10th Nov 2004, 20:51

I too have a 2004 Sienna AWD XLE with the Dunlop drive-flat tires. It picked up a screw in one tire at 15 thousand miles. The Toyota dealer informed me that they could not repair the tire and, furthermore, that the tire costs $369!

I was stunned, having no idea that these tires were that expensive, and challenged the claim they could not repair a single puncture well within the treads.

The dealer then informed me that ALL the tires were too worn and should be replaced. I complained strongly that paying about $1500 to replace 4 tires every 15,000 miles was simply an unacceptable expense. That would effectively add a hidden lifetime cost penalty of $10,000 or more to the sticker price of the car! I have been bringing my car in for regular servicing, including tire rotations, tire-pressure checks - and do mostly suburban driving at lower speeds. There was no obvious reason for these tires to wear out so quickly.

To their credit the Toyota dealer decided to replace the tires free of charge. But since they do not stock those tires and had to order them, I had to leave my car. I'm now using a rental car until they come in. I don't know what I'll do for the future if the replacement tires are no better than the ones I had.

Car shoppers have a right to know in advance about unusual lifetime costs and complexities of this magnitude.

26th Nov 2004, 20:53

Well, add me to the list of upset Toyota Sienna AWD owners!!! I took the car in for a tire rotation at 10,000 miles and the dealer told me ALL 4 tires were shot and needed replacing. He said they had low air pressure and I wore them out. When I asked why the tire pressure sensors did not go off, the dealer, that's right, the dealer told me that the sensors DID NOT work with run-flat tires.

I had to tell the dealer that it is because of the run-flat tires that Toyota had to install the tire pressure sensors. The dealer did not believe me. So I called Toyota and they confirmed that I was right and they have a "ticket" in the system to investigate. Well see...

2nd Dec 2004, 09:32

We also have a similar experience -- We had to completely replace one tire 6 months ago due to a puncture. Now with only 21,000 miles for our AWD, we were told again that we need to replace all 4. Even the newer one should be replaced since it's not a good idea to keep them different. Furthermore, the dealer said that the life expectancy for this kind of tires for AWD is only 20k-25k.

We were shocked -- At $1200+ for about 1 year of driving, which is about over $100 per month, this is outrageous ongoing cost!

Toyota should make this fact public and do something!

15th Dec 2004, 13:17

I also have an AWD 2004 Sienna and experienced the same frustration. A reputable tire dealer did repair my run flat Bridgestone tire, but I can understand why Toyota may recommend not to fix them due to any liability.

My solution is to purchase a spare tire rim at a Toyota dealership for about $90 and purchase a tempa-spare tire at a Firestone Tire dealer for another $170. It was strange to me that the Toyota dealer could not supply the tire, which is a 155/80R17. I am told by a number of sources that I can replace my run flat tires with normal tires. I refuse to pay $1200 to $1400 to replace a set of tires.

17th Dec 2004, 12:30

I also have had a serious problem with the Toyota Sienna and run flat tires. I hit a bolt so the tire needed to be replaced. However at this time all run flat tires are on National Back Order, unavailable until spring 2005. I replaced both back tires with Bridgestone non run flat and have now discovered there is no place to put a spare tire. Apparently no other manufacturer makes run flat at this time so Toyota sure has a problem now! Or will the consumer take the hit?

28th Dec 2004, 06:50

I thought I was the only one with this flat run tire problem with my 2004 Sienna. I have 20,000 miles on my car and the dealer is telling me I have to replace all four tires. Can I use conventional tires instead of flat run tires on my 2004 AWD Sienna?

28th Dec 2004, 17:54

I guess that as these cars are approaching 20,000 miles, this problem is becoming apparent. I too have just run into this problem. I bought the Sienna last summer when it first came out and now have 23000 miles on it. I have had all of the services done at the dealership and the front tires are bald. The dealer told me that the run flat tires last only about 20000 miles and that they cost about 250 each to replace! Since all 4 tires have to be replaced, the bill is going to be over $1000 which is ridiculous. One of the reasons why I spent $30,000+ on this car was because it was supposed to be dependable and have low maintenance costs. I have to say that I am really ticked off!!! Why do these tires last for only 20,000 miles? I am now going to have to look at trading this car in.

17th Jan 2005, 19:44

We too were surprised when we found our all wheel drive 2004 Sienna had no spare and that the tires were so expensive... We live up in snow country so really wanted a reliable vehicle with all wheel drive.

To try to avoid the hassle of the expensive tires, we ate the cost of changing all our rims to 16 inch rims and getting regular snows this winter... Our reputable tire dealer set us up and made sure the diameter of the new tires fit the specs of the van. Well you can't believe how much better the car handles on even dry surfaces now. We're using one of the old run flats as a spare and we're storing it behind the left rear seat.

We've also been surprised at just how many problems we've had with what we thought would be just a basic reliable vehicle. First the radiator went at 13,000 and basically fried the entire engine... The dealer rebuilt the entire engine under warranty. We've also done the recall on the steering column. It was very stiff to turn in colder temps.

We replaced the rear brakes at only 14,000 and they were not under warranty and then at about 21,000, something defected with the ignition coil which was also replaced under warranty...

So much for buying a reliable family car! I've had to get a cell phone out here in the sticks and increase my AAA service because of the unreliability of this new vehicle.

4th Feb 2005, 22:29

I have a four month old Toyota Sienna XLE with only 3,500 miles and two incidents involving road hazards and flat tires. The first incident required the vehicle be out of service for six days before a run flat tire could be found. The current incident has taken 7 days so far and still no tire! I called Toyota in California and they danced around the issue. They suggested I should "buy an extra" run flat to keep as a spare at home. I asked them if I should by an extra transmission also?! This whole situation is absurd and based on the above posts, sounds like it s time for some litigation. Providing replacement tires for a van with no spare is not an option, but an obligation.