4th-gen (2021-) Sienna: Removing 2nd-Row Seats

This article is a collection of information and resources for removing the second-row (middle row) seats on the 4th-generation Toyota Sienna (2021-).

The Situation

2nd-row seats of the previous Sienna generation (2011-2020) were easily removable by pulling a latch. However, the 4th-gen Sienna’s 2nd-row seats are not removable by the user, at least according to Toyota. This is in part because there are now SRS airbags inside the backrests, as seen in this crash test video.

Instead of a quick-release mechanism, the 2nd-row seats are now secured with 4 bolts hidden behind plastic trim pieces. Additionally, the seat airbag connector must be disconnected.

The Procedure

This video shows the process for removing the 2nd-row seats, which involves disconnecting the 12V battery to depower the airbags, prying off seat trim, disconnecting the airbag and seat heater/seatbelt connectors, and removing 4 bolts.

These instructions are focused on the captain chairs, but the bench seat has a similar procedure.

Written Instructions

 7-Seat8-Seat
RemovalLeft or RightLeft
Right
InstallationLeft or RightLeft
Right
Tools Used

I’m linking both the bare minimum tool you need just by itself, and alternatively a better value set if you plan on keeping a good set of tools for DIY automotive work.

Minimum neededExpansion set or more versatile upgradePurpose
10mm socket1/4"-drive socket setTo loosen/tighten the battery terminal bolt
1/4"-drive ratchetFlex-head 1/4"-drive ratchetTo drive the 10mm socket
17mm socket1/2"-drive socket setTo loosen/tighten the seat bolts
1/2"-drive socket extension1/2"-drive socket extension setTo reach the recessed seat bolts
1/2"-drive ratchetMore compact 1/2"-drive ratchet if you have a torque wrench and/or impact wrenchTo drive the 17mm socket
Pry toolInterior trim tool kitTo pry off the seat trim
1/2"-drive torque wrenchAdditional 1/4"-drive torque wrench if you don't trust "hand-tight" for battery terminal eitherTo ensure seat bolts are re-tightened to proper torque

The Problem

Once one or more seats are out, if the battery were to be reconnected and the car started, you would see this warning:

The car knows that one or more of its airbags are missing, so it complains. It stays on the gauge cluster screen and also appears on the infotainment screen. Fortunately, it does not beep continuously. Some Toyota dealership employees have claimed that all other airbags stop working in this situation. While this has not been verified, it’s wise to err on the side of caution to avoid a “cry wolf” situation where a false positive masks a real, unrelated airbag problem (e.g. you couldn’t tell the difference between the 2nd-row seat airbags being unplugged and the driver airbag actually malfunctioning).

The Solution

You can use an airbag simulator to resolve the airbag warning message and ensure that the SRS airbag system is working normally. I developed one specifically to fit the Sienna’s airbag connector.

You can buy these airbag simulator dongles from my web store. Get 2 if removing 2 seats.

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Chris Saeger
Chris Saeger
1 year ago

Great work on the dongle. Just curious. Do you think the seats could be reinstalled facing the rear? Thinking that facing rear they could be moved very far forward and the seat could serve as a support to a bed platform.

Jerry M
Jerry M
9 months ago

I just tried this on the 2022 Sienna. They now have a third plug (see photo) below the white & yellow. With this unplugged the warning light comes on regardless of whether the yellow plugs is connected to the module or seat. Any suggestions?

7479F0C4-56FA-4E66-99A6-6F7A9AAC672A.jpeg
JCP
JCP
6 months ago

@Brad Ling consider changing the title of your posts and videos, the bypass doesn’t work for anything but the 2021 Sienna, not all 4th gen or (2021-). Nice work on the hack, it just doesn’t work for 2022.

Kristen
Kristen
5 months ago

Just removed the second row seats in my 2022 Sienna LE and used 2 of your original airbag dongles (didn’t need the new ones for the upper trim level). Everything worked great and I really appreciate the clear step by step instructions. Thank you so much!!!

Last edited 5 months ago by Kristen
Billie
Billie
5 months ago

How can I remove the console between the drivers & passengers seat in my 2022 Sienna please? I need to be able to move to the back while staying inside my vehicle. I’m sure others do also.

Chris
Chris
5 months ago

I’m just a little bit confused how many plugs do I need if I want the remove 2 second row seats? 2 round and 2 square plugs right?

Johanna Ammentorp
Johanna Ammentorp
4 months ago

Is it possible to remove a middle bench seat

Patrick Wilson
Patrick Wilson
3 months ago

Can the third row seating also be removed for extra storage purpose? 2022 sienna. Thank you

Maribeth
Maribeth
2 months ago

Thanks for the tutorial and dongle soluton. Can you remove the rail carriages for a flat surface?

Last edited 2 months ago by Maribeth
Mark Mayeske
Mark Mayeske
25 days ago

Hi Brad, Do I need just 2 round dongles if removing both middle row seats on my ’22 Sienna LE (8 passenger), or do I also require 2 square dongles?

Thanks!
Mark

Michelle Simon
Michelle Simon
18 days ago

I bought 2 dongles before removing the railing of a 2022 Sienna LE. It did take away the air bag message. But now that the railings have been removed the airbag message is back. How can I by pass the message now?

Rose-Ann
Rose-Ann
15 days ago

We had given up on getting a new Sienna van but after watching this are slowly coming around to reconsider.

Jay
Jay
14 days ago

Any update on yhe ottoman conversion? I have a 2022 Sienna with 3 plugs. I bought the ottoman but it only have 2 plugs. Do you know what is the 3rd plug for? My middle seat is not power nor heated. Thanks

Patrick H Dwyer
Patrick H Dwyer
12 days ago

Hello
i cannot get the key fob to be recognized by the van for power doors and locks after making this change.?

Jay
Jay
11 days ago

Got the 2 square for my 2022 XLE today. Thanks for the fast shipping. Works great , no more annoying SRS warning