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Toyota Sequoia Maintenance and Repair



  • I own a 2002 Sequoia. I haven't been able to operate my rear gate window for a couple years due to the window rails rotting out, similar to the rear gate handle and latch problems that others have experienced. This window rail and handle/latch rot problem is a Toyota design problem.
    I've read that it is fairly easy to replace the handle and latch, but has anyone had any hands-on experience of replacing the rear gate window rails?
    I look forward to hearing from others. Thank you.
  • Could anything else happen with my '02 Sequoia. Two days in a row this weekend, while going down clear and dry roads(NO snow, rain, or ice) our Sequoia for the first time just started bucking like a bronco, skid control beeping, and the skid indicator light flashing. Needed to stop, turn off, and restart the vehicle. Continued to do this several times until we limped home. It's in the shop today. Is this a major or minor problem?
    I look forward to hearing from others.
  • First I want to apologize to all the members for the multiple posting I did regarding My 2002, 66,400 miles Toyota Sequoia rusted frame. Being new in this site I did not realized that the post would group together in one posting. After seeing them I also thought it was repetitive and annoying. Sorry for that. I received an email from Steve notifying me of this and other site rule violations I committed like asking you for case numbers and to contact me directly so we could create a united front to fight this together.
    That being said, I don't know how to proceed from here. I pleaded with Toyota Corp to assist me in fixing the rusted frame. They asked me to take the vehicle to a Toyota dealership for a frame inspection which resulted in a report where indeed the frame is coming apart and I had already lost some components aside from having the transmission, the differential and the spare tire at risk of falling off the car. The report cost me $51.50 which I gladly paid. Toyota sent me a letter with a declined message. I filed a complaint with NHTSA and I called them to make sure it was filed under the correct issue. They said that all the complaints are read by the engineers and they are file accordingly.
    I urge any Sequoia owner to do the same. On my part I am trying to bring awareness in my community about this issue. I have printed flyers and I am looking at other ways to advance our cause. If anyone have suggestions on how to achieve this please post.
    I hope this posting is not violating any rules.
    Thank you
    Worcester, MA
  • I have a 2011 Sequoia. After only about 3,000 miles it developed a squeak that appears whenever I drive on a bad road, sometimes now on paved roads when I hit a particular kind of bump. A mechanic at the Toyota dealer heard it but could not say what was causing it – something underneath in back, he thought. Has anyone else had a similar problem, and if so, were you able to locate and eliminate it? Thanks.
  • I have the same issue with my 2003. What should I be doing to bring awareness to Toyota?
  • cabin04cabin04 Posts: 31
    Hi James,
    You should contact your local Toyota dealership and have them conduct an undercarriage inspection. At the same time file a formal online consumer case with the NHTSA, so that your case is added to the national database.
    If Toyota rejects you case, file an online formal complaint with your state Attorney General's Office and they will send a letter to Toyota Motor Sales USA in California and follow-up.
    Please notify me if you have any questions and/or require further detail.
  • Hi James. Sorry you are having the same problem. First I contacted TOYOTA MOTOR SALES USA customer relations department to find out what I could do. They asked me to have a frame inspection by a Toyota dealership. It cost me $51.50 and they gave me a report of the inspection. After contacting Toyota Corp. again, they told me that my vehicle was out of warranty and they declined my claim by letter . They did assigned a case number for future reference.
    Next I file a complaint with the NHTSA. They said they will file the complaint in their archives for future used if they have enough complaints to warrant and investigation. I also filed a complaint with my estate Attorney General.
    They did forward the complaint to a local consumer agency that works with them in trying to mediate my complaint with Toyota. The agency call me back and asked a few questions. I faxed them the Inspection report, the declined letter and a estimate I got from the dealership to replace the frame. The said they will send a letter to TMSUSA for a response. TMSUSA have 10 days to respond. If they don't, the agency will contact them by phone. That's where I am at right now. After that I my next step is to contact my lawyer and file a lawsuit against TMSUSA and have them defend their denial in a court of law. It may cost me some money but is will be an investment, sometimes you win sometimes you lose. The key is to spread the word to other Sequoia owners that may have the same problem. Some already know their frames are failing but there are thousands and thousands that may be at risk or already have their frames rusted through and don't know.
    I have joined a couple of forums to see if this problem is widespread and it seems to be. Some forums are sponsored by Toyota and their administrators will shut you down for bringing the issue up. Beware!

