Oct 26th, 2007 by RJ Menezes
Toyota Motor USA, issued a “warranty enhancement” yesterday for a problem with it’s 2004-2006 Sienna mini-vans. Though very similar, Toyota stress that this is not a recall of any sort even though, basically, it is. The problem affects almost all Sienna mini-vans for the U.S market. Around 592,100 affected Sienna owners should have been notified by early November about the “problem”. The cause for concern is that owners might encounter a problem with the front door check mounting panel indicated by a popping noise when the driver or passenger front door is opened or closed. The panel’s spot welds may have become detached which could cause a problem with the door opening and closing. Wait a minute, welds could come detached! Sounds like a bit more than a warranty enhancement to me when someone has to reinforce a weld in the car. You can’t blame Toyota for trying to water down the problem to nothing more than an inconvenient “warranty enhancement”. They have been under fire lately, especially with the heat they took from Consumer Reports last week (see blog: Toyota in hot water with Consumer Reports 10/23). But dumbing down a situation were someone is reinforcing a weld in a car seems a little naive. Your re-welding a part of the structure for Pete’s sake! Seems like a classic case for a recall, this is poor manufacturing plain and simple. It’s nice to see someone is fixing it, but man up Toyota. The problem’s source can be traced to your factory’s front door.