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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem

berdman21berdman21 Posts: 8
edited April 2 in Toyota
I have a 99 Tacoma SR5 V6 with a bad frame rust / rot problem. Near the front of the spring shackles the rust is so bad that I can push my finger through the frame in spots. I have contacted Toyota and they pretty much told me too bad. My warranty expired 9/2006 and they said there is nothing they will do. I have since contacted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and filed a complaint on their website. It appears that many people across the country are having the same problem. I would encourage anyone having this problem to make a report here http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/ . The ODI number for my complaint is 10183884 and it can be searched on the website as well. I am also pasting a copy of the other complaints to show it is not just one or two people. This is a search from just 1999 model years :

Report Date : March 5, 2007 at 12:51 PM
SEARCH TYPE : VEHICLE
YEAR : 1999
Make : TOYOTA
Model : TACOMA

Make : TOYOTA Model : TACOMA Year : 1999
Manufacturer : TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION
Crash : No Fire : No Number of Injuries: 0
ODI ID Number : 10175255 Number of Deaths: 0
Date of Failure: October 17, 2006
VIN : 4TAWN72N8XZ...
Component: STRUCTURE:FRAME AND MEMBERS
Summary:
I PURCHASED THE VEHICLE FROM BLAISE ALEXANDER FAMILY DEALERSHIP ON OCTOBER 19 2005. I BOUGHT IT WITH 80K MILES ON IT. I PAID ROUGHLY 13,500.00 FOR IT. MY LOCAL MECHANIC TOLD ME THAT HE NOTICED A SMALL RUST HOLE IN THE FRAME ON THE DRIVERS SIDE APPROXIMATELY 5 MONTHS AGO. WELL A FEW MONTHS LATER I HAD NOTICED A HUGE HOLE HAD APPEARED IN THE AREA OF THE LEFT REAR SHACKLE. SINCE IT WAS A MAJOR SAFETY ISSUE I TOOK IT TO A LOCAL WELD SHOP. HE AGREED TO TRY AND FIX IT. UPON REMOVING THE BOX, THE GAS TANK HE NOTICED HE HAD OPENED A MAJOR CAN OF WORMS. BOTH SIDES OF THE TRUCKS FRAME WERE SHOT FROM THE FRONT OF THE CAB TO THE BACK BUMPER. HE IMMEDIATELY CALLED ME WITH THIS PROBLEM. SINCE THIS WAS MORE THAN I COULD HANDLE I THEN TOOK IT BACK TO THE DEALERSHIP WHERE I HAD BOUGHT IT ON OCTOBER 17 2006 AND SHOWED THEM PICTURES OF THE TRUCK THEY HAD JUST SOLD ME LESS THAN A YEAR AGO. THE GENERAL MANAGER JOHN PANKO SAID HIMSELF THAT THIS VEHICLE IS NOT ROAD WORTHY. WELL A LONG STORY SHORT... TOYOTA CORP WAS CALLED IN TO INSPECT THIS VEHICLE AND OFFERED TO GIVE ME $2000.00 TO FIX IT. A SERVICE MANAGER SAID IT WOULD COST ABOUT $6000.00 TO FIX. WELL NEEDLES TO SAY I AM NOT PAYING ANOTHER 4K ON A VEHICLE THAT I ALREADY OWE $11,500.00 ON. I HAVE NO WARRANTY LEFT TO DATE ON THIS VEHICLE, AND EVEN IF I DID, THE FRAME WOULD NOT BE COVERED. THE ALEXANDER DEALERSHIP WOULD NOT GIVE ME A LOANER CAR, OR HELP ME IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. THEY HAVE GIVEN ME THE RUN AROUND LONG ENOUGH. I HAVE CONTACTED A LAWYER AND PLAN ON FILING A COMPLAINT WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR PENNSYLVANIA. ALSO THE DEALERSHIP NEVER GAVE ME ANYTHING IN WRITING FROM TOYOTA SAYING THEY AGREED TO PAY. HOW DO I EVEN KNOW IF AN INSPECTOR CAME OUT OR NOT. ALEXANDERS COULD BE SAYING THIS TO SHUT ME UP. ANOTHER PROBLEM I NOTICED THAT MANY OTHERS HAVE IS A SHIMMY IN THE FRONT END. I ALSO HAD 2 SETS OF NEW TIRES PUT ON IN THE SAME WEEK. CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME?*JB

