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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

I'm not surprised that a dealer would be unable to proceed with a Toyota-paid replacement - although of course an inspection can be done at any time - because without some official notification the conditions and procedures for coverage under the campaign will not be known. I've been through this with the first-year issues, and it just means waiting until the information has been distributed.

The official Toyota Canada online notice: Vehicle Safety Information > Spare Tire Carrier Assembly (links may or may not work, due to Toyota Canada's annoying web server system, which bizarrely appears to use Apple's WebObjects).

A year or two ago my spare tire winch was in fine shape. I plan to check it again; if it does not show any problems I am hesitant to let the dealership at it (based on previous dealership experiences). Maybe this is the test work to weed out dealership number 4, or their chance to prove they can pull of two visits (I've been there once) without messing up. Do you think they would use an impact wrench to spin it down and back up?
 

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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

In the spirit of [brian]'s helpful lead up above for Canada, here is the OFFICIAL US-version of the announcement (which is very similar to the previously noted public newsmedia announcements found back at the top of Page 1 for this topic/thread).

YMMV
Good Luck!! 8)
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http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota/toyota-to-begin-voluntary-safety-157049.aspx

http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota/customer-faqs-for-1998-2010-sienna-157060.aspx
(FAQs -- also provided further down below)

Toyota to Begin Voluntary Safety Recall on Certain 1998-2010 Model Year Siennas to Address Potential Corrosion on Spare Tire Cable

First- and Second-Generation Siennas In Cold Climate Areas with High Road Salt Use May Exhibit Condition

TORRANCE, Calif., April 16, 2010 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced that it will launch a voluntary Safety Recall involving approximately 600,000 first- and second-generation Sienna 2WD minivans sold in the United States to address potential corrosion in the spare tire carrier cable.

This condition may appear on certain 1998 through 2010 model year Siennas that have been operated in cold climate areas with high road salt use. Continued prolonged exposure to road salts may cause excessive corrosion of the carrier cable in some of these vehicles. In the worst case, the carrier cable may fail and the spare tire could become separated from the vehicle, a road hazard for following vehicles that increases the likelihood of a crash.

Toyota is currently working to develop a remedy for this condition. Until this remedy is developed, customers will receive an interim notice instructing them to bring their vehicle to a dealership for a preliminary inspection.

Once the remedy has been developed, customers will receive a secondary notice advising the customer of the remedy availability.

Steve St. Angelo, Toyota Chief Quality Officer for North America, said: “Toyota is listening to its customers attentively, and we want to make sure their voices are heard. As part of that commitment, we are providing free inspections of the spare tire carrier cable even in states that are not included in this recall. We are also working diligently to develop a remedy as soon as possible.”

In addition to the District of Columbia, vehicles originally sold or currently registered in the following cold climate states with high road salt usage are covered by this recall: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Owners of vehicles in other states will receive a separate Special Service Campaign notification that includes details on how to obtain an inspection if they desire. Toyota will perform the same inspection and repair for those vehicles at no charge. The inspection will take approximately 30 minutes depending on the dealer’s work schedule.

Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Toyota Motor Sales, Corporate Communications
(310) 468-5297

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Customer FAQs for 1998-2010 Toyota Sienna Recall

1. Which models are affected by the recall?

The recall includes certain 1998 through 2010 model year Sienna 2WD vehicles equipped with a spare tire and operated in cold climate areas with high road salt use.

In addition to the District of Columbia, vehicles currently registered in the following cold climate states with high road salt usage are covered by this recall: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

2. What prompted Toyota to take this action?

The corrosion resistance of the spare tire carrier cable is insufficient when vehicles are operated in areas where a large amount of road salt is applied. In the worst case, the carrier cable may fail and the spare tire could become separated from the vehicle, a road hazard for following vehicles.

3. Are there any other Toyota or Lexus vehicles involved?

No, this specific condition only affects certain 1998 through 2010 model year Toyota Sienna 2WD vehicles equipped with a spare tire.

4. What is Toyota going to do to fix this problem?

Toyota is currently working to develop a remedy for this condition. Until this remedy is developed, customers will receive an interim notice instructing them to bring their vehicle to a dealership for a preliminary inspection. Once the remedy has been developed, customers will receive a secondary notice advising the customer of the remedy availability.

5. What if I am an owner of one of the affected vehicles but don’t live in one of the states covered by this recall?

Owners of subject vehicles in other states will receive a separate Special Service Campaign notification including details on how to obtain an inspection if they desire. Toyota will perform the same inspection and repair for those vehicles at no charge.

6. How long will it take for a dealer to repair my automobile?

Inspection of the vehicle will take approximately 30 minutes, depending on the dealer’s work schedule.

7. Is the repair covered by warranty? Will I have to pay any money out of pocket for this repair?

Toyota will perform the inspection and repair at no charge.

