A class action law suit has been filed against Toyota for defective automatic sliding doors in 2011-2016 Toyota Sienna minivans. The lawsuit alleges that a problem with the doors prevents them from latching shut. The doors can open automatically, on their own, even when the vehicle is in motion, representing a dangerous and potentially fatal situation. Conversely, the defect can also cause the doors to be stuck shut, trapping occupants in the vehicle.
That problem involves sliding doors with motor circuits that can become overloaded, causing the fuse malfunction. With an open fuse, the door could open while driving if the door latch is in an unlatched position. Although Toyota has issued a recall for the doors, they have provided no repair solution. Consumers are advised to disable the power mechanism in the doors and just operate them manually. Since many buyers of minivans view power sliding rear doors as a key and essential feature, forcing owners to operate the doors strictly manually represents a significant inconvenience and devaluation of the car.
The class action lawsuit alleges that Toyota has been aware of the sliding door defect since before 2013. It claims Toyota was privy to the complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as far back as 2011. Still, Toyota continued to sell the affected Toyota Siennas without taking steps to fix the defect or notify its customers, the plaintiffs say. The company did not issue a recall for the problem until November 2016.
The Toyota Sienna Sliding Door Defect Class Action Lawsuit is Tonya Combs et al v. Toyota Motor Corporation et al, 2:17-cv-04633, in the California District Court.