Make : TOYOTA Model : TACOMA Year : 1999
Manufacturer : TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION
Crash : No Fire : No Number of Injuries: 0
ODI ID Number : 10177454 Number of Deaths: 0
Date of Failure: December 20, 2006
VIN : 4TAWM72N0XZ...
Component: STRUCTURE:FRAME AND MEMBERS
Summary:
CORRODED FRAME RAILS ON A 1999 TOYOTA TACOMA 4X4 WITH XTRACAB. PURCHASED USED FROM A PA USED CAR DEALER WITH 120K MILES. WHILE REPLACING THE REAR SHOCKS, I NOTED SEVERE RUST AND CORROSION OF THE FRAME RAILS AND CROSS MEMBERS ON THE FRAME OF THIS TRUCK. UPON CLOSER INSPECTION, I NOTED SEVERAL AREAS WHERE THE PREVIOUS OWNER HAD REPAIR PATCHES WELDED TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE FRAME TO BEEF UP THE WEAKER AREAS. THIS INCLUDES THE DRIVER'S SIDE FROM THE FRONT WHEEL TO THE REAR JUST BEYOND THE REAR WHEEL. THE PASSENGER SIDE ON THE REAR AREA BETWEEN THE SPRING MOUNTS. THE INSIDE OF THE FRAME RAILS ARE FILLED WITH CORROSION AND LARGE PIECES OF THE FRAME THAT HAVE FLAKED OFF. RUST PROOFING WAS APPLIED TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE FRAME TO PROTECT/HIDE THE REPAIRS. THIS VEHICLE WAS OWNED IN COLUMBUS, OHIO IT'S FIRST YEAR, AND THE REMAINING TIME IN W. VA, ACCORDING TO CARFAX. NO ACCIDENT DAMAGE ON THIS VEHICLE. THE BODY IS IMMACULATE. FAILURE OF THE TRUCK'S FRAME COULD CAUSE LOSS OF CONTROL AND/OR SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH. I AM GOING TO ASK OTHERS VIA VARIOUS WEB PAGES TO REPORT THE SAME PROBLEM WITH THEIR VEHICLES FROM 96-04 MODEL YEARS. *NM

Make : TOYOTA Model : TACOMA Year : 1999
Manufacturer : TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION
Crash : No Fire : No Number of Injuries: 0
ODI ID Number : 10179283 Number of Deaths: 0
Date of Failure: January 21, 2007
VIN : 4TAWM72N9XZ...
Component: STRUCTURE:FRAME AND MEMBERS
Summary:
1999 TACOMA FRAME RAILS RUSTED RIGHT THROUGH. *NM

Make : TOYOTA Model : TACOMA Year : 1999
Manufacturer : TOYOTA MOTOR NORTH AMERICA, INC.
Crash : No Fire : No Number of Injuries: 0
ODI ID Number : 10183884 Number of Deaths: 0
Date of Failure: March 1, 2007
VIN : 4TAWN72N7XZ...
Component: STRUCTURE:FRAME AND MEMBERS
Summary:
I HAVE A 1999 TOYOTA TACOMA SR5 XTRA CAB, WITH AN IMMACULATE BODY, HOWEVER THE FRAME RAILS HAVE ROTTED OUT SO BADLY THAT YOU CAN PUT YOUR FINGER THROUGH THE RAIL IN SOME PLACES. THE FRAME IS UNSAFE AND A FAILURE COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH. THE MOST SEVERE LOCATION OF THE ROT IN JUST IN FRONT OF THE REAR LEAF SPRINGS ON THE INSIDE OF THE FRAME. *JB

