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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem

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  • This is the first I have heard of the rusted frame issue. I own a 2001 Toyota Tacoma that has 155k miles. The body and engine are still in great shape but the frame is badly rusted. How do I find out if it is eligible for a buy back?
  • your definitely eligible for a warranty.... toyota has now acknowledged the 2001 to 2004 model years.. all you have to do is bring it to your local toyota dealer and tell them you want the frame inspection done.
    they will fail it and start the paper work.. only thing that is bad for you is toyota has decided to do a frame replacement on 2001 - 2004 instead of the buy back program.
  • My 2001 went in for normal service on 12/23 and I was told that it was not safe to drive because of the rust problem. The dealer said that there was to be some type of corporate program to address this that was different than the pre-2001 program, but they had not gotten details from corporate. I contacted corporate and on 12/24 spoke with a rep who said the program is as outlined in other threads. They will be replacing the entire frame for free (gee thanks) and that I would be getting a loaner car in the interim. The type of vehicle is up to the local dealer I was told so you may not get a like replacement. The corp rep said that was as good as it was, meaning there was no corp plan to provide a loaner truck or even a 4WD - it's up to the dealer. On 12/26 I spoke at length with the service manager and luckily was able to get a RAV4 loaner. While not a truck at least it is 4WD. The bad news is the dealer still has no formal notification from Toyota on the program, they have no parts to do the frame replacement, they do not know when they will get them, they have never done this (and the manager did not think any dealer has done this yet), and corp is shut down until next week. He 'guessed' they might have parts in 2-3 weeks and then could begin the work. Since it would be the first one he believed corp would be sending a couple engineers to assist and other dealers might have service tech's there to observe. Needless to say I am not a happy camper as I have no other alternative, will be w/o my truck for likely 4+ weeks, and am the guinea pig for this. I would much rather have the same option as pre-2001 owners but that is not available. I have yet to receive any notice from Toyota on this. My advice is to take it to your dealer and request a like replacement and complain loudly to the corp folks about the program.
  • My girlfriend has been in contact with Toyota for a couple of months and at that time nothing was being done with 2001 and newer. She stopped at the dealer on 01-02-09 and they stated that the subframe would be replaced on her 2001 Tacoma and a rental would be provided. They said materials and more info should be coming later in January. I heard a few people early on got a buyback offer for the 2001s and later but now the only option is the frame replacement. I don't know what kind of warranty it will have. I wish they would buy it back since this problem has dropped the value of these vehicles dramatically.
  • i believe earlier in this thread a toyota rep explained some of it.
    but yes, they are doing a frame swap. Not a good idea however, I heard that the frame is not coming bare. It should be coming with suspension components and other new parts as well.. I guess thats better than an entire part to part swap out.
  • I've been reading this thread and thought I would share my experience thus far. I just found out the frame on my 01 was shot on Friday (after dumping $1,000 into it to pass state inspection). Now Toyota has my truck in the dealership impound lot.
    So far, the dealership has been very kind. They put me in an '08 Highlander with no questions asked and all they ask is that I put the gas in and carry insurance. They told me they would put me in a pickup as soon as a rental became available. So now I've got a case with Toyota and was told I should hear back in about 7 days. SO far so good.
    I got to admit I'm a little gun shy about the frame replacement that Toyota seems to want to do. I don't like hearing ASE mechanics saying it's a horrible idea and I have my own reservations, but I seem to be picking up on the fact that there is no other option. I did ask the service manager and he said Toyota was giving the NEW frame a 15 year warranty. I am unsure at this point just what that warranty covers... I mean, I get the impression that it covers the frame only and doesn't take any abnormal wear and tear caused by a frame swap into consideration. The service manager even mentioned how they "come with new nuts and bolts and fasteners to replace all the rusty and corroded ones that will break and snap off in the removal process". That makes me feel a LOT better. (Insert sarcasm here).
    I guess I have a hard time believing a couple dudes from small town Maine can pull off the same quality job that an army of robots did on the assembly line in Japan. Maybe I'm being paranoid.

    I do have a couple questions I hope y'all might be able to help answer though.
    Is the frame swap REALLY a bad idea?
    If that's what Toyota is offering to do, is that my only option or should I fight it?
    If my frame is swapped out, will I be able to sell it or trade it in in the future for a fair price?

