really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,583 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.

2008 Toyota Sienna electrical problems

electrical problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Toyota Sienna:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Toyota Sienna Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #31

Dec 222016


  • 154,000 miles


Powered passenger doors on both sides of the van malfunctioned and then cable system broke and locked the doors in the closed position. This happened one after the other in about a three-week period. The cable is clearly rusted and shredded on the one side. I cannot tell why the cable pulled out and stopped working on the other side. As I Transport 3 or more children at a time, it is a huge safety issue that the only way out of the car in case of emergency is through one of the front doors or the back trunk hatch. I have owned this vehicle since it was new and I am told this is out of warranty/isn't covered and will cost at least $6,000 to fix. I cannot drive the vehicle like this and I can't afford to fix it. I am apparently not the only one who's had this problem with the van, yet Toyota is doing nothing about it for their customers.

- Hubertus, WI, USA

problem #30

Oct 082016


  • 67,700 miles
My Toyota seinna 2008, has been locking and unlocking while driving....for the past few months in 2016 my sliding doors and front passenger door lock up and will not unlock with my remote or any other way...I can unlock the front passenger door with a key, but there is no way to unlock the sliding doors...recently I had two friends riding with me...we got to our destination and I got out tried to unlock sliding doors with my remote, they did not unlock...my friend sitting in the second row seating could not get out.she is handicapped....I had to crawl through the rear door and help her up out of her seat and then carefully crawl on the floor of the van to the rear door and climb out.this is truly a safety hazard and cannot be dismissed....sometimes the doors will unlock and sometimes they won't.....so when I take it to the Toyota dealer it always seems to work for them......my van runs well and I have no other problems with it.I feel if the Toyota manufacturer can design computerized doors then they have to have a way to find and fix the problem.my first thought is, why did they not design key access to these sliding doors ? something has to be done to correct this problem.

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #29

Aug 232016


  • 63,000 miles
Driver's side passenger power sliding door. Cable broke. Unknown cause. Appears the cable snapped off with a clean break. The power sliding door is not useable and not safe. Bought the van used this April 2016 with 54000 miles put 7000 more miles on it and I have no warranty and looking at repairs between $1500 - $3000. Vehicle was stationary and parked in driveway when cable broke. Heard grinding sound and internal parts falling to the bottom inside the van and the is door bound shut won't open and not working.

- Boyertown, PA, USA

problem #28

Jul 092016


  • 76,000 miles


Passenger rear power sliding door. Cable broke. Known problem. Not safe and not convenient. $1300 just for part and $2000 repair. Probably driver side will be next. 76000 miles and garage kept. Why no help from Toyota? vehicle was stationary when cable broke. Heard grinding sound, then door bound, now not working

- Latrobe, PA, USA

problem #27

Apr 112016


  • 139,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that when the air conditioner was activated, hot air circulated throughout the air vents. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where freon was added, but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back where it was diagnosed that the air conditioner O rings needed to be replaced due to a leak. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 139,000.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #26

Mar 012016


  • 96,755 miles
Sliding door on our 2008 Sienna stopped opening or closing. We can not get in our get out off the car on driver side. We are glad it happened on parked position. It is not working electrical or manual mode. Toyota is asking about $1600-3000 for repair. We are trying to use the van with one sliding door and it is nor practical or safe.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #25

Nov 152015


  • 90,000 miles


Purchased 2008 Toyota Sienna new in August 2008. In November 2015 (90,000 miles) with vehicle parked, when opening the passenger side power sliding door, the cable snapped, binding the powered door's electric motor, and causing the door to be "locked in place" about 6 inches open. Went to driver side power sliding door, opened, children entered passenger compartment, and upon closing door this cable snapped, but didn't bind electric motor until the door had fully closed, causing the door to be "locked in place" in the closed position. Traveled home and children exited vehicle through front driver and passenger doors. The cables were cut between the electric door motor and the "C post" to get the doors "unlocked" and allow for manual operation. Examination of snapped cables revealed removal of cable insulation (likely due to friction/abrasion), which exposed the stranded metal cable to the environment, causing severe corrosion and eventual failure of the metal cable. Online research revealed many other 2008 and newer Toyota Sienna owners have had similar problems, to the point where a facebook page has been created regarding the issue https://www.facebook.com/Toyota-Sienna-faulty-power-sliding-doors-233250320033754/. further research revealed that Toyota has a warranty enhancement for this problem (no: Pol12-02), but it only applies to 2004-2007 model years. Whatever corrective action was taken by Toyota beginning in 2008 obviously has not remedied the problem. The power sliding door assembly required to repair these doors costs $500 per door (part numbers 69631-08030 and 69641-08030). To have a dealer make this repair costs $1,000 per door ($500 for the part and $500 for labor).

- Crest Hill, IL, USA

problem #24

Jan 192016


  • miles
While passenger side visor is down smoke starts pouring out from under the head liner. When the visor is placed back in the closed position smoke clears out and stops. Per the mechanic, a short in the electrical system has resulted in a melted electrical board and the entire head liner and electrical board needs to be replaced. The visor can not be used or the short may start a fire inside the vehicle. The vehicle was in motion when this occurred. Van filled with smoke quickly. Had to pull over and open doors to clear the smoke.

