I would suggest reading the complete Toyota Technical Support Bulletin below before attempting the repair yourself.
The official Toyota Technical bulletin can be found at the bottom of this page or can be downloaded as a PDF file. (The PDF downloaded version will not have the additional notes and photos included below). It appears that the faulty rear window defect has been a problem on Toyota Sequoia’s since 2001 and continued through at least the 2007 year model. I am not sure why the defective part was not removed at the factory, especially after Toyota knew what was causing this issue early on in the model year. This should have been a recall event. The body was completely changed for the 2008 year model and it is not know if this defect is present on the new body style.
In my particular case, the rear power window, wiper & washer, and electric rear window defroster stopped working while still in warranty. A Toyota dealership in Texas made that repair at around 30,000 miles. The ECU computer and power window motor were replaced. At that time, a part called a “metal stopper or brake” which was malfunctioning and jamming the rear window gear was supposed to have been removed and discarded. Unfortunately, as time would tell, the technician forgot to remove the defective “metal stopper or brake”. About six months after that repair (and after moving to another state) the entire system overheated and quit working again. Now that my Sequoia is out of warranty, the dealership in my new state refused to fix the system again under warranty and said the repair would be somewhere around $600. Not A Happy Event!
POSSIBLE FIX: If your vehicle has never had the repair made during the vehicle warranty period, try this first.
If all three rear window functions are inoperative (1) power window, (2) rear window defroster, and (3) wiper/washer function; try to reset the ECU computer module.
To do this, (a) turn on the ignition key, (b) hold the power window in the UP position for 10 seconds. Note - You may hear a click in the rear door panel from the reset ECU (which is a good sign).
Turn the ignition switch off and back on again. Check to see if the rear window defogger button light now works and also the rear wiper/washer. If they do work, also try the power window, although it probably will not move because of the defective “brake” mechanism.
If all are still inoperative, try doing the reset again, but hold the power window button in the DOWN position rather than the UP position as before. (It took me several times to get this to work. Mine did reset, but the window would still not work because the technician forgot to remove the brake).
If still nothing works, the ECU computer, power window motor or both may be burned out. Let’s hope that is not the case because the ECU is $247 at the dealer ($188 on the internet), and the power window motor is about $200. And don’t forget the dealer’s labor.
RESET DONE: If you were able to get the defroster and washer/wiper to work again, you are half way done. You will now need to remove the plastic rear door panel to access the defective (brake) part. Now you can start looking at the photos in the technical bulletin that I have included below. They are listed in the order of parts removal so you can get to the defective part. At this point, you must also read the Toyota Technical Bulletin (completely before starting) to get the detailed instructions for removing the plastic panels since you won’t want to break or destroy the plastic parts and connectors.