6th Nov 2007, 16:20

I am also on my second set of tires on my AWD 2004 Sienna replaced by the dealer. I run snow treads in the winter therefore I am averaging 13000 miles a set of tires.

I had an oil change and a tire rotation today and mentioned that I noticed a "noise" a week ago in the front drivers side. The dealer called and said I needed a brake job on a car with 37000 miles on it. I am less than pleased. I pitched a fit and the dealer is going to comp the costs.

I have driven Toyota's for years and been a happy camper. I think the 2004 Sienna AWD car is a bit of a lemon. Where is the government recall on this car? Thank heaven consumer Reports is out and about. Maybe Toyota will shape up and do more for those of us who joyously bought what we thought was a great car.

2nd Dec 2007, 08:26

I bought a 2004 Sienna XLE Limited AWD in July of 2004. The first set of tires (Bridgestone B380) lasted ~25,000 miles, and the ssecond (Dunlop SP??) has taken me to 52K miles. The Toyota dealer ate the cost of the second set of tires, but the Dunlops have not worn as well as the Bridgestones.

My experience in dealing with this issue has been pretty reasonable, but the information available from online communities, like this one, have been very helpful. Toyota and its dealerships have a partnership to act responsibly in dealing with customers. When this partnership fails in this regard, the customers need to call them on it. I am a huge fan of "voting with your wallet/pocketbook"...don't support bad business.

I think run flat tires have much room to improve, but the idea behind them is good.

JW in Mass.

12th Dec 2007, 15:19

Oh boy, I cannot believe I am reading this!

WE SPECIAL ORDERED our 2004 Sienna AWD Limited (with all options). It took 5 months to get.

I complained about the steering (or lack there of) from the first 6 months at 15,000 miles. 2 rear tires were bald, so I was first told to pay. I refused; $41,500 and I needed tires, NO WAY. I was then told the tire rep said this was a gift (one shot deal), the tires were on him.

Then last Dec (2006) tires were bald once again. I complained that 2 tires were replaced less than 15,000 miles before and was finally told about the recall. Tires were once again replaced, but all the while the steering is still pulling to the right.

Now at 40,000 miles the same problem; I just paid to have the steering corrected (alignment) and the tire light is on and it is still pulling. It is out of warranty and is now my problem. This is only one of many problems with this vehicle.

The rear liftgate fixed 2x, fuel tank. Back up camera (I almost paid $800.00) but waited 2 weeks and got that recalled also.

I am now wondering is the steering causing the tires to go bald or is it the tires??? @4 years old car is worth $22,000. Not good; will not ever buy another!

21st Jan 2008, 14:59

My 2004 AWD LE, has had a set of four

RFT's repleaced at approx. 20,000 kms, (by Dunlop with the Toyota dealership taking credit --- bullocks --- I set up the new tires) and now at the odometer reading 40,000 kms it looks obvious that I will need a new set. I haven't had the opportunity to read every posting, but I believe that Toyota is now the "giver" of new tires. My warranty is out of date, and I'm setting up to visit the dealer soon, gathering as much information as possible. I will need to wait until I see what the dealer offers, but I don't have much faith. Safety is the main concern in the purchase of this Seinna, and now I find that my vehicle is not what was advertized.

9th Feb 2008, 14:51

I’ve always been skeptical of reviews I find online, but in this case I should have heeded advice more closely.

Before I begin, be aware that I have been a faithful Toyota owner, until now, having purchased the following new: an 85 Cressida, 99 Avalon and an 06 Sienna. I write this now so that those that may be considering an AWD Sienna with with run flat tires are completely aware of the risks! Also see articles online from “Edmunds.com” and “Consumer Reports” -- I wish I had read these before I purchased the Sienna.

If you do not want to read all the details of this entry, the bottom line is the Toyota dealer and Toyota USA refused to stand behind their run flat tires, despite having replaced them before on Siennas (see other chat rooms easily found with an internet search like http://www.carsurvey.org/viewmorecomments_review_67001_3.html or talk to friends). Per the chat rooms I’ve read and my own experience, these tires clearly begin to, or actually fail between 15,000 and 30,000 miles. Toyota has displayed, to me at least, a significant ignorance of a potential safety risk, a refusal to stand behind the quality/engineering of its product, and an unwillingness to maintain customer satisfaction.

Probably around 15,000 miles, and less than 10 months after purchasing our 06 Sienna with run flat tires, we noticed an increasingly rough ride. These tires never provided a smooth ride, even as we originally drove off the lot, but something definitely changed over these first 10 months. Note that most miles were highway, there was routine maintenance per the owner’s manual, performed at the dealer, and I check tire pressure about once per month (no noticeable changes in tire pressure for over a year of driving).

