The Doors, Round 3 - 2011 Toyota Sienna Long-Term Road Test

2011 Toyota Sienna Long Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (3)
  • Comparison (2)
  • Long-Term

2011 Toyota Sienna: The Doors, Round 3

December 12, 2011


As the bell rings to start Round 3 of 2011 Toyota Sienna vs. Toyota Santa Monica, let's recap the first two rounds. Josh encountered a problem with the side doors not opening properly and dropped it off at the dealer.

The techs were unable to duplicate the problem so our advisor asked to keep it overnight so her shop foreman could take a look. That was the latest, until my phone rang. It was Toyota Santa Monica...

TSM: Your van is ready to pick up. We were unable to duplicate your concern.

Me: Josh was able to get the door to fail in front of you when he droped it off. Was that not enough for you to go on?

TSM: There isn't a problem. We tried it numerous times. I kept it overnight so my foreman could try it also. Nothing is failing.

Me: It did fail. You just weren't able to duplicate it. Is that what you're saying?

TSM: We tried numerous times. It is not failing. We also checked TSBs and your VIN does not fall into any TSB.

Me: I'm looking at a TSB now, which I believe Josh also mentioned to you. It is TSB 0044-11 and it addresses abnormal door operation.

TSM: Yes, but your VIN doesn't fall into that TSB.

Me: But there is a problem. And we are experiencing the same symptoms. Isn't that evidence enough to treat it along the lines of this TSB?

TSM: It doesn't apply to your VIN. Believe me, if there was something wrong we would fix it. We don't get paid unless we fix something.

Me: Believe me, we wouldn't waste our time dropping off the car and researching TSBs if there wasn't a problem. This is going nowhere. We are coming to get our van.

The day after this extended and frustrating conversation my phone rang again. I didn't recognize the number so I let it go to voicemail.

TSM: Hey Mike, this is Sam calling from Toyota Santa Monica. I believe you had come in and spoke to Katie. I got a word from Toyota for a TSB on the exact same problem so I wanted to get back to you and let you know what was going on. We actually went ahead and ordered a part for you already. It's all under warranty. Give me a call and I can fill you in on the details.

Two questions came to mind. First, who is Sam and why is he now involved? And second, do we take it back or go elsewhere?

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 21,390 miles

* And for reference, the TSB cited:

T-SB-0044-11: 2011 Sienna Power Slide Door Abnormal Operation

Some 2011 model year Sienna vehicles may exhibit an abnormal power slide door operation. This bulletin contains field fix information for the following conditions:

- Driver or passenger side power sliding door opens partially.
- Driver or passenger side power sliding door makes an abnormal pop noise when initially opening with the outside handle.

Please refer to the video below for an example of the pop noise.
Slide Door Pop Noise Example [The example video is on TIS, and is not publicly accessible.]
An updated power sliding door motor/ECU assembly is available. Please follow the steps outlined in this bulletin to address these conditions.
Production Change Information

This TSB applies to 2011 Sienna vehicles produced BEFORE the Production Change Effective VINs shown [in the TSB table].


  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (3)
  • Comparison (2)
  • Long-Term

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests