Toyota announced today that it will voluntarily recall 600,000 Sienna minivans to address potential corrosion of the spare tire carrier cable. The recall affects two-wheel drive versions of the first- and second-generation Sienna minivan, sold from model years 1998-2010.
Toyota explains that long-term exposure to road salts commonly used in cold-weather states may cause corrosion to the carrier cable. In the corrosion is severe, the carrier cable may break and the spare tire could become separated from the vehicle, creating a debris hazard for other vehicles.
For the time being, only vehicles based in cold-weather states are affected by the recall. Owners who live in warm-weather states are eligible to have the same repair performed but it will be classified under a separate Special Service Campaign.
Sienna owners will be asked to first bring their vehicles in for a preliminary 30-minute inspection while the automaker develops a final repair procedure. Steve St. Angelo, Chief Quality Officer for Toyota’s North American operations, notes that the company is, “working diligently to develop a remedy as soon as possible.”
For beleaguered Toyota, this recall falls after months of controversy over unintended acceleration claims and less than a week after Consumer Reports unearthed a potential problem with the electronic stability control system in the Lexus GX460 sport utility vehicle. Engineers at the automaker’s luxury division have been able to duplicate the handling condition that Consumer Reports dubbed a “safety risk,” though Toyota has not yet decided whether or not to recall the vehicle.