Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com banner

21 - 37 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
No problem. Those were in fact the same videos you posted last time. I thought you had an additional video. So you fixed it by only pushing up on the right side??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
what was the outcome of this? I have a 2016 sienna and am dealing with this exact issue. I could have written your original post myself. Maybe this is truly a defect in the vehicle. My van is currently at a dealership and I have an open case with Toyota.

So.....Toyota of North America contacted me back and said that they could find no damage to the lift gate however they still will.not cover the repair even though the car is still under the factory warranty. I am now in the process of seeking the van so that I can be done with Toyota all together. Worse customer service I have had in a long time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
what was the outcome of this? I have a 2016 sienna and am dealing with this exact issue. I could have written your original post myself. Maybe this is truly a defect in the vehicle. My van is currently at a dealership and I have an open case with Toyota.
I have an open claim and am currently pursuing this. I have gotten through the corporate and have been assigned a regional representative. This can’t be a coincidence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
The cause is “normal wear and tear” as one Toyota certified body shop said, they “fixed” the gate. When I go though a car wash it leaks in the driver side, but less then before. They have to replace a liftgate rod, because CarMax damaged it while replacing the motor, and a new hinge for the left side. All in all about $450
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
The cause is “normal wear and tear” as one Toyota certified body shop said, they “fixed” the gate. When I go though a car wash it leaks in the driver side, but less then before. They have to replace a liftgate rod, because CarMax damaged it while replacing the motor, and a new hinge for the left side. All in all about $450
[/QUO
The cause is “normal wear and tear” as one Toyota certified body shop said, they “fixed” the gate. When I go though a car wash it leaks in the driver side, but less then before. They have to replace a liftgate rod, because CarMax damaged it while replacing the motor, and a new hinge for the left side. All in all about $450
I do not believe the cause is normal wear and tear. We had a new 2015 Sienna and we experienced a severely misaligned rear lift gate with less than 10k on the vehicle. It started similar to the original poster where my wife simply opened the rear hatch and then the hatch refused to close when she tried closing it. It was severely misaligned and appeared that the left side of the door was higher than the right side . This caused the door to appear angled and the bottom left side of the door was hitting the edge of the door cutout so much that the door would not close because of this interference. She had to drive home with the lift gate up and the truck constantly beeping at her (another of our dislikes with this van was its constant and inscenstant alarms that just would never time out but that is a different story).

On my initial observation, I did not see any evidence that the hinges had moved (ie no witness marks or scrapes around the hinges where they mount to the door or to the van roof). There also was no evidence of a crash or any other damage to the van or lift gate, so it didn’t appear that anyone hit her in the parking lot while she was in the store. As I tried to open and close the lift gage, I heard interference as the lift gate reached its upper limit. This turned out to be the spoiler rubbing on the van near the center apex of the spoiler. I ultimately was able to close the door by applying sideways pressure to the door as I pushed it down. With the door finally closed we drove it to the dealer about 30 minutes away. To us this was an obvious warranty issue since we did absolutely nothing to the van and it had created this damage on its own.

This turned out to be a disaster. The dealer looked at the issue and said they’d see what they could do. They had it for 3-4 hours while I waited and ultimately told me it was a body issue and it would have to run through their body shop department which was a whole different dealership. I was confused how a body shop at this dealers Honda location was going to cover this Toyota warranty claim but he assured me they would. Since it was 4:30 on a Friday I picked up the van which they had backed up to the building (probably so I couldn’t see the rear hatch) and rushed over to the Honda dealer. They immediately said they do not do Toyota warranty work but would look at it to give me an estimate. We walked to the rear of the van and the dealer had taped the door closed so that it would remain closed. The honda employee pointed out that the bolts holding the lift door to the van had been removed except for one. They asked me why I removed them and I said you need to talk to the Toyota guys because I haven’t touched the door. She called the Toyota place and get this, they said they didn’t touch the rear lift gate on my van. That was a blatant outright lie. I told here to ask what in the world did they do to my van for the 4 hours they had it.

Obviously I was getting no where, so I took the van back home to an independent bodyshop that I trust. I should have went to them first, but this is a warranty issue and I didn’t feel that I should have to pay out of pocket for this mess. The independent body shop confirmed that the dealership had monkeyed with the door and had actually damaged the locking mechanism. They had to remove the inside rear panel so they could access the latch and manually release it for the door to even open. They also determined that the one bolt that the dealer put back in had been cross threaded and required them to retap it. Ultimately, the body shop determined that the rear lift gate was bent where the driver side hinge attaches. They were able to bend it back so that the door closed but it wasn’t perfect. They were also concerned that since the door is now fatigued in that area this is likely to happen again. So I left the independent body shop with the door semi aligned so that it at least closes but with a damaged door latch. But hey at least the dumb van wasn’t constantly beeping at us.

