Automatic Transmission Problems of Toyota Sienna - part 1

Toyota Sienna owners have reported 120 problems related to automatic transmission (under the power train category). The most recently reported issues are listed below. Also please check out the statistics and reliability analysis of Toyota Sienna based on all problems reported for the Sienna.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2008 Toyota Sienna 1
Failure Date: 07/13/2011

My 2008 Sienna hesitates when gas pedal is pressed after slowing down. The engine revs fast (engine is loud) but car does not respond accordingly by moving ahead until a couple of seconds later. Usually I would release the gas pedal to prevent the engine rev from going very high. This happens intermittently. Dealer could not replicate the problem and service manager explained that was probably caused by a delay in trying to get the correct shift. There was no TSB on the problem according to the manager.

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car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2004 Toyota Sienna 2
Failure Date: 01/15/2011

The contact owns 2004 Toyota Sienna. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, the vehicle would not accelerate further. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, where the technicians stated that the transmission fluid needed to be flushed and recalibrated. After the repairs, the failure continued. The vehicle was taken to the dealer a second time and the technicians stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

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car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2008 Toyota Sienna 3
Failure Date: 12/31/2010

Upon accelerating between first and second gear (7-15) miles an hour, especially after breaking, the vehicle hesitates as if it was in neutral. The rpm's go up but the car does not move. This mainly happens when making a right hand turn when not fully stopping. I also have had it happen when making a left hand turn going across traffic trying to get across the intersection. I have taken this vehicle in numerous times and the problem has never been reproduced by the service tech. I have taken them out on a drive along only to not reproduce it also. This is my main vehicle I drive my four children around in and I would hate to have this issue occur when I really need to accelerate and cause an accident. Apparently, I am not the only individual who owns this vehicle that had witnessed this hesitation problem. I believe this problem warrants further investigation and a possible recall/fix. This happens almost ever time I drive this vehicle.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2011 Toyota Sienna 4
Failure Date: 11/01/2010

The contact owns a 2011 Toyota Sienna. While driving at any speed, the contact noticed that the vehicle would switch to third gear without warning intermittently, make a loud noise, and three alerts would illuminate on the instrument panel; these lights were a skidding signal, exclamation mark, and a signal that advises the contact to notify the dealer. When attempting to drive beyond 55 mph, the rpm meter moved to the red zone and made a loud noise. The dealer made two attempts to diagnose the failure. The contact was unable to say what the dealer did when the vehicle was taken in; however the problem occurred the next day after the vehicle was returned to the contact from the dealer. The contact did not inform the manufacturer nor was the vehicle repaired. The current mileage was approximately 2,400. The failure mileage was approximately 300.

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car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2006 Toyota Sienna 5
Failure Date: 10/09/2010

The contact owns a 2006 Toyota Sienna. While driving 60 mph, the vehicle lost power. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was diagnosed at the transmission. The dealer advised the contact that the transmission would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and advised that they could assist with one half of the repair costs. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 65,000.

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car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2010 Toyota Sienna 6
Failure Date: 08/19/2010

2010 Toyota Sienna : when driving, the slightest touch of the gear shifter causes a shift into neutral. The gear shifter is extremely (and possibly dangerously?) sensitive.

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car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2002 Toyota Sienna 7
Failure Date: 08/15/2010

On August 15, 2010 with the 2002 Toyota Sienna in park and with no key in the steering wheel a two year old was able to remove the gear shift from park allowing the vehicle to begin to move backwards. Several people were close by and were able to stop the vehicle which was backing up. Adults then checked the vehicle and in fact were able to move the shifter from park into gear (without the key in its ignition). On August 16 the vehicle was taken to the dealer who confirmed -"customer states the shifter comes out of park without the key in the ignition. Confirmed customer concern. Found shifter cable worn and in need of adjustment. ".

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car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2008 Toyota Sienna 8
Failure Date: 07/22/2010

Pulled into parking space and vehicle suddenly accelerated and hopped onto curb and ran into pillar at a restaurant. Luckily nobody was eating on the sidewalk where van ended up. Placed vehicle into park and removed foot from brake and vehicle continued to lunge forward. Immediately hit brakes again and a bystander came to determine what was wrong. Talking to bystander to determine what happened, I took my foot off brake again and vehicle lunged forward (while still in park). Decided to shut vehicle off and have it towed to a dealership. I am awaiting a call from Toyota customer experience center to setup an inspection, however I went to dealership to pick up some things out of the car. I instructed the service agent that the van was not to be driven until the Toyota customer experience center inspector had a chance to look at the van with all parties. Next thing I know the service agent had pulled the van into the service bay for me to grab my belongings out of. I hope this did not ruin any data in the computer about what happened in the parking lot.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2004 Toyota Sienna 9
Failure Date: 07/15/2010

