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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • annjotannjot Posts: 6
    We recently purchased a 97 tacoma. Has what I consider to be more than just surface rust from the leaf spring bracket back. bumper and towing hitch were so rusted hey had to be cut off with a torch. Accidentally found out about this frame rust problem when researching how to repair frame rus 2 days after we bought it. We took the truck in for an inspection two weeks go. They just said we would be hearing from toyota. I called the dealership today. They just said we would get a letter in the mail letting us know one way or the other (pass or fail). Does anyone know how long it takes to receive this letter? We have this truck just sitting in the driveway because we don't know if it is safe to drive. If it passes for now we need to finish work we started before we found out about this. if it failed we don't want to do anything else to it. We purchased this as a recreational vehicle only and were in the middle of adding a 3" suspension lift. we just put new breaks, rotors, calipars, struts, as well as other parts on the truck before we found out about this. we also have new wheels and tires waiting to be put on. Can someone please tell me how long it normally takes to get the letter? This is ridiculous!
  • You are not going to get a letter in the mail. They are lying to you. You just stated you just recently bought it. Was it after March 7,2008? Because if so the letter goes to the owner of who you bought it from and THEY have to tell Toyota who they sold it to.

    I told the girl in my bank about my truck and she had bought one 2 yrs ago used. She called up the dealership I went to and they gave her an appt. without the letter. The truck failed and she got a loaner.

    Call another dealer. But from what I read the other owner will get part of that money. You won't get the whole amount if you bought it after March 1, 2008. There was a dealer letter link here someplace talking about what was going on. I deleted the link I had to the pdf file. But call Toyota themselves. They well give you a case number as you have rust and they will make sure the dealer checks it out for you. I had to call Toyota after I got my letter because we did rust repair in Oct when my whole truck got painted. Lady Taco owner in Cananda. I paid for an undercoating on my Taco when I bought it in NJ new in 1997. It spent 2 yrs in NJ, 1 yr in NV and 8 yrs in upstate NY.

    Did the undercoat work???? Well, I guess they will say it was weak metal.
  • annjotannjot Posts: 6
    We just bought it in July 08. We live in Alabama. The people we bought it through had it 18 months here and before that it was owned by a friend of theirs in Ohio and Maryland before that(found that out via carfax after the fact). The dealership that inspected it has our address and registration information and said they would let us know if it failed or not via letter in the mail. If I do not receive a letter in the next week I will try contacting them again. They did not give us a case number or anything. They just said they took pictures of the rust and sent them along with our registration information to the corporate office(or to whoever makes the decisions on the buy back). Do you or anyone on here have a number or any contact number for who ever is taking care of this stuff besides the dealerships? I asked the dealership and they said they did not have a number they could give me. Said I would just have to wait on the letter to find out anything. I should hope if they have to buy it back the original owner would not get any of the money. For all I know they had it inspected and it passed but they wanted to get rid of it because they didn't want to deal with it in the future. After all they did sale it for a strangely cheap price. We Thought we were getting a good deal! It would be extremely unfair for them to get any more money. After all, they were paid for the truck the amount they asked for it. I think if you sale a potentually unsafe vehicle to an unsuspecting person just to be rid of it you should have fines or jail time. If this truck had been in Alabama all these years I think it would be fine but unfortunately for us it was not. I have read some people are buying these trucks from individuals who do not know about the problem just to resale them to toyota for a profit but this is not the case with us. We have big plans for this truck and hope they do not want it back. We did not know anything about the situation when we purchase the truck a few weeks ago. Unlike the states with a lot of salt this is not something that has been advertised in Alabama. It hasn't been on the news that I have seen or on the news websites in this area so no one knows about it unless you were a toyota owner when it all came out and then I've read people in this area did not get the letters...that it was mostly states with snow/salt. I contacted the previous seller via email to ask if it had been inspected and she said no but she received something in the mail from toyota right after we purchased it but threw it away without looking at it since she didn't own the truck any more. I have no proof but think she was not truthful and knew of the situation before selling us the truck for so cheap. It is a 1997 tacoma extra cab 4x4 and seemed to be in pretty good condition considering they were only asking $5500 for it...they took $5300 for it. I couldn't figure out why they were selling it for so cheap. Thought they were just crazy but now I guess I know! We have previously owned a 1994 toyota pickup and a 2003 tacoma double cab and loved both of those. Older toyota's are our favorite trucks! This is just all too sad!
  • Well, the dealer is giving you the runaround. That woman who sold it to you is lying. She admitted she got a letter and threw it away. Guess what? The outside of the envelope has in big red letters, EXTENDED WARRANTY for your Toyota. Right next to the window in the envelope with the name. I bet she got that letter and then sold the truck.

