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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem

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  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
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  • I have a 2000 Taco and Toyota dealership hammered the frame last week. They did not offer to repair but they mentioned the buyback option. I am retired and cannot afford to buy a new truck and was hoping this would last until. Can Toyota 'repair' the frame?
  • Not yet but they hammered it and offered a buy back. I was hoping this truck would take me to eternity as I am retired and cannot buy another vehicle.

    I am trying to determine my alternatives - sell to Toyota and get a bike or what?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    The reason your truck is under buyback is because the frames for your year are no longer made. The 2001-2004 frames are still available from the supplier, thus those years get the frame replacement.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • framerotframerot Posts: 4
    My 03. 6 months after the hammer test and the frame sprayed:

    image
  • bob_g60bob_g60 Posts: 1
    Took my 2003 Tacoma into Bairel Toyota in Cranberry Township, PA for a recall. I was told I could not have the truck back and the entire frame had to be replaced which would take two months. The are giving me a rental. The next day I inquired about a new vehicle. I'm a ten year plus customer with three vehicle purchases at this dealership. I wanted to trade for the exact make, model, and color. No big deal. They must have figured me to be a desperate old illiterate with no internet savy because they offered me a new vehicle $3000 over MSRP and gave me $3000 less the the trade in vaue on my truck. I didn't even discuss the numbers. I stood up and walked out and told them I'd be back in two months to pick my vehicle up. Bye, bye, Bairel.
  • keystoneupkeystoneup Posts: 1
    ...it's a sad day! The local dealer said it failed and they will be contacting the corporate people to look at it and make the decision on whether to repair or do the buy back. I'm wondering if anyone with the older models has had the frame replacement done, or was that just the 2001-2004 models??

    Also, I have the bulletin POL08-03 that was sent to the dealers in hand. It states I should be offered a loaner, but my dealership is telling me, 'come in get it, you can drive it until the regional people call you, we won't give you a loaner. In fact the bulletin states customers should be encouraged to leave the vehicle at the dealership and if they take it they should sign the work order "Customer advised eligible for complimentary loaner vehicle per CSP. Customer elected to remain in own vehicle." I imagine this is to absolve them of any liability, so I am perplexed as to why my local dealer will not give me a loaner? Has anyone else run in to this? Thanks for any help!
  • redtrukredtruk Posts: 2
    In the waiting room, they showed me a photo of one of the holes in the frame of my 2001 & strongly advised me to take the loaner. Maybe there are degrees of damage, some being dangerous & others needing fixing, but aren't to the level of being unsafe. I also think different dealerships operate differently. I had subsequent problems related to the frame replacement, which they resolved (on my dime!), but would not give me a loaner at that time, saying they had only a few vehicles for that purpose.

    They also told me I needed a new cat, which I was suspicious about & did not replace. I'm glad I didn't, I got through inspection fine & have had no problems. Saved myself quite a few bucks.
  • mysportmysport Posts: 19
    edited May 2011
    I had the spray on done, thinking it's starting to wear off already. Probably a ploy to keep owners at bay because they can't afford to replace all frames or buy us out. Beware the upsell game too.... Mine is almost 10 yrs old now, doesn't really owe me anything at this point.

    Anyone have the rear chrome bumper rust out? Is it covered by any of this?
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Having my 2004 reframed in a couple of weeks. My dealer ordered my frame and said it would take two weeks to come in and two days to complete the job. Took it in for just an inspection and spray job, but they said they found two holes in the frame near the gas tank.
  • Hello
    Our 97 Tacoma was recently inspected frame rot and failed.We had a call with an offer which we plan on taking.
    Our problem is they are asking for a title.We bought the truck in feb 08 and a title was not required to register in our state because it was over 10 years old.So,we never received a title.The truck is registered and we have a bill of sale
    Has anyone else run into this issue?
    Were hoping we don't get held up on waiting for a title search
    Thanks for any help
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    And that is not an acceptable reason for Toyota ? ? ?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    edited May 2011
    Toyota needs a title because the truck will be destroyed and the VIN must be reassigned as such. Without the title and reassignment, the VIN remains "active" and a car thief could reuse the VIN on a stolen vehicle.

