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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • Check out this

    i started it to get on track for fighting back
  • Wow!!! I like your ideas!!! I forgot about my facebook page but did start a blog.
    I totally agree. The rotting frame is Toyotas problem that has turned into ours.
    Not giving us what they are giving other buyers is absolute crap!!! Our vehicles are (were) worth more and were in better condition then most!! Plus just offering KBB doesnt cover our registration fees, sales tax, up keep.
    I called Toyota in March when my mechanic first noticed the problem, but Toyotas mechaninc said, right now its not broken so we aren't fixing it!!!!
    So i proceed w/ 4 new tires and spring work to pass hte inspection just to turn around 5 months later to lose my truck, lose out on the $1500 in cash for the tires and spring.....then to top it off...they give me a camry renter. I mean its a great car....but when it comes to moving weekend, its a lot easier to move in a truck then a car!!! Right now I am totally disgusted w/ Toyota. We have been an advocate and consumer of Toyota vehicles for over 10 years now.....this is what we get...!!!! Pissed.!!!

    I like your ideas....and will follow with the same letters to Maine AG and such.
    I will also try to keep up on your facebook and expand it to mine as well.
    My blog is :

    Toyota needs to step up!
  • The story made TV headlines

    And it was also noted by the New York Times - as/

    This problem is not limited to the 1995-2000 model years - many owners of 2001 and later Tacoma's are finding their frames failing, too. If you plan to buy or sell a 1995-2004 Tacma - GET IN INSPECTED IMMEDIATELY by your local Toyota delership (Free). If you have a post 2000 Tacoma, and Toyota gives you the "call 1-800-Go-Toyota brush-off, contact your state attorney general's office, the NHTSA, and the consumer protection board for your state.

    If your having trouble figuring out who to write, or how, email me ( i'd be happy to send you template letters to al lthe agencies i've contacted including

    - My State Attorney General's Office
    - Consumer Protection Board
    - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    - New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
    - Ebay, Autotrader, and (These trucks should not be sold without being inpsected)
    - The Securities and Exchange Commision - it's a tough angle, but as a stockholder I'm arguing that Toyota is taking an unreasonable risk by allowing these trucks to be on the road and not warning drivers. This risk opens leaves the company open to a class-action suit and therefor could devalue my stock. Toyota is being carelessly negligent (I'll send a copy of that letter to Toyota of course :)
    - The State Garage and Repair Shop Association
    - My local Newspapers and TV stations
    - My insurance Company and the Insurance Institute of America.

    If you got tips or advice I'd love to hear from you.
  • i recently heard about a few people who have successfully had their truck bought back even though they had a reconstructed/salvage title. from what i heard there was a lot of time spent on the phone and certain paperwork was needed. has anyone else heard of this or konw anything about it???
  • Thanks for all the great info! I did just speak to Toyota Customer Service @ 1-800-331-4331 (after speaking to the local dealership) about having my 2003 looked at and they said that the fee would be my responsibility becasue that year is not covered - at least I did get a case number. Any suggestions as to my next step?

    I also have a 1993 that is in very good shape except for the frame! Any possibility of having that looked at?

  • Boy do I have advice!

    Toyota should be doing this for free. They looked at mine for free - and this could be a courtesy safety check as far as what they want to call it.

    in the event the frame fails, toyota will pull your inspection, you should not be driving in this case but being that it's a 2003 they wont let you keep the car on the lot, or get a loaner while the company drags its feet.

    you'll have to call 1-800-go-toyota to start the process of the buyback. This is a NIGHTMARE.

    I've been threatened by customer care that if I don't accept their low offer for my truck that they will take the offer off the table. They told me i had to say "yes" or "no" right there on the phone and they would not put it in writing.

    here are the three best places to contact

    the federal trade commission
    your state attorney general
    your state's consumer protection board

    I wrote my newspaper, 60 minutes, my assembly and congress reps on the state and federal level, and posted my torubles and letters on a website to help others (facebook group- "toyota frame defects")

    if you need ANYTHING don't hesitiate to call me - but do yourself a favor, contact those folks above. Toyota told me it woiuld be 30 days before they made me an offer and with one letter from my state consumer protection board it was a week - now they tell me a check could be as long as 7 weeks coming if and when i accept.

    next step is my county DA. I don't think it's right Toyota is blackmailing me into accepting a lowball offer and these trucks should not be on the road
  • I just completed sale of my 1999 Tacoma with 141,000 mi. and am satisfied.

    However, I have tips for Taco owners who've not yet had an inspection done and are wary. I understand. I read mixed experiences of Taco owners who went through the program, and entered the process wary of whether it was legit and of pitfalls.

