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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 03 2011, 10:15 AM


Toyota is issuing out a recall of 210,000 Siennas from their 2011-2012 model year for a labeling issue. The recall is relatively minor, with Toyota equipping the Siennas with stickers displaying the incorrect vehicle capacity weight.

The recalled Siennas do not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 110, “Tire Selection and Rims.” The NHTSA issued out a warning for Sienna owners since they can accidentally overload their minivan as a result of the incorrect decals. An overloaded van could ultimately cause tire failure, obviously increasing the likelihood of an accident.

The recall will be a quick fix, with Toyota planning to mail out corrected stickers and updated manuals to their customers.

 |  Jul 24 2011, 9:00 AM

We love a happy ending – that’s why we had to tell you about the story of Rachelle Friedman, a 23-year-old who was paralyzed as a result of a tragic accident during her bachelorette party in May 2010.

After the accident, she and her fiancé Chris Chapman were busy planning their wedding with the help of a BraunAbility Sienna Rampvan that was loaned to them by the company and local mobility dealer Van Products Inc. Little did the couple know that BruanAbility and Toyota USA had a wedding gift planned for them that wasn’t on their registry – a brand new 2011 Toyota Sienna with a BraunAbility Rampvan XT conversion.

“Rachelle’s resolve and strength are truly inspirational,” said Nick Gutwein, President of Braun. “We were so moved by her story that we wanted to help her not only while she planned for her wedding, but also as she moves forward in her married life.”

Now that the wedding is over, this new BraunAbility Rampvan XT conversion allows Rachelle to get to quad-rugby practices and tournaments, as well as therapy appointments. Before she had use of this van, her mother had been carrying her in and out of her SUV.

“The van’s made all the difference in the world,” said Rachelle. “Not only has it saved my mom’s back, it’s just made it so much easier to get out and do things. I’ve missed this level of comfort, convenience and independence. Next up…learning to drive on my own!”

 |  Dec 13 2010, 5:34 PM

Toyota has just announced a recall for it’s new ‘Swagger Wagon’ Sienna minivan for an issue related to the braking system.

Unrelated to any past brake recalls the recall involves the parking brake bracket that could become damaged by repeated use of the foot-actuated parking brake pedal. Toyota warns that damage to the bracket could lead to brake lights that appear on, or in extreme cases ‘dragging’ brakes, which could wear the brakes out over time.

In total 94,000 Sienna minivans are affected by the recall, all dating from the 2011 model year.

Toyota will notify Sienna owners and provide a fix free of charge. Those with questions are asked to call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

Official release after the jump:

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 |  May 29 2010, 9:25 AM

Finally, some good news for Toyota – three new Toyota vehicles have been given Top Safety Pick awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Getting the award are the 2011 Toyota Avalon and Sienna for achieving the institute’s highest ratings in front, side, rollover and rear crash tests. Also picking up an award is the 2010 Lexus RX – now that the company has improved its stability control program. In order to win this award, vehicles must come with electronic stability control as standard equipment.

The Sienna was redesigned for the 2011 year and is the first minivan to earn the IIHS’s top safety designation since good performance for rollover protection was added to the criteria for 2010. This is great news for the brand, and comes as much welcome news after an onslaught of recalls.

[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]

 |  May 05 2010, 10:12 AM

Picture 2

The marketing folks for Toyota are taking a unique approach to the new Sienna minivan, opting to raise interest (and eyebrows) with a new “Swagger Wagon” commercial that has a regular family gangsta-rapping about their new wheels.

The whole thing is actually very well executed – like the new Sienna. And with the top trim Sienna looking more like a Lexus (inside and out) and costing like a Lexus too – P Diddy might just approve.

Check out the video after the jump, plus we’ve thrown in another video that we have a feeling Toyota’s marketing folks have seen. It’s Canadian comedian Jon Lajoie in ‘Everyday Normal Guy.’

And be sure to check out our review of the 2011 Sienna at the link below:

2011 Toyota Sienna: First Drive

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 |  Dec 02 2009, 3:56 PM


With the minivan segment continuing to diminish in the marketplace, Toyota has unveiled its all-new 2011 Sienna as more of a significantly refreshed version. It’s not a huge departure from the previous generation model, but it does get a long list of upgrades including a new interior and exterior as well as a new standard 4-cylinder engine.

Past Siennas were only available with the company’s powerful V6 engine, which can still be had with 266 horsepower and a fuel-economy rating of 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway (16 mpg city/22 mpg highway on AWD models). The big news, however, is the addition of an entry-level 4-cylinder model. It uses a 2.7-liter motor with 187-hp, delivering more power than some competitors have in their V6 options. Fuel economy for the 2.7 is rated at 19/26 mpg (city/highway). Both engines get a six-speed automatic transmission.

The new Sienna certainly has a more dramatic appearance than the previous gen minivan, taking design cues from the Venza. A Sporty SE model will accentuate the new style further with an even more aggressive front end design, as well as side skirts and 19-inch wheels. The car even gets special instruments, interior colors and what Toyota calls a “sport-tuned suspension.” But coming from Toyota that’s probably not all that sporty.

Inside the car is more than 2-inches longer and in 7-seater trim the second row can move forward and backward by up to 23-inches to give maximum leg room for passengers. Those second row folks will be able to relax and enjoy the new Dual View Entertainment Center, that uses two side-by-side screens to create a 16.4-inch monitor that can show movies either individually or in unison for a more enjoyable “big-screen” experience.

In the all-important safety area the 2011 Sienna features Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and 7 airbags. A Pre-Collision System (PCS) is optional on Limited trims, as is Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which coordinates the brakes, steering and engine output proactively rather than reactively to help keep the car under control before it reaches its limit.

XLE and Limited models will get an optional Safety Connect system which includes Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), and Roadside Assistance. Like GM’s OnStar, Automatic Collision Notification will automatically call a response center if it detects the airbags deploy or a sever rear-end collision and even even contact a nearby emergency service if the occupants are unresponsive. An SOS button will let the driver contact the Toyota response center in case of an emergency or for road side assistance.

The 2011 Sienna is set to arrive in dealerships in February of 2010.

GALLERY: 2011 Toyota Sienna


More on the new 2011 Toyota Sienna after the jump:

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 |  Nov 10 2009, 10:00 AM


***UPDATE*** 2011 Toyota Sienna Info and Pictures Available Here ***UPDATE***

Has the crossover killed the minivan? Toyota doesn’t think so.. not yet, at least. Japan’s largest automaker has announced that it will debut the all-new 2011 Sienna minivan at the Los Angeles Auto Show in early December.

There are no details about the future of the Sienna but we expect Toyota to take an “evolutionary” approach. The minivan segment continues to shrink and so its unlikely huge resources were devoted to creating the new Sienna, but there will no doubt be plenty of innovative new features. Toyota is one of a shrinking number of manufacturers still making minivans, with all of the domestics (save Chrysler) dropping their family haulers in favor of crossovers.

We’ll be sure to bring you full info and pictures of the new van with live coverage or the LA Auto Show starting December 2nd.

See here for a full review of the 2010 Sienna

See AutoGuide’s Live 2009 LA Auto Show Coverage Here Starting December 2nd

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…