    You should be able to get a title from your state's motor vehicle department if you show the registration and bill of sale.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • bears34bears34 Posts: 1
    First of all, thanks to everyone who posted on this issue. I found a lot of really helpful information. I have a 2000 XtraCab Prerunner. I received the letter regarding the rust perforation warranty a few weeks ago and had no idea this buyback was going on. I actually looked at the frame and realized it was going to be a buyback based on a baseball size hole! Took it to the dealer on Monday and they confirmed it was a buyback and said toyota would be contacting me to start the buyback process. They set me up with a rental (Kia Soul- was hoping for a truck but oh well). I was just wondering how long it's taking toyota to contact owners. It's been about a week and haven't heard anything yet. Just wondering if this is normal?
  • epenaepena Posts: 10
    I purchased my 03 Tacoma in New England last year, driving it home to Fla. At the time I was unaware of the frame issue, and stumbled onto this forum by chance...it ended up saving my $%#!! The truck has 160K miles, but aside from the frame issue is otherwise perfect. In September I took the truck in to West Kendall Toyota, in Miami, for an inspection. The body shop manager advised that he was aware of the campaign & that his shop had done a prior frame swap. He took pics, obtained my documentation, and advised he would stay in touch. After not hearing anymore from him, I went back a month or so later, & he tells me something to the effect that he never heard back from his district manager...or something to that effect. He tells me that he will again submit the request thru his channels, & that he would be in contact. This happens to be a very busy body shop, & I got the impression that they were not too eager to take on this job.
    I became tied up with other stuff, & it wasn't until recently that I crawled underneath the truck and noticed several spots on the frame perforated by rust. I decided to call another dealership, this time Toyota Of South Fla, in Doral. An appointment was scheduled, an this time everything went smoothly. The service rep told me that he would be surprised if Toyota did not offer me a buyback, as this was an expensive repair. I told him that from everything I had read on this forum, the deciding factor seems to be wether or not the replacement frame for the particular model year is still in production. Sure enough, 9 days after the initial inspection, he called me today to advise that the repair was approved, & he is ordering the parts. When the parts come in, I'll drop the truck off, & I'll update the post as to how the repair turns out.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    I hope they're going to replace rather than repair your Tacoma's frame; I guess that's what you meant? I have a 2004 that I'm waiting for the frame to come in for. It's been two weeks already and I'm anxious to see how it turns out. My 2004 Tacoma has 112,000 miles on it and just a small perferation above the gas tank area. Well, we'll go through this together and compare notes; I'll keep my post up to date also.
  • epenaepena Posts: 10
    (Add'l info. to post # 1069) like I said in my prior posting, my repair has been approved, & the dealer is waiting for the replacement frame & associated parts to come in. What prompted me to put this project on the fast track, & contact the dealer is this:
    In the last month or so, I've noticed a smell of gasoline when standing outside the truck, towards the rear, whenever I get a fill up. This only happens when the tank is full, and goes away completely below 3/4 full. There is no fuel leakage that I can detect, either on the ground, or any dampness or signs of a leakage underneath on the undercarriage, the sides & bottom of the fuel tank, the fill cap area, & pipe leading down to the fuel tank. My guess is that there is some corossion somewhere on top of the tank, that is out of sight, & allowing fuel vapors to escape. I know the fuel tank itself is not on the list of parts that the dealer is replacing, although I understand some parts related to the tank are. The dealer advised that the fuel tank is drained & removed during the swap out process...I guess we'll figure out the problem then. In the mean time I'm getting around the problem by making sure the tank is never more than 1/2 full. I'm wondering if any posters on this forum have dealt with a similar problem.
  • epenaepena Posts: 10
    terceltom...it's definately a complete frame replacement. I'm wondering if you've experienced a problem with gas fumes on the exterior of your truck...ref. my post # 1071 above. Thanks.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    No, I haven't had any gas fumes. In fact, I didn't even know I had frame perforation near my gas tank until they told me. I got my call yesterday that my frame came in. It took just about two weeks from time of order. My appointment for the re-framing is Tuesday June 7th. They told me to expect my truck back in two days. I wanted them to replace the water pump and timing belt when they had it torn apart but they told me I wouldn't save anything on labor. I'm going to have someone else replace the pump and belt when I get the truck back. Still driving on the original water pump and timing belt yet, (113,000 miles).
  • epenaepena Posts: 10
    Just heard from the dealer today, all the parts are in and I'm scheduled to take the truck in on June 6th for the swap out. New wrinkle...dealer says that they cannot cover the rental. I asked the service rep to please check with the district office / administrator, as just about every posting here, everyone indicates that the dealer provided a rental.