Make : TOYOTA Model : TACOMA Year : 1999
Manufacturer : TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION
Crash : No Fire : No Number of Injuries: 0
ODI ID Number : 10183886 Number of Deaths: 0
Date of Failure: February 26, 2007
VIN : 4TAWN72N7XZ...
Component: STRUCTURE:FRAME AND MEMBERS
Summary:
FRAME ROTTED OUT ON 1999 TOYOTA TACOMA SR5 XTRA CAB 4X4 NEAR THE LEAF SPRING SHACKLES. UNSAFE CONDITION COULD RESULT IN SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH. *JB
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Comments

  • montuckymontucky Posts: 1
    I also have this exact problem on my 99 tacoma. I bought it a year ago and it now has 124000 miles. The location of the rust damage is identical! My tacoma also came from Ohio. Local body shops have all said they don't understand how the vehicle could have rusted so badly in only 8 years. I wonder, if the batch of tacoma's that we own all had poor or no rustproofing applied to the frame. Also that is the only place on the vehicle that has any rust. It does not exhibit normal road salt corrosion symptoms. If any of you have luck with toyota or in fixing the problem post another message on this thread. Thanks
  • drotigeldrotigel Posts: 1
    I just got back from a dealership to find out that my 1998 toyota tacoma is unsafe to drive! The frame is completely rusted through, far too gone to repair. I called the dealership and corporate, but have not heard back yet.

    Do I call a lawyer next? I bought this thing a month ago! How do I search the ODI database for this problem-when I input the ODI number nothing comes up.

    cheers,
    dan
  • taullauftaullauf Posts: 1
    What a strange coincidence. I also have a 1999 Tacoma (2WD extra cab) in NY state, with complete frame rot in front of the rear leaf springs. It does seem odd to me that it passed inspection fine just last year, and there is virtually no rust any where else on the truck. Most things happen for a reason.
  • wlrwlr Posts: 1
    I own a 1998 Toyota Tacoma 2WD with 105,000 miles on it and the frame is corroded so extensively that I can put my finger through the rust.
    I bought it new in 98' and maintain it regularly. The last time that I put it on a jack the frame partially collapsed where it was resting on the jack. After further inspection I found severe corrosion throughout the frame. The bumper brackets are barely holding up the bumper.
    It has been a reliable truck and this is the second Tacoma that I have owned. Both were equally reliable. However, the problem has given me quite a scare. I don't dare haul anything heavy in the bed and the idea of towing something with it is simply out of the question. The body is still in pretty good shape with a little corrosion on the front of the hood from a stone chip. I just don't understand how the problem could have become so severe. I would expect a certain mount of rust down there, but this is more severe than I have ever seen.
    My best guess is that the vehicle is almost worthless even though everything else is in satisfactory condition. Until I discovered this problem, I had expected to keep it for at least 5 more years.
    Any Advice? I filed a complaint w/NHTSA
  • Since I was getting no help from Toyota, I ended up trading my Truck in. I didn't get too bad of a deal, however I could have gotten more out of it had the frame not been so bad. I wish everyone in this thread the best of luck with your trucks as well.
  • I have been looking for a decent used Tacoma for quite a while. Over the weekend, I drove two used Tacos at different dealerships. The frame on one was so bad I couldn't believe it. I thanked the salesman for his time and said I couldn't afford to buy the truck and then turn around and put money into it right away.
    The other truck I am still actually considering buying, although everything I am reading about rusted frames is causing me doubt. Overall, the truck is in pretty nice shape, but there is what appears to be surface rust on the frame. I just figured it would be a quick fix.
    Anyway, it really seems like this is a common problem for these trucks, and that no one has had any luck finding a semi-permanent solution. Am I being paranoid, or should I not take a chance on this purchase?
  • danyo83danyo83 Posts: 1
    My father has the same problem with his 98 Tacoma 4x4. Bought it new from the dealer, only has 100,000kms on it, body and everything else is pristine. But the frame is rotten real bad near the leaf spring mounts on both sides. Does anyone here have luck to get a dealership or Toyota to do something about it? Please let me know. Also, if anyone know where I could make a complaint in Canada, i'd like some input as well.
  • germgerm Posts: 1
    Yeah, I join the others in complaints. My '97 Tacoma has terminal frame rot. This was to be my first and only new car -- my dream car -- I am 69 years old and retired. This Tacoma will not pass PA inspection. The rear frame is rotted out. It is not safe to drive. I never expected this from a Toyota. My last Toyota had 249,000 miles on it. This rotten one has only 78,000. I am disappointed!
  • rotboyrotboy Posts: 1
    Jeez. I'm not alone it turns out. 97 2WD Tacoma in upstate NY, in good shape otherwise, started to "bang" over bumps. One frame mount is broken off, and the frame is cracked half way thru at the rear spring mount. Rust falls off in big pastry-like flakes. Thats pretty thin gauge metal to start with. Yikes.
  • pazman3pazman3 Posts: 2
    Same problem here. I have a well cared for 99 Tacoma with pristine body but with rusted frame rails near the leaf springs and general flaking of rust throughout. I also had my front stablizer mount completely disintegrated due to rust. I went out and bought a welder and a sheet of steel after evaluating the entire frame rails. I knew it would be a requirement to keep the truck on life support. Best of luck.
  • ctantctant Posts: 1
    I also have a 97 Tacoma with 76,000 miles and discovered frame rot in front of the rear spring shackles. There was still underbody paint on the frame in that area which when removed revealed the serious corrosion of the frame rail. I'm taking it to my local Toyota dealer this week and I hope to speak with the area rep about correcting this problem. Has anyone with this problem had any success with Toyota in getting it repaired? I've worked on cars from the 50's with frames in better shape than this!
  • adk1adk1 Posts: 2
    My 1999 tacoma is doing the same rust problems it only has 85000, has anyone had any luck with talking with toyota. my options are limited to replacing the frame for $5000.00 or trying to patch it (temporary fix). or selling it and loosing money because of the frame damage. It makes me not to buy a toyota next time thats for sure
  • Hi,

