NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2004 Toyota Sienna

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2004 Toyota Sienna, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. SEATBELT MALFUNCTION NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA05010

    Component(s): Seat Belts
    Seat Belts:Rear

    Summary: The shoulder portion of the middle-row seatbelt webbing feeds through an opening in the seatbelt bezel located at the top of the seat.the bezel also contains a clip that covers a narrow slot in the bezel.the clip may become dislodged from use and allow the seat belt to become stuck in the narrow slot exposed by the dislodged clip. In addition to ODI's 10 consumer complaints, Toyota's letter response to the Agency identifies 40 other consumer and field reports and 3,089 warranty repairs that required the replacement of the seatbelt bezel and/or clip.a stuck or jammed seatbelt does not offer proper occupant protection in the event of a vehicle crash.Toyota has notified the Agency by letter dated July 19, 2005 (amended in letter dated July 22, 2005), that it will recall 345,443 MY 2004-2005 7-passenger and 8-passenger Sienna vehicles built from the start of production up to May 18, 2005.Toyota dealers will replace the seatbelt bezel and clip with an improved design on all vehicles.vehicles produced beginning May 18 already have the improved seatbelt bezel and clip.this investigation is closed.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA05010 »

  2. SEATBELT MALFUNCTION NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE05008

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: February 10, 2005
    • Date Closed: June 13, 2005
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Seat Belts
    Seat Belts:Rear

    Summary: ODI received ten consumer complaints alleging that the middle-row passenger seatbelt webbing frequently jams in the integrated seatbelt guide housing slot.during normal body movement of the occupant, the webbing jams in the slot due to a dislodged cover plate, thus causing excess slack in the seatbelt assembly.Toyota's letter response to the Agency identifies 40 other consumer and field reports and 3,073 warranty repairs that require the replacement of the seatbelt guide assembly.in addition, there are another 16 warranty claims on MY 2005 Sienna vehicles.complainants expressed concern for children occupying the middle-row seats.they may not recognize the potential safety risk or be able to remedy a slack seatbelt.a slack or jammed seatbelt does not offer proper occupant protection in the event of a crash.Toyota has implemented a recent design change to correct the problem.Toyota will apply the design change to new production vehicles and although the design can be applied to earlier MY 2004 and 2005 vehicles, Toyota has not announced a safety recall for those vehicles.this investigation is upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA05-010) and will include MY 2005 vehicles.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE05008 »

  3. STEERING INTERMEDIATE SHAFT BINDING NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA08024

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: October 28, 2008
    • Date Closed: July 16, 2009
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Steering
    Steering:Column
    Steering:Linkages

    Summary: ODI's analysis of warranty data shows that the alleged defect has occurred in just 0.2 percent of the subject vehicle population.when the analysis is limited to salt-belt states, the rate is still well below one percent of the population (0.4 percent).in addition, tests conducted by ODI and Toyota have shown that the alleged defect has a minimal affect on steering efforts.ODI interviews of owners who experienced the alleged defect indicated that in most cases the problem was preceded by months or years of noise or a gradual increase in steering efforts in the initial steering maneuvers after first starting a cold vehicle.the subject vehicles have been in service for 4 to 5 years with no crashes or injuries associated with the alleged defect.Toyota's technical service bulletin provides assistance to service technicians in the early diagnosis and repair of the alleged defect condition. Accordingly, this investigation has been closed. The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.the Agency will continue to monitor complaints and other information relating to the alleged defect in the subject vehicles and take further action in the future if warranted.for additional information regarding this engineering analysis refer to the EA08-024 closing report.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA08024 »

  4. STEERING INTERMEDIATE SHAFT BINDING NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE08041

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: July 09, 2008
    • Date Closed: October 28, 2008
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Steering
    Steering:Column
    Steering:Linkages

