Honey, Where’d You Put the Sierra’s Spare?

Can’t find your Sierra’s spare tire? Don’t drive yourself crazy, it might have fallen off somewhere down the road.

The spare tire, which is mounted beneath the minivan, is protected by a splash guard that Toyota admits can fall off with “normal usage”. Maybe try extreme usage next time? If you live in a state that uses a lot of road salt in the winter, a missing splash guard means three things:

  1. Road salt gets on the spare tire’s carrier assembly cable
  2. The salt eats away at the cable like a mouse on a piece of stinky cheese
  3. The cable snaps and it’s bye bye spare

If this all sounds familiar, it’s because certain Siennas were recalled for the exact same thing in 2010. During that recall Toyota replaced the splash guard and added an anti-rusting agent to prevent corrosion – how’d that work out? Let’s hope they have a better solution in mind this time. May I suggest a splash guard that doesn’t fall off as a good place to start.

The recall affects about 370,000 model year 2004-2011 Sienna minivans originally sold in or registered in cold climate states. It also involves about 80,000 minivans in Canada and 400 in Europe. Owners should be on the lookout for a letter in the mail soon, but owners with questions can call Toyota at 800-331-4331.