    I also live in NY and have a 1997 Tacoma. Within one year the frame has rusted to the point that I can put a screwdriver thru it and it cant be repaired. I fear I'll have to junk the vehicle. What type of metal did they use?

    Toyota or consumer affairs should look into this. The rest of the truck is fine.

    If anyone know who can help please let me know.

    BUMMED! rayslogcabin@yahoo.com
  • I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH MY 1997 tOYOTA AND SUBMITTED a COMPLAINT WITH THE National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    (ODI Number) is: 10205140
  • I've had my toyota tacoma since three years ago. Its a 2000 sr5 with about 130,000 mile's on it now. I had a problem with the frame on my last one and wanted to get a jump on this one. I found this paint that is supper strong and is pretty durable. Its an industrial enamel paint I used to paint snow Plows with.It cost about 40 to 30 dallors at a plumb auto or tractor supple. I think I might have to seal the holes on the frame some how and try to mabye get some oil sealed up in the frame. Although I don't want to do this do to eviromental factor but if you look at your toyota's it's really rusting from the inside out too. I managed to get the drivers side done but now found 2 holes in the passenger side and now should get that patched up. This is my third toyota! and I should have done this earler! ...............Oh I also had to replace my leafe springs on two of the Toyota's I've had! Let's just face it. The Japanese are still using cheap metal but Excellent motors and well american vehicle's are the opposite!
  • Oh yah? any luck with that?
  • My body shop guy says this is a known problem....he suggested finding a welding shop to repair the frame. I just got it back and it looks like a good job....should keep the truck going for several years.