    Summary: The Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary evaluation, PE08-041, to investigate allegations of steering binding or increased steering effort caused by corrosion of steering intermediate universal joints in model year (MY) 2004 Toyota Sienna vehicles.Toyota's response to ODI's request for information in PE08-041 indicated that Toyota has been investigating reports of increased steering effort in MY 2004 through 2006 Sienna vehicles since 2005. Toyota determined that a combination of thermal damage and subsequent water intrusion could lead to corrosion of the lowermost universal joint installed on the steering intermediate shaft of the subject vehicles. Toyota has made production changes since September 2006 to address these concerns and has issued two technical service bulletins to its dealerships to provide instructions on diagnosing and repairing complaints related to corrosion of the intermediate shaft. Toyota has not determined that a safety defect exists in the steering system of the Toyota Sienna vehicles and provided test data showing that the effect on steering effort is minimal, even for parts with relatively severe corrosion. ODI analyzed complaint and warranty data relating to the following symptoms: (1) steering intermediate shaft binding or locking; (2) corrosion of the steering intermediate shaft universal joint; (3) complaints of increased effort to turn the steering wheel from neutral or return to neutral after turning (e.g., hard steering or steering binding); or (4) noise while steering.these analyses revealed that the subject vehicles have experienced a total complaint rate of 81.0 per 100,000 vehicles and a total warranty claim rate of 3.0 percent.ODI's analysis found that approximately two-thirds of complaints were for noise only.similar analysis of the warranty data showed that 91 percent were related to noise concerns. ODI has upgraded this investigation to an engineering analysis (EA08-024) to conduct testing to assess the effect of the alleged defect on steering effort in the subject vehicles.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE08041 »

  5. UNEXPECTED LIFTGATE CLOSING NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE06029

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: August 02, 2006
    • Date Closed: December 01, 2006
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Latches/Locks/Linkages:Hatchback/Liftgate:Lock
    Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate
    Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate:Hinge And Attachments
    Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate:Support Device

    Summary: The liftgate gas struts for the subject vehicles may have damaged gas seals that allow the liftgate to drop unexpectedly.the rates for complaints, alleged injuries and warranty claims are higher for vehicles with the power liftgate option.the power liftgate may automatically power-close at the completion of a power-open command without input from the operator.some owners are caught unaware of the power-close operation while under the rear liftgate door.ODI has upgraded the investigation to an engineering analysis (EA06-020) and modified the scope to include only the subject vehicles with the power liftgate option.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE06029 »

  6. Stabilus Rear Liftgate Struts Failing NHTSA Equipment Query #EQ12010

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: September 28, 2012
    • Date Closed: December 31, 2012
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate:Support Device

    Summary: Please see the attached closing resume summary.It has been attached to this document as a PDF.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EQ12010 »

  7. UNEXPECTED CLOSING OF POWER LIFTGATE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA06020

    Component(s): Latches/Locks/Linkages:Hatchback/Liftgate:Lock
    Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate
    Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate:Hinge And Attachments
    Structure:Body:Hatchback/Liftgate:Support Device

    Summary: On May 30, 2008, Toyota initiated a safety recall to replace the liftgate struts in approximately 196,000 model year 2004-2006 Toyota Sienna vehicles equipped with power liftgates (recall 08V-244).the recall will provide the opportunity for vehicle owners to obtain new struts that are more robust.based on these actions, the Agency has decided to close the investigation.while Toyota has not made a decision that the recalled vehicles contain a safety-related defect, in view of the recall, further use of the Agency's resources does not appear to be warranted.the closing of this investigation does not constitute any finding by NHTSA.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.additional information can be found in the engineering analysis report.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA06020 »

  8. TIRE PRESSURE WARNING SYSTEM FAILURE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE06010

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: February 27, 2006
    • Date Closed: August 02, 2006
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Tires:Pressure Monitoring And Regulating Systems

