Lemberg Law is investigating complaints concerning the 3rd row seats in the 2021 Toyota Sienna. Vehicle owners are reporting that the seats in the Toyota Sienna appear to not lock in place correctly. Resulting in the seats popping or flying out of the stow/folded down position into the seating position.
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Does the Toyota Sienna have an issue with the Third Row Seats?
Yes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has logged several consumer complaints regarding the third row seats in the 2021 Sienna. More specifically, the 3rd row seats can pop out of place in the stow position. There is not a locking mechanism to stop this issue. Toyota has not issued a recall or a technical service bulletin for this issue.
What Problems are Toyota Sienna Owners Experiencing?
Many complaints state that when driving, the 3rd row seats can fly out of the folded down stow position into the seating position. This could be a potential safety hazard for other passengers and/or pets.
An owner from Maryland states:
“The third row seats in the new Sienna, like most minivans, fold flat into the floor. However, there is no latch to hold the seats in place when folded. I noticed this immediately after taking delivery of the van in April because when the seats are folded, they bounce a bit over bumps. … However, twice in the last two weeks while I was driving the car, the seats popped up out of the rear well and latched violently into place. The first time this occurred was driving over a pothole at about 40 mph, and the second over a speed bump at about 25 mph. I was terrified the first time it occurred – there was a very loud metal on metal noise and impact at the rear of the van.”
The complaint goes on to state: “I thought I had hit something, but when I checked after I got home, the seats were out of the well with the bottom cushions latched into place as they would be if the seats were unfolded for use…. This is a major safety issue. The third row is split into two independent sides, so if anyone was sitting in one side of the seat, they could easily be injured if the other side suddenly sprang from the well. A pet in the rear of the car could easily be killed. Depending on weight, cargo in the rear could be thrown around the car….”
An owner from California logged a complaint on the NHTSA website stating:
“When driving over speed bumps or sometimes bumps in the road the 2 3rd row seats will fly up. There is no locking mechanism. This causes the seats to sometimes go from the stowed position into the seating position. There have been times when using one of the two 3rd row seats the stowed one has flown up into a seating position from stowed. Hitting the arm of the 3rd row passenger. I have the vehicle looked at by the dealer and was told there is no issue with the seat. …. The dealer contacted me and acknowledged the seats do not stay down. Toyota Corporate has nothing to offer as far as a solution.”
Some of the complaints state that the issue happens even without hitting a bump:
“When the 3rd-row folding seats are down and stored and the breaks are applied suddenly the seat will release and attempt to return a nonstored position. I had a box of water on top of the seat to keep it from moving. Unfortunately when … the box moved and the seat left the stored position and crushed the water bottles. If I had had a pet back there they would have been injured.”
What should you do if your Toyota Sienna seats are experiencing this issue?
It is possible that your Toyota Sienna is a lemon. Allow our experts to work on your lemon case at no cost to you. The law requires Toyota to pay the legal fees for your claim.
If your Toyota Sienna seats are sliding or popping out of the stow position, you may have a lemon. Complete our case evaluation form or call us at 877-795-3666.
About the Author:
Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.
I just bought a 2021 Toyota Sienna LE trim, and right after I got home, I realized that the third row seats do not lock in position when stowed. Mines pop up if no weight is placed over them to keep them down. I carry my dogs in their cages very often, and my kids ride in the second row, exposed to being hit by the seats if they pop up. Now I can’t put my dog’s crates in the back either because if I get a bump or hard brake, they will be ejected and fly inside the car potentially causing injuries to the dogs, and damages to the car’s trim. If I had noticed this issue with the 2021 Sienna before I signed the financing contract, I would have opted for a different vehicle. Now I’m stuck with a vehicle that can’t fulfill my needs due to a manufacturing/design defect, and I have to keep paying for it because I can’t afford to change the trim, or buy a different car without loosing thousands of dollars that I don’t have. I don’t know what were the Toyota engineers thinking when they decided to make the third row seat not lock in position when stowed or folded. A simple latching mechanism would have avoided a huge issue later on, at a very minimal cost in production of the van.
my 2022 Toyota Sienna Limitd havea 3rd problem. in a storage mode, it won’t stay put, it will popped up every time I go over a bump small or large.
I have a 2021 Sienna hybrid. My 3rd row seats are stowed most of the time. If I’m not super careful (slow) over speed bumps the stowed seats will bounce and slam. It’s very annoying. All my previous vans have had a locking mechanism, so the lack of one seems like a bit of a mistake. I feel like Toyota should correct this issue.
My 2015 Toyota Siennas 3rd row seats also pop up when going over a bump. There is no way to lock them down in this model either.