    I didn't even try to get Toyota to take responsibility like they should. I love Toyota, but with my Highlander they denied the oil sludge problem I had....then two years later it comes out they had a bad engine design that caused oil sludge. Come on Toyota....own up to the problems with the vehicles....it will only build loyalty.
  • Looks like we're in the same boat! I'm also a disappointed owner of a Toyota Tacoma PU. With exactly the same rust problems as you mentioned. Wow was I shocked when I was told my frame was so rotted that it would not pass inspection. Just as mentioned the rust is at, in front of and just to the rear of the front leaf spring shackle on both the drivers side and passengers side. I've been told by several auto body shops that this is a "common" problem with this vintage and model. Seems the "box" frame is the culprit. "No place for the moisture to escape." At this moment the frame is being patched with steel plates sistering the frame where it shows signs of rust. Hopefully this will pass the NH state inspections. I bought this truck 3 years ago at a Toyota dealer because the reputation of these trucks is golden. "NOT". From the looks of it, this problem will render a great looking truck on the fast lane to the bone yard. (that's if you have an overly cautious body shop). Responsibility and tort law are actually the problem here. No body wants the responsibility of fixing the problem. Which means your S*&^ out of luck unless you can find a welder that just welds and doesn't worry about you coming back on him because you begged him to fix it and it failed in an accident. I was lucky enough to find one, hopefully it will pass inspection, and I can take it to a dealer and trad it in for a new vehicle. And then hopefully I won't have to worry for at least another 150k miles. I would advise everyone to make a complaint on the ODI website. I'm not sure Toyota will do anything until someone steps up and wants to make a class action suit against them. If you ask me, this is far to premature for this kind of failure. Heck I've had American made cars last longer.
  • I posted this several months ago and it looks like people did complain like I did to NHTSA. Relief is in site! Here is the article:
    Toyota had begun receiving a few reports from customers that excessive corrosion was occurring on the frames of some older Tacoma pickups, specifically 1995 to 2000 models. The Japanese automaker determined that during this half decade of production, some Taco frames may not have received the kind of corrosion protection from the factory that's needed to withstand harsh climes, especially ones where salt is used to deice roadways. While there is no recall and Toyota says that the number of instances where it has found rust go beyond the surface of the frame to penetrate the metal is small, the automaker is pulling an unorthodox move and doing something about anyway.

    Toyota is extending the rust perforation warranty on all 1995-2000 Tacoma pickups, some 813,000 units, to 15 years from the original date of purchase, AND you don't have to be the original owner, or the second or the third even. Anyone who owns a Tacoma from this era and finds rust perforation on the frame can have his or her truck officially inspected for rust damage, in which case Toyota will either repair or buy back the truck regardless of its condition. Owners will start receiving letters by mid-March, and those who don't can visit a dealership for a free inspection.

    Thanks to all who stepped up to the plate and said enough is enough!
    Tom Miller
    Willoughby Hills, Ohio
  • dale853dale853 Posts: 2
    Hi,
    I had a 1998 tacoma with only 97,000 miles on it, except for frame it was in great condition, I wanted to keep it for the legendary Tacoma lifespan! I had an almost completely through and through rusted out frame and just gave up and
    traded in for 2005 Tacoma in October. I got very little money for it, do you know if
    Toyota is planning on compensating in these circumstances?
    Thanks, any news will be helpful. Dale Vermont
  • jpk1200jpk1200 Posts: 1
    Toyota Tacoma Owners! I have a 1998 Tacoma LTD with 193,000 miles on it. My Toyota was inspected by a local dealer today and sever frame rot was found. I was asked to surrender the truck on the spot and Toyota provided me with a free loaner Rav 4. Toyota is going to buy back the truck at 1.5 times the maximum Retail value regardless of the condition. Toyota has just implemented a New Buy Back Program on 1995 - 2000 Tacoma's that have any frame rot due to the safety and liability that it posses.

    My truck was ralistically worth $4,000, Toyota is going to give me aprox $14,000 for it and an additional $1,000 if I buy a new truck and/or $500 towards a certified pre owned. If you have one of these Tacoma's I strongly suggest you take it to your local dealer and ask the service manager about this buy back. Toyota has really stepped up and doing the right thing to get people out of an unsafe truck regardless of mileage or condition.
  • Hello all,
    I had posted this 1999 Tacoma Problem back some time ago as did Tom Miller. Thank you all for making complaints with the NHTSA. I unfortunatly had to give up my Tacoma in April 2007 because of the frame. It had broken and was unserviceable. The book value at the time was 14,000 and I was given half for trade due to the frame. I contacted Toyota at the time and they had said it was unfortunate, but not their concern. Hopefully everyone gets the compensation that they deserve.
    Good Luck,
    Brian Berdine
    Endicott, NY
  • You should talk to your attorney to see if there is any recourse. You should be compensated for the damage. At the very least I would consider arbitration since they are bound to abide by that forum.
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 818
    I just got the extended frame warranty for my 95 Tacoma in the mail. As mentioned previously, the warranty is for 15 years unlimited mileage. It also says Toyota will fix or buy back (at their option) the truck at 1.5x KBB value.

    Here I was worried that I may have one that rusts out, now I'm bummed that I may have one that does not rust out. Oh well,

    Mrbill
  • bandit10bandit10 Posts: 27
    I've read several stories from you Tacoma folks, and it's disgusting how the Dealer and Toyota turned their backs on you, and this serious problem. I got help with my Pontiac. I brought it in for a head blown headgasket. 2 months out of warranty. They replaced the head. But during reassembly the mechanic striped my valve cover bolt in the rear, and they charged me for the repair of this perfectly good valve cover bolt. They said they were not responsiable for parts breaking during the course of repair. I called G.M they were of no help at all. Then I called the Better Business Bureau, they gave me the number for their Auto-Line divison that deals with our mutual problems. I gave them all the paper work and names of the people I spoke with including G.M. in Deroit, and Calif. It took 5 weeks and I recieved my $465.00 from G.M. for the re-tapping threading of the valve cover bolt.
  • cozmo354cozmo354 Posts: 1
    my buddy just got a letter in the mail the other day. He owned a 1995 Tacoma extend cab. Well after a trip to the dealership this morning he is now driving a 2008 Tacoma. They gave him $11,500 for his old truck and he is pretty happy right now.

    His uncle also had a 95 Tacoma and he went in on Saturday and also left with a new truck.

    I guess they cant let you leave the lot with the truck once you get there so go planning to buy or leave with a rental car
  • dale853dale853 Posts: 2
    I, too, have had this problem with my 1998. Unfortunately I had to trade it in in Sept.2007, could not drive it at all, frame was gone. Has anyone heard of any
    compensation in this circumstance. I have paperwork from the dealer stating it was
    unrepairable. Thanks
  • I just took my 1998 extended cab into Toyota(State College pa) and they sent the hammer through the frame in 2 places.I painted my frame yearly and apparently it didn't help. I am getting almost 14,000 for it and I just picked up the replacement for it.A 05 Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi..I will surely miss my Taco..
  • I just took my 1998 extended cab into Toyota(State College pa) and they sent the hammer through the frame in 2 places.I painted my frame yearly and apparently it didn't help. I am getting almost 14,000 for it and I just picked up the replacement for it.A 05 Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi..I will surely miss my Taco..
  • kowitzkowitz Posts: 7
    I left my '98 Tacoma (75,000 miles) at the dealer over the weekend since I needed to have the check engine light looked at.

    The rust on the frame, like others have said, looks like huge pastry flakes and I'm sure I could pop through in places with a screw driver or hammer. The rust is far worse than I'd expect to see.

    I got a call this morning that said my truck is *not* part of the recall / buyback and would not be covered. Only a small number of affected trucks were made each year, so not every Tacoma for each model year would be covered.

    I asked them to inspect the frame anyhow. I'm assuming I'll get a "yah, it's fine" and plan to take it to a third party for another inspection.

    At this point, I'm very disappointed. I'd planned to continue driving Toyota's and was going to get another Tacoma, but that idea is quickly losing ground.
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