    Summary: ODI opened PE06-010 based on 12 reports of alleged tire pressure warning system (tpws) failure on the subject vehicles.all reports alleged that the tpws warning light did not illuminate on the driver information panel when the tire pressure was low or the tire was flat.in some incidents, the consumer reported that tpws light did not illuminate when the tire pressure in 1 tire was at 15-20 psi and the other tires were at or near the recommended tire pressure.during PE06-010, additional failure data was identified as noted in the failure report summary above.as of July 25, 2006, ODI was not aware of any allegations where the alleged defect resulted in a crash, an injury, or a fatality in the subject vehicles.in addition, ODI is aware of only two incidents where a tire was reported to have caught on fire during the incident.in both incidents, fire damage was limited to the rear passenger tire and tire well and/or smoke damage to items in the vehicle.ODI's analysis showed the following:(1) the subject vehicles use an indirect tpws system with P225/60R17bridgestone B380 or dunlop sp sport 4000 dsst run flat tires(rfts). (2) there is a large variability in the pressure and driving time atwhich the tpws will trigger the tpws warning light toilluminate. (3) the tpws may not make an accurate judgment under a variety ofroad or driving conditions, including if the vehicle is drivenover 62 mph, the outside temperature is below 32 degreesfahrenheit, the tread wear is uneven, the loading is overthe limit, or the pressure of 2 or more tires drops at the sametime. (see Toyota's April 10, 2006 information request responsefor more details.) (4) some consumers reported that their tire pressure was below 15psi or even as low as 0 psi before they realized that they had atire pressure issue and as a result had to replace the tire. Note: Toyota states that if the tire pressure drops to below 15psi, the tire can not be repaired. (5) in April 2006, in response to reports of premature or uneven tirewear, Toyota issued a customer support program to providesupplemental tire warranty coverage for 2004-early 2006 mysienna vehicles with rfts. (6) field data and NHTSA testing showed that the tpws on the 2004-2005 my Toyota Sienna 2wd vehicles, which use the same tpws as the subject vehicles, but have standard tires, performed betterthan tpws on the subject vehicles.due to the following reasons, ODI has decided that further expenditure of Agency resources on this investigation is not warranted at this time: (1) only a very small percentage of tpws and tire related complaints and warranty claims cited that the tpws did not illuminate on the subject vehicle during the incident.in the remaining tire related incidents, it was not possible to determine if the tpws contributed to the tire related failure. (2) ODI is not aware of any incidents that were reported thatresulted in the driver losing vehicle control. (3) the field data did not establish a relationship between poortpws performance and tire incidents with safety consequencesaccordingly, this investigation is closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.the Agency will continue to monitor complaints and other information relating to the alleged defect in the subject vehicles and take further action in the future if warranted.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE06010 »

  9. ACCELERATOR PEDAL INTERFERENCE NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA08014

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control
    Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: In a June 25, 2008, letter responding to an information request from ODI, Toyota provided information about an accelerator pedal interference incident that occurred during production dynamometer testing at the assembly plant for an early production MY 2004 Sienna minivan.the incident was caused by a missing retaining clip that allowed the center console trim panel to interfere with (trap) the accelerator pedal after it had been depressed.Toyota subsequently implemented an 100% inspection requirement for the retaining clip.in June 2003, Toyota changed the original design of the trim panel to eliminate the potential for pedal interference in the event the retaining clip is not present.analysis of complaints and warranty data show that a few (4) incidents of interference by the trim panel have occurred in service.in at least three of the incidents, the interference occurred after service was performed that required removal and reinstallation of the subject trim panel and retaining clip. On January 14, 2009, Toyota notified ODI that they would recall subject vehicles built between January 10, 2003 and June 11, 2003, when the original design floor carpet cover was used in production (NHTSA recall no. 09V-023).Toyota's recall will instruct dealers to replace the original floor carpet cover with the newer design floor carpet (and retention clip) at no charge to the owner.the repair will reduce the potential for trim panel interference with the accelerator pedal travel should the retaining clips become missing because of improper service or other reasons.the recall will be conducted as a safety improvement campaign.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #EA08014 »

  10. ACCELERATOR PEDAL INTERFERENCE NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE08025

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: April 10, 2008
    • Date Closed: August 08, 2008
    • Recall: no recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control
    Vehicle Speed Control:Accelerator Pedal

    Summary: In a June 25, 2008, letter responding to an information request from ODI, Toyota reported an April 2003 unwanted acceleration incident that occurred during production dynamometer testing.according to the letter the incident was caused by a missing retaining clip that allowed the center console trim panel to interfere with (trap) the accelerator pedal after it had been depressed.in the aftermath, Toyota reviewed their manufacturing processes and other data and concluded this was an isolated incident.as a secondary measure in June 2003, Toyota changed the design of the trim panel to eliminate the potential for pedal interference in the event the retaining clip is not present. During a July 2008 meeting with ODI, Toyota demonstrated how an unrestrained early design level trim panel interacts with the accelerator after pedal depression.Toyota also advised that they were conducting a field survey to examine panel retention and that preliminarily one vehicle had been identified with a concern. NHTSA's Vehicle Research And Test Center is also conducting a survey of subject vehicles; preliminarily two responses allege a concern.before opening PE08-025, ODI staff also found a subject vehicle with a missing retaining clip during a field evaluation.note that ODI is no longer counting the single complaint that was in the opening resume for PE08-025 as it was determined that the vehicle involved was not equipped with the subject trim panel. PE08-025 has been upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA08-014) to gather additional information about how many subject vehicles may currently have issues with the retaining clip and assess the future risk of pedal interference incidents due to missing clips.

    NHTSA: For detailed information & supporting documents, see the official NHTSA page concerning investigation #PE08025 »

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