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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • johnny66johnny66 Posts: 11
    Can you tell me when your case started? Where are you located? We had a 2001 looked at in Oct. 2008 and have been given the run around ever since. The dealer and reps said the buyback ended in Dec but we never received any notice or call and we have been in contact with the dealer every week. We are meeting with a Toyota rep in 2 to 4 weeks and have been told over and over there are no more buybacks and the (frame replacement or trade in your vehicle) are the only options and want all the ammo we can get. Thanks
  • pataco01pataco01 Posts: 14
    Well, got my truck back on Thursday 2/26 after the dealership had it for 2 months. Everything seems fine so far except they forgot to top off my power steering pump but I did when I heard it whining. My frame kit consisted of frame, rear leafs, lower control arms, brake lines, E-brake cable, and all the nuts and bolts. While they had it I had them change the clutch, timing belt, water pump, and they cut the flywheel. My final tab was $964. The labor was next to nothing and I priced the parts before I told them what I wanted so they couldn't rip me off. So, so far so good. I'll just have to wait and see how it works out.
  • mcalauttmcalautt Posts: 67
    keep an eye out for electrical mishaps and intermittent issues.
  • JRB2002JRB2002 Posts: 2
    While I cannot take credit for finding this info (found it through another forum), there is some interesting information on the NHTSA site regarding Toyota's campaign for 01-04 Tacomas. If you do a search under Service Bulletings at and drill down to 2001 Tacoma Structure: Frame and Members, you should find a PDF to download. The TSB is TCS=08-018. The PDF appears to be a sample of an official communication from Toyota Motor Corp about the rust perforation problem and indicates a possible buy-back of 1.5x Blue Book for 01-04 Tacomas. The PDF is CSC-10027968-5540. This might be some valuable "ammo" for us who are having problems with Toyota and not getting any response or very poor service on our problems.
  • divwiddivwid Posts: 10
    Dear Sir--I had a 2000 Tacoma with 96,000 kms. here in S. Ont. just west of London, ON. Last summer it failed inspection. Toyota paid me 19,000--the same amount I had paid 5 years previous. Not worth the insurance issues if I had an accident with a "failed" truck. Sure miss my truck, but glad to be rid of the whole situation. Toyota paid for a car rental for one month while I shopped for a new vehicle. A 2009 Corolla---hmmmm, fancy that. A little salesmanship going on here?? Nevertheless, Toyota paid generously, I feel and I sold off the tires before dropping off truck for the last time. Glad to rid of the whole mess. Still feel that I would buy Toyota, but not the Tacoma until this situation is resolved.
  • mags6mags6 Posts: 13
    Hi divwid, thanks for the advice. Toyota really needs to address this problem not just now but right at the time of manufacturing. They must know that a large percentage of their trucks/vehicles run in the northern areas where salt is applied to the roads. There is no reason why these frames are made from steel that is so suseptable to rusting or that a proper treatment was not applied at this time. This is not an accident but a deliberate engineering flaw. Very sad. Anyone out there that have had their frames replaced I highly recommend that you treat your new frames with somekind of rust proofing anually. Up here we have RustCheck or Krown Rust Proofing. Very effective and should help your new frames survive in the coming years.
  • mags6mags6 Posts: 13
    PS- sorry for the spelling mistakes, I should have proof read or spell checked.
  • Gentlemen -
    I have not written in a while because I wanted to really get a feel for things, but I have been driving my '01 Tacoma with the new frame, etc. for three weeks now.
    No complaints. Handles better than when I bought it in 2003 and I have done my best to beat the hell out of it too to put Toyota's work to the test.
    Buyback wasn't an option for me, as with most of you I'm sure, but it's better than nothing and we all know that the "big three" would have told us to kiss their [non-permissible content removed].
    Anyway, if there are specific questions I can answer, let me know.
  • mags6mags6 Posts: 13
    Hi and congrats on your successful swap. I have a 1983 Toyota sr5 that I still drive. I have rustproofed it regularly and for the most part have kept rust at bay. I am looking to buy a 2001 Tacoma Double Cab with 57000 mi. The frame pasted inspection but I am sure it will need a replacement sometime in the near future. It is comforting to hear you are satisfied with the work done. Anyway, do you know if the steel in these frames is any better than the original frame steel. Has it been treated for rust prior to installation? Thanks for you time.
  • HOBPHOBP Posts: 7
    Hello all! -- Have been out of town, but now post "The News"

    Ref my post of Feb 09 - believe I may be the first one here to get my Taco back w/ the replacement frame. On Feb 10 I stopped by the dealer to ask a few questions re the replacement - Svc Mgr said "it's apart - want to see it?"

    There was my Taco - in pieces/chunks/components up/down etc. Frame was across the service area - naked (covered w/ a lovely light golden rust color!). At that point they were waiting for the replacement kit. Well, they must have gotten it in the next day, because they called my on Feb 13 to tell me it was done!. Only problem was they couldn't align the front wheels due tie rods ends "frozen" and they couldn't free them up. I argued why this not included in the work order (if frame hadn't needed replacemernt I wouldn't be facing that problem), but they were adament that it was not part of the deal. So I had to spring for new - cost $410 w/ labor - which labor I believe should have been included in the process - but will take that up w/ Toyota.

