2021 Toyota Sienna Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Visibility and brake issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Toyota Sienna, now in its 4th generation, was launched more than two decades ago, in 1998. Produced at Toyota’s assembly plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, this stalwart minivan gets an all-new look for 2021. It also gets a new hybrid powertrain. It has a reputation for reliability and is highly regarded as a family vehicle, but it has problems too.

Sienna owners of the 2021 Toyota Sienna have lodged 26 complaints with the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nearly a third of these relate to seat issues, with third-row seats not locking securely into place.

Click on other model year to view more problems2019   2020   2022   2023

Most Common Problems

The most common problem, with 8 complaints, is the seat issue. Following these are 5 service brake complaints and 5 visibility/wiper complaints. These are in 2 different NHTSA locations:

  1. 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid has 6 complaints lodged between 3 December 2020 and 11 May 2021
  2. 2021 Toyota Sienna has 20 complaints lodged between 21 May 2021 and 24 January 2022

In total, there are 3 reports that sunroofs exploded, and 2 each about exterior lighting and structure problems. Several other components or systems each have 1 complaint. These are airbags, electrical system, engine, forward collision avoidance, land departure, structure, tires, and vehicle speed control.

2021 Toyota Sienna Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Seat Belts
Vehicle Speed Control
Air Bags

Seat Problems

Most problems are with the third-row seats that fold flat into the floor but can’t be latched in place while folded. Complaints describe how the seats pop up if the driver brakes suddenly or goes over bumps in the road.

In one incident, a passenger’s arm was injured when a stowed seat flew up into the upright position. This car owner was told by the dealer that “there is no issue with the seat.”

Another car owner was told the manufacturer acknowledged the failure but also that “there was no fix currently available.”

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Problems with the Brakes

One of the 5 complaints about service brakes reports an injury when their Sienna lost electrical and engine power and the brakes stopped working. The hazard lights also stopped working.

Others simply describe how they malfunctioned and/or failed.

One complaint says that while driving on a highway, the brakes “became extremely touchy” and “seemed to utilize the emergency brake as a backup. This extreme braking is hazardous and could result in an accident caused by braking too quickly.” Within a week of Toyota not being able to identify the issue, the driver had the same experience, again on a highway. “Van is currently with the dealer and the Brake Booster and Brake Master Cylinder will be replaced.” Read our post on Toyota Sienna brake problems.

Visibility & Wiper Problems

The biggest issue is that when the entertainment system is in use, the screen blocks the driver’s line of sight. This is a long-standing problem, with the first complaint to NHTSA made in April 2021.

What to do if Your 2021 Toyota Sienna is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

Any persistent defect that makes a substantial impact on the use, safety, or value of a vehicle may be defined as a lemon. A good lemon lawyer can help you reach a solution with the manufacturer without you having to fight for your rights.

We may be able to get you a cash settlement, a buy-back deal, or a replacement vehicle. It will cost you nothing because the law makes Toyota cover the legal bills. Call our Helpline today so that we can evaluate your case.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Jean G

    Have a 2017 GMC Acadia with 39000 miles on it has been in shop 8 times since Dec 7 for same problem and still not fixed. What rights do I have. I bought it used if that makes a difference from car max

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