really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,053 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 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

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

problem #40

Feb 102011

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
The 2004 Toyota Sienna xle van that we own has two power sliding doors. The cable to the passenger door snapped preventing the door from functioning as it should. The motor on the door is still in working order, but you cannot replace just the cable, you must replace the entire unit including the motor at $1200. We converted the door to a manual door and that worked for about 2 weeks. The door stopped functioning entirely and we are no longer able to open the passenger sliding door on our vehicle. This is a potential safety risk to us as we haul our 3 children in the back of the van. For example, when fueling the vehicle, the driver side sliding door is inoperable and in the event of a fire, the children would be trapped in the back of the vehicle. We have had very little luck in finding a used part and will hopefully be getting a new part to fix the problem in the near future.

- Dixon, IL, USA

problem #39

Jan 102011


  • 50,000 miles


In early January 2011, the heater for the passenger car seat in my Toyota Sienna burned through the leather, through my 12 year old daughter's dress and superficially burned her leg. I believe the seat is defective as a fuse or other safety feature should have prevented such an injury/event.

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #38

Sep 302010

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 97,563 miles
The rear passenger power sliding door failed. The cable that opens and closes the door snapped and then bound up jamming the door open about 3 inches. My children could not exit the vehicle on that side if there was an accident and I had to dissasemble the door just to close it.

- Pa, PA, USA

problem #37

Jan 152010


  • 75,000 miles
2004 Toyota Sienna the ac began to work intermittently and now stopped blowing cold air at around 75,000 miles. Initial diagnostics indicated that the gauges and climate controls inside the cabin were causing this problem. Freon levels appear to be at adequate levels.

- Clearwater, FL, USA

problem #36

Jan 122011


  • miles
The automatic door failed and almost crushed my 21 month old. It opened and as she was getting out it started closing. It did not detect her and I had to forcefully push it open before it closed her in it. Then again the same thing happened with my 10 year old luckily she thought to get out of the way.

- Bryant, AR, USA

problem #35

Feb 102010

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles


Normal use of the automatic passenger sliding door of the 2004 Toyota Sienna resulted in cable breaking at 82,000 miles. Have not repaired due to high cost $1,700. Known problem at time of my vehicle's manufacture, tsb issued (EL004-04), but failed outside of warranty. Door is no longer operational which is the safety issue. Children must now exit the vehicle on the street side, instead of the curb side.

- Canby, OR, USA

problem #34

Sep 242010


  • 82,475 miles
2004 Toyota Sienna's automatic sliding door mechanism jammed preventing door closure. The door could not be closed automatically or manually. Circumstances forced passengers, including 4 small children, to travel several highway miles with that door open. In April 2004 Toyota modified that door mechanism for new product and issued technical service bulletin EL004-04 "power sliding door inoperative" to correct existing product. Sienna's early 2004 sliding door is a defective product. The Sienna product is a minivan marketed to families and children. As such it is designed to be a closed vehicle. The defective door should be considered a child restraint failure because closed doors are, in fact, the primary protective restraint in a family vehicle. Corrective action we elected is to cut the automatic door's tractor cable. That frees the door to close and permanently disengages the defective door mechanism.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #33

May 212010


  • 60,000 miles
I have 2 different complaints. Driver side seat heater burned legs of 3 different drivers before complete failure. Heat was not adjustable. Driver and passenger heaters stopped working at same time. Took to dealer, recommended new heating element ($1000+). opted not to fix. 2nd complaint, check engine, vsc, and trac off lights illuminated. The van has been sent to the dealer on at least 3 occasions. Gas cap has been replaced several times, spark plugs changed. Will go off for brief periods, but always to return. This has been going on for at least 30,000 miles. I could live with the check engine light on, but if the other lights are illuminated, that indicates these components are not working-kind of important-skid control & traction control!! there are many complaints out there on blogs, doesn't look like anyone has filed any reports with your office regarding this same problem, which is too bad because it's obviously a problem not with just Sienna but several other models as well. Extremely frustrating when even the dealer can't determine what the problem really is!! we purchased this vehicle because of the safety features. Not so sure about it if their safety features malfunction!

