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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem

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  • 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.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,496
    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

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • 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?
  • epenaepena Posts: 10
    Updating my reframing job, my tacoma went in on June 6th for the scheduled frame swap. A last minute glitch came up about a week prior, when the service advisor advised that the dealership would not cover the cost of the rental car. Following the advise of previous posters on this forum, I immediately contacted the Toyota Customer Service Center. They started a case file, & the rep, concurred with me that the rental car tab was covered. Anyways, by the time the 6th rolled around, the issue had been ironed out with the dealer. I have to say that I am impressed with the way and speed that customer service handled this.
    Tomorrow will mark two weeks that the dealer has had my truck. the advisor initially estimated a week to do the job. He's kept me updated on the developments. A delay occurred when in the process of taking the truck apart, additional adjoining parts not initally coverded were broken or had to be cut, due to the extent of the corrosion on the parts being removed. This required an additional parts list to be submitted to Toyota for approval...which came this past Thurs. The parts were ordered, and hopefully the job is back on track. I'm springing for a new clutch ($500) & shocks ($400), plus replacing all of the radiator / heater hoses on the engine ($200).
  • epenaepena Posts: 10
    Glad to hear you have your truck back..curious...have you gone back and attempted to reconcile the tech notes with your own observations?
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    The techs. that did the job were not there when I picked up the truck. I know another one of the techs. who is going to talk to the two that performed the reframing. The truck is in for it's yearly state inspection today at my regular garage. That garage owner told me he would give it a good check for me. Most of what the dealer noted are small items not requiring a bundle of money. I believe like others, that the two techs. that did the reframing were just trying to cover their butts and just documented everything, regardless of how minimal it might be, just so I couldn't claim something worked before that didn't work afterwards. I crawled under the truck myself and couldn't find anything to worry about.

    Is the delay in your reframing because of the other work that your having completed? I was really impressed with the speed (three days) and quality of work of the two techs. trained to do reframings at my dealer. They're really experienced though. They did many so far and had two Tundra's lined up to do after mine. Keep us posted and good luck with your final results.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    You ask would another auto maker replace frames that are roted? of course they would. Lets say you are driving down the road @ 65mph and your frame breaks into 2 peices, The other side of the frame is still holding the truck together but the brake line snaps and you have no brakes. What kind of liability would Toyota have when the Judge learns that the frames were not made to spec? It is clear to me that Toyota did the math and figured after enough people died that they would have to do a major recall anyway.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    American truck owners bashing? you paid $12,000 for your truck. There are guys out there that paid $23,000 for their truck new and with less than 50,000 miles on it have to drive a corrola rent a car for 3 months and then have to pay thousands of dollars in "wore out parts" so just because your toyota dealer treated you right and you bought your truck from a buddy does not give you the right to label the rest of us as American truck owners bashing. I have a 99 Taco and as soon as I get my check I am buying a Ford. Toyota has had the rusted frame issue since they have been building trucks with the exception of the T-100 which was not built by Toyota. Think about it how many old Toyota trucks do you see on the road in the midwest? I don't see many at all.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    I'm a big Toyota fan as many on Edmunds could tell you. I just received my 2004 Tacoma back from a reframe and am completely satisfied. However, you made a very good point though with the minimal number of old Toyota trucks on the road. Of course you have to remember most of the "95" to "99" trucks were repurchased already by Toyota .
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    In 1986 I was the first one in my family to buy a foreign vehicle. It was a brand new toyota 4x4. I paid $9000.00 for it and drove it for 160,000 miles before somebody rear ended me and totaled it. All I had to do for maintenance was oil tires and brakes. Now at the time that thing rusted to hell and back but I did not pay attention to the frame. I went out to find a replacement and that is when I learned from a guy at work to watch out for frame rot. He had a 1983 that the frame rotted on and was no longer a fan. So for the past 20 years I have been watching and I would say that most I have come across, the frame has been very rusty. It seems the 4x4 are worse than the 4x2 but that might be because its harder to see. The only exception is the T100 which I have never seen any rust that amounts to anything on them. I have owned 3 of those and they were good trucks. So its time for me to switch to Ford for awhile and let toyota get there head screwed on right. The worst thing they did is when they decided to be the biggest in the world. You would of thought they would of learned something from GM on that mistake but they didn't
  • epenaepena Posts: 10
    terceltom...no, the delay was caused by the techs during the initial dismantle. Seems some of the bolts were frozen through from the rust & the only way to remove the part was by cutting thru and around other parts not initially included in the swap out. The advisor told me he had to send a supplemental report to Toyota, with pics and documentation on each of the add'l parts. By the time he did all this, got the approval, & ordered the add'l parts, it added a week or so to the job. Today is day 15 and counting. I'm hoping it'll all be done by this weekend, or early next week.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    I remember the recall effected 813,000 trucks. I wonder how many Toyota bought back. My truck did fail. They are going to give me $11,600.00 for it. It was a 1999 4X4 with 92,000 miles on it. Now reality has smacked me in the face because replacement trucks are close to $30,000 So now I give them my paid off truck and get a new one with a $20,000 loan that will cost $23,000 by the time its paid off. Thanks Toyota. I don't want to complain but if it had a good frame that truck could of lasted another 10 years
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    Yeah, 150% of Kelly Bluebook Excellent value for your used truck isn't as good of a deal as it sounds when you have to put out another $20,000.00 in this economy if you want another decent truck.
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