24th Jul 2005, 22:31


Disheartening to write a comment like this about a Toyota product - much like everyone else's reviews regarding the 04 Sienna XLE AWD "run flat" tire system.

What a rip off!! our Sienna has 22,000 miles on it and the original Bridgestone B380's are shot.

Of course, we bought into the AWD system (after driving a Volvo V70XC) and are highly disappointed at Toyota's lack of integrity in not disclosing the inferior quality of ALL available run-flat tires and the superior cost to replace them. Believe me when I say we change oil and oil filter every 2,500 -3,000 miles and rotate tires every 5 - 5,500 miles - religiously! Tire rotation did not help any. We drive an even and clean highway surface so that's not a factor either.

The Toyota and other tire dealers are quick to replace all 4 run-flats for a cool $1,200.

Do your homework - consider buying another brand... say something like - Subaru!?

M.A.H. Woodland Park, CO.

1st Aug 2005, 22:25

I too had to face the problem of replacing the run-flat tires on my 2004 Sienna. I got 22,000 miles before something had to be done. I decided against another set of run-flats and went with a set of Goodyears having a 700 tread wear rating. Now how to get a spare and where would I put it? Toyota would sell me a compact spare kit that would fit in the well behind the double rear seat for outrageous price of $700+ dollars. Paying Toyota that amount of money for their mistake did not appeal to me. I did have an extra, but slightly bent full size wheel as a result of hitting a huge pot-hold at night. But the well behind the seat is supposed to only hold a compact spare. I also did not like the idea of having to deal with a full-size wheel and tire floating around van. However, I was pleasantly surprised that one of my old run-flat tires mounted on this bent, but very usable wheel would fit very tightly into the well when not inflated. I then inflated the tire while in the well, let it deflate and repeated the process each time packing rags around the outside of the tire. This process slightly expanded the well and allowed my full size run-flat tire to become my spare. Therefore I now have a full-size spare for the cost ($200) of a used wheel that I had to purchase when I hit the pot hole and bent the one that is now my spare. I have lost the ability of that seat to fold down into the floor. But it seemed like a reasonable compromise.

Don Hazle

Port Matilda, Pa.

12th Aug 2005, 13:59

We have a Toyota Sienna AWD and the tires were not wearing well at 20,000 miles so, after reading on-line comments, we had a dealer replace all four tires with regular 225/60R17 Bridgestone at $156 each plus $350 for a wheel. The dealer said there were no steel wheels for the replacement. Talk about improvement. The Sienna now handles better, is quieter and, I think, gets better mileage. Unfortunately I have the old huge tire sitting in the back where the right rear seat formerly was when in the upright position. Not a happy situation, but better than the original equipment run flat tires. Such a shame Toyota put tires like that on a otherwise good vehicle.

17th Aug 2005, 17:40

There does appear to be a serious case of buck passing on this tire issue. If you call Bridgestone they will tell you that Toyota is the one pushing the run-flat tires and poor wear is a known issue. If you call Toyota they say that it is up to Bridgestone to replace bad tires. If reported before 12,000 miles it seems that Toyota will give you another set. But then what do you do at 24,000? They will not help a second time. When I picked up my new Toyota the dealer made sure to point out that the tires were the one thing that was not covered under their warranty. To be sure, I was not told that I would be very lucky to get 20,000 miles out of my run-flats. Also, if the wear does not get you, the pulling or the noise from the run-flats will. Had I known all this, it might have made me decide not to purchase a Sienna. In my previous post I noted that I have now replaced the run-flats and now have a spare behind seat. With the new Goodyears having a tread wear rating of 700, I should be good for another 60,000 miles. But I still feel that I should have at least gotten some token help from Toyota. I plan to complain again.

Don Hazle

Port Matilda Pa.

18th Aug 2005, 21:28


Thanks for posting. I'm considering switching to regular tires for the Sienna to avoid the early wear/flats, etc. and I now believe that regular tires will probably solve the veering/pulling problem we're having. But my understanding is that you can't just put regular tires on these vans, but that you have to purchase some kind of kit? Can you clue me in here?

Update: yesterday I phoned Toyota national and they were of no help. Could not say that they had received other complaints and couldn't solve the problem other than to refer me to the dealer. Hello?! I've been to the dealer three times. Then they told me that I needed to call Dunlop to complain because Toyota is not responsible for tires. So today I phoned Dunlop. They said that they don't guarantee tires even if they wear out at only 6500 miles, as ours did. They have referred me to a local tire dealer to have them inspected. Then they will consider replacing, but not for free. This is ridiculous. My next step is to go back to the dealer and then I will fall into the Lemon law bracket in NY state (4 times to correct the same problem). Next I'm going to the dept of consumer affairs and then see if I can get a reporter on this issue.

23rd Aug 2005, 19:11

I replaced that tires and didn't need any kit. I had checked with the dealer and he said that standard tires will fit and work with no problem. I went to SAM'S club and they did have a new run-flat tire changer to get the old tires off. But they had to work so hard that they half seriously told me to go somewhere else if I had any problems with the remaining run-flat that I used as a spare. They are a real pain to get off. The only good news is that I called and complained again to Toyota customer service. This time they did give me a $100 service credit good for any work done from Toyota.

Don Hazle

Port Matilda, Pa.

25th Aug 2005, 13:34

Follow up. We finally had a "regional rep" from Toyota call today about our non-functioning tire pressure monitor with run flats. He states it's a known problem, but that the tires are still safe and that we just have to check the pressure with a gauge regularly. I asked him to go on record that it's safe to drive a run flat with no pressure at highway speeds, and he would not, but he stated Toyota will do nothing about this problem. He states that the system uses a noise sensor to measure the "flat" state of a tire, and that the pressure monitor WILL activate when the tire is impending a total failure.

So let me get this straight Toyota - the tire pressure monitor will activate just before the tire on the minivan carrying my wife and kids is about to blow off the vehicle and cause a crash that could kills someone, and that is considered OK?

I will never buy another Toyota again, and advise anyone who considers safety an issue NOT to buy the AWD Sienna with run flat tires. This is just insanity, and Toyota should be ashamed.

I also encourage everyone with this situation to file a complaint with the US government at the following website: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

I got a call from someone there, and they are aware of this issue. If enough people complain, it will put pressure back on Toyota to actually do the right thing and retrofit a pressure monitor that actually measures pressure in the tire.