really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,743 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

May 102013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


My wife and I purchased a 2004 Toyota Sienna with 25,000 mi. It was a used vehicle when we purchased it. When we purchased the vehicle we also purchased a 7 year, 100,000 mile bumper to bumper extended warranty that has currently expired. Approximately three months ago we notices that when coming to a stop there was a thump below the vehicle which we originally thought was the transmission. My wife and I brought it to a local shop and explained that when the vehicle hits approximately 15 mph we feel a thump below the vehicle towards the center. Regardless of breaking, accelerating or coasting we felt a thump. We had problems with the transmission while the vehicle was under warranty. We brought it to Toyota for repair. Toyota replaced the transmission "under warranty? at approximately 95,000 miles with a brand new transmission. We currently have the vehicle at a local repair shop. They have informed us that the way that the Toyota transmission works is that they have a pipe that runs through the radiator. That allows for cooling for the transmission fluid. We were informed that due to age, the pipe simply corroded and cracked causing coolant to leak into the transmission and transmission fluid to leak into the radiator. We requested the simplest solutions and we were told to replace the radiator and flush the tranny and hope for the best. The repair shop has had the vehicle for approximately a month because the ordered an aftermarket radiator in an effort to save us money. The after marker radiator did not fit. I was informed this past weekend that after speaking with Toyota, Toyota has recognized this issue and has discontinued the standard radiators and a new model with mounts now needs to be ordered. Our feeling is that this is a safety issue as well as a design flaw. What can be done"

- Belford, NJ, USA

problem #9

Nov 192011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Car rolled back while on a slope with parking brake fully applied, in park, and engine off. Rolled back about 6-9 inches as soon as footbrake was released, with a child immediately behind car at that time. I later found the problem is a worn rear differential front support arm used on all Sienna AWD's, and likely other Toyota's that share the same AWD drivetrain design. Per the Toyota owner boards, it apparently commonly fails and sells for over $200 for just the part. However, it really concerns me here because when it fails, it allows play in the driveline, which then results in the car being able to roll for 6 inches plus even w/ parking brake applied until it reaches the limit of its play. On a slope and with someone just in front or behind the car that could result in serious injury or even death by either impact or crushing. Dangerous design and poor reliability.

- Menlo Park, CA, USA

problem #8

Jun 112011


  • 120 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna le. The contact was driving 30 mph when he abruptly drove over a speed bump. Once the contact reached his destination, the shifter could not be moved into park. The contact stated that he did not drive over the speed bump hard enough to where he believed it would cause the failure. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was not contacted. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 120 and the current mileage was 130,000.

- Upper Marlboro , MD, USA

problem #7

Oct 102006


  • 120,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while decelerating to 10 mph, the vehicle would stall before accelerating. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and dealer stated they could not find a problem within the vehicle. The contact then took the vehicle to a local mechanic and the mechanic acknowledged the failure but could not identify the problem. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 120,000. The VIN was not available.

- Sparta, NJ, USA

problem #6

Mar 042011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 97,145 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that the vehicle would not shift out of park just after the ignition was started. After repeated attempts, the contact was able to shift the vehicle out of park as the anti-lock brake warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the brake switch and the anti lock braking system were replaced. The failure and current mileage was 97,145. Updated 04/15/11 updated 1/13/2012

- Missouri City, TX, USA

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problem #5

Feb 032010


  • 10,000 miles
I wrote to Toyota Sept. 7, 2007, concerning an acceleration problem with my 2004 Sienna minivan, following many visits to the dealer to evaluate and fix it. The throttle response is delayed, in my case; it lags during initial acceleration from a stop, but more importantly, it lags when immediate acceleration is needed for passing, and accelerating after slowing for a turn. The factory rep who responded to my letter said the dealer would reevaluate the problem. The dealer rep drove the van, experienced the same problem, and concluded it was a "quirk" of the car, that could not be fixed unless, perhaps, the computer controlling the throttle was replaced. They would not do that unless a recall was ordered, he said. Needless to say, I thought that was the final word, until other problems began to surface with the "fly by wire" system in Toyota. I do believe that the electronic throttle, the throttle position feedback circuit, and related sensors are at fault, all of which are controlled by the computer. I also have other cars with electronic throttles, an Accord and a Town & Country, and neither has that problem. No accidents have been caused by this daily malfunction, as I guess I have adapted my driving style to it, but don't you think there is a systemic problem here? the incident date is a continuing date, beginning during the first year of ownership (2004) up to the present time.

- Bay Village, OH, USA

problem #4

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 #3

Jan 152007


  • miles
Toyota 2004 le Sienna. Driving on straight, dry, road about 30-40 mph. Vsc suddenly light turned on unexpectedly, followed by loud beeping noise. Van appeared to hesitate. Can't go more than 40 mph. I was glad that there was no car behide me otherwise there would have been an accident. Van was brought into dealer (Toyota of palo alto, ca). They found no error code.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 012005

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
We have a 2004 Sienna le AWD. The vehicle consistently appears to hesitate for 1-2 seconds when accelerating from a dead stop while depressing the accelerator. There has been no accidents, only some scares when merging or entering into flowing traffic from a stop.

- Buxton, ME, USA

problem #1

May 302003

Sienna 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
This is an ongoing problem. On our 2004 Toyota Sienna van, there is a "dead spot" when attempting to accelerate from a slow coasting condition. The problem does not occur when starting from a completely stopped condition. However, if coasting at approximately 5 - 10 mph, depressing the accelerator pedal yields no response. Naturally I tend to depress the accelerator further to overcome whatever inertia is happening, and when the engine/drivetrain finally responds (sometimes several seconds later) there is a pronounced jerk as everything catches. We have had a few situations where competing traffic conditions warranted firm acceleration and were at the mercy of other drivers when our vehicle failed to perform. Being in a northern climate, I am also greatly concerned that during icy conditions, the resulting "jerk" which occurs following the lag will result in breaking traction and subsequent skidding. It should be emphasized that failure to accelerate when necessary is arguably just as dangerous as failure to stop, and the problem needs corrected. Thus far, our dealership acknowledges the problem and claims that it's a "normal" behavior for this drivetrain.

- Marietta, OH, USA

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