    Wishing you good luck, let me know how it go for you.
  • Hi Gil. I'll love to put myself behind the wheel of another Sequoia. Great vehicle. Mine developed a severe rusted frame at 66,400m but aside from that I couldn't ask for better ride. I don't know what could cause your noise, since it is a new vehicle I doubt it has do to with any rust. Keep an ear on the noise to see if you can identify the situation (maneuver) you are doing when the noise is heard. Keep the dealership receipt safe, maybe in the future you find out what it is and you'll have a record that you encountered the problem early under warranty.

    Good luck!
  • cabin04cabin04 Posts: 31
    Hi drifter1999, Thank you for sharing this important information. It sounds like you and I are at the same stage in addressing this serious "frame rot" issue. My NH Attorney Generals Office has turned my consumer complaint over to a "Consumer Proctection Agency". If this doesn't work, I've already provided my lawyer with all the info and he is ready to pull the trigger when I give him the word. I hope it doesn't come to this.
    Yes, we need to continue to spread the word about this serious "Frame Rot" problem to those Sequoia owners who are not even aware they have a problem.
    Keep the communications flowing.
    Thanks again.
  • Go to for the part. Part is offered in plastic or steel.
    1aauto also has a video on how to replace the rear latch.
    The liftgate trim can be removed from inside. Start removing the trim from the top then right side then left side. You can then remove the main liftgate trim which will expose the panels you need to remove to open the liftgate and then change the latch. Latch is about $50.
  • I am having a similar issue with the VSC coming on in corners on dry road. What was the issue? My dealership cant figure it out.
  • cabin04cabin04 Posts: 31
    My VSC problem is pointing towards a bad computer component that controls the engine, excelorator, and brakes that help prevents the skid.
    I can't do anything with this VSC problem until something is done with my rotted frame, which is currently more critical. I'm hoping that my VSC problem is really a bad sensor, and not the computer. My VSC problem only occurs when I have passengers in the 2nd or 3rd row seats.
  • I am going to have to take a look at my frame! I always have people in my 2nd and 3rd row. I have 5 kids. I find that mine goes off more on left hand curves. The last time I drove it the VSC came on and stayed on until I had slowed to about 2 miles an hour. I lost control of the steering and it pulled me off the road. The dealer keeps sending me home with it.
  • cabin04cabin04 Posts: 31
    Yes, take a look at your frame. Please send me an email, and I'll send you some pictures of my frame for comparison.
    The Toyota dealership should be able to read the codes which should point to the cause of the VSC going off. It's either a bad sensor or the computer that controls the VSC.
    When the VSC, skid indicator, and audio alarm all go off, indicating a skid, and the computer takes over and controls the engine and brakes, the only way I can get it to stop is to stop the Sequoia, turn off the egnition and turn the vehicle back on again. The vehicle will run okay until you go around another curve in the road.
    Has anyone else out there experienced their Sequoia thinking it's in a skid when it's not??
  • dlcole76054dlcole76054 Posts: 21
    edited January 2012
    Is this rust endemic to all geographic locations or only to places that use salt heavily in the winter to clear off the roads?

    In Texas, we use sand, not salt for road clearance and rust generally is not a problem. Also, I have lived in cold weather country (Northern Virginia). We just took the vehicles to the car wash, which had an under-carriage rinse facility...usually about once a month was all it took. No problems and this was mid-1980s before improved rust proofing.
  • For what I understand, the Sequoias are built with the same frames as the Tacomas and Tundras which were recalled because of a defect on the frames that is described as "Premature Rusting." This rusting is caused either because of substandard material and/or because of manufacturer's storage of the units. The frames are rusting from the inside out. Toyota settled a lawsuit with the manufacturer of the frames for $25M.
    Most of the affected vehicles are from northern states where winter is most prevalent and many states uses a mix of sand and salt to treat roads, a practice that have been going on for over 40 years. Manufacturers knows of this practice and install the frames with anti-corrosion coating. Somehow Toyota overlooked this condition and put these defected frames on the affected vehicles. I have read post of other states having the same problem but not as extensive as Snowy states. Other makes of vehicles are not experiencing the same rate of deterioration as the Toyota Sequoias, Tundras and Tacomas. Salt is not affecting all the vehicles the same. There are vehicles on the road with 15, 20 years and longer where their frames are still solid with just minor surface rust even though these vehicles are in the same states that uses salt. This salt issue is the argument Toyota and their defenders want to use to deny any responsibility. They already accepted and recognized that the Tundras and Tacomas had "prematurely rusting" frames. The Sequoias should be at least considered for a more in depth look at the condition of frames and determine is not all but some of the vehicles were built with this defective frame.
  • So my wife and I just bought 2001 Sequoia with 158,000 miles on it but we weren't worried because of the Toyota name and quality. We have had a 1996 Camry and a 2000 4 Runner with almost zero issues. We currently have a 2007 Camry and now this Sequoia.

