2001 Toyota Sienna from North America
Sludge, poor customer service
My wife leased the Sienna after test driving every other van out there. She still loves the van. Problem is, we developed a sludge problem at 18000 miles. We had had three oil changes by this time, within the warranty terms, based on her driving style. I was called a liar by the dealership. I offered them receipts, they told me they were probably falsified by someone I know who changes oil. This from customer service. Their "800" number was no better, said that lack of receipts would not invalidate my warranty, but they will still back the dealer. Told then it must have been inferior oil. Anyone else use Jiffy Lube to have oil changes? Now at 34000 miles, just waiting for the engine to lock. NEVER NEVER NEVER will I own, drive, test drive another Toyota.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 9th December, 2002
This seems very questionable, as Toyota has a new SPA that allows free sludge repairs if the owner simply shows 1 oil change receipt for every year owned.
Toyota says that they mailed letters to all 3.3 million owners of the Sienna, Celica, Solara, Camry, Highlander, Avalon, RX300, ES300 to tell them about the 8 year unlimited mileage policy on sludge, but I have been skeptical of this, because many many people I know never got this letter. This came out in April 2002. It seems like you did not get your letter, either.
Call Toyota again and tell them about your problem. They claim that they will reimburse you for the costs of your repairs and any incidental costs (rental car, etc.) when you send in the receipts, proof of ownership and proof of at least one oil change per year before the sludge occurred.
You still have every right to be unhappy with your vehicle, though. It likely has the exact same engine (they typically only clean the sludge) and could be subject to sludge again. In mid-2002, Toyota started putting a new valve cover and new PCV system on sludged vehicles to help prevent sludging. You may want to insist on getting these new parts put in free of charge, too. Good luck to you.