really awful
Crashes / Fires:
26 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
10 / 2
Average Mileage:
60,933 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #90

Aug 122016


  • 100,000 miles


NHTSA recall number 13V429, mfr recall number D0R is listed on the safecar.gov web site for my VIN number as being an incomplete recall, but the Toyota servco service center says they have already fixed this recall on my car. I had an incident recently that was traced to the gear shift cable bushing. The car was parked in a grocery store parking lot, put into park, ignition turned off, and then started to roll backward, the brake didn't work to stop the rolling since the ignition was off, luckily the parking brake was applied to stop the rolling before any damage was done, it was a very gradual slope. I see that the later 2014 model Sienna has a recall for the gear shift cable, but my year does not have a recall for this problem so I had to pay ~ $600 to get this fixed. Luckily no one was hurt and no property was damaged.

- Honoluolu, HI, USA

problem #89

May 312016


  • 165,000 miles
On numerous occasions, we have had the vsc indicator light turn on while driving on dry pavement while on the highway, which caused the car to apply the brakes and also swerve. Our car is AWD so the first time it happened, we thought there must have been black ice on the road (even though the road appeared dry). It first happened about three years ago, although it is happening more frequently now. We drove home yesterday through the mountains and it happened four times on our two hour drive. It mostly happens while going downhill for us, and has happened at speeds of 70 mph - 30 mph. It has happened while turning (both directions) and going straight. It is very scary for both my wife and I, and I feel unsafe with her driving our car with our four children. We've taken it to the dealership and they want to charge us lots of money to try to fix what they "think" the problem is. I have spoken with other Sienna owners who have experienced the same frightening experience so know it is not just our car, driving, etc.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #88

Mar 152014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stability control warning light and trac warning light illuminated intermittently. As a result, the vehicle decelerated independently. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure persisted. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the cable needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure persisted. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #87

Oct 142014


  • 63,000 miles


It started a year or so ago the while driving on dry road above 50miles the vsc light would lit with a alarm sound, the van will automatically apply brakes and slow the Sienna. Since this was extra van and we were driving mostly sedans we had and due to business I could not spend any time on it.. now it happens more frequently and it risk our lifes on highway. Upon searching internet various forums came with with problems pertaining only to this year and model, please search (sudden vsc activation) and you will find multiple owner only of 2004 complaining for same issue.. in fact there are to two tsb articles to point to this problem ( tsb-BR001-04 and tsb-BR004-03). I would kindly request to investigate the sudden vsc activation in middle of highway. I have spent money to replace tires, aligment balancing to find the issue is widespread.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #86

Mar 072014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
At varying rates of speed, on dry roads, my van's vsc and traction control icons will illuminate on the dash, the acceleration will cease and the brakes will pump 2-4 times, and the steering will stick. Originally, this occurred only on roads that curved however the frequency of occurrence is increasing and it now occurs on straight roads as well.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #85

Feb 192015

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 107,550 miles
Purchased 2004 Sienna xle AWD limited 2/18/15. While commuting to work the traction control system randomly activates in dry conditions (usually on downhill angled turn) causing loss of power, activation of front right brakes, and the steering wheel jerked from my hands (resulting in transient overall loss of control of vehicle). This defect has occurred 6 times in 2 days and I am currently afraid to drive the car, especially with a 3 month old. There have been multiple reports on edmunds.com and other Toyota forums that support this is an ongoing problem with this model/year vehicle. This is a safety defect and the vehicle should be recalled to prevent injury or fatality and to resolve the issue with the tcs. There is no way to turn off the tcs manually and this issue can cause an accident.

- Tahoe City, CA, USA

problem #84

Nov 242014


  • 120 miles


The outside temperature was below 32 and it was close to 25 or so. When I was driving the car at 40 mph with engine temp still slightly above cold(not at optimal which is almost half way) and slowed down by using gentle brakes(not hard brakes). Just before the vehicle comes to a full stop, there is unintended acceleration and I could see even the RPM(scale) to spike temporarily. This has been happening every time when outside temp is cold and vehicle is driven with cold or slightly above cold engine temperature. There is a risk of hitting another vehicle or meeting accident if misjudge my braking because of this problem.. please note : this problem disappears when engine temperate is at optimal and I have driving a Honda Accord 2008 exl for last 7 years(was bought new one), I never had experienced this problem in that car even when driven with cold engine.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #83

Jan 182015


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that after shifting into reverse, the vehicle accelerated independently. The contact stated that the brakes were depressed, but failed to stop the vehicle. The vehicle went over the curb, and was stopped by a pile of snow. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 150,000.