    Ok... I found the link. It wil ltake you to the dealer letter that went out to the Dealers and also show where they are looking for the holes and at the very end it shows a copy of what went out to owners. And it has a phone number in it to contact and make a case number up. You can explain to them how you got the truck. And they will make sure a dealer looks at it and even file a complaint against the dealer you took it too if need be.

    Here is the is in PDF format. Lots of luck. I would figure on the book value in excellant condition only if I were you. She will benefit now that you say you bought it in July and if it fails. There is no doubt about that.

    Hope this link helps you.

    Read the article first and then come back to this message and click on the Toyota bulletin that went out with a copy of the letter sent to owners and it shows the previous owner was supposed to notify them. And there is a Toyota number to call to get a case number. as/
  • bigbebigbe Posts: 17
    Hi Every one Got another call fronm local Toyota dealer I guess he changed there3 mind I had it inspected today and it faild :cry: My truck is mint the only rust is the frame They sent me home to take my personal things out and return back with the truck .. On the way back home I get a call from same dealer the this "recall" is for tacomas older then 2001 and I was not to do any thing . Until I hear back from them I guess I better not hold my breath :confuse:
  • I would say go to the link I posted for the Toyota Letter. And get the phone number and call Toyota. You should not be driving a truck that failed inspection. There is also a list of the vin numbers affected from 1995-2000 in that PDF file. Just because you have a 2001 doesn't mean it wasn't manufactured in 2000. Call Toyota, the number is in the dealer letter.
  • 2001taco2001taco Posts: 14
    They are buying back the 2001's ...It is just not the same deal. You have to deal directly with Toyota .
  • annjotannjot Posts: 6
    Thanks for the links!! I called the customer care number. I was surprised not to have to be on hold for more than a few seconds. Spoke to someone right away. I told them we took our truck in to our local dealer 2 weeks ago for the inspection and still have not heard anything and that it has just been sitting in the driveway because we don't know if it is safe to drive. They seemed surprised it has been two weeks and no word. She apologized that it has been so long. She asked for our VIN number, name, address, & telephone number. Gave me a case number and said it would be investigated. She said a person that does the investigation will call me within 1 business day. So...we should hear from them tomorrow. I need to write down a list of complaints we have about the dealership...such as not provided a number to contact the regional office as I requested. Also caught the man in a lie....when I first contacted the dealership he said they have only had 4 tacoma's come in for an inspection and only one 1 out of those 4 failed. But then yesterday when I spoke to the same guy he said they have only had a total of 3 come in for inspection and ours was the second one. The dealerships around here just do not have their act together! I also asked the lady today if it had to be bought back from us would the previous owners get any of the money and she said no. Then, I asked her if the fact that we haven't had the truck very long would be an issue and she said it should not be an issue. I did ask her how bad the rust had to be for them to buy it back and she said it would have to have a hole all the way through the frame. There is not yet a hole all the way through but there are large chips of rust that just falls right off the truck frame and if you stick you finger in the existing holes made in the frame you can feel lots of rust just piled up inside the frame. The back just looks like old decade card board. In my opinion it should fail the inspection but if it has to have a hole all the way through, it will pass I guess. To me just becaue it doesn't have holes doesn't necessesarily mean it is safe! Hopefully we will find out what's going on tomorrow.
  • I have been driving a used 1997 Tacoma in Southern California for five years with o problems. But now I have moved to New Hampshire and I am worried about corrosion. What is this spray solution?
  • rcoolercoole Posts: 10
    What is the average time to get a call from Toyota concerning the buyback of your truck. Mine was failed on July 29th and was given a rental car. As of today August 6th I have not received a call from anyone.
  • rcoolercoole Posts: 10
    Mine passed in mid May 2008 and failed on July 29th. I had it is for an oil change in July and they discovered a hole in the frame (the size of a dime) about an inch in front of the spring hanger on the bottom of the frame. I had lots of flaking rust prior to the May inspection and the hole must have been there all the time but was covered over by the paint. They had struck the frame about two inches in front of where the hole developed. Just keep looking at the frame, eventually it will rust through. The sooner the better for the buyback price.
  • dalap22dalap22 Posts: 1
    We have a 2001 Tacoma and the frame has a date of 2000 on it, toyota is supposed to be getting back to us today with an offer, I could not get on the link for the letter you had posted. They have deemed the truck unsafe to drive, there is a 4 inch rust hole in the frame in the same place as the buyback tacoma's. Is there anyone else who has a story to share for the 2001 tacoma's or anyone who has a 2001 on a 2000 frame and is in the same boat. I am reading they are offering KBB but I have also read they are offering up to $2000.00 over KBB. Any info please let me know
  • I have a 1997 Tacoma and I did not know about the frame rust problem until I got on this forum.