    I'm confused and bummed out and a little disillusioned by all that I've read here and hope between all of us that we can get some straight answers and a fair resolution. I love my truck, but I bought it for reliability and dependability and high resale value. If I don't have all of those things, why should I continue to drive them?
  • the frame swap is a bad idea.. i have a master ase cert.
    it will not be the same.. you can almost guarantee new squeaks and rattles along with intermittent electrical problems.. The odds of you getting a tech that has actually
    done a job like this are slim to none. Im not saying it cant be done nor am i saying no one is capable, what im saying is, in the environment that they are going to do it in is going to lead to these problems. Techs get paid flat rate so its in thier best interest to get the job done right.. so for example, if toyota decided to pay 60 hours for this job and the tech can get it done in 40 hours he still gets paid the 60.
    The frames will come with new fasteners and some suspension parts from what I understand. You can fight back and I would if I were you.. try to get into the buy back program. Who cares if they give a 15 year warranty on the frame if the swap out is going to cause other problems.
  • bigbebigbe Posts: 17
    Hi I just picked up my check from the Toyota rep and she explained the new Frame Deal. Not many people happy with it the only reason the Toyota is doing this is to save money. She explained they only expected to buy back apex 6000 thousand units she alone has completed 6000 transactions this program has gotten allot bigger then Toyota ever expected so if I were you I would fight for the buy back and some where on the blog are the info on how to complain the govt.
  • what year is your truck ?
    your options and mileage ?
    what did you get for a check ?
    just curious so I have something to come back with as I assume
    they may try to low ball me :( I have a 2001 v6 4x4 auto SR5 136000.00 MI
  • Thanks for the info. I want to know what my rights are and suppose my hands are tied until I hear back from Toyota on this.
    I too would be interested in finding out how much the person who recieved the check got and what kind of truck they had.
    If they do end up replacing my frame, I feel like it would be in my best interest to turn right around and sell the truck ASAP for as much as possible and deal with the losses. If I can assume I'll be plagued with electrical and other issues for the forseeable future, I'd rather just not deal with it.
  • If I were you and was forced to have the frame replacement, id get rid of the truck.
    maybe even trade it in..
    It is really sad but thats what it seems toyota is more concerned with..thier money.

    Im really mad about all of this cause I have been a toyota preacher for years and I loved my truck. My truck ran like new and it had 136K on it.. I had no reason to beleive it would not make it to 300K. I had no payments to make on my truck and I bought it new..

    we just bought a new house and I cant afford a car payment :(..
  • pjadpjad Posts: 1
    I just turned in my 01 Tacoma (sr5, auto, 96K) on the buyback program. I was told by the rep that I was lucky to get my money because the buy backs were coming to an end. He thought that frame replacement was not a wise idea. Unfortunately, others probably won't have a choice other than legal action. I bought another brand because I have not seen anything from Toyota about how they are addressing this problem with the frames on new trucks.
  • I asked my rep the same thing and he didnt answer me.
    I said, I have not heard anything from toyota about a time frame for when the frames started getting manufactured properly again.

    He didnt seem to have an answer.
    Let me know when you get a call from ISG and how much they offer you because I have the same truck as you.. 2001 extend cab SR5 v6 auto
    Is yours a v6 auto ?
  • My dealership didn't even mention a possile buyback and were pushing hard for the frame replacement and singing its praises even though I have yet to hear back from Toyota.
    I'm curious if they will put their money where there mouth is by taking my truck in trade on a decent used truck on their lot made by another brand after they perform their frame swap.
    I just dont want to have to deal with anymore BS right now. I was looking foward to being done with that truck payment and certainly dont want to incur even more debt in horrible economic times.
  • bigbebigbe Posts: 17
    Hi I had a 2001 red toyota tacoma 5 speed sr5 Extended cab it had over 300000 on it But it was in mint condition I got 13,000 dol. I then turned around and got an FJ So I guess they got the money back
  • When did this occur and were you offered the frame swap, and if so how did you handle the situation.
    Any light you could shed on this gray area would be most helpful.
  • dude :( what year is the FJ ??

    the FJ cruisers have a subframe issue..
    look it up..
    the front right inner stamped frame along the top of the fenders are literally cracking
    in half and then the front bumper drops because of the split,,
    it has been a prob for a few years.

    check these out.
    http://blogs.edmunds.com/roadtests/2007/04/2007-toyota-fj-cruiser---a-crack-in-t- - he-armor.html

    http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/attachments/problems-dealer-service/14799d- - 1187501670-engine-bay-body-rips-dsc03059w.jpg
  • I am totally disgusted with Toyota. They have had my truck for more than 2months and just told me that now they will replace the frame. It has sat for the 2 months ...in tocoma land...rotting...literally.
    I am refusing the offer and have contacted the DOT and my Attorney General's office. They said I am the only one they have heard from and one is not enough to make a difference. The plan is unacceptable. If you want to make them change the offer to a more fair one...everyone should be contacting their Attorney General, The DOT and their local politicians.
    We bought the toyota with trust in their integrity and now they are not standing by their vehicles with substandard frames. The vehicle will be worth less and we are taking the loss.
    We need a class action suit and we need to not give up and take what they offer.
    My dealer said they do not even have the frames..it will be a long process.
    Did anyone recieve official paper work from Toyota stating their plan?
  • bigbebigbe Posts: 17
    Hi Thanks for the reply! I dont believe it You cant get a brake! Just shoot me
  • 2 months with no resolution in sight? Damn.
    I've yet to hear back from Toyota and don't want a new frame. I filed an official complaint with NHTSB (or whatever it is). I will file with DOT as per your suggestion and look into the State Attourney General as well.
    I love my truck, but I really LOVED it's reliability and high resale value. Now what do I have?
  • exactly..
    everyone has to step UP.
    the DOT and AG need to hear it in numbers unfortunately..
    As far as Im concerned a frame replacement is unacceptable
  • Well, I have officially filed a complaint with the DOT and State A.G. as well.
    I want Toyota to do right by me and everyone else, but it's scary to think how many other Tacoma owners are out there who have no clue that they may be putting themselves, their families and others in harms way.
    I informed a coworker with an 04 Tacoma that his truck might have frame problems as well and he was NOT happy.
  • I still dont know when the official frame problem ends.
    I have looked around but got no answers.
    as far as toyota was concerned, it only affected 95 - 00.
    Now they are acknowledging 2001 - 2004 but whos to say it doesnt exist in 05, 06 or 07 ?