    When I received the notice last Spring I figured it was just another "come-on" and threw it away. When I heard the program was legit, I called local Toyota Service facility. They said you don't need it and you don't have to be original owner.
    Just schedule a "frame rust inspection" appointment.

    Service Mgr. called me stating my truck qualified, but he said I could not have the truck back since it was a "safety issue", After I went ballistic I called the Area
    Service Mgr., HE stated the first guy was wrong. He said "You can keep driving it and bring it in when you get your check.....or you just drive away and be on your merry way and not even take part in the program. It's your call. Do what you want".

    Area Service Mgr. sent paperwork to ISG - a firm Toyota has retained to do background histories on vehicles and streamline payments. 2 - 1/2 wks. later ISG rep called me with an offer - a generous offer - but low. I had checked Kelley Blue Book average retail "excellent" on my year, miles and options, and knew exactly what it was worth - then multiplied that figure by 1.5, so I knew what to expect.
    I asked rep to read my options and found Service Mgr. had left off power steering. Rep adjusted the offer upward. Note: EVERY TACOMA IS CONSIDERED TO BE'
    "EXCELLENT" CONDITION regardless of actual condition.

    ISG has no control over the dealer loaner - That is dealer's responsibility.
    When ISG rep and I chose a date for turning in Taco and payment made to me, I called the dealer but there were no loaners available that date. We settled on a different date and I asked dealer to reserve loaner for me.

    Last....when the exchange of vehicle and payment take place, the ISG rep gives you a certificate with your old VIN/SER on it. You have 60 days to make your best deal at a Toyota dealer - then present the certificate to the dealer who fills out his information. Toyota will give back $ 2,000 on purchase of a new Tundra, $ 1,000 on purchase of a new Tacoma, or $ 500 on any other purchase.

    My buyback took a little over 5 weeks:

    Inspection took place Aug. 10.
    ISG Rep called me Aug. 25.
    I recieved written offer Sept. 3.
    ISG called me Sept. 13.
    We met Sept. 18 for dropoff/payment.
    I hope this helps.
  • rrosellrrosell Posts: 16
    MSRP is $32,575.00 with all packages and price out the door is $28,700.00 no tax title, registration or insurance. I believe this is below cost, unless I am missing some holdback and rebate or incentive. :surprise:
  • ohblueohblue Posts: 39
    I've had my 95 Tacoma 4X4 examined this summer and it passed, but I change my own oil and I see where it is "flaking," a LOT. I guess I have a year or two more before the warranty on the frame expires, but it only has 132K on it. My wife and I love having it to haul and use during the snowy season. The way we use it, we could have it another 5 years, easy. My fear is as it gets older, it is bound to get serious (and then we'll be out of luck). Has anyone taken it to numerous dealers and had luck after being turned down initially? I hate to think about getting rid of it (we've had NO problems w/ it), but I'd rather have something to show for it and not take a chance of or otherwise.
  • I too have a salvage title. If you hear anything on how to proceed. Please share this information.
  • rcoolercoole Posts: 10
    My 2000 passed the inspection in May at a Toyota dealership that I had never been to. The reason I took it there was because they had an opening quicker than my regular dealership. In July I took it to my regular dealership and they found a hole in the frame while they were doing an oil change and lube. The hole was about an inch in front of the front rear leaf spring hanger. It was only about a half inch in diameter. I would have considered it a drain hole for the frame if I had looked at it. Look close at all suspected openings in the frame especially near welds. My truck had 39,500 miles on it and the frame was flaking like crazy. Better it fail now!!
  • ohblueohblue Posts: 39
    Wow...thanks. Maybe I'll take it to another dealer before the winter/salt starts eating at it some more.
  • I know that the buy back on the trucks is only for 1995-2000. I have also seen the vin #s covered. I have a 2001 Tacoma that has a section of the frame on the passenger side near the leaf springs, that is rusted completely through for approximately 3'. This section of the box frame is about to fall off. Does anyone have any ideas? We have had the truck inspected and the dealership said it is the worst they have seen, but of course it isn't covered by the program. We have a case started with Toyota but would like some other avenues to explore. I will post a picture a little later. This is my girlfriend's and she has only made 4 payments on it. This only reinforces the reason i drive a Chevy and always will. The bottom of the Toyota looks like it is 30 years old. From Illinois
  • Illonios-

    I am having the same problem. The dealer failed my truck, and i had to fight tooth an nail to get money (note NOT nearly what my trucks was worth). PLEASE do youself a favor and contact the following

    southland cali BBB
    your state attorney general
    your state consumer protection board

    the AT and CB will get you into a mediation program if you ask.

    if they drag their feet contact your state and federal senate and representatives.

    it may take a day of letters, but unless you twist their arms toyota won;t do anything.

