Published: October 18, 2017, 10:30 PM
Updated: October 23, 2017, 5:22 AM
Toyota is recalling its Sienna minivan to deal with an issue that could allow the automatic transmission to slip out of Park and the minivan to roll away.
The recall affects 347,120 Siennas from model years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, with 24,000 of those reportedly in Canada.
The issue arises from grease inside the shift lever assembly that could transfer to other internal components, causing them to malfunction. In such a case, the automatic transmission’s shift lever could be moved out of the “Park” position without having the brake pedal depressed — a fail-safe that has been in place industry-wide for several decades to prevent a vehicle from rolling away when the transmission is put into gear, after starting the engine.
Naturally, if the lever is able to move out of Park without the driver’s foot on the pedal, and if the parking brake is also not engaged, the Sienna could roll away, and potentially crash, which could cause harm to people and property. Toyota, though, is not aware of any incident or injury.
Owners of potentially affected minivans will be contacted by mail in mid-December, asking them to return their Siennas to a Toyota dealership, where the shift-lock solenoid will be replaced, and an appropriate amount of grease will be reapplied.
Customers can find out about the status of their minivans by visiting Toyota.com/recall or by calling Toyota Customer Service at (800) 331-4331.