Toyota Recall: Gear Shift Problem Affects 615K US Sienna Minivans

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 11:30 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A shifter problem that causes Sienna minivans to unexpectedly roll away prompted Toyota to issue a recall for nearly 700,000 of the vehicles last week.

The voluntary recall affects Sienna minivans from 2004-2005 and 2007-2009, according to a Toyota press release. About 615,000 of the possibly affected vans are in the U.S., with 56,000 additional vehicles in Canada and a few in Mexico, Germany, and Guatemala.

The issue reportedly causes the shift lever to slip out of "Park" and into "Drive" or "Reverse" without the driver having to press the brake pedal. However, the driver would have to nudge the lever in order for this to happen. Toyota stressed that the shifter cannot move out of park on its own, according to NBC News.

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"We know of 21 [related] accidents, mostly minor property damage, and there are two reports of minor injuries," Cindy Knight, a Toyota spokesperson, told the Los Angeles Times.

Afflicted customers will be notified via mail and can return their vehicles to a Toyota dealer for a replacement shift lock solenoid mechanism, the company said.

Other brands, including General Motors, Chrysler, and Honda, have experienced rollaway problems in the past, but Toyota has had more safety-related recalls than any other car manufacturer during the last five years, NBC News reported.

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Related stories:

Ford Issues Recall For 465K 2013 Models

Ford Recalling 370,000 Cars For Corrosion in Steering Shaft

Toyota Recall: 250K Lexus, Prius Hybrid Cars Have Brake Defect  

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