Last post on Dec 14, 2012 at 3:46 PM
You are in the Toyota Sienna
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Toyota Sienna, Future Vehicle, Van
#295 of 687 Couldn't do it
Mar 17, 2010 (8:00 am)
I started this thread back on June 8, 2009. Was in the market for a new minivan, but decided to wait until the new 3rd generation Sienna came out.
With all of the excitement that preceded the release, one would think the Pope was coming to town. We all figured that every copy of the 2011 Sienna would be sold before it got off the truck at the dealer.
This morning I checked the inventory of a popular high-volume local store. Over 30 Siennas in stock.
There are things to like about the new model, but then again there are things not to like. The list is different for everyone. In our case, we didn't like the hard plastics in the interior, the looks of the Limited trim level, or the option packages. The worst thing of all for us was the second row seats. On the Limited you had no choice but to take the barcolounger seats, and on all of the trim levels there is this crazy seat chassis or cradel thing left behind after you remove the second row seats. Those barcoloungers weigh 75 pounds apiece.
The numerous reports on the NHTSA database about Sienna sudden unintended acceleration didn't scare us. They were for pre-2011 models. The new 3rd generation models have a brake override of the accelerator that Toyota will be incorporating in all of its 2011 cars and trucks.
But the recent articles about Toyota's EDR (Event Data Recorder) issues is problematic. There is growing evidence that the company deliberately doesn't store information about certain events, and that there are only a few EDR readers in the entire country. Toyota says they are increasing the number of readers to 150 by the end of this month, but contast that with GM and Chrysler with EDRs that can be read by any one of thousands of PCs throughout the country.
Nope, we just couldn't do it.
We shopped around and decided instead on what will be our 4th Chrysler minivan. I know, I know; what about the horrible quality concerns of their newer 5th generation model? It's true. The quality of the 2008 model was horrible. Brakes that would wear out after 13k miles and faulty power sliding doors were the major concerns. By the 2009 model year the quality had improved, but still wasn't up to snuff until about mid-way into the model run. Yes, we're crossing our fingers with the 2010; and we're buying a third party extended warranty.
My point is the new Chrysler minivans really deserve another look-see. We got a 2010 Town & Country Limited. Geez, the thing comes with all sorts of goodies as standard equipment that Toyota charges an arm and a leg for. High intensity discharge headlights? Standard on the Limited model. So, too, power adjustable pedals, rain sensing windshield wipers, rear backup camera on a 6.5" touchscreen without requiring navigation, remote starting system, turn signal indicators on the outside review mirrors, and a bunch more goodies.
And it has an impressive smooth ride and quiet interior. Oh, and the 2nd row seats are the sto-n-go variety, so no need to remove them and find a place to put them in the garage. You end up with a perfectly flat floor. We found one with the only option we wanted: the towing package. No nav or backseat entertainment shtuff. We'll get a nice portable unit with free lifetime map updates to use for nav.
There are only a kazillion of them out there, and it was easy to find and stop owners of 2009-2010 models in the parking lot who were willing to answer questions about them. They love them. 2008 owners... not so much.
Finally, while the deals aren't as good as they were say a year ago, they are still certainly better than Toyota (although I imagine Toyota will be making deals soon to clear their growing inventory of Siennas). We managed $3k under invoice after all discounts and rebates. For $500 more we took the 0% financing over 48 months. I went in thinking I'd pay cash for the vehicle, but jumped at the chance to use GMAC's free money instead of my own. The current deal is you get $1500 cash back, or $1000 cash back AND 0% financing for 24, 36 or 48 months. Not bad.
So, that's it. I'll probably stop by and check this forum once in a while. Lots of good people here. If the 2010 T&C Limited turns out to be a bust, I'll be honest and let you know. Based on our experience as previous owners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation Chrysler minivans, we're fairly confident things will be okay (the trick is to use only Chrysler certified transmission fluid), but you just never know these days, eh?
All the best,
#296 of 687 What's up with the 8th Seat
Mar 17, 2010 (10:50 am)
I saw some threads on the new 8th seat being a bad design. Apologize if this is a duplicate post, but can some 2011 sienna owner talk about their experience with the 8th seat.
