— Toyota is recalling about 834,000 Sienna minivans to make sure the sliding doors don't open while the minivans are in motion.
Toyota says about 744,000 of the 2011-2016 Sienna minivans are in the U.S. and the rest are spread out in North America. All need repairs, but the automaker currently doesn't know how to fix the problem.
That problem involves sliding doors with motor circuits that can become overloaded, causing the fuse to open. With an open fuse, the door could open while driving if the door latch is in an unlatched position.
In January 2014, Toyota received a dealer report indicating the left side sliding door would not close properly in a 2014 Sienna. During the inspection by the dealer, it was found the fuse for the sliding door motor had activated. It was also confirmed the door cable was not attached to the latch mechanism in the front lock assembly and the cable end was bent.
Between February 2014 and mid-April, 2015, Toyota received an additional four reports indicating that a sliding door would not close/latch properly and the fuse for the sliding door motor had activated. An inspection of these vehicles and investigation of the recovered parts found binding in the rear lock mechanism of some vehicles possibly caused by corrosion or debris in the rear lock.
It was found that complaints of difficulty in proper closing of the sliding door related to an activated door motor fuse increased during the winter season and were concentrated in cold climate areas.
It was determined under certain limited conditions which impede the opening of the door, such as when the door becomes frozen with ice, the sliding door motor could stall when the door is operated. This could generate high current in the door motor circuit and result in the operation of the fuse for the door motor.
If the fuse is activated with the sliding door latch mechanism in an unlatched position, the door may not close properly if opened, and in limited circumstances, could open while driving.
The automaker will start mailing notices to Sienna owners on January 21, 2017, but since Toyota doesn't know how to fix the problem, a second notice will be mailed once a remedy is in place.
If you own a 2011-2016 Toyota Sienna minivan and have questions, call the automaker at 800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is G04.
Read owner-reported complaints about Toyota Sienna minivans: