2022 Toyota Sienna Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Brake and visibility issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The 2022 Toyota Sienna is a popular family minivan with space to hold the whole gang. First launched in 1998, the 2022 model is the second of the fourth generation. Marketed as an “innovative adventure vehicle,” this hybrid-only van has serious issues that affect safety. They include faulty brakes, dangerous visibility issues, and badly designed seats that don’t latch, adding significant risk to anybody’s adventures.

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Most Common Problems with the 2022 Toyota Sienna

There have been a total of 36 complaints to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) in the past year, from November 8, 2021, and December 27, 2022. There are 15 components and systems mentioned in complaints. However, the most common problems relate to visibility, malfunctioning brakes, and faulty seat mechanisms that result in seats bouncing and sometimes dangerously flying forward.

Of these, 10 complaints report a range of different braking problems, 8 refer to visibility issues, and 6 are about faulty seats.

2022 Toyota Sienna Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Service Brakes
Unknown Or Other
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
Electrical System
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
Exterior Lighting
Fuel/propulsion System

Faulty Brake Problems

Any problems that affect brakes are potentially dangerous. Of the 10 complaints about brakes to the NHTSA between April 11 and September 12, 2022, fortunately, only one reports a crash. Issues vary, but the major fault seems to relate to regenerative rather than hydraulic brakes. Also, typically, the minivan tends to lunge or jerk forward when braking. There are also complaints that the vehicle’s emergency braking system activates spontaneously and there are problems with the parking brake and parking support brake.

Complaints in general indicate a lack of concern by dealerships that are consulted.

Examples of NHTSA Complaints

After an owner in Texas found there was “no resistance from the brake pedal” while driving at 40 mph, the local dealer “found that the brakes were operating correctly.”

When an owner from Ohio complained to the dealer service department about the Sienna lunging, he “asked if I ever drove a hybrid before” and said “that this lunging is designed into hybrid vehicles because this is when the battery is getting charged.” He also said he drives a hybrid and it happens to him, refusing to acknowledge that it is a safety issue.

Another owner from Texas also describes how, when braking, “the car seems to lunge forward for just a moment. It’s very unnerving.” This, the complaint states, has happened 5 times and the car has only 2,000 miles on the clock. It’s “very scary. I feel like I’m not in control of the car at all.”

An owner from New Hampshire links lurching to regenerative braking. He’s been told by Toyota that “it’s normal.” But he says, “it’s not normal, it’s a safety issue.”

And an owner in Ohio warns that the way the vehicle jerks forward, “causes a panic in the driver because the vehicle isn’t behaving how the driver wants.” His complaint includes a description of how his Sienna crashed into a parking light after this happened. He believes that the jerking is initiated when the minivan switches from regenerative to mechanical braking. “The vehicle jerks forward as it starts accelerating briefly before the mechanical brake engages.”

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Problems with Visibility

Seeing clearly from every side and angle of the vehicle is a must, especially if the driver is to remain safe. But there is a major flaw with the positioning of the rear seat entertainment screen. When in use, it blocks the rear-view mirror view totally.

Needless to say, most of the 8 visibility-related complaints relate to this safety issue. One complaint refers to a large crack appearing in the windshield of a 2-week-old Sienna. The owner, from Minnesota, states that there were no chips in the glass and nothing hit the windshield.

Rear Entertainment Screen Blocks Rear-View Mirror

Of the 8 visibility-related complaints, 7 are about the rear entertainment screen blocking the rear-view mirror.

The first complaint was from an owner in California whose 2022 Sienna had only 90 miles on the clock. It states that “the vehicle was designed with an 11-inch screen located in the roof between the front driver’s and passenger’s seats.” While it is designed for movies and entertainment, when flipped down, the screen obstructs the rear-view mirror. When the dealer was notified, the owner was referred to the manufacturer. However, the manufacturer said “that they could not assist.”

Owners Maintain it is a Safety Issue

All the complaints say more or less the same thing. An owner from Tennessee says when they pull the screen down it completely blocks our rear view due to the screen being too big. ““To us that is a safety issue. For instance, if there is a cop, fire truck, or ambulance coming up behind us we wouldn’t see them” because the screen blocks the view. “I have a 12, 8, and 3-year-old and every time they get in (the) van they want to always watch the rear entertainment center.”

An owner from Michigan states that it is “a huge safety issue as I have almost been rear ended 4 times.” After nearly being hit by another car sliding into his car in the snow, this owner took the minivan to 2 Toyota dealerships that both verified the issue. “They all agree it is a major safety issue and reported it to Toyota corporate and opened a case to get it fixed.”

The fix is to install a Toyota digital rear-view mirror for those who have the entertainment system. But the dealerships say that because there is no open recall, “they won’t fix it for me by giving me a digital rear-view mirror…” They say some have been fixed, but it “basically depends on who you talk to. I just paid 52,000 for this car and I can’t use the features it comes with because of this huge safety issue.”

Third Row Seat Problems

When driving with a family, everyone wants peace of mind knowing that the vehicle is built to the highest standards, but there is a problem with the Sienna’s third row seats.

An owner from Oregon explains the problem. Because the third row seats don’t have locks, when the van hits a bump “it just goes up and down.” During sudden braking, the folded seats lift up because there are no locks to keep them in place. “But all older models of Sienna have the safety lock. It is a simple fix but my new Sienna doesn’t have the major safety lock.” An important issue the complaint highlights is that in an accident, the third row seats might hit the second-row passengers. “Please consider this safety issue as soon as possible.”

Other Seat Problems

There is also a complaint from an owner in Indiana about the padding in the car seat’s headrest which is “unglued and coming loose. My son has grabbed the head supports at times, but I noticed it detached one day and (was) not sitting in the correct position. I have tried to reattach but would require heavy duty glue and assistance with assembly.”

Additionally, there is a problem with seat belts that potentially affects as many as 2,259 vehicles. A recall, NHTSA Campaign Number 21V889000, states that the seat belt webbing might not be installed correctly in the second row. This defect can cause damage, making it easier for the seat belt to tear during an accident. This, in turn increases the risk of injury for anyone traveling in a 2022 Sienna if it crashes.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Not all problems indicate that a vehicle is a lemon. However, some do, especially when they impact on the use and value of the vehicle. If you think you have a lemon, consider contacting Lemberg Law. We will assess your problems and may be able to get the lemon out of your life.

Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners. And the law makes Toyota pay the legal fees.

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
  • Karl

    I bought my Seinna in April of 2022 New. It was a car that had been ordered and we were fortunate enough to get it. However, one thing it came with was a towing package and just about every time we go over a speed bump in a parking lot, apartment complex, or if we just go up a steep incline from a flat road the hitch drags. I’ve asked the Dealer twice during servicing if there’s something they can do about it, they said that it was my issue and if I wanted, I could pay them to take the hitch off. I also asked what happens as far as the warranty if the electrical harness is pulled off as far as warranty purposes. They told me that was also my problem. Since it came with a tow package, I bought a bike rack and a pair of bikes to put on to take with us. I have read about others putting a lift on but I worry about voiding the warranty. Has anyone else had this complaint or figured out a way to deal with Toyota with this issue? Please advise.

  • Ashley L

    2022 Sienna purchased brand new from Toyota in PA. At 960 miles my dashboard lit up that several sensors were unavailable, brought it into the dealership and their response was that the undercarriage was dirty and sensors were ‘sensitive’ – but they replaced them anyway. Sensors still go off after driving for more than 10 minutes in anything other than pristine weather. 5k/7ish months in my car needed a jump. Next day jumped again. Dealer couldn’t get me into a rental big enough for my family so we had to wait 4 days until we could get into shop. Sat there 6 hours with a toddler only to be told the car didn’t register any codes of issues and batteries were in perfect condition, call them back if I have to jump it again. While I was there I asked for tech to help with my app (couldn’t get many of the features to work) and to show me how to work the tv – turned out that was because both items were not working. They would ‘look into it and get back to me….’ Next day car wouldn’t take a jump and had to be towed in. Today is day 13 of car in the shop…..no idea what’s wrong. Can’t do anything because without a tangible issue it technically doesn’t fall under any kind of warranty to be replaced whether that’s parts or the whole car. Asked to just trade in for another Sienna – and told that we can’t order the same one. Everyone is at the mercy of what they get sent. Not even sure we want another Sienna at this point because it’s obviously not a safe car and Toyota isn’t standing by their product! Spent over $58k for heartbreak and hassle!!

  • Peter R

    We have a 2022 sienna with 1000 miles. It has been in the shop 3 weeks now. Toyota found defect in DCM module caused by bad software. They do not have a fix yet. Don’t know how long it will take. 3 others at our dealership same day. Maybe caused by excessive cold weather. Maybe you have same trouble.

  • Carla M

    Toyota Sienna 2022 – bought from Steinbach, MN. I have had nothing but problems regarding the battery & the Hybrid make. Peter Thiessan (love this salesman and have bought 4 Toyota’s from him with no complaints until now. Not his fault but this SIENNA ’22 HYBRID has caused me more grief than all the vehicles I have owned in one life time. To date we have had to have the van towed away (with only 1,300 + KM) then installed another occasion the trickler (over $4+++ ) then had to buy an extension cord, $150 bcuz of sold out product with all the cold weather. We also have had to have this van ‘jumped’ on 4 different occasions, yesterday being the last time. I was late for work, van would not start, I had already put our dog in the van (crated) went in to get my jacket etc., for work, VAN DEAD LIKE FRED, again…I could not get the back hatch up, all electric was DEAD…it was well over an hour, missed class, and dog (doberman) no coat in this weather it is not for the faint of heart (or dobes with now winter coat) to be outside for more than one hour…I got my hair dryer & hooked it up to ex. cord, & was able to get in 2nd row seats, & turn on hot for some relief of this poor dog. ) It was suggested I craw into the back, sorry I will be 80 next year & am not 110 pounds!!! There are 2 crates (we have 2 dobermans) and the clearance on top was about 11 or 12 inches, and the crates are soft side (expensive) I could not get into the back as suggested by Toyota and unlock the hatch.
    One day at work for about 4 AFTERNOON HOURS, go out, DEAD LIKE FRED AGAIN. We have had the van into Toyota dealership in TB but to no avail days after DEAD DEAD DEAD. I paid cash for this van, also go extra warranty, new winter tires , installed the trickler here, it’s just so upsetting. I did consider a HIGHLANDER and drove one at Wayne Toyota in TB – not realizing the price ($82,000 + taxes) It was very nice, Steinbach is offering me another for almost $5,000 difference but again another 8 hour drive to return/ pick up – the hardships I have endured are most disturbing especially when my dog was exposed to one hour of cold weather when I couldn’t get to him. The list goes on & on & I am willing to take the HIGHLANDER AT WAYNE’S IN THUNDER BAY OR A LESSER MODEL FROM STEINBACH…
    Please consider my age (80 next year) and my business (dog training school) owner of #1 Male Doberman in Canada 2 years in a row, 16 obedience titles, this has been my life for 52 years. I am not married but my business partner has helped me out somewhat and I put the van in his name, although I paid for it, because of my age I thought it best to be in his name in case ……)
    I do not blame the salesman Peter Thiessan, he is just doing his job, but this is more than inconvenient as you can well imagine.

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