Corroded door cable on 2012 Sienna
July 24, 2019 6:43 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone else had the cable for the sliding rear door of their Toyota Sienna minivan corrode and then break? Were you able to get it fixed by a dealer?

We have a 2012 Sienna that we love and take care of. The cable for the left sliding door corroded through and snapped a month or two ago. (It's clearly rusted through: something damaged the integrity of the plastic coating on the cable, and there's a ton of rust. But when it's up in its track, there's no way to know about it!)

The technicians at a local dealer said that it's not covered, but made some very oblique, vague, finger-aside-of-his-nose-with-waggling-eyebrows hints about waiting to see if Something Happens soon. So instead of paying a lot of money to get it fixed, we disabled the power-open/close system (for both doors, grrrr)and decided to wait for a bit.

Has anyone else heard anything like this? Or should we suck it up and pay to have it fixed? The car is otherwise great and we intend to get many more years out of it.
posted by wenestvedt to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
We have a Sienna and had a problem with the slider. Rather than the cable, our mechanic told us it was a problem with the motor for the door, and that they do wear out with time.

We have little kids who aren't strong enough to manually open and close the slider themselves, and having to do it for them was a first world problem we simply weren't willing to live with. We sucked it up and replaced the motor. Our Sienna is older than yours, but we too intend to get about 100K more miles out of it, so it was worth the few hundred dollars to us.
posted by vignettist at 7:13 PM on July 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think there was a recall or TSB on the door motor, in the last coupe of years.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:35 PM on July 24, 2019

Just anecdotally, when my Honda needed an expensive repair of something that I felt just shouldn't have broken, given my car's age and mileage, I wrote a letter to Honda of America laying out my thought process, and they actually covered the repair at my local dealer. Maybe it's worth a shot?
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:02 PM on July 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also anecdotally, I had the opposite experience with Honda North America, whose failure to inform a long time fan (a relative) about a clutch recall from years ago (despite having the car serviced at a dealer, no two dealers) led to an expensive repair down the line when the part was no longer even available from Honda. They had nothing to say but sorry not sorry. It’s always worth a shot, but it may not work.

Also guess who won’t buy any more Hondas, Honda of North America?

Anyway read this article:

Toyota extended the warranty (NOT a “recall,” but a voluntary admission that the Sienna doors have problems) on 2004-10 Siennas with 120k or less for this specific issue. You should get to a dealer. Bring the article.

Meanwhile have you tried just lubricating the cables with some machine oil?
posted by spitbull at 3:25 AM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

(Yours is outside the warranty extension but the fact that they did extend it on earlier models may buy you some sympathy.)
posted by spitbull at 3:33 AM on July 25, 2019

Meanwhile have you tried just lubricating the cables with some machine oil?

Well, see, the cable snapped in two, and now flaps uselessly against the side of the van as we drive. :7(
posted by wenestvedt at 5:28 AM on July 25, 2019

You might find this useful and it could be what the dealer was hinting about -
posted by tman99 at 10:48 AM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, there was a class action suit that settled on June 4, and eligibility to join the class closed a week ago Friday:

I believe that we're included, and I filed on time, so here's hoping we get the repair now.

Thanks, everyone.
posted by wenestvedt at 2:28 PM on August 24, 2019

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