure could not be duplicated. The manufacturer was contacted and no assistance was offered to the contact. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 98,000.

- Tapanga, CA, USA

problem #11

Apr 152009

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
The vsc has activated multiple times on my van for no apparent reason. While driving at any speed and usually in a turn, the vsc light will flash, the warning beep will beep, and the ABS brakes will automatically be applied and the engine will quickly decelerate. I have almost been rear-ended several times because the van will suddenly decide to decelerate. I have no control over when this happens and no control of the van when it does!

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #10

Nov 302011


  • 56,700 miles
As car was being driven in a parking lot the brakes were suddenly applied as the vsc dashboard light was lite. The car vibrated and slowed in a near stop. Brake pedal was nearly useless. The conditions were clear with a dry mostly level pavement. Attempted to drive vehicle about one mile to home not knowing if incident would be repeated. However, it was repeated without warning about every 5 to 10 seconds. Speed never exceeded about 10 miles per hour.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #9

Apr 142010

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
Just over 1 year ago, the vsc warning indicator came on and it was found that one of the steering sensors was bad. I had it replaced. Two days ago, the vsc warning light came on again. From all of the research that I have done, this seems to be a reoccuring problem for Toyota on the Sienna's and sequoia's.

- Okeana, OH, USA

problem #8

Aug 012011


  • 68,000 miles
The vehicle stability control has been engaging when it should not be. While driving at moderate speeds, into a slight turn, the vsc engages for a few seconds slowing down the car. It has been doing this now for the past few months while driving at moderate speeds when it should not be engaging. It is a little disconcerting when this happens being I know that it should not be doing this at that time.

- Oakland, NJ, USA

problem #7

Feb 262011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles
Driving my 2004 Toyota Sienna 65mph on the highway on dry pavement the vsc light went on, a buzzer sounded, and I was unable to steer or brake the vehicle. The steering wheel started moving rapidly right and left causing the car to fishtail and the brake pedal went going in and out on its own. Everything went back to normal after about 20 seconds or so, and I pulled off into the breakdown lane. I then pulled out again slowly to get my car in a safer area and it happened again. This time I was going much slower but it was horrifying none the less. I then pulled off the road and had the car towed to the Toyota dealer. I found that a technical service bulletin had been issued on my car in 2005 and that the steering angle sensor was the culprit. The bulletin says that "some customers may experience an intermittent vsc activation." Owners of the 2004 Sienna have not been notified of this problem, which after experiencing is clearly a safety issue, and there should have been a recall rather than a tsb. The tsb seems cleverly worded to avoid the fact that a driver could loose all control of the steering wheel and brakes which is clearly a safety issue.

- Gloucester, MA, USA

problem #6

Dec 242010

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
2004 Toyota Sienna van, the vehicle stability control system (vsc) goes into skid prevention mode and automatically applies the brakes, disconnects the accelerator, and selects one side or wheel to apply braking force to. This has the effect of causing the car to shudder, skid and move dangerously close to the outside edge of a curve. This has occurred 15-20 times in my car since its purchase. I have taken it for repair by the dealer three times. Some "rusted" parts were replaced the first time. The next two times, I was told the vehicle was working properly. The vsc activated at speeds that were at or below the speed limit and in conditions where no realistic possibility of a skd was present. The problem is intermittent as I have driven over the same roads at the same or higher speeds for years without activation of the vsc. When it does activate it is frightening, and it causes a significant danger of losing control of the car or veering out of your lane. After a period of no activity, I have suddenly had 7 incidents in the last week occurring between Dec. 24, 2010 and January 2, 2011.the problem first arose approximately three years ago. There have been 4 or 5 isolated incidents, but now there has been a serious and dramatic increase in the frequency of the vsc failure.

- Half Moon Bay, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 302010


  • 1,000,080 miles
Traveling between 35-45 mph on dry, straight roads, the vsc (vehicle skid control) engaged without cause. Alarm sounded, vehicle skid light turned on, vehicle automatically applied brakes to the point that they made some squealing noise, throttle was unresponsive, and vehicle steering pulled to the left. We pulled over and stopped the vehicle, in hopes that it would clear the problem. We started up again only to have the same problem a couple of minutes later. This happened four times on the way home. Would hate to see what would have happened at highway speed while pulling our popup camper.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #4

Jul 032004


  • 77,000 miles
Vsc engages at highway speeds: Vehicle alarm sounds, brakes deploy abruptly and unexpectedly, steering pulls, accelerator goes dead (pulse races, adrenaline courses). First complained to dealer after four incidents in first 20K miles: Had online testimonials of yaw sensor, steering angle sensor and ECM replacements as possible remedies; dealer rebuffed my complaints, denying service to sensors, and suggested my tires had 'gone square'. I have lived with the condition for a total of seven years. The car now 'goes off' maybe three times per every 20 miles driven, unpredictably and always shockingly. My family refuses to ride in the car. I cannot sell it in good conscience, as the defects cannot be confirmed by the dealer (and apparently therefore do not exist), so there is no way for it to be 'made safe' for a succeeding owner. Its remaining $10K+ equity has been nullified by this defect.

- Mill Valley , CA, USA

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