    I've had to fight every step of the way, but the alternative was a unsafe truck i cound not drive or sell. At least i got some money (they say they will give me thousands under KBB)

    feel free to email me for help, i'm more than happy to.
  • Bigbe and others,

    Bad news Toyota is NOT giving 100% of KBB value for 2001 and newer trucks. Mine is a 2001 and when toyota proposed a buyback i cited the higher KBB value, even faxed it to them. They didn't care me KBB value was thousands higher when the announced the problem, nor that the KBB value i found was higher. Toyota offered me THOUSANDS less than the actual KBB value. They did not come look at my truck, refused to consider the long list of options on my truck, and have beena pain in the @$$ the whole way.

    Seller beware - you will NOT get close to the KBB vlaue on your 2001 or newer truck.
  • Consider this.

    your truck is worth $10,000 in february of 2008.

    in march toyota announces the buyback.

    resale value drops to $6,000 because no one wants to buy a dangerous truck

    toyota buys back your truck at 150% of $6,000. you get $9,000.

    Why are you celebrating? Toyota got your truck for $1,000 LESS than it SHOULD be worth.

    Consier the hasle of the operation and poor customer service, too. You're getting ripped off. Toyota isn't being generous, they are prorating the value and buying you off.
  • Thank you for the information.
  • tcincytcincy Posts: 28
    Johnny66: Toyota extended the frame rust warranty for 15 (fifteen) years for any 1995-2000 Tacomas so that is still good for another year even on 1995 owners who don't have enough rust yet! In your case, I would be livid!! Make sure you put ALL of your contacts in WRITING. Don't call anymore. Have your girlfriend sign letters, in writing, to the dealer / service department that inspected her truck and said it was the worst they'd ever seen, letter to area service mgr.; letter to Toyota USA, letter to NTSB, everyone - no more phone calls - put it in writing and here is the most important part: make it a SAFETY ISSUE. Even if they won't "buy back" the truck as lthey are for 95-00 owners, they should be making some type of offer. I would make the "complaint" case you are filing a "safety" issue. Recalls are made for safety isues. This is what I was told some time ago on a separate issue by a car manufacturer. Stress that the owner's safety and that of occupants and possibly bystanders are at stake. Emphasize the dealer's observation. Get that in writing from the service guys who said that, if you can. At least you are on record in case anything occurs while you or your girlfriend are driving it. Maybe they will extend the rust buyback to 01's and later. They had to recieve a certain number of complaints on 95-00 or they wouldn't have started our program. At the very least you and your girlfriend want Toyota to address YOUR situation, either with some type of offer, repair, or recall. Good Luck
  • tcincytcincy Posts: 28
    With respect to daleyplanet's observation Toyota is ripping off Taco owners by offering more than "depressed" pricing, I have to disagree. I understand what he is saying - but I have no idea if the Kelly Blue Book on my Tacoma was more in Spring, 2007 than Spring, 2008. All I know is I got a deal, and was NOT even thinking about getting rid of my '99 Taco for another 3-4 years - it was a dependable workhorse.
    I leased my '99 Taco in January 1999, new, with ps,pb, a/c, bed liner, and stereo - that's it. I then bought it from Toyota when lease was up. With lease, interest, then paying cash to buy it, I had a total of $ 14,000 in it.

    I had 141,000 miles on it when I contacted a dealer for rust inspection.
    Interior was spotless and I kept it maintained, I had little interest in selling it and was skeptical. Kelley Blue Book in July, '08 was $ 3,200.00 in average condition.
    That was low for me because it was worth WAY more to me to keep it and drive it 4-5 more years.

    Then I saw they were offered 1.5 excellent condition.
    Excellent condition was $ 5,870.00. That was about what I thought it was worth to me, but still was reluctant. buy 1.5 X that amount was $ 8,900.00. When the ISG rep verified that is what they would pay me...I thought ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
    I absolutely had not any thought about selling the truck and getting anything else.
    Esp. in late summer 2008's economy I was nowhere ready to buy anything new.
    But $ 8,900.00 for a 10 yr. old truck with 141,000 miles on it.

    PLUS a $1,000 certificate good on top of any deal I made for a new Tacoma - that is $ 9,900.00 - nearly $ 10,000.00 for a truck worth between
    $ 3,200 - $ 6,000.00!!!

    I had no prior intention of getting anything else but I couldn't pass up this opportunity.
  • Hey folks. I have a 2000 Toyota Tacoma. That has been diagnosed with the Frame rot. My question is, I bought the Truck in May. Apparently the buy back started in March, so I bought it after the buy back was already in effect......Will I have any problems with the buy back then? I know they insisted on me getting a Bill of Sale from the person that I bought the truck off of! Any information would help. Just would like a heads up on how it will go....Thanks. Dave
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