    terceltom, wow, 2 days to do the job? Where did you go...the NASCAR pit crew for frame swap outs? My dealer is telling me one week, and that seems a little fast to me.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    edited May 2011
    No, not NASCAR, just a real good Toyota dealership in my area. They're the oldest Toyota Dealership in the USA. They have two techs. that were sent to Toyota school for the frame swap, plus I'm the 14th frame swap they're doing, so they're both educated and experienced. It's supposed to be a 60 man hr. job but they said they'd have it done in 32 man hrs.
  • jtimmjtimm Posts: 1
    I got a letter from Toyota about 3 weeks ago. Called the closest dealer and set up the inspection. Got my loaner and drove 60 miles home. Received a call right away that my Tacoma failed the inspection and deemed unsafe to drive.the dealer entered the info into the buyback program. Received a call a couple days later from Vanessa at Toyota saying my truck in inelligible as it has a salvage title? Then a phone call from the toyota dealer that says to return the loaner immediately or they will start to charge me for it! They tell me my frame is unsafe and then tell me to come on back and drive it home 60 miles! The salvage title is from a front end collision which was repaired and inspected by a liscensed state inspector and deemed safe for the road. The failed (badly rusted) part of the truck frame is in the rear of the frame and has nothing to do with the front end!The front part of the frame is actually still got paint on it, while the rear part of the frame is badly rusted. Why would Toyota send me this letter to find out my truck is unsafe and then tell me to drive it? Does this have lawsuit written all over it?
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Well, I'm not a lawyer but it certainly does seem like you have a case to me. Sounds like Toyota feels legally they are not responsible for a salvaged truck/car. But with the circumstances surrounding your truck and with the rust perforation no where near where the accident damage was, I would definitely start the appeal process with Toyota or even contact a lawyer. After all your not talking a small amount of money here. Depending on if your truck is a "99" or older or even a "01" to "04" it's thousands of dollars of cash, a new frame or even your life, at stake.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Driving a vehicle with a salvage title is generally considered "at your own risk" even if it's functional.

    The reason Toyota won't handle this is because they are going to take ownership of the vehicle and salvage it themselves (the truck will be destroyed). If they didn't require a clean title, there would be no stopping people from buying junk Tacomas and restoring them just enough to be drivable, then bringing them in for buybacks. Toyota has a similar clause for 1999-and-older trucks that were purchased after the program was announced - this prevents people from buying a Tacoma from an unknowing owner for a cheap price, then "flipping" it in a buyback for a huge profit.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host
  • epenaepena Posts: 10
    jtimm...do a Google search for TOYOTA WARRANTY SERVICE BULLETIN POL 08-03 (enter it just like that in your search field) It's the policy bulletin that toyota sent out to their dealers back in 2008, explaining the qualifications under this program. I think it's like a 6 page pdf. On the 1st page, they list the vehicles that are excluded...if I recall, salvaged vehicles are listed. however, you have unique circumstances, so who knows...good luck.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Wow! Two months to replace the frame, my dealer told me they would have mine back to me in two to three days after frame replacement.
  • epenaepena Posts: 10
    Terceltom...wow, sounds like you have a knowledgeable service dept. doing the work...which for a job this extensive, is paramount...they know what they're doing. In my case, not too much road salt used on the roads in south fla, so i'm guessing this type of work is rarely seen. That's my major concern with all of this...I'll get the truck back & have to deal with a bunch of bugs, or something else will come up during the repair that will end up costing me $$.

    Speaking of which, does anyone have any suggestions as to what parts one would consider replacing that are NOT covered by toyota?? Figure it would make sense since pretty much the entire truck is being dimantled. I'm thinking the shock abs, maybe the brakes, the CO2 rear sensor (mine is rusted away, causing an eternal "check engine" light.
    BTW..here's alink to a neat video taken at a dealer, of the entire swap out process. pretty amazing. SCROLL DOWN TO THE 3rd VIDEO.

    http://www.toyotaframerust.com/
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Yea, I know why you feel concerned. Mine is going in next week and I'm just as concened. The tech. that's going to do the work assures me it's gonna be even better then it was before the replacement. Just in case it's not, I'm already resigned to the fact that I'm going to sell it if I'm not satisfied with it. I'm going to get the timing belt done at the same time. 128,000 miles and still on the original timing belt.

    By the way, I think you'll like this actual video of a Tacoma frame replacement also.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIcvUhAIjEs
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    My 2004 Tacoma is reframed. Only took the dealer 3 days from start to finish. They told me it would take two days, but I'm not complaining. Didn't pick it up yet but I did go over to see it. It looks great, like a new truck underneath. I measure it all around to make sure the cab and bed are all sitting even, because some have said that when they get their trucks back after a reframe they're higher on one side then the other. Mine measured perfectly. The real test will be in the test drive before I sign-off on the job. I'll keep you posted.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    edited June 2011
    Okay so I picked up my 2004 Tacoma after the re frame and everything seemed very good mechanically. I only noticed two things, one the shift lever stays lit in "R" for reverse even thought it's working correctly and my left side dash lights are dimmer then before. What I didn't expect was a laundry list of technician notes on items I didn't know were problematic with the truck, I though it ran and worked just fine.

    1) Drifts right - don't notice this
    2) vibration in drive line - don't notice this
    3) front brake squeal - don't hear this
    4) rough idle - seems smooth to me
    5) transmission or transfer case leak - don't see a one drop of fluid
    6) muffler weak - sounds just fine, quiet
    7) wires corroded on 4 wheel drive switch - said he don't how my 4 wheel drive is working cause the wires are corroded totally off
    8) A.C. low on charge - works great for me

    So what's up with them? Are any of these detrimental requiring immediate servicing?
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