A 7-year old boy was climbing from the back seat to the drivers seat of a 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan. He was the only person in the van at the time, the van was not running, there were no keys in the ignition. . Yet somehow, the van's transmission was taken out of park and put into gear. As the parking brake was not set, the van rolled backwards down the driveway, through a fence and into a ravine with the child inside. The child also used the steering wheel during the event (which should not be possible). No one was hurt, but damage to the vehicle and the property is extensive. It is unclear as to why the transmission and steering column lock failed on this van or if this is an isolated defect. After the accident, the transmission lock appears to be working normally.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2003 Toyota Sienna 10
Failure Date: 06/24/2010

While I was fully stopped, with my foot on the brake, my 2003 Toyota Sienna unexpectedly and suddenly accelerated.

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car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2008 Toyota Sienna 11
Failure Date: 06/14/2010

The transmission does not respond to get the car into the first or lowest gear when pressing on accelerator if you do not come to a complete full stop at an intersection. It also appears that prior braking or slowing the vehicle as you come to a stop affects how the car shifts into gears and could be why it hesitates or hangs in no gear while trying to accelerate through an intersection or stop. This problem occurs at least 90% of the time. The response from the transmission while accelerating in these situations warrants a replacement or adjustment.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2007 Toyota Sienna 12
Failure Date: 06/12/2010

The transmission was doing what felt like "neutral drops" at low speeds, where I would shift into drive, get the "clunk" that I normally associate with the transmission dropping into first, then depress the gas slightly to start moving. The problem is that the engine would rev suddenly, and then catch first, which as you know, causes a sudden lurch of the entire vehicle since the engine had been revving just before it caught. It would also occasionally just "lose" the gear while driving at low speeds. On 6/12/2010 the transmission went out on me while I was driving home (with my family) on the fwy (north 5) from legoland. I have to across 5 lanes to get to the shoulder. I got the van brand new on 3/28/2007 (w/only3 miles on the van) from carson Toyota, CA. . . I paid $28000 w/package3 (out the door price). . . As of 6/12/2010 the van has under 14,000miles. The Toyota dealer replaced the transmission with no charge (still under powertrain warranty). Transmissions aren't supposed to go out that quickly, it definitely seems to be a quality control issue. Under 14,000 miles there has been no service due so it's not a matter of missing scheduled maintenance. This is obviously a very valid safety concern.

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car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2004 Toyota Sienna 13
Failure Date: 05/01/2010

While merging onto a hwy I was leaned forward looking through the side rear view mirror with my right hand beside the seat hanging down. I raised my hand to place it on the steering wheel and my fingers caught on the shifter. The gear shift slid without resistance into reverse and the transmission shifted to reverse and started trying to go backwards. The transmission is completely wrecked and needs to be replaced. No injuries or damage to other vehicles but was a very close call as a friend was in his truck behind us and almost collided.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2008 Toyota Sienna 14
Failure Date: 04/28/2010

2008 Toyota Sienna acceleration hesitation this minivan hesitates from driver acceleration for 1-2 seconds intermittently at very low speeds. However, the problem can be reproduced very easily by making a corner turn at low speed, and increasing acceleration after the turn. The minivan will not respond for 1-2 seconds before 'jumping' into the acceleration. The biggest safety issue with this is a left turn across an oncoming lane of traffic (similar to a corner turn). If I am coasting to the intersection for the turn, the minivan does not respond to the driver input for acceleration to get out of the way of the oncoming car (until through the intersection). Knowing this defect, I compensate for it, but an unsuspecting driver could have an accident with this defect.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2004 Toyota Sienna 15
Failure Date: 02/19/2010

I have a 2004 Toyota Sienna, with only 70,000 miles. I suddenly and intermittently lost power steering. It was not total loss--that I could have handled, but it would come and go, even within a single turn. When I turned the wheel, I could not predict how the car would respond. No accident, fortunately, but a couple of close calls. I drove immediately to a t dealer, and they diagnosed a failed u joint and replaced it today. There had been no prior signs of u joint failure. I wanted to submit this in case others are experiencing similar issues. Otherwise, I just consider it an isolated case. Thanks.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2004 Toyota Sienna 16
Failure Date: 01/08/2010

2004 Toyota Sienna xle . When accelerating the van hesitates. Have to press the accelerator harder to force a hard downshift. This is very dangerous when a predictable acceleration is needed specially merging highway.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2009 Toyota Sienna 17
Failure Date: 11/17/2009

Our 2009 Sienna may have had a sudden acceleration problem. When the car was put into reverse, a sudden acceleration sent it down our driveway. Situation: pulling into the carport, which involves a 90 degree turn at the top of a short (10m) steep narrow walled easement, the driver of the Sienna could not make the turn in one motion and was required to put the Sienna in reverse at which time the minivan suddenly accelerated, squealing its wheels. The result was a 5m careen down the driveway. The result was about $4,000 body damage, but no injury to the driver or my 2yr old daughter - although all were shaken. We have since got rid of the car - traded it for a 2010 highlander.

