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Toyota Recalls 615,000 Sienna Minivans

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On: Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 12:13PM | By: Teddy Field

Toyota Recalls 615,000 Sienna Minivans

Despite the prevailing trend of using SUVs and seven-passenger crossovers as the family chariot, minivans, like the Toyota Sienna, have continued to be strong sellers. In fact, Toyota's minivan is currently the second best-selling kiddie hauler in America. But that distinction is about to be overshadowed by a massive recall, to correct a problem that could cause the van to roll away on its own.

Toyota said that it's received 21 'minor accident' reports in the U.S., two of which listed minor cuts and bruises. The problem stems from a part within the gearshift lever mechanism called the Shift Lock Solenoid. It was designed to prevent the van from being shifted out of Park, unless the driver depresses the brake pedal. According to Toyota, this part can become damaged, allowing the Sienna to be taken out of Park unintentionally. If this happens, the van could roll away, putting the passengers and those around the minivan in danger.

This voluntary recall covers 615,000 Toyota Sienna minivans, sold between 2004-2005, and 2007-2009. Owners will be notified by mail, at which point, they can visit their local Toyota dealer to have a new shift lock solenoid installed free of charge.

Toyota claims that the Sienna won't shift out of Park on its own, but the shifter could easily be bumped, causing the transmission to engage Reverse, Neutral or Drive. Until the shift lock is replaced, we strongly recommend that owners engage the emergency brake when they park their vans, to prevent unnecessary injury or damage.


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