My next move was to go to a different Toyota dealer in a different city. I tried to explain all the steps I took and how the other dealer outright lied but that the lift gate isn’t opening. I told them the latch doesn’t release and showed them how the door was still slightly misaligned. You could tell its misaligned because the gap on driver‘s side hatch top was larger and sit higher than the passenger side. Anyways they said they would submit the claim for the hatch and it should be fixed after they receive the hatch the next day. They also asked to perform the side door recall and I said sure since it was in the shop anyways. Well, they called the next day and indicated that the van had been in some kind of accident and the rear lift gate needs replaced which wouldn’t be a warranted item. I said it wasn’t in any accident and again explained that we simply opened the door and this whole problem started. He basically said I was lying and my wife had to of done something to the door. I asked where the damage on the door or van is that shows there was an accident. They furthermore determined that the pressure switch around the edge of the door had been damaged (most likely by the Toyota dealer). He also said that the hatch would not have been covered had he found all this other damage before already replacing it. I complained to Toyota and supervisors at this second dealership but they all made me feel that I was trying to scam them and they basically said its impossible for the van to be damaged this way without being in an accident. I asked for my van back but they said the side door recall was taking longer than expected and would be done the next day. Well the next day comes and they are still struggling with the door recall. Another day comes and they explain that this is their first attempt at performing the side door recall and that basically The entire interior of the van is ripped out for them to make this change. It‘s apparently an Extremely invasive update but they have their Toyota Master Mechanic on the job. It takes them a total of 7 days to compelete this van and the side door does not function properly. I pointed out how its being sucked in too hard and they said that was normal even though the other side didn’t exhibit this. It was obvious to me that this would fail in the near future with the amount of force being applied to this side door. I asked for it to be adjusted and they said it is and nothing further can be done.

Well this totally spoiled me on Toyota, Bob Rohrman Toyota, and Kokomo Toyota. So much so, that I immediately traded this van in on a 2016 Ford expedition. The Expedition is a much different animal than the minivan and I thought I would miss the power sliding doors. But I do not miss the power doors one bit and I love the higher stance of the Expedition, the power of the expedition, and its 4 wheel drive (I had AWD on the Toyota).

In researching my toyota problem, I found that the Highlander had a similar issue but that issue related to weak hinges and the hinges would bend. Toyota admitted this problem and has a fix for it, but they do not show any interest in fixing the Toyota Sienna issue. The sienna hinges are very stout and I can see them holding steady while the sheet metal of the $5000 door bends around them.

I am not clear on what malfunction with the door. I am not sure if the latch that holds the door closed did not release but the power arm lifted. I could see this bending the lift gate because the power arm is near where the lift gate bent. Or did the power arm stop just shy of fully close but the Latch engaged drawing the door closed at the bottom but the lift arm kept the hinge side high. I’m convinced the issue occurred when the door was last closed because nothing out of the ordinary occured when the gate opened. It was as if it was bent during the last close operation (which would of happed the previous day).

In any event, we did not damage our van. The van malfunctioned resulting in damage that Toyota refused to repair. Further more, two authorized Toyota dealers outright lied and/or insinuated we were lying. My first experience with Toyota is now my LAST experience with Toyota. Same with these two dealers. They both have other brands they offer for sale and I will refuse to deal with either of these places.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Rem2- shocked by your post because the dealership I had the issues with was Bob Rohrman Toyota as well. Exact same liftgate issue. I went as far as beginning to file for lemon law when I gave one last ditch effort and took it to Lombard Toyota. They were fantastic. They were able to help determine that in fact it was a malfunction of the motor that caused the liftgate misalignment and covered the repair (totaling roughly 1200). My trunk works normally now. It was a fight initially with Rohrman and Toyota Corporate but thankfully I found some advocates in Lombard. If this continues to be an issue I see myself moving on like you! But for now with three kids under 4 I’ll keep the power doors!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Amcbride it is interesting that the dealership is so persistent to not cover this issue. I wonder if there is some sort of incentive for the dealer to deny these types of claims. Ultimately I am the customer of the dealership and I felt that they completely abandoned me and did so very quickly in the process. Their attitude showed a complete callousness towards my situation and an underhanded strategy overall. Completely disgusting and not called for. I don’t see how the dealership wins by alienating their customer by providing no support. They must be winning from Toyota’s standpoint.

It’s good to hear that you were able to resolve your situation but why must it be difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I'm glad someone mentioned the TSB that was issued for the 2nd gen Highlanders for the exact same issue. I'm familiar with this problem because we had this problem with our highlander. I noticed that our rear hatch was not aligned properly, there was a large gap on one side and it was nearly touching on the other.