    After reading some posts on here I went out and looked at the frame under the engine compartment and noticed 2 small rust holes the size of a dime each. Other than that though my frame doesn't even show signs of rust. We live in Michigan, so it see's its fair share of salt. Before we bought it I brought it to my friends garage and he put it on the life and everything, frame looked good on the bottom. Should I be concerned with only 2 small spots?
  • mcfly3mcfly3 Posts: 1
    On December 28, 2011, I brought my 2001, Toyota Sequoia in to be serviced for rear brakes and to get the oil changed. My certified mechanic called me at home and strongly suggested that I come in to see what he discovered while my vehicle was up on the lift. So I stopped in to take a look. He showed me extensive rust holes in the middle of the frame welds on both the passenger and driver's side. He also pointed out that the rear differential case has severe rust damage. He strongly urged me to stop driving the vehicle and stated that it is unsafe in its present condition and that he has never seen such extensive frame rust damage on a vehicle this well taken care of. The drive train, outer body, and interior are in mint condition. I also have always made it a point to power wash the salt (calcium chloride) off the under carriage after driving in the Northeast after snow or ice storms, when salt is used on our roads. I contacted my local Toyota dealership and they gave me the phone number to Toyota Headquarters. The end result was, they were sorry to hear that I had a rotted out frame and suggested that I get rid of the vehicle because there is currently no recall for the Sequoias. Although, after going online at the Toyota forum I found out that they're are over 300 consumers with the same type of issue with their Sequoia frames in our state, so I do not stand alone. I am floored that a company like Toyota, that prides itself in being committed to safety does not care and will not take ownership when they knowingly used cheap Japanese steel to build these faulty frames. I currently have three young children and this is my primary vehicle. I cannot afford to throw $8 K away (Kelly Blue Book) on this vehicle. Please help!
  • Sorry to hear that. As you can see there are hundreds if not thousands of vehicles in the same condition including mine. I don't know what would take for the NHTSA to start investigating this issue. Perhaps a death or a whole family mainmed. At this point I think our government is failing us. NHTSA if you are reading these posts please help us. Toyota Motor Sales USA will not do anything until our government steps in. They will tell you they are sorry your vehicle needs repair and that it is over the warranty period. They will tell you that they have never hear about this problem with the Sequoias. They will say not to believe anything thing you read online. All lies meant to discourage you from seeking relief. Have a Toyota Dealership conduct a frame inspection and get the results in writing.
    File your complaint with the NHTSA and with your state AG. Be prepare to hire a lawyer to represent you in court. Take pictures of your vehicle to show the condition of your car as a whole and the frame rust. could also help by forwarding threads like this to the proper authorities if is interested in addressing some of the safety issues we are all experiencing. What about this Edmunds? are you willing to help us?
  • cabin04cabin04 Posts: 31
    Sorry to hear that you have joined our group of unhappy Sequoia owners.
    For whatever it's worth, file formal online consumer complaints with the NHTSA and your State Attorney General's Office. I am extremely disappointed in the lack of support from both our Federal and State governments. I've had a couple conversations with the NHTSA and they have no plans to even start an investigation regarding this serious Toyota Frame Rot problem, even though they have a database full of complaints. And my State AG's Office says they have NO authority to even get Toyota to respond to my case. Therefore, what's the purpose of these agencies.
    Media coverage of this serious problem will probably be the only way to get Toyota to do the right thing and/or a class action lawsuit. Taking legal action on your own against Toyota won't get you enough money to even pay your lawyer.
    We should all be fighting for a "buyback" option and not just a frame replacement.
    From what I've heard from Toyota Tundra owners who had their frames replaced, had nothing but problems afterwards. And many ended up just getting rid of the truck to stop the headaches.
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