This article is a collection of information and resources for removing the second-row (middle row) seats on the 4th-generation Toyota Sienna (2021-).
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.
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.
|Removal||Left or Right||Left
|Installation||Left or Right||Left
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 needed||Expansion set or more versatile upgrade||Purpose|
|10mm socket||1/4"-drive socket set||To loosen/tighten the battery terminal bolt|
|1/4"-drive ratchet||Flex-head 1/4"-drive ratchet||To drive the 10mm socket|
|17mm socket||1/2"-drive socket set||To loosen/tighten the seat bolts|
|1/2"-drive socket extension||1/2"-drive socket extension set||To reach the recessed seat bolts|
|1/2"-drive ratchet||More compact 1/2"-drive ratchet if you have a torque wrench and/or impact wrench||To drive the 17mm socket|
|Pry tool||Interior trim tool kit||To pry off the seat trim|
|1/2"-drive torque wrench||Additional 1/4"-drive torque wrench if you don't trust "hand-tight" for battery terminal either||To ensure seat bolts are re-tightened to proper torque|
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).
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.