8. What should an owner do if they experience the condition, or have immediate concerns about their vehicle?

If an owner has any immediate concerns they are requested to contact their local Toyota dealer for a diagnosis and, if applicable, necessary repair.

9. What if I previously paid to replace the vehicle’s spare tire carrier to correct this specific condition?

If a customer has previously paid to replace the spare tire carrier cable for this specific condition prior to receiving a letter, the customer should mail a copy of their repair order, proof-of-payment, and proof-of-ownership to the following address for reimbursement consideration:

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc
Toyota Customer Experience, WC 10
19001 South Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90509

10. What should I do if I still have questions or concerns?

If you still have questions or concerns that have not been addressed here, please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

The Toyota Customer Experience Center hours are:
Mon - Fri, 5:00 am - 6:00 pm PST
Sat, 7:00 am - 4:00 pm PST

# # #
 

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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

brian_bp said:
I'm not surprised that a dealer would be unable to proceed with a Toyota-paid replacement - although of course an inspection can be done at any time - because without some official notification the conditions and procedures for coverage under the campaign will not be known. I've been through this with the first-year issues, and it just means waiting until the information has been distributed.
From what they told me there is no fix at this time. I think it is too new to have a solution. Here is my take on this. OK we have a cable that is exposed to the elements (road salt/sea salt?) whatever. Cables fray.

I think the new system will have a cable with plastic or rubber coating on it, something that is sealed to prevent this from doing this again.

When my sienna was in the shop I had a look at the 2011 system as a tech was doing a PDI (pre delivery inspection) The 2011 has an rubber coating on the cable. So I am thinking that all the sienna's in the recall/campain will have this new set-up.

*fasten your seatbelt* It may take a while to have it replaced. Just guessing of course.
 

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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

I wonder what the cost of 3' of stainless steel aircraft cable and an aluminum crimp could possibly cost. Bought in bulk, probably less than $1/ unit repaired. The labor will be what costs them.

robo5 said:
brian_bp said:
I'm not surprised that a dealer would be unable to proceed with a Toyota-paid replacement - although of course an inspection can be done at any time - because without some official notification the conditions and procedures for coverage under the campaign will not be known. I've been through this with the first-year issues, and it just means waiting until the information has been distributed.
From what they told me there is no fix at this time. I think it is too new to have a solution. Here is my take on this. OK we have a cable that is exposed to the elements (road salt/sea salt?) whatever. Cables fray.

I think the new system will have a cable with plastic or rubber coating on it, something that is sealed to prevent this from doing this again.

When my sienna was in the shop I had a look at the 2011 system as a tech was doing a PDI (pre delivery inspection) The 2011 has an rubber coating on the cable. So I am thinking that all the sienna's in the recall/campain will have this new set-up.

*fasten your seatbelt* It may take a while to have it replaced. Just guessing of course.
 

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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

Ok this is probably a dumb question but how does Toyota know who to send the recall notices to? We just bought our Sienna used from a non-Toyota dealer. Does Toyota search state vehicle registrations for Sienna VINs and mail notices to the addressees? Or is it up to us to notify Toyota that we're the owners of an affected Sienna?
 

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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

PeteF said:
Ok this is probably a dumb question but how does Toyota know who to send the recall notices to? We just bought our Sienna used from a non-Toyota dealer. Does Toyota search state vehicle registrations for Sienna VINs and mail notices to the addressees? Or is it up to us to notify Toyota that we're the owners of an affected Sienna?
That's a common challenge for the industry. It seems unreasonable to me - and maybe to legally impractical - to repeatedly fish for owners in registration records. It is up to the new owner to notify the manufacturer. Sometimes that happens when the owner takes the vehicle in for any service at a dealership, but in many cases it doesn't happen at all, which is why publication of recalls is useful.

Registering in the web sites for owners (Club Toyota for Toyota Canada and Toyota Owners Online for the U.S.) is one way both to notify Toyota that you are the owner, and to see service records and other information for the vehicle.
 

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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

I just logged into Club Toyota (as part of my previous response), and the Campaigns button leads to this message:
Club Toyota said:
It appears that your vehicle (5TDZA23C34S******) may be affected by a campaign. Please contact your dealer for details.
(No, the VIN doesn't really have asterisks in it - that's just my censoring.)

I called "my dealer" (the last dealership to do any service on our Sienna) and was told the same thing that Toyota Canada says on their website: they will do inspections now, and will follow up when a fix has been published. I was told to expect a notification by mail, plus by e-mail (presumably only if I have registered with them), when it has been published; they also said that the dealership would be phoning owners.

By the way, the dealership found me by my phone number, because they have me and our Sienna in their records from the one service which I had them do.

In my opinion, everything related to this recall is working just fine.
 