    I bought the truck used in 2001 from a dealer in Orange, California

    Do I have rights as a second owner?
  • My truck was inspected two days ago, and they noted that my truck frame was perforated. I overheard the guy in the distance tell the dealership guy to write a repair order. I asked him about my inspection and all he would tell me was that Toyota would contact me within two weeks and set me up with a rental. I don't like the way this sounds. My mechanic and the inspection station I go to has told me that my truck is unsafe and will not pass inspection. My inspection sticker runs out at the end of the month and I will not be able to drive my truck. Is there anything I can do to find out what they intend to do? I have been told so many horror stories about driving my truck I don't know what to do. The inspection station told me that they will not pass my tuck if Toyota tries to weld the frame. I'm between a rock and a hard place, can someone hlep?
  • Yes, you do have rights. Go to this link and call Toyota. You don't need a letter.

    And it takes time to open as it is a PDF file. And quite a few pages. The 800 is listed in the letter sample to the owner. You don't need the letter to have it inspected.

    If anyone has problems clicking on the link I suggest copying it and pasting it into your address bar and then it will open up.
  • Call a dealer and tell them you got a letter even if you didn't. They don't ask for it and let them give you an appt. Heck...some of these dealers are starting to annoy me. It's not coming out of their pockets to have that truck sitting in their lots. And they don't have to worry about liability as you have to keep your insurance on the truck. Get it there fast as my truck was registered in NY for 2 yrs and inspection and 3 weeks later Toyota took it. I lost money for an exhaust manifold, 3 new belts, inspection and a yrs worth of Motor Vehicle regstration.
  • annjotannjot Posts: 6
    It doesn't matter if you are the first, second, third, fourth owner,etc and you don't need a letter. Just call your local dealer and ask to set up an appointment to have your frame inspected for rust. If you have any problems with the dealership or getting information after the inspection is done, then you want to call the 1-800 number. I had problems getting much info from my dealer so I called the toyota customer care center at 1-888-270-9371. When I told them I was calling because it had been two weeks since our inspection and still no word and the dealership wouldn't tell me anything they transferred me to another department and also gave me another number for that department which is 1-800-331-4331. The person I then spoke to gave me a case number and said they would turn it over to a person that will investigate the situation. they said that person would call me within one business day and someone called me the very next day as they said. So far they have been very nice and have called me back when they say they are going to and the girl investigating it even gave me her direct extension so I could contact her directly. I still don't know if our truck passed or failed and they said it could be a few more weeks until we know for sure. Meanwhile we can't drive the truck because it has a 6 inch lift on the front and a 3" lift on the back because we don't want to finish what we started until we find out if we are going to HAVE to keep the truck. The rear of our tacoma frame flakes off like potato chips but as bad as that looks they say they will only fail it if it has a hole all the way through. We'll see...eventually.....
  • divwiddivwid Posts: 10
    Dear Annjot-My 2000 Tacoma did not have a hole in the frame to my knowledge. However at inspection they hammered very hard on frame to the point that they put a dent in the frame on one side at front. The other side they again hammered very hard on frame and it went through which created a hole in the frame. They then came to me in waiting room and said there was "one small hole" in the frame. No doubt frame was weak in that area. I never once saw flakes of rust or undercoating on my driveway or anywhere else it may have been parked. I wonder why they did not tell you right at the inspection whether your Tacoma passed or failed. I can't help but wonder if there are lots more old "clunkers" on the roads with rusted out frames. Bet they are not going through all these hassles as we Tacoma and former Tacoma owners are. Received offer letter from Toyota in one week to buy back Taco. Cheque will take 3 weeks, so they told me. Lady Taco owner in S. Ontario
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Please use your CarSpace albums for these and/or a third-party photo site and provide a link to the picture. Posting oversize pictures causes major problems to the page structure of the forums.

    Annjot, I had to take your posts down because they caused posts to actually stretch behind the menus on the right and thus left them unreadable. If you can post them in your CarSpace album - your homepage is - or provide links to where they are hosted, that would be appreciated!

    kcram - Pickups Host

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  • Well im meeting the agent at my dealership on Wed. morning, I had a 98 reg. cab Tacoma with 170,000 miles and they are giving me $11,000+ for it....thank you Toyota. My wife and I had talked about a new vehicle for some time now, this is a no brainer for me.
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