I searched the web and found the TSB that covered it. The inspection procedure was to use a feeler gauge underneath the hinges and if the gap was larger than a certain amount, the hinges were bent. Toyota updated the hinges to prevent this from happening again. The repair involved replacing both of the hinges with the updated part and to also replace the entire rear lift gate!

Thankfully, our Highlander was still under warranty (Certified pre owned) so it was covered. They basically remove the hinges, lift gate and then all of the components (glass, motors, trims panels etc) to be reused. The new hatch comes unpainted so it had to go to the dealerships body shop. I want to say it took about a week for them to complete the repairs but it was all covered under warranty. I believe the bill would have been north of $5,000 if it wasn't.

Moral of the story, I wonder if the Sienna suffers from the same inadequate hinges which bend and cause damage to the lift gate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Amcbride it is interesting that the dealership is so persistent to not cover this issue. I wonder if there is some sort of incentive for the dealer to deny these types of claims. Ultimately I am the customer of the dealership and I felt that they completely abandoned me and did so very quickly in the process. Their attitude showed a complete callousness towards my situation and an underhanded strategy overall. Completely disgusting and not called for. I don’t see how the dealership wins by alienating their customer by providing no support. They must be winning from Toyota’s standpoint.

It’s good to hear that you were able to resolve your situation but why must it be difficult.
From what I've learned with talking with a few friends who have worked at a dealership is they get paid a pre-determined amount of money for each specific warranty repair based on the parts costs and what the book time calls for the repairs. If the warranty repair is over a certain dollar amount, it has to get approved by a Toyota rep before they will do the work (that was the case for our lift gate on our Highlander).

Certain warranty repairs are less "appealing" to dealership then others. An example would be a job that can never be done in the amount of time Toyota thinks it takes. The dealership ends up eating the additional labor costs. This is why they sometimes give you trouble in honoring warranty work because they know they will lose money on the job, or at least, not make as much profit.

Our Highlander had the notorious steering wheel "clunk" due to excessive play in the steering intermediate shaft. This is a known issue that Toyota has again issued a TSB for. Our local Toyota dealership fought with us for days claiming they didn't feel or hear the clunk that we did. I had to eventually speak with the service manager and explain, if my wife can hear/feel this clunk, your certified mechanics should be able to. Eventually they buckled and admitted there was a problem and replaced the part (which was again, an updated/better design).

My guess is this was another warranty repair where the dealership loses money on it so they try to get out of it as often as possible.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Hi thegripper. I do believe the Sienna suffers from a similar issue as the Highlander. There is definitely an issue where the hinges interface to the van and lift gate. I’ve never seen the hinges of the highlamder in order to compare them to the Sienna. From my understanding the Highlander hinges were bending themselves but your account that the hinges as well as the lift gate we’re replaces ears onrbto believe the hinges and the lift gate bend.

My independent body shop found damage to the lift gate where it attaches to the hinge. Basically the sheet metal on the lift gate had bent and they were forced to bend it back. Obviously this caused fatigue and they were not able to get it perfect. Perhaps the hinges were bent also contributing to this. The Sienna hinges seem very thick and not likely to bend but I’m not sure.

Regardless, Toyota and my original dealership as well as a second dealership would not admit any faulty issue at all with my liftgate and accused us of wrecking it otherwise abusing the lift gate. I believe the first dealership (Rohrman) actually further damaged the liftgate and refused to take any responsibility for that. Their words were we didn’t touch the liftgate even though they had the van in the service bay for multiple hours and all but one bolt from the hinges were remove and the liftgate was taped shut.

When this all happened I had no knowledge of the Highlander problem. I wish I had because it bolsters the argument that there is or at least could be a similar problem with the Sienna. Everyone from Toyota and both dealerships looked at me like I was crazy when I said the liftgate caused this issue. Not one of them indicated a similar problem with the Highlander.

I can understand the profitability of warranty issues playing a part in a dealerships decision, but apparently Toyota itself is not owning up to the issue. Perhaps Toyota actually approved the warranty but both dealerships lied that they didn’t in order to refuse the work. That could be a possibility because the first dealership outright lied about attempting the repair.

I’ve been meaning to post about my experience for some time. At a minimum my experience contributes to consumer community as a whole so future consumers at least have access to one more documented lift gate issue.