    somewhere earlier in this thread I believe a toyota rep put in some "official" info about the buy back program but I dont think he has added any new info.
  • Do not give up on your ag. Make noise! I turned my truck in in april. i am still shocked at the # of trucks that have this problem. I had a 96 and I still miss the truck, but I bought a nissian. I could not trust the later models from doing the same thing. It looks like I was right. Just a shame as toyota owners were and are some of the most loyal.
  • I've been watching this thread for a few weeks now. I heard about the buyback program over the summer, but since my Taco is a 2001, it forgot about it for a while. Discovered a hole in my frame about a 6 weeks ago, and opened a case with Toyota shortly thereafter. My case manager told me about 2 weeks ago that the frame replacement program was coming, and buyback's would no longer be offered, even though some 2001's were bought back as a gesture of "good will". I've made repeated attempts to escalate and requests for inclusion in that group of good will buybacks, to no avail. The case manager also told me dealers were trained up and ready to go with the frame replacement program right now, but they were just waiting for the frame kits to arrive. As of yesterday, my dealer's service manager still knew nothing about the 2001-2004 program, other than one was allegedly in the works. That communication gap does not instill a high level of confidence if I'm one of the first ones through the dealer's service bay doors under this program; seems more likely my truck will be used for some on-the-job training. I've also expressed repeatedly to Toyota my dissatisfaction with not at least having the option of buyback vs. frame replacement, but so far that has gotten me little more than an "I'll make a note of that" response. Starting in '94, I've purchased 3 pickups (even before they were known as Tacoma's) but the way the 2001 - 2004 owners are being treated leaves me less than enthused about re-upping for #4.
  • I think that your case manager may be lying. I refuse to believe all the dealers were trained to do frame replacements.. The fact of the matter is, there is no "training" nor does any tech need to be trained.. If you know cars and your mechanically inclined you can do it.. It is a lot of nuts and bolts. The problems (as I have stated before) is 99% of dealers pay their techs flat rate and I'm not convinced that any of these dealers are equipped to handle such a big job.. The unfortunate truth is, Toyota is looking out for themselves are far as how much this mess will cost them and replacing frames is cheaper.
  • we have same problem, 2002 toyota, we go in for an oil change on November 11, 2008, and to fix the check engine light, well we got an oil change, the service tech informs us, about the repurchase program, we were speechless, we own a bucket of rust. The manager at dealership, said everybody is receiving a quite lucrative offer. next day, rep shows up to determine that yes indeed there is a problem. within, 45 days you will receive and offer in the mail. Nothing, nothing. finally get through at the 1 800 number, and were we told this yesterday, oh we are so sorry, but the repurchase program has ended in december, but we say we filed our case on November 12th, oh no she says, ms. bishop, I believe her name is--we are now replacing the frame. This is unacceptable.....I took advice from this forum to file a complaint through dot.Everybody needs to complain, yes, we are getting screwed. a new frame...scary I think, how can it ever be right, any warranty with this? my local dealership will not help us with any of it. Shaffer Toyota, cumberland, maryland. They tell us, it is now out of our hands, well whatta bunch of crap did they sell us?? oh, i mean a rust bucket. we are disgusted to the end! Not to mention the bill they gave us of 110.00 for oil change, and to put it up on the lift. Never fixed the check engine light. First guy, says oh, it is unsafe, you will get a rental, the other guy says, oh it is driveable. Confused, pissed off, any suggestions would be appreciated, with those dealing with the same problem.
  • does anybody have aphone number, other than the one listed on toyota's website.

    just curious, as to another direction to go.

    I can not get beyond my case worker, asked for her boss, and she refused, I make the final decsion she informed us quite rudely.

    We are the ones, she is getting paid at a desk, and is being rude, no sympathy or help from her at all.

    any help appreciated!!!
  • no sorry dude..
    I have asked for it a few times and never got it .
  • awesome service...
    1st of all, they should have givin you the money back.. that is just poor.

    there is a warranty and I believe it is suppose to be 15 years on the new frame,
    but thats just on the frame. When your truck has other issues that will most likely be related to the frame swap (IE: rattles, noises, intermittent electrical conditions) that wont be covered.

    as far as a number.. call the 800 number for toyota and then ask them for the # for ISG. after the paper work has been submitted for your truck, they will have a case for it.
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