6th Jan 2006, 09:20

Follow-up on my December 27 comment:

It seems I could not get consistent answers from any dealer. The comments of those dealers that bothered to respond to my question about the AWD Sienna and run-flat tires include: "First time I've heard of this." to "Where are you getting this kind of information?" to "The vehicle was designed to use run-flats so you can't change to standard tires without affecting the vehicle.." to "If money is a problem for you, why don't you consider a FWD Sienna with traction control?"---the last one was my favorite one ;-)

I've decided to heed the sincere commentary provided in this excellent forum and avoid the Sienna AWD altogether. I instead cut a purchase order on a 2006 Toyota Sequoia since I want a vehicle with either AWD or 4WD capability. Toyota has extended its $2,000 rebate (in most areas) until January 31. The preponderance of negative feedback that I've seen on the Sequoia in this same forum are centric to the front brakes wearing prematurely, the A/C failing after warranty expiration, the rear lift-gate leaking water, and the rear window motor failing... nearly all of these incidents occurring in the 2001 and 2002 model years... and Toyota revamped the brakes in 2003. It's also comforting to see that Consumer Reports ratings render a lot of "orange dots" for the vehicle.

19th May 2006, 10:40

I'm glad I found this site. My wife and I were in the market for a minivan. Two little boys have forced us out of our two door sport SUV. So I found very good comments about the Sienna online and we were looking for an AWD because of our long snowy winters here in Northern PA. We just stumbled upon a 2004 Limited AWD with more options than you could throw a stick at and my wife fell in love. It has 14,000 miles and the original run flats. I didn't know anything about these tires until I found this site. Thanks to all of you for educating me. The deal was currently in process, but I called my dealership today and insisted that the deal was off unless they did something about the tires. They were extremely helpful (obviously really wan to make the sale) and admitted that they know there are a ton of problems with the run flats.. (oh well, he must have forgotten that little detail while we were sitting there at his desk signing away all of our money.)

Anyway, he offers to replace all four tires with new Goodyear Integrities. I now read online that these are just a mediocre tire. But I wanted to ask this group if you have any other tire you'd recommend before I have them install the Good Years. Thanks again for all the great info!


23rd May 2006, 11:36

Here's my story: 2004 Sienna AWD XLE. The run-flats were almost a deal breaker--in '04 we didn't know anything about them, didn't like the idea of not having a spare handy and didn't like the cost of replacement. Unknown technology. With trepidation, bought it anyway. Great car. Performs as expected if not better, roomy, comfortable, etc. No problems whatsoever. 12000 miles, husband says, gee, those tires don't look like they're wearing very well. Roll along to 16000, now I have a problem--tires are shot. One phone call to the dealer: tires are under warranty, they're even in stock, replaced same day at no cost to me, no questions asked. Yeah! Except in another 12-16k miles it'll be deja vu all over again...

I'm sure if I'd had an unpleasant situation either on the road or with the dealer I would be even more bitter than I am, which is PLENTY. However, Boulder Toyota in Boulder, Colorado, handled this just right (but they always do), so I still love my car. (BTW, Stevenson Toyota in Golden, Colorado also offered to replace them under warranty, so folks, there are good dealers out there). Dealer recommendation: next time, replace the run-flats with regular tires. Guess I'll worry about where to store the spare then.

Good luck all. Don't let your dealer off the hook. I want to reiterate; I've had no problems AT ALL with this great car other than the tires. Bad decision by Toyota.

26th May 2006, 09:27

Love my '04 AWD XLE Ltd. The only issue has been the tires. But the runflats were done at 15K miles. I got Blizzak run flat snows, which I've kept on for the last 30K miles, with no negative repercussions. While softer than stock, they're much safer in the rain and have worn well.

The optional spare kit sits in the back behind the driver side 3rd row seat. The dealers have little knowledge of this option, but I did find a kit at a price similar to the piece meal listing on this site. Installation will prevent the seat from folding in the floor (in which case the van becomes less useful than a Highlander).

I've just received a Toyota recall notice for premature and uneven tire wear. The recall allows for compensation of previously replaced tires, if you have documentation.

18th Jun 2006, 19:47

My sienna AWD bought on Dec 2003. I have regular maintenance according to operation menu, recently I received a letter from Toyota Canada regarding recall of Tire on AWD, that is toyota extend the tire warranty upto 3 years or 60 K KM. I checked my tire, and both sides of each of 4 tires wear much more than the center of the tire. I think that is due to the sides of RFT are too rigid or stiff. Now the wear on side of tire are at least 2 more mm than the center of the tire.

According to the letter, toyota dealer will examine the tire and if the dealer think the tire wear out, the dealer will change it at toyota cost.

I do not know if this condition of tires is eligible to a change according to industry standards. Please give me ideas as to how to handle it with Toyota.

5th Jul 2006, 08:43

I like my 2004 AWD Sienna, but tires are a problem. At 30,000 miles, the tires were worn and the van vibrates at highway speeds. The dealer said it is an alignment issue and charged for the alignment without replacing the tires. I'll buy standard tires elsewhere.

28th Jul 2006, 10:58

First and foremost, car owners know more than dealers ever will. Remember they are salesman.

2nd Aug 2006, 18:03

2004 Sienna LE - I don't have AWD or Run-Flat tires, but have the same problems. Dealer says it is the alignment. Offered to fix it for a fee. After complaining offered to align it for half price. Came back after the oil change & tire rotation and said that it couldn't be aligned until the tires were replaced.

29th Dec 2006, 18:08

My 2005 Sienna was my first, and will be my last Toyota purchase - EVER. I've written the corporation about my run-flat problems and they refuse to write back. At 36,000 miles we've had a total of 13 tires on the vehicle. Since Toyota obviously designed their van around the tire they need to take some responsibility for the problem. Has anyone had any luck suing these these guys? I live in a remote area and I might try my local small claims court just to make the bums travel to my town to hear my complaint in person.