- Bloomington , MN, USA

problem #82

Jan 102015

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
Dash board has a crack on passenger side right where the air bag is. While driving on the freeway noticed check engine light came on and speedometer reading went to 0. stopped counting miles and car going on 65 but speedometer reads 0. also gas tank level indicator goes from half tank to empty and gas light turn on. It is not safe as I don't know at what speed my car is going on and also if the crack on the dash board gets bigger, air bags might pop out. Need somebody to look into this as the van is driven only 49000 miles. This is very unusual.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #81

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 #80

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 #79

May 152014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 45 mph, the traction warning light illuminated. In addition, the contact stated that the vehicle accelerated independently. The failure occurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was unable to be determined. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000...updated 12/02/14 the dealer attempted to fix the vehicle three times. Updated 01/13/15

- Santa Clarita, CA, USA

problem #78

Mar 072014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 139,500 miles
In this initial incident, I was traveling on a curvy road at posted speed limit of 30mph. My vehicle suddenly slowed, as if I was applying the brakes, which I was not, and my steering was compromised. In addition the vsc indicator and symbol flashed on my dashed and beeped. The road was dry. This has occurred 10+ times since. I have brought it to my mechanic, without turning the engine off after the occurrence so that he could "read" the computer but there is no evidence available. We have brought it to the Toyota dealer. They "rebooted" the sensors and said it should be fine. It has continued to happen, on the freeway going uphill at 55 mph, going downhill at 60 mph and has been close to causing a rear end collision each time.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #77

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 #76

Feb 202014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Toyota Sienna. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle accident and shift lock solenoid recall notice, received after accident. The consumer and her husband were involved in an accident, when the vehicle suddenly surge forward, after turning into a parking spot. The vehicle violently crashed into the concrete storefront wall. Also, the air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was totaled. Updated 08/07/14

- Clermont, FL, USA

problem #75

Jun 022013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
Complete loss of power while in motion entering freeway. Previously had noticed steering difficulty at times and engine light going on, but had always stopped after a short while. After the failure it was diagnosed as failure of crank shaft pulley. We found that Toyota had done a recall for this issue, but had not included our vehicle in the recall or notified us. Toyota denied coverage of the required repair. Driver and two small children in care at time of failure, just about to enter freeway. Over $800 in repairs.

- Traverse City, MI, USA

problem #74

Dec 282013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 146,455 miles
I attempted to merge onto the expressway and after pushing the gas pedal the van suddenly accelerated beyond my control. I eased off the pedal and the van continued to serge ahead with no way for me to stop or slow it down as the brakes would not work. I saw the RPM reach level 6 and speed increase to 70 in seconds but as it was the expressway, I was able to keep my distance from cars in front of me. I switched the lever to the neutral position and the van slowed down and then I went back to drive and it roared back up to 70 mph with the RPM again at 6 and I tried turning the cruise control on and then braking to see if it would shut down the gas but no luck. I went back and forth from D to N for about 2 minutes and then on one of the movements from N to D it shut down back to normal. I dropped the van off at my Toyota dealer the next day and am waiting to see what "headquarters " decides.

- Middletown, MD, USA

problem #73

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 #72

Jun 262013

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 83,652 miles
Driver had foot on brake to complete parking in driveway when car had sudden surge of acceleration and 'jumped' into a wheelbarrow and a pile of dirt beyond and the vehicle came to a stop. Dealer checked car and said there was nothing wrong with it.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #71

Dec 242012

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
We will be going anywhere from 35 to 55 miles and our vsc light comes on and the van slows, other times the speed will slow it self and than will speed up on it's own. When that (vsc) light and sound comes on the van will also skid. There must be something wrong with vsc system. This van is still in very good condition, we sure swish someone could tell us what the problem is this seems to be a very serious matter. Reading all the other complaints this is not random and Toyota should give this matter serious consideration.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

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