By David Thomas on April 19, 2010
Late Friday, Toyota announced it would recall 600,000 1998-2010 Sienna minivans (two-wheel-drive models only) due to a potential fault that could lead to the spare tire falling off. Toyota has released its own list of questions and answers for consumers about the recall including which states are included — it’s for cold weather areas with heavy road salt use — and that even though no fix has been issued, owners will receive a notice soon stating when they can bring their vehicles in for a preliminary inspection.
Below is Toyota’s release. Customer FAQs for 1998-2010 Toyota Sienna Recall
1. Which models are affected by the recall?
The recall includes certain 1998 through 2010 model year Sienna 2WD vehicles equipped with a spare tire and operated in cold climate areas with high road salt use.
In addition to the District of Columbia, vehicles currently registered in the following cold climate states with high road salt usage are covered by this recall: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
2. What prompted Toyota to take this action?
The corrosion resistance of the spare tire carrier cable is insufficient when vehicles are operated in areas where a large amount of road salt is applied. In the worst case, the carrier cable may fail and the spare tire could become separated from the vehicle, a road hazard for following vehicles.
3. Are there any other Toyota or Lexus vehicles involved?
No, this specific condition only affects certain 1998 through 2010 model year Toyota Sienna 2WD vehicles equipped with a spare tire.
4. What is Toyota going to do to fix this problem?
Toyota is currently working to develop a remedy for this condition. Until this remedy is developed, customers will receive an interim notice instructing them to bring their vehicle to a dealership for a preliminary inspection. Once the remedy has been developed, customers will receive a secondary notice advising the customer of the remedy availability.
5. What if I am an owner of one of the affected vehicles but don’t live in one of the states covered by this recall?
Owners of subject vehicles in other states will receive a separate Special Service Campaign notification including details on how to obtain an inspection if they desire. Toyota will perform the same inspection and repair for those vehicles at no charge.
6. How long will it take for a dealer to repair my automobile?
Inspection of the vehicle will take approximately 30 minutes, depending on the dealer’s work schedule.
7. Is the repair covered by warranty? Will I have to pay any money out of pocket for this repair?
Toyota will perform the inspection and repair at no charge.
8. What should an owner do if they experience the condition, or have immediate concerns about their vehicle?
If an owner has any immediate concerns they are requested to contact their local Toyota dealer for a diagnosis and, if applicable, necessary repair.
9. What if I previously paid to replace the vehicle’s spare tire carrier to correct this specific condition?
If a customer has previously paid to replace the spare tire carrier cable for this specific condition prior to receiving a letter, the customer should mail a copy of their repair order, proof-of-payment, and proof-of-ownership to the following address for reimbursement consideration:
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc
Toyota Customer Experience, WC 10
19001 South Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90509
10. What should I do if I still have questions or concerns?
If you still have questions or concerns that have not been addressed here, please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.
The Toyota Customer Experience Center hours are:
Mon - Fri, 5:00 am - 6:00 pm PST
Sat, 7:00 am - 4:00 pm PST
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David