Toyota has issued a huge recall for 694,000 Toyota Sienna minivans. The recall stems from a faulty shift lever that could cause vehicles to roll away.
The problem affects only Toyota Sienna minivans manufactured at their plant in Indiana for model years 2004 to 2005 and 2007 to 2009. Almost all of these vehicles, around 615,000 were sold in the United States. Of the remaining recalled vehicles, 56,000 were sold in Canada and the rest were sold in Mexico, Germany and Guatemala.
According to Toyota, the problem is with the gearshift lever. It can experience damage to the shift lock solenoid. The vehicle could be then be in Park, but the gearshift lever could be moved out of park with just a little nudge and without the driver needing to have his foot on the brake.
If this happens, particularly on an unleveled surface, the Toyota Sienna could begin to roll away. The vehicle won’t just shift out of Park on its own and does require a bump or a nudge to the gearshift lever for the problem to occur, but it nonetheless poses a rollaway hazard serious enough to warrant a recall.
There have been some reported accidents due to this problem. In the United States, there were 21 minor accidents reported while in Canada there were another three accidents. None of them involved serious injury, with only bruises and minor injuries sustained.
Toyota isn’t the first automaker to have rollaway problems with their minivan. General Motors, Chrysler and Honda have all had issues in the last year. Unfortunately for Toyota, this recall is just the latest in a series that it has issued over the past month. All told, they’ve recalled 2 million vehicles in the United States alone.
Depending on how the remaining months of 2013 play out, Toyota may top the list for the number of vehicles recalled this year. That’s one list where no one wants to hold the top spot.
Check out our mash-up video of the Mazda3 vs Honda Civic vs Kia Forte vs Toyota Corolla…
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.