- Parsons, KS, USA

problem #32

Jan 182010


  • 42,000 miles
Power sliding door on my van quit working. Door is stuck half opened. Took to Toyota said it was a common problem but the warranty wont cover. They said it was due to door sag due to hinge but this is not the case I cut a steel cable and was able to close the door manually. It works fine manually you would think it was due to what they said it wouldn't close at all. Many people are having this problem and Toyota is doing nothing about it.

- Lindon, UT, USA

problem #31

Jan 032010


  • 95,000 miles
Toyota (2004 Sienna) seat heater burned a hole through the leather on drivers seat. Toyota (judy faul) interviewed me/my case and submitted to terrence chu (regulatory affairs). He wrote me a letter 3 months later and said Toyota was not at fault because I had a towel (8"X8" baby burp cloth) adjacent to my leg (left outer thigh) and the owners manual states "not to use an insulating object" with the seat heater operating. He never contacted me for clarification on the incident. I have been denied access to anyone at Toyota. The dealer (peoria, il) said they will repair for $1337, but will not support me to repair the damage the faulty heater created. I can see their logic if sitting on a stack of towles, but not a rag, of which the consistency is less than the ski pants worn (with the heater operating) or my wife sweater dresses in the same manner. Personal friends (torry olsen) had the same year van and the same problem. Toyota repaired theirs as it was under warranty. The heater element is still hooked up (and dangerous) and Toyota will not service unless we pay.

- Peoria, IL, USA

problem #30

Apr 252010


  • 108,000 miles
No prior problems. The automatic door and it's safety feature of not closing when something is in the way stopped working. The door will not open completely and when closing it closes on anything in it's way. Sometimes it will not close or open at all. If the button is engaged to turn the automatic door off the door will not budge. It will not work in manual mode. Nothing has been done to correct the failure as of yet, as the expense is prohibitive.

- Snellville, GA, USA

problem #29

Aug 292008


  • 84,734 miles
Right side power sliding door sticking. Must manually pull handle to get door to unlatch. Once the door is in motion, you can control(open/close) with key chain controller or both power buttons inside vehicle. Same problem if the door is in open position, door latch will not released with any power buttons, must manually pull handle to get door to unlatched. Dealer cleaned and lubed door on 8-29-2008 at 84,734 miles. Charged $21 for service. Later in evening same problem occured, I took the Sienna back to dealership the next day. Service technician said it needed a new(door) motor and would cost $1,500. I was shocked since the day before they had claimed everything was ok and it was only $21. Needless to say, the door has not been fixed, I feel it is a major safety concern and it is sad to learn that there are a lot of people having the same problem. The problem seems to be consistent between 75,000 to 85,000 miles. Would appreciate if you could look into this problem.

- Moorpark, CA, USA

problem #28

Mar 042010


  • 98,785 miles
I drive a 2004 Toyota Sienna xle. On 3/4/10 at 1030 am, I was coming to a stop light on broken land pkwy. As I completed a full stop, my Sienna tried to accelerate while my foot was depressing the brake pedal. The vehicle lurched but did not stall out and I was able to continue on my way. During the rest of the morning, I did not experience any more acceleration trouble the rest of the day. I did inform my husband and he suggested I research 2004 Toyota Sienna acceleration. I did that and found a variety of complaints from 2004 Toyota Sienna owners on several internet auto web sites.

- Columbia, MD, USA

problem #27

Jan 202010


  • 110,000 miles
It happened twice during 2 weeks ago ( during heavy rain). I was driving my 2004 Toyota Sienna on a parking lot. The steering wheel is very hard to turn, it seems like I lost the power steering. After restarting the van, the problem disappeared. Next day, my wife encountered the same problem when she is picking up our kids from school. We believe there is a major problem with the electrical system or computer system. I have so many problem with this vans and the dealer refuse to fix it, I have seat belt problem, it is not easy to release after driving, dealer wants 300 to fix. Electrical sliding door problem etc.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #26

Sep 162009


  • 50,000 miles
Under normal operating conditions, 2004 Toyota Sienna xle limited with hid headlights, had premature headlight failure. Mechanic diagnosed the problem as a faulty transformer and replaced it under warranty. Within a few weeks, the other side transformer failed. Mechanic replaced that transformer. Within a few days, that transformer failed too. Issue currently under investigation with Toyota.

- Baldwin, NY, USA

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