At 17,448 miles we first reported shaking in the steering wheel and rough ride, during a routine maintenance visit to the Toyota dealer. The Toyota service adviser told us that there was a letter from Toyota to dealers indicating that: should run flat tires reach the tread wear indicators under 3 years or 36,000 miles, that Toyota would pay for replacement with a new set of run flat tires. I was advised the current tires were not a safety concern and should continue to drive.

I asked the service adviser if I could have ‘normal’ (i.e., non- run flat) tires as a replacement, should it be required, as I did not wish to run into the same problems after another 17,500 miles. He advised that Toyota would only replace the tires with run flats, even after I explained it would be less expensive for Toyota to replace the tires with ‘normal’ tires.

Sept. 2007 21,265 miles: During the next routine maintenance visit, we reported that the shaking had been becoming worse, and now sometimes will make a rough sounding noise. Told that tires still had acceptable safe tread and to continue to drive them. We were reassured, by several people at dealership, that indeed the run flat tires on the Sienna were a known problem to Toyota, and that Toyota would pay for the replacements, should they reach the tread wear indicator prior to 3 years or 36,000 miles, and that several dealership customers had already had this done.

Dec. 2007 approx. 26,500 miles: Holiday trip of about 1200 miles. Tires had been running much rougher since Sept. Road trip was extremely rough (almost as bad as driving a washboard road).

Early January 2008 approx. 28,370 miles: While driving from an event, the rear right wheel seemed to be running as though flat. Stopped, looked at tire, and in the darkness it was difficult to tell if it was flat. Drove, per Owner’s Manual recommendation for a flat, the 7 miles or so to home.

Next day 28,377 miles: Tried to put air in the right rear tire as the tire gauge showed it being a bit low. Other tires measured within 1 or 2 psi of recommended pressure, per owner’s manual. The right rear tire would not take air from a gas station pump. Drove to Toyota dealer, trying remaining below 20 mph.

At 28,394 miles there was a loud explosive noise from the left front tire, many lights on the dashboard lit up and a loud piercing alarm sounded for a few seconds. There was a very noticeable uncontrollable feel to the ride immediately as the explosion occurred, and continued the remaining few miles to the dealer. The flat tire symbol remained lit on the dash. Proceeded below 10 mph to minimize the cadence of a flapping noise, arriving just as they were opening the service dept.

Explained everything outlined above to the service adviser, and indicated that I was under the impression that Toyota would be paying for replacement of the tires with new run flat tires. I explained my disappointment that Toyota forced the situation to failure (i.e., blow out of one tire). He was shaking his head in agreement, acknowledged the blow out and gave no indication that Toyota would not be paying for replacement tires.

Mid-day a voice mail from service adviser indicated that Toyota District Representative had not approved replacement of tires. Responded with a VM that this was unacceptable because: 1) This situation was now a safety issue, and if not for the hour of the morning and the severely reduced driving speed, things potentially could have been much worse; 2) I had been told by numerous dealership employees on two separate occasions that Toyota was well aware of the problems with the Sienna’s run flat tires, and that a letter had been sent by Toyota to dealers prescribing the complete replacement policy below 3 years and 36,000 miles; and 3) I do not expect that tires will wear so poorly in under 30,000 miles, and certainly not fail. I also asked that the service manager become involved if that was necessary to resolve the situation.

Afternoon another VM indicated that the Toyota District Representative still would not replace the tires. Again I indicated this was an unacceptable response, and that I expected better from the dealership and Toyota after buying/owning 3 new Toyotas in the last 20 years, and using the Toyota dealer to service my current two Toyotas on a manufacturer recommended schedule and accepting their advice on the tires. I was advised that the dealership’s service manager would become involved.

Early evening, the dealer’s service manager left a VM acknowledging he understood my concerns and that he wanted to talk.

Next day I left a VM for the service manager, reiterating the safety concern, the information from dealership employees and expectations for new tire life, asking for compensation. I explained that I would accept a credit against future service or other dollar equivalent compensation to the replacement run flats if for some reason Toyota did not wish to replace these for a liability precedent concern.

Mid-afternoon, informed by service adviser that I had 3 options: 1) Buy new normal tires at a slight discount from the dealer; 2) Service manager had arranged an agreement with Dunlop for a credit of $95.70 per three tires (they would not cover the blown out tire) against either a Goodyear or Dunlop normal tire; or 3) pay $234 per tire for 4 new run flat tires. I would still have to pay balancing and alignment charges. As this was the second day of not having this vehicle and depending on the kindness of other for transportation, I agreed to the discount from Dunlop.

The next week, I called Toyota USA and retold the saga above to a representative there, and received almost the same story as from the dealer – it was almost as though they were reading from the exact same script.

Finally, I looked into legal action, but that really is not cost effective.

So to help protect others from a potentially serious safety issue as well as a consumer issue, I am posting this story in several places.