Home » Toyota Can’t Explain Why The Original Sequoia Had An Absurd Five Sunglasses Holders

Toyota Can’t Explain Why The Original Sequoia Had An Absurd Five Sunglasses Holders

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If ignorance has a sexy sibling, it’s mystery. It’s one thing to not know why something is or what something is, but not knowing why something is is a hell of a lot more fun when that something is baffling or confusing or amusing or engaging in some way. Make it just a touch sinister, and you’ve transformed ignorance into mystery. I think the fact that first-generation non-sunroof Toyota Sequoias have a little mystery of this sort associated with them. It’s the Mystery of Why The Hell Does This Thing Have Five Separate Sunglass Holders In The Overhead Console.

Many, likely most, cars made in the past 20 years or so have some sort of flip-down sunglass holder, most commonly in a headliner-mounted console above the rear-view mirror. We all know these: you push on them, and a little door swings down, revealing a little protected slot to stick your sunglasses. Most cars have one of these.

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The 2002-2004 Toyota Sequoia, though, if optioned with no sunroof (which is not very common; really, only the base trim Sequoias had no sunroof; a Toyota rep told me that as soon as you add any option packages to the Sequoia, a sunroof almost always shows up, too) will have, spreading down the center of its headliner, like some sort of spine, a large overhead console that contains an improbable and seemingly absurd five sunglass holders.

Sequoia Console Side

Five! Maybe the thinking was that everyone who could occupy a seat in the car should, by divine right, have a safe and convenient place to store their sunglasses (or other eyewear; there’s nothing that says you couldn’t slide a nice pair of Warby Parker readers in there) because, somehow, that was considered a priority? It’s not clear, at all.

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And, of course, I’m by no means the first person to point this out. There have been posts on various places on the internet from Sequoia owners quite baffled by this quintet of sunglass cubbies for years:

Sequoia Reddit1

It looks like madness, doesn’t it? And now, thanks to Tik Tok, there’s been a bit of a resurgence of interest in the Mystery of All The Damn Sequoia Sunglass Holders as people are sharing them, via the magic of digital moving pictures, with the world.

Here, look:

@b14k3bix

Noone ever talks about the feautures #toyota #newcar #sequoia #toyotasequoia #trending #dougdemuro

♬ original sound – b14k3

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… and here’s another one:

@doctorbcruse

My Sequoia has so many sunglasses holders. #fyp #sequoia #tree #sunsout #sunglasses #noclue #duet

♬ original sound – bcruse80

Okay, one more:

@sn0zberries

Thanks Toyota #sequoia #fyp #toyota #sunglass

♬ original sound – Cat

I’m sure there’s more out there, but you get the idea. The thing has a crapload of sunglass holders, and it’s weirding everybody out. I’m pretty confused, too; I get that maybe Toyota just needed to fill a lot of space on that sunroofless headliner, and after they stuck in some map lights and provisions for garage door opening buttons and so on, they maybe just ran out of ideas and copy-pasted that lone sunglass holder five times? They did make the last two bigger, maybe for oversized Elton John-style novelty glasses, I suppose

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I reached out to Toyota, hoping to get some answers, but, to be honest, the response I got only led to more questions. The first response I got was an outright denial that Toyota even made these consoles! I was told that after talking to both Toyota R&D and their Calty Design Center, they had determined that this was an aftermarket accessory and not original Toyota equipment.

Wait a minute. Something doesn’t smell right here. Looking at a lot of eBay ads, I found the shot I was looking for – a nice, clear Toyota sticker, complete with part and patent numbers:

Consolesticker

That part number linked to a number of places selling this genuine, OEM Toyota part, and most of those patent numbers have to do with electrical equipment that may be incorporated into the console, like a vehicle compass. The point is, this is not an aftermarket part! It’s OEM! I reached back out to Toyota and showed them my findings, perhaps a bit indignantly.

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Immediately, the story changed. Now Toyota was admitting that, yes, this was their part, and while it was not common, it did exist on those base model packages. I was told that the power moonroof was a $1,005 standalone option, so lots of people jumped at that chance.

As far as why, I was simply told

“So far as engineers and designers are concerned, we don’t have any information we can provide internally from folks who worked on the vehicle. Which bums me out. Sorry about that, Jason.”

Well, crap. And I do appreciate Toyota’s PR team, who are always helpful and knowledgeable. Except this time, and as a result of this dichotomy, I suspect something, I don’t know, sinister.

