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Toyota recalls 94,000 2011 Sienna minivans for brake risk

Toyota has issued a recall for 2011 Sienna minivans built prior to November 2010 for a concern over the stop lamp switch bracket that could lead to the brake lights remaining on and, in the worst cases, could cause increased wear to the braking system.

In the 94,000 2011 Toyota Sienna’s recalled today, the stop lamp switch bracket is located very near the parking brake pedal. Due to the positioning of this bracket which triggers the rear stop lights, the driver’s foot could hit the bracket and the assembly could bend. If the bracket is bent far enough, it could cause the brake lights to light up when the brakes are not engaged and in some severe situations, it could cause the brakes the very lightly engage. Driving around with the brakes engaged could speed up the wear to the braking system components, possibly leading to decreased braking abilities and increased braking distances – possibly improving the chances of getting into an accident.

Toyota has become well known for their pedal issues but this is the first time that the brake and parking brake pedal has come under fire. From the sound of Toyota’s announcement of this new recall, they do not have the available parts to fix these 94,000 vehicles right now so in January, they will send out a letter to owners explaining what to look for and how to use the parking brake in a manner that will lessen the chances of bending the stop lamp switch bracket. Then in late February 2011, Toyota will send out another letter instructing owners to bring their 2011 Sienna in the stop lamp switch bracket will be replaced with one that allows for a little of extra room in relation to the parking brake pedal.