- Morganton, NC, USA

problem #23

Jun 162015


  • 64,000 miles
My passenger side power sliding door mechanism is broken on our 2008 Sienna with 68,000 miles. The mechanism uses and electric motor and cable assembly to open and close the door. The cable has broken so power functions are gone and manual function is hindered from broken cable interfering. Toyota has extended the warranty for 2004-07 Sienna's with the same problem with the same part and part number? a internet search reveals this is a common problem and can affect the proper latching of the sliding door.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #22

Dec 212015


  • 100,000 miles
The power sliding door fails. It has to be opened and closed manually. This is a common problem for this model.

- Concord, NH, USA

problem #21

Nov 232015


  • 82,950 miles


Rubber on rear hatch handle has become soft and pliable. This started in 2013 and while being an inconvenience because the rubber blackened your fingers caused no danger. Yesterday morning it was 31 degrees in atlanta and when I tried to open the rear hatch the rubber was hard and would not open the hatch. This could be a serious problem if in cold weather the vehicle was in an accident and the only access to the passenger compartment was through the rear hatch. Toyota should recall or at their expense repair the vehicles with defective handles.

- Lilburn, GA, USA

problem #20

Dec 152008


  • 5,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving at 10 mph, the passenger side sliding door opened independently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was repaired, but the failure recurred several times. The details of the repairs were unknown. The vehicles passenger side sliding door also opened independently when parked and failed to close. In addition, the door ajar warning light illuminated. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 5,000. Updated 2/4/16.....updated 02/10/16

- Rancho Cordova, CA, USA

problem #19

Jan 042012


  • 61,637 miles
That was around 2012 new year time when I, my wife and my kid visited our friend at atlanta, ga. We drove our van on interstate highway I-75, in the middle of our trip, our van started shaking vigorously. I felt that was from engine, it forced me to stop on the side of I-75. After a while we restarted our van, we could only drive for < 65 miles/hour. Any acceleration resulted in vigorous shaking. After we came home I drove my van to an auto service center, and was checked. It turned out that 3 ignition coils, spark plugs, and manifold gasket had to be replaced. Yesterday (9/10/2015) the same problem happened again.

- Estero, FL, USA

problem #18

Feb 062015


  • 103,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. When the vehicle was started, the power sliding door on the passenger side failed and would not open. The contact stated that the door could be opened manually with force. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the power door cable needed to be replaced. The failure recurred with the driver side power sliding door also; however, the door could not be opened at all. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 103,000.

- Pittsburg, PA, USA

problem #17

Oct 012014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 108,500 miles
Passenger side power slide door does not work by pressing the button on the central console, on the side of door or the key fob. The slide doors do work by pulling the handles from the outsides. I was told this was the override procedure. This is a big concern with this being a family vehicle.

- Zebulon, NC, USA

problem #16

Jan 152015

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 72,465 miles
I was getting things out of back with power lift gate up. While leaning in vehicle the power lift gate came down without warning and caught me. It did not continue to crush me but it did not reverse so I had to use a pretty good force to push it up (my wife probably would not have been able to do it). It did it a second time a week or so later. When I took it to Toyota they said the struts were bad and replaced them. When I asked why there was no warning they just shrugged their shoulders and said do not know and insinuated they would not know what to do so it would not happen again without warning. How was I to know the struts were bad since it is a power lift gate had been working just fine? it seems to me if this is not something Toyota can fix so it cannot come down without warning they at least need to install warning labels in an obvious place that the lift gate can close without warning. I really think my wife would not been able to push it up as I did. She would have needed assistance.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #15

Jan 022015

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
Both power slide doors do not work by pressing the buttons on the central console nor on the side of doors. It first happened on the left door and then happened on the right door recently. The slide doors do work by pulling the handles from the outside. The failure post a serious safety concern that if the vehicle involved in an accident, the passengers in the 2nd and 3rd rows will not be able to leave the vehicle quickly without the immediately help from the outside, especially for the minors and disables.

- Wayland, MA, USA

problem #14

Dec 042014


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that the rear hatch door sensor malfunctioned and failed to recognize when someone was within the entry of the hatch. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #13

Oct 272014


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that the sliding doors cable fractured causing the automatic opening and closing of the door to fail. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 112,000.

- Princeton, MA, USA

problem #12

Aug 152014

Sienna 6-cyl

  • 69,556 miles
The passenger side automatic door cable snapped. The car is only 6 years old. I did some research on the internet and there are widespread reports of this being a common design flaw with Toyota Sienna automatic doors. I called the dealership and they indicated it was $1600 to repair the cable. That is outrageous! I wrote to Toyota through their customer support site inquiring about an extended warranty I read about regarding this issue, however they opted to ignore me and not respond.

- Racine, WI, USA

Read the next 11 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?