    Picked it up on Feb 14. They did a nice job - truck feels/runs like new, no rattles/squeaks. Only thing I noticed was that front and rear body sections are very slightly misaligned - gap between them maybe 1/4" larger on one side than the other. No big deal - shouldn't affect aerodynamics at 70 mph.
  • My 01' Taco's frame comes today and I was told I should have the truck back by the end of next week. I'm glad to hear from the folks on here that they have had no major issues thus far with their replacements as I am going through it right now. Rust inhibitor will be the next step -but my question is this - If we are getting new frames due to the old ones rotting out why doesn't Toyota or (DANA -the manufacturer) put rust inhibitor/preventative on/in them prior to the swap to help prevent future issues? Just an idea for Toyota I guess - just makes good common sense to me.
  • mcalauttmcalautt Posts: 67
    in theory they are suppose to apply the protection during the manufacturing process.
    usually what they do is negatively or positively charge the frames and then do the opposite to the inhibitor as they dip the frames.
    Not sure why they are telling you they are going to do it after the install.
    that does not sound good to me, sounds like they are going to undercoat it which is a friggin mess and doesnt protect anything.
  • doubleusndoubleusn Posts: 20

    I am also glad to hear replacements are going well. I ended up opting out of it as my circumstances did not allow for it to be an option to me.

    I am glad to hear that things are going well for folks and now that frames are avail things seem to be speeding up. Many folks had been waiting a long time for frames, and my 02 was deemed bad before there even was a letter to send out.

    Question to All: Does anybody know what product they are using to spray under the ones that are rusty, but are not considered a failure.

    Question to All 2: Do we know if the 2005-200x model run corectd the problem?

    My understanding was it is a rust from lack of protection spray problem, but also a design flaw in the frame so that moisture does no drain properly.


  • Not sure about what undercoating they are talking about applying. I was told the NEW frames they were manufacturing have a different rust protection, specifically having the rust preventative baked on as opposed to just sprayed on.
    I can't fathom why they would tell you they are putting an undercoating on (which doesn't do anything except increase the problem) other than to make you feel better.
    I'm curious how the 2005 and up frames are holding up... unless they have addressed the problem, we'll probably be hearing about this in a year or two.
  • doubleusndoubleusn Posts: 20

    Thanks for the reply

    It was my understanding is that frames that were not rusted (not being replaced) out per se were getting something applied to them instead, under this program, to reduce the risk going fwd. I was wondering what product they were using for this.

    I was in a situation where 'waiting' for a frame and using my truck 'after a frame swap' was not an option for me.

    I argued with corp for many many weeks, and ended up working out a 'fair' deal with my dealer.

    This fair deal now includes me having an 09 TRD OF. I am just trying to gather info on the 2005+ frames, etc under the guise of preventing anything on the 09 now vs later.

    Thanks again for the email.

  • rachelfrachelf Posts: 12
    The new frame has a 15 yr. rust warranty on it.....the way i see it, the new frame will out last almost every truck body it is put under.........
    PS mine has been back for 2 weeks and is doing fine- i plan on watching how my tires wear .........
  • mags6mags6 Posts: 13

    Just wondering - the 2001 Tacoma Double Cab I am looking to purchase has had its frame tested and it passed even though it is VERY rusty. It was sprayed with some black tar like inhibitor. Do I have more than one shot at being tested? I am assuming I would have 6 more years before the warranty ends and still have the option of frame replacement if it rusts through. Would anyone know for sure.

    Thanks again.
  • doubleusndoubleusn Posts: 20

    I'm not sure I follow.

    You can see it is very rusty, yet it is also sprayed?

    Are you saying it's sprayed, but maybe not 100%?

    If 100%, what part is rusty?

  • mags6mags6 Posts: 13
    Hi, and thanks for the reply, I will try to be more clear.

    The truck that I am looking at passed the frame test even thought it is really rusty. The outside of the frame was sprayed but not the inside. The rear leaf springs, gas tank guard and the "inside of the frame" were not sprayed. It shows just how rusted, and I mean RUSTED this frame/and parts really are. It was rusted enough that Toyota Corp. took it and punch tested it to see how bad it was. Because the inside of the frame is so rusted I think it is just a matter of time before it is perforated as the rust eats through the metal. The rest of the body panel though are excellent.

    Thanks again.
  • doubleusndoubleusn Posts: 20

    Thanks for the update.

    In my eyes, and in my own opinion, I see this as a three question/step process.

    1) Location - Where do you live? Does it snow? Is there salt? Where did the truck live before?

    2) After reading this whole thread how do you feel about having a frame replacement? (maybe)

    3) What is you own peronal opinion of how well a replacement will hold up over time and the hassle (time is money) you 'may' have to give up in the future if #2 comes true. 'If' other things start failing early as a result of the complete disassembly from the frame replacement. (only the frame itself is covered is my understanding)

    It may be the best replacement program in the world, it may not be.I had an 02 Dbl Cab with the problem (hole in frame) and I chose to opt out.

    If it was 'me' ,without being forced, I would hesitate.

    Just my .02, FWIW.

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