Why would they pretend that this was an aftermarket part? Why is Toyota so hush-hush about the thinking behind the legendary pentapockets for sunglasses? What are they hiding? What’s the angle here? Something is clearly up.

There’s no reason for Toyota to try to distance themselves from this remarkable feature, especially with all the new attention it’s getting; this is the sort of mind-share attention that you can’t buy, and a savvy marketing team would be all over this, perhaps offering an all-new six sunglass holder for the new Toyota Sequoia.

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So, after all this, things have just gotten weirder. We still don’t understand the motivation for such a shocking amount of sunglass holders in a single vehicle, and we now have the added mystery of Toyota’s strange reaction.

This isn’t over.

 

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JIHADJOE
JIHADJOE
1 month ago

Not quite as impressive, the but LC100 of the same generation had four sunglasses holders!

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
1 month ago

Can I install 5 of these across the headliner in my 2002 Tacoma? I have the same brown plastic interior color. 25 sunglass holders would be hilarious and would accent quite well with the turf grass carpeting I have installed.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
1 month ago

This just leads to more questions. Why is there a blanking plate in the front that looks like it wanted to be for kid size glasses? Why does the first holder have a ribbed button thing? Why did they add the stylized indented swoosh around the last two jumbo holders? You’re right Jason, this is certainly not over yet. We need answers.

Strangek
Strangek
1 month ago

Toyota is obviously in the pockets of Big Sunglass and doesn’t want to get found out. Too late though, Toyota! The investigative reporting staff at The Autopian, along with their ample and attractive membership group, are about to blow this case wide open!

Scott Watson
Scott Watson
1 month ago
Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
1 month ago
Reply to  Scott Watson

Good advice there, I think trying to use them to hold candles would just set your own headliner on fire, they wouldn’t really get close to the Toyota

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 month ago

Hilarious.

This is unrelated, but I have noticed that Sequoias are (in NY, at least) the worst-driven cars of any type. Not aggressively bad as are Altimas and Galants on North Carolina plates and no insurance, but the nervous, incompetent, uninterested, absent-minded kind of bad.

I was telling a co-worker my theory and she then said her mom had a Sequoia. And that she was indeed all of those things. The next day someone drove a Sequoia into a bunch of parked cars right outside our Harlem office. Can’t wait to see what will happen now that I typed this.

DaChicken
DaChicken
1 month ago

The front is for storing sunglasses, the rest are for tacos.

https://ifunny.co/picture/LHgFO1B27

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
1 month ago

Honestly, this looks heavenly. I have to use the sunglasses compartment in my ’97 Grand Cherokee to hold a garage door opener, because modern garage door openers aren’t compatible with the little compartment that was included in the overhead console for this purpose. It’s just as well, because modern sunglasses are way too big for the sunglasses compartment.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Last edited 1 month ago by PlatinumZJ
Twobox Designgineer
Twobox Designgineer
1 month ago

This is more evil than you may have thought, since it is actually a quintuple torture device. My experience with using these flip-pockets is that they serve as roof-integrated ovens that produce a piece of eyewear that will try to sear itself permanently into the flesh of your nose and temples, should you even be able to handle it long enough to get it onto your head.

There is a potential benefit if used for roasting peanuts or coffee beans, though removing said beans would be difficult due to the pocket design. Trying to make a grilled cheese in the Elton John Glasses Pocket however is not recommended, due off chance that one forgets it in there and ends up with a vehicle smelling as bad as a David Tracy kittenmobile.

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
1 month ago

This doesn’t shed light on much of anything, but there also appear to be two separate parts pictured in all of these photos for the article. In one of them, I would say there are only four sunglass holders and the one in the front is to place your garage door opener remote. The theory was you Velcro your remote in there and align it to where the button for your door is lined up with that center portion. Then you simply give that button a tap and you have hit your garage door opener while keeping it hidden away and not permanently indenting your sun visor.

I think my parents had a Lexus with that type of garage door opener remote holder in the 1990s. Seems like it would have stuck around until Homelink became the upgrade norm.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
1 month ago
Reply to  JerryLH3

I have never had a garage door opener work up there. Must be a positioning thing. Maybe the electronic rearview mirror interfere?

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
1 month ago
Reply to  SlowCarFast

Whoops! My mistake! I was thinking about my workplace AVI parking garage unit. The garage door openers do work from there.

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