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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

Thanks a bunch Brian_bp, that looks extremely helpful. I'll look into it.
 

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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

brian_bp said:
By the way, the dealership found me by my phone number, because they have me and our Sienna in their records from the one service which I had them do.

In my opinion, everything related to this recall is working just fine.
It is to my understanding that you have to inquire about the recall/campain at this time? I could be wrong. I agree the recall is just an improvement to the sienna and is working fine.
 

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Re: Toyota to recall 600,000 Sienna minivans

robo5 said:
It is to my understanding that you have to inquire about the recall/campain at this time?
Yes, my understanding is that the mailing campaign is just starting, so to get information so far the owner would need to have initiated the process with an enquiry; however, Toyota is starting (this month) to mail out notices (without the owner initiating contact) even before there is a solution defined. Certainly this has been my experience - we are registered with Toyota (via our original purchase and Club Toyota), and we get both mailed and e-mail notifications, but I had to enquire to be given information about the spare tire carrier.
 

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As part of your regular maintenance routine, at every oil change the spare should be lowered and the air pressure checked. When you do this, at every 4th or 5th oil change I would advise putting a LIGHT coating of petroleum based grease (not lithium grease, Vaseline would work) on the cable and a dob of grease on the end where it is failing. The grease will prevent it from ever rusting. I would be willing to bet that Toyota will add this procedure to their recommended scheduled maintenance.
 

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wag said:
As part of your regular maintenance routine, at every oil change the spare should be lowered and the air pressure checked. When you do this, at every 4th or 5th oil change I would advise putting a LIGHT coating of petroleum based automotive grease on the cable and a dob of grease on the end where it is failing. The grease will prevent it from ever rusting.
The regular procedure seems reasonable (although I'll admit that I don't actually do anything like this), and the occasional lubrication procedure makes sense as well.

wag said:
I would be willing to bet that Toyota will add this procedure to their recommended scheduled maintenance.
I wouldn't bet a nickel that any dealership I've dealt with would do any of this, regardless of what the published procedure says. In some cases they don't even check fluid levels (such as coolant), so why would they do work that likely won't be noticed by the customer?
 

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I had to bring my Sienna in for something else. While there, I asked them to check the spare tire cable. This time they were very cooperative. BTW... it was fine.
 

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Received my recall notice for my 08 regarding the spare tire and everyone is right there is no fix for it if it is rusted and deemed unsafe they will put it the luggage compartment in the van javascript:void(0);until a permanent fix is provided .What would happen if there would be an accident and that spare tire which was in the back came flying forward ? Nothing good I am sure !
 

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Update : Spare tire cable was fine left it in its place under the van.
 

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My '08 was checked last month, and they put the tire in the back. Frankly, I'm pretty annoyed that they have not gotten a solution in place. I did not purchase a van with a spare tire in the back compartment -- I'd like to use the space and be able to fold my rear seats down.

Has anyone gotten an official Toyota "solution" yet?
 

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OK...This spare tire cable recall/inspection is getting to be a joke.
Letter came out in late May, my cable failed inspection. I have been driving around with the spare tire in the passenger compartment for almost 4 months. Still no solution.
For comparison:
The P-51 Mustang fighter was designed and built in just over 4 months during WW2. Without using any modern computer aided design tools.
What's up with Toyota. Jeez guys...
 

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I think it's ridiculous too. Why can't they just replace the cable? I don't think strapping it to the inside of the van is the proper solution. If I had bought the van with the spare originally in the interior then that'd be one thing. I didn't buy a van with the spare there. So it should be put back where it was designed to go. Replace the cable. Too expensive labor wise? Too bad, that's not our fault Toyota chose a cheap steel cable they should do the right thing.
 

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rhildesh said:
For comparison:
The P-51 Mustang fighter was designed and built in just over 4 months during WW2. Without using any modern computer aided design tools.
While I agree that the handling of spare tire carrier issue could be better (although I would not have to live with the business consequences of any other approach, so my armchair business manager opinion is irrelevant), I think the comparison with a warplane is not applicable. No matter what the flaws or costs of the P-51, no one was going to sue North American over it, no one had to manage a relationship with millions of consumers, and a warplane manufacturer had no financial issues during a war. Times have also changed: aside from not being in the ramp-up of a world war, the standards for aircraft design and military procurement no longer permit such rapid development, and the current state-of-the-art fighter (the F-35 Lightning II) has been in development for fourteen years. Okay, a spare tire carrier is not a stealth multirole fighter, but the F-35 example does illustrate that some things in the world are not as simple as they were.

Besides, if the P-51 Mustang Wikipedia entry is to be believed, the design (actually only a further development of an existing aircraft) may have taken only 117 days but it took another year or more to actually get one in service and about eight more variations of the design to fully develop it.
 
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