#297 of 687 Re: Couldn't do it [tsu670]
Mar 17, 2010 (11:14 am)
"...models have brake override of the accellerator...?
Pure BS on the part of Toyota/NipponDenso...!!!
A BTO, Brake/Throttle Override that is simply a firmware subroutine running in the very same engine/transaxle ECU controller has as much chance of being failsafe as was the "supposed' BTO in the Sikes incident involving a runaway Prius last week.
Only a completely separate, indendent "add-on" BTO would be a true foolproof failsafe.
#298 of 687 Re: Couldn't do it [wwest]
Mar 17, 2010 (11:23 am)
Have you been following the Sikes "incident"?
The guy's a scam artist. He's been caught with insurance fraud, he runs AdultSwingLife.com, makes porn, and it three quarters of a million dollars in debt. Data logs show the brakes and throttle were cycled 250 times and NHTSA concluded he could not have been pressing the brakes.
No fail safe in the world would have made a difference because this was a hoax, pure and simple.
#299 of 687 Re: Couldn't do it [ateixeira]
Mar 17, 2010 (11:53 am)
"...hoax, pure and simple..."
Not so simple if you bother to look behind the curtain..!
#300 of 687 Re: Couldn't do it [wwest]
Mar 17, 2010 (1:28 pm)
Have you read up on the case? NHTSA wrote to congress that him being on the brake pedal hard was "not feasible". Sikes is quoted as saying he was standing on the pedal (he even repeated himself).
Either he's lying, or NHTSA is. NHTSA put this in writing in a memo to congress, so they felt confident about it.
The only curtain is the one Sikes is using to try to hide his sketchy past.
#301 of 687 Re: Couldn't do it [ateixeira]
Mar 17, 2010 (2:43 pm)
According to Toyota's OWN documentation you could stand on the brakes as mightily as a 300lb person might and unless the brake light switch works there will be NO braking available, NONE...!!
Yes, we know that the brake lights were working in Sikes case, but do we know for sure that the HSD control ECU/computer was properly communicating with the skid control ECU/computer..??
Read the recall for the 2010 Prius with regards to delayed frictional braking resulting from an initial ABS activation. ABS will initially result in disabling regenerative braking in favor of the use of ONLY frictional braking. That is probably, mostly, to more evenly distribute the braking forces over all four wheels rather than just on the front wheels, braking of regeneration.
But users of the 2010 Prius are reporting, rarely, a period of 1-2 seconds of absolutely NO BRAKING upon this transition. The "reflash" is to revise the firmware such that the frictional braking, SOLELY controlled by the Skid control ECU, comes on line much quicker once ABS disables regenerative braking.
Other than a firmware flaw what do you suppose would result in a braking gap of 1-2 seconds that could be fixed by a simple "reflash".
In Sikes case the HSD control computer was so busy managing an infinite "set/accel" acceleration rate it did not repond to the skid control computer's query " I need 160HP of braking effort, tell me how much you can provide using regeneration?. Absent a response of...NONE..what level of frictional braking might the skid control ECU provide by default...?
#302 of 687 Re: Couldn't do it [wwest]
Mar 17, 2010 (8:51 pm)
The heat of braking hard against the engine at high speed leaves a wear signature on the brake pads and rotors. As I understand it, Mr Sikes car did not have that wear pattern therefore was not braking hard during his high speed run.
The guy's story doesn't hold up, so we have every reason to believe the guy is an opportunist looking to profit on all the bad publicity Toyota is getting.
#303 of 687 Re: Couldn't do it [yatesjo]
Mar 17, 2010 (11:27 pm)
You can generate as much brake fluid pressure as you like, as much as you can, but unless the Prius' skid control computer enables frictional braking by opening the manifold ports NONE of that pressure will reach the brake calipers. That's how the Prius manages the apportionment of the braking effort between frictional/hydraulic and regenerative braking. The skid control computer has individual LINEAR manifold brake pressure porting controls for each of the 4 wheels.
#304 of 687 Re: Couldn't do it [wwest]
Mar 18, 2010 (1:30 pm)
But some pressure did reach the brakes, note how much they wore down. The article in the WSJ said the wear was not consistent with strong braking, either, so he was feathering the brakes and accelerating.
Sikes also said he was standing on the brakes but the CHP reported he saw the brake lights coming flashing.