2002 Toyota Sienna Blown Engine

Posted on Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 at 9:11pm CST by a80b5065

Company: 2002 Toyota Sienna Blown Engine

Category: Other

I have a 2002 Toyota Sienna that I bought 2 years ago with 46,000 miles on it. It had a clean record and appeared to be in great shape. I have had oil changes every 3000 – 5000 miles without fail and have maintained the vehicle at our local Toyota Dealership ( Hank Aaron Toyota – great customer service!).

On a trip to NC from GA on December 27, my oil light came on. I stopped the van, let it cool down and checked the oil level. It was low so I added a quart. This was the first time that it had ever required any oil outside the regular services. The oil light came on again shortly thereafter. It would go off and then come back on for short periods of time. I continued on to Charlotte stopping every 30 minutes to check the oil level. It was good. When I arrived at my destination, the check engine light came on. I parked and called a local garage in the morning.

I took the vehicle in, they checked to make sure the sensor was good and discovered that the oil wasn’t getting to the engine. The local garage referred me to the dealership. The dealership said it would be okay to drive over. I didn’t make it! I had to be towed in by a wrecker. The engine had to be replaced. This engine has 93,000 miles on it. The warranty is expired.

The dealership (Lake Norman Toyota – superb customer service!) referred me to the Toyota Corporate Customer Service number to register a complaint. I called the 1-800-331-4331? And spoke to David. David established a case number and offered me $500.00 towards the purchase of a new Toyota. I responded by asking why I would buy a new one if I couldn’t even get 100K out of my current vehicle. I asked Toyota to help with the engine repair.. they declined.

If the engine had sludge (this is a problem with Sienna) they would have covered my engine. Since there was no sludge, there was nothing they could do. I expected Toyota Corporate to contact the dealership service dept and inquire about my case and call me back. I heard nothing for 2 days while the dealership proceeded to replace my engine. I called Toyota Corp back 2 days later. I spoke with another representative. She told me she was sorry if I had the impression that I would receive a call back and that my offer from David was the only offer forthcoming. I asked to speak to a Customer Service Manager.

I received a call from Laura Castillo who is a customer service supervisor/manager?. Laura again said there was nothing Toyota could do for me and said that she buys new cars so that she doesn’t have to worry about a warranty. I asked for the top Customer Service Manager and was informed that she ( Elaine ??) doesn’t actually speak to customers….now that’s a job that I want!!! I informed Laura that I had left a message at the office of the president and she said that she was aware since they received those messages. Laura asked me what the problem with my engine was and I told her I didn’t know other than oil wasn’t getting to the engine. She again said sorry, there was nothing Toyota could help me with.

Did I mention that I found out during this process that my Sienna had MAJOR engine work before 30,000miles that was covered under warranty.

I went to pick up my van on Saturday, January 6, 2007. I asked them if they had been contacted by Toyota Corporate and if Toyota Corporate had offered any type of dis ount or goodwill dollars. Toyota Corporate NEVER contacted the dealership to even inquire about my engine problems!! I called Toyota Corporate back again on Monday, January 8, 2007 and asked them why they didn’t contact the dealership and was told that had to be facilitated at the dealership by upper management. This is not what the dealer told me! I was also told that my phone calls were not getting me anywhere…basically the buck stops there….and there would be no help other than the offer of the $500.00 towards the purchase of a new vehicle! WOW!!! I can get that by walking into any dealer and asking for it!

I was also told that when a warranty expires that at some point the owner must take responsibility for their own repair bills. I can understand this….and I’m not asking for Toyota to pay in full for a new engine….but I felt I never had any empathy or understanding from the corporate level. I have spent a lot of time researching Sienna’s mechanical history and have found that I am one of many! The parts and engines for these vehicles are on back order due to the large number of problems. Toyota is aware that there a numerous problems with these vehicles and has a history of treating customers this way!

Four days after having a new engine dropped in, my check engine light came back on. I dropped it off at the dealership today and got a call that my 03 sensor, bank one, sensor one is out. The repair will be $417.23. This after my repair last week of $4997.00. How much more will I have to fix on this lemon!!!

We have been loyal Toyota customers since 1994. This is my third Toyota. Our other vehicle is a 99 Camry. I probably would have bought another Toyota, even with these problems, if I just had some understanding or more empathy from corporate. I can safely say that I will be ditching this Sienna as soon as I can and I will NEVER,NEVER,NEVER own another Toyota. I bet I can get 100K out of a Ford or a GMC!!!

I would like to hear from others who have had similar experiences.


Vicki W. Temple, McDonough, GA


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508bb75b, 2007-11-12, 07:11AM CST

I agree that probably would not have had the problem with a GM vehicle. We have provided GM company cars for years and they are invariably driven more that 100K with no serious problems. I guess that is why GM offers a 100K warranty and Toyota doesn't.

0ac0d45e, 2008-08-20, 01:19PM CDT

Vicki, I agree with you, buying a Toyota does not provide any assurances. I have a 2002 Sienna that has recently been leaking brake fluid oil and the repair costs are over $2K. The van only has 14K miles on it. It is time to buy American, a Hyundai or even a Nissan, which are far cheaper. I hope others will also read these complaints and know to beware!

5cf72780, 2009-01-03, 10:39PM CST

Well I think Toyota's today just aren't what they use to be 10 to 15 years ago. Toyota has steadily become more and more like an American car company in my view. My 93 camry outperforms my 02 sienna in many aspects.

76108d49, 2011-05-10, 05:40PM CDT

I Have a similar situation with my Sienna 2002. My Sienna has 120,000 miles when the engine broked. I had another Sienna before that I drove for more than 200.000 miles and I never had to repair the engine.

055969ea, 2011-10-10, 01:45PM CDT

We have the same problem. Never Toyota again. They referred us the the class action settlement group and will explore that branch.

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