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car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2004 Toyota Sienna 18
Failure Date: 11/13/2009

The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Sienna . The contact stated while driving 10 mph or more the transmission would hesitate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The current mileage was 140,000. Updated 11/05/10.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2008 Toyota Sienna 19
Failure Date: 11/01/2009

Unintended acceleration incident. Car was driven 200 miles the previous night and garaged. The next morning, car was started, backed out of driveway, and driven 15 mph for 1/4 mile until on main road. After traveling 0. 4 miles on main road I slowed to a red light. The engine started racing (but not red-lining). I am absolutely sure my foot was not on the accelerator pedal. I shifted into neutral, which removed the forward pressure, and after a second or two, the rpms drifted back into the normal range. This is the most recent occurrence. Other instances have been less severe and have all occurred while braking the vehicle.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2008 Toyota Sienna 20
Failure Date: 10/31/2009

Problem occurs after slowing down at a stop sign or intersection at the speed between 5 to 10 mph and then go to increase speed. The transmission hesitates. One time the engine seemed to roar up, but the car didn't move. . . . This hesitation occurs when transmission is shifting at low speeds when accelerating after slowing down at an intersection or turning at a corner. This occurs intermittently but is quite noticeable. I can often reproduce hesitation with a hard brake followed by heavy throttle.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2008 Toyota Sienna 21
Failure Date: 08/20/2009

2008 Toyota Sienna.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2007 Toyota Sienna 22
Failure Date: 08/11/2009

My 2007 Toyota Sienna accelerate on turns or when trying to stop.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2003 Toyota Sienna 23
Failure Date: 04/25/2009

Drove vehicle into a gas station to fill up with gas. After this was completed, restarted vehicle and used gear shift to put the vehicle into drive. Gear shift linkage inside steering column broke. Gear could not be changed. Car was stuck in reverse. Fortunately, this problem occurred at a gas station staffed with a mechanic. Repair took one week -- local Toyota dealership order wrong parts twice before ordering the correct ones. Old parts are available.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2007 Toyota Sienna 24
Failure Date: 03/01/2009

Purchase a 2007 Toyota Sienna minivan in December 2007 with almost 20,000 mile in it. After purchase notice that when engine is cold it sounds like a diesel engine until it warms up. Also notice what feels like a slip in the transmission in lower gear. This happens if following behind someone and they turn u need to slow down. When u accelerate to get back up to speed there is a delay or a slip before transmission engages, complained with the local dealer (andy mohr Toyota) where purchase from. We have complained since day one of ownership. Toyota dealership states that the vehicle has a memory transmission and learns your driving habits. Well me and my wife don't drive the same and neither does anyone else. No people drive the same and why would someone make a vehicle like this. They also stated that there is no fix at this time. Just trying to blow me off. As for the engine slap when cold they told me it was the exhaust heating up. Now I am no mechanic but let me tell you that is not an exhaust clapping up while heating. Called Toyota USA and file a complaint after a year being pissed at what we spent and how unhappy we were. They set up a third party arbitration and a person from Toyota. We met at the dealership and I voiced my concerns. We even went on a test drive so I could show them what it did. What a joke that was. The person from Toyota explained to me the vehicle was doing exactly what it should be doing. ( the delay in the transmission to me seems to be another Toyota problem that they don't want to acknowledge and im just crazy. ) I have never owned a vehicle that did this. I guess we will need for some people to get rearended and killed before something is done about it. Nothing came out of it and now we are stuck with this expensive van that's a heap. Purchased Toyota for there reputation and what a joke. Never again will I do this. I will sure research before I purchase my next vehicle. Toyota's a joke don't buy!!.

car image   Automatic Transmission problem of the 2006 Toyota Sienna 25
Failure Date: 11/27/2008

I have a 2006 Toyota Sienna le minivan. A month after the purchase I noticed that the transmission did not shift correctly. The transmission gets stuck often and very often will run in 2nd and 3rd gear for extended times. When the van manages to get out of 2nd or 3rd it clunks into 4th. I have taken the van to the Toyota dealership 5 times to get it looked at and everytime they tell me there is nothing wrong with the vehicle. The dealership says because they can not duplicate the issue in the shop it must not exist. They will not fix it and they will not take it back. I feel unsafe driving the van because sometimes it will not drive- it simply just wont go because it hesitates to go into the next gear. I don't feel safe to pull out in front of other vehicles because I don't know if it is going to stick or not. The initial problem happened in Nov. 2008 only a month after purchasing the van. This is an ongoing problem and it is getting much worse.

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