There was a serious problem and malfunction with my vans liftgate and apparently this has happened to others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
A friend of mine has the same issue on a 2012 Sienna, the dealer told her it needed a new hatch and it would be roughly a 3000 dollar repair. Hers does the same thing as the one that has the video posted on here. I was hoping that I might be able to figure out a cheaper fix for her, has anyone come up with any. Can the motor be disconnected and the hatch be used manually? The problem appears to be that there's only a lift motor on the left side and that puts unequal pressure on the hinges where they mount on the gate causing the left side to bend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
There has been at least one past post from an owner whose hatch door was bent when it was impeded by cargo when latching...the motorized latch mechanism that wrenches the door shut the final inch seems to be very powerful - powerful enough to bend the door when impeded by cargo.
I think our 2015 AWD Limited had such damage when we bought it in Jan 2020. Pre-purchase checkout revealed that the power rear door opened correctly via buttons in the drivers area, but wouldn't close (beeped twice) when you tried to close it. I noticed the door lined up asymetrically exactly as shown in Danielthan44's 1st video.

At the time, I thought the slightly misaligned door was related to the minor damage I noticed on the rear left bumper corner. I figured we could get a body shop to realign the door; a service record from Previous Owner from dealer said to do just that. And we didn't mind closing it manually anyway. The latch still seemed to work fine. AWDs come up for sale rarely here, sell quickly, and we otherwise really like the vehicle so we bought it.

Over the past few months, I've been trying to sort another issue that may or may not be related- battery going dead after 2 days. In past weeks, replaced battery, then alternator which also tested bad. Still have parasitic drain; independent shop ID'd the ECU-B circuit but didn't diagnose further being short-handed with C-19 and fact that ECU-B circuit is a "can of worms".

So, thinking issue with rear door sensor or power latch could be potential sources of the battery drain by not going to "sleep" properly, I took van to body shop. They noted the misalignment at the top (as shown in the video), but said they really couldn't do much to realign the door any better and could not get auto close feature to work. The hinges are welded on and therefore not easily replaceable, and they were perplexed about the misalignment at the top since the door looks pretty well aligned otherwise. In researching the issue online, they found various similar complaints (maybe this thread even) and told me to take it to the dealer and see if it was a malfunctioning safety sensor that needed to be "reprogrammed". Interestingly, they also said the misaligned door was probably not related to the ding in the bumper, they could find no damage to the bottom of the rear door indicating that an impact on the bumper pushed anything upward.

So in short, the dealer said its a body shop issue, and body shop said its a dealer issue to "reprogram the sensor".

I may consult another body shop, story seems a bit fishy to me. I found this thread, which is great intel but also seems to further complicate matters. My rear door misalignment looks exactly the same as the video. It appears the Previous Owner may have shut the door while it was impeded- there's a suspicious looking small tear in the weather stripping on the left side of the gate that I missed on previous inspections.

Another potential source of the battery drain is aftermarket trailer wiring of unknown origin, although my independent mechanic disconnected that at the battery which failed to cure the issue. The vehicle came with a kind of lame aftermarket hitch, which I plan to replace with a Draw-Tite model with better clearance.

Later this week, I'm taking the van to a different Toyota dealer, which also has an RV division, to have both the trailer wiring replaced and the rear door looked at again as part of the overall goal of finding & fixing the battery drain. I'm not expecting new trailer wiring to fix the battery drain, since it is disconnected to the battery. But it's not in good shape and needs replacement regardless. At this point I really don't care that much if the rear door power close feature doesn't work, as long as I can shut it and the dang battery will stay charged.

Wish me luck, could be a money pit...

...There is definitely an issue where the hinges interface to the van and lift gate...My independent body shop found damage to the lift gate where it attaches to the hinge. Basically the sheet metal on the lift gate had bent and they were forced to bend it back. Obviously this caused fatigue and they were not able to get it perfect. Perhaps the hinges were bent also contributing to this. The Sienna hinges seem very thick and not likely to bend but I’m not sure...There was a serious problem and malfunction with my vans liftgate and apparently this has happened to others.
This again sounds kind of like our issue.

A friend of mine has the same issue on a 2012 Sienna, the dealer told her it needed a new hatch and it would be roughly a 3000 dollar repair. Hers does the same thing as the one that has the video posted on here. I was hoping that I might be able to figure out a cheaper fix for her, has anyone come up with any. Can the motor be disconnected and the hatch be used manually? The problem appears to be that there's only a lift motor on the left side and that puts unequal pressure on the hinges where they mount on the gate causing the left side to bend.
Kind of crazy that there isn't some less expensive way to address this issue. So you get a shoe stuck in the rear door and wind up needed an entire new door? WTF?

...anyone having the same issues as the videos? thanks
Yes, as explained above. Did you ever manage to sort anything out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
this happened to my sienna...been able to solve it by adjusting / pushing the taillight housing outward...closes right up. no idea if this is with my vehicle or a common defect / solution in siennas. made a video to illustrate:

 
21 - 37 of 37 Posts
Top