These are some of the items we are seeing at the dealership and also from the people who write in for assistance. I posted these on the Dealer side but nothing here is top secret and may answer you concerns.
Sienna Automatic Transmission: Toyota has come out with an extended warranty for some of the later model Sienna's (up to 2003) to replace the trans is it fails. This is not meant to correct minor problems but a total failure. Contact your dealer for more information if you need assistance.
V6 Head gasket update: There may be some hope for those who own an Truck or 4Runner with a 3.0 engine. Toyota now realizes that the "inspection but no repair needed" part of the head gasket recall may not have been the way to go. They are failing, duh, and now Toyota has reissued the recall, for only the vehicles who fell within the vehicle/engine range, but no update to the head gaskets was done. This will not help the ones who are on their second, third or more failed head gaskets. NOTE: if you have one of these and had to pay to have the head gasket replaced, anywhere not just the dealer, you may get a refund if you follow the instructions. If you think you may have one of these, contact the local Toyota dealer with your serial number and they can tell you.
Engine Sludge: It's no surprise that the Avalon, Camry and Sienna engines built after 1996 are sludging up. The surprise is that the cause or major contributing factor is now known. For some reason Toyota redesigned the crankcase breathing system on those engines (4 and 6 cylinders). I don't know the reason for the change but you can guess that emission levels played a part. Since the engine can't breathe quick enough the varnish causing gases are left in the crankcase and start to cling to the metal parts. When enough "cling", sludge is formed. In the past it was always assumed that the owner was at fault by not changing the oil, I am now seeing good maintenance customers having the condition, so we are back to the PCV system. Toyota has a habit of ignoring the problem until the public awareness starts to affect sales or new cars. It took then 3+ years of knowing the 3.0 engine head gasket was a problem until they assumed the responsibility. As of late they are just starting to help some customers but it's a hidden secret and not many are getting help. Visit the Sludge Zone for more information.
2001 Sienna's with the VSC and ABS lights coming on. I have had several reports of this condition. Its seems to be only on the XLE model and there are two possible causes. One customer reported that the dealer found that a vacuum line was not attached correctly for the ABS system. The other customer was told that the steering angle sensor was the cause and when that part was replaced the condition was corrected.
At this time Toyota has not received any complaints regarding tire problems with Firestone Tires. If you have the models listed in the recall you should contact the seller of those tires. Again Toyota has not installled those tires on their new vehicles, if you have the affected tires they were installed after the sale.
00 Sienna check engine light coming on and going off. This is a new problem on recently delivered Sienna's, it does not affect the reliability of the vehicle but you should consult the selling dealer for the repair. We have seen 3 and I have had questions on several more. They will get a code of P0770 for a trans SL valve. The Toyota repair gods think they have found the problem. Its the torque convertor. We have one on order and will know more around 7/20. There is no problem with driving the vehicle since it does go into OD but not just as fast as it is designed to and sets the code. 7/13/00 UPDATE: Toyota feels that there are about 1100 Sienna's with the problem and have are satisfied that the replacement parts are not one of the affected ones that cause the problem. UPDATE: Since the new torque convertors have been installed the condition is corrected, so if you have the condition, you can rest assured that the problem will be solved with the Torque Convertor replacement. There may be a delay in getting the improved replacement part but in the meantime the vehicle is safe to drive and no transmission failures have resulted from this condition. Service Bulletin EG006-00 outlines the procedures and parts needed to correct this condition. 9/10
00 Avalon wind noise. We have been getting customers coming back with the complaint of wind noise. Since we dealt with the early Avalon models and in general the Toyota product does not have this condition we tried to see if we could help. In trying to quiet the slight wind noise we were unable to do much then we drove several others (new on the lot) and found that they also made the same noise. You won't get them all back since the radio is enough to cover the noise level but if you get that 10% customer you may want to take them for a ride in another Avalon. We think that the mirrors are the cause but Toyota has not heard of this condition. 5/00 Update: Toyota has sent us some improved front door window seals that are fatter and do the trick. The ones we have installed have corrected the condition. These do not have a part number as of yet but the famous TSB should be out soon since these seals seem to correct the condition. 7/00.