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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • I returned the truck to the dealer on Wednesday after the failed inspection. I did a huge pile of research and here's what I found; granted there are some errors in my findings but I returned my truck and got a full refund.

    95-2000 frames were on the recall list with a deadline for inspection being March 2011. Toyota later expanded the recall to 2001-2004 frames built at specific factories. My father has a 2001 Taco with a new frame but my 02 Taco did not qualify.

    Anyway, the dealer gave me a full refund and stopped the loan payment with the bank. I was ready to shut down main street in his small town by parking the truck in the middle of the road and calling the police while holding up a sign that read "Dealer name sold me a truck with a broken frame. Honk if you think that is wrong!"

    Toyota Corp HQ told me that since my truck has not been inspected by March 2011 that it did not qualify. I have to say, Toyota seems a bit shady when it comes to sending out their letters to owners and how they go about inspecting frames.

    Best of luck man.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    edited November 2011
    Just a couple of corrections:

    Actually all 2000 to 2004 Tacomas used the same frames but depending on the location of purchase of the Tacoma in question, you might not have been notified. Notification was based on the particular climate of the initial purchase location and would have been to the initial buyer anyway unless this info. was changed in Toyotas system. The problem was with the coating, or lack of, on the frames.

    Actually in my location my Toyota dealer is very anal about "how they go about inspecting the frames". Any small rust through, even the size of a dime, you fail and they replace the frame no questions asked. I guess this is because it's a big windfall for the dealer just to get this big job.
  • billdarchbilldarch Posts: 11
    edited November 2011
    Hi- I turned in my 2000 taco sb last week and am waiting for the offer- I have my rental now (scion xd)-- I just put new tires (<2000 miles) and a new battery (2 weeks ago) in it-- I also had $500 in stereo, amps, spks, and subs in it-- I went back yday and ripped out the stereo equipment and left the radio slot empty-- Do i need to buy a stock radio on ebay and throw it in to get the value of the radio included in the offer?
    Also-- anyone need some michelins with <2000 miles on them or a battery? I cant stand giving $600 to toyota so I need to find someone who wants a bargain-- The truck is sitting in the dealers lot with no tags now so everything needs to be done there-- Im in CT..
    Thanks for any help..
  • I have (or should I say 'had') a beautiful 1999 TRD with all the fixings and a sweet topper and only 120k miles. I recently brought the truck in for the rust recall and it failed their tests.

    The dealership said Toyota will be calling me to set up an arbitratino hearing at which time we will discuss a fair buyout cost.

    My first question pertains to how Toyota handles recent repairs that the owner has had done ($3k for me in that I put in substantial differential work, a new carrier, a new starter and a tuneup). I have all receipts and am planning to bring them with to my arbitration. Has anyone had experience with how Toyota handles recent repairs?

    My second question is pertaining to how Toyota uses the KBB to value the vehicle. The servcie tech at the dealer said they go 1.5 over KBB, but he said 1.5%, not 1.5x. Of course I am hoping it is 1.5x.

    Thanks for helping me better prepare for my arbitratino.

    I am bummed about my truck. I loved the look of the 1999 and all teh goodies on it.
  • Just an addendum to my above posting....

    I went back and read several posts where 1.5x KBB is mentioned. Is this KBB Retail or Tradein? Thank you again.
  • Toyota will not pay for recent repairs or things like new tires, however, %150 of the KBB should be ample compensation. For example if the KBB value is $10,000, you will get a check for$15,000, that is provided you meet the requirements. It took me 3 weeks to get my check, during that period Toyota gave me a loaner. When you go in for a inspection, be prepared to leave your truck, if you fail it will be condemned and you will not be able to drive it again. Good luck.
  • %150 KBB, the highest price in excellent condition
  • Dennisny - thank you for your input.

    I will kick myself for waiting so long to bring in my truck. Ughh. Could have saved $3k.
  • Toyota is very shady with the letters. They are misleading and sneaky. I was just denied repair on my 96 because it was 3 months out of warranty. Corporate could care less they sent me home in a failed frame. I love my truck, but the way I was treated from corporate, I will never give them another cent. If they can put your VIN on the letter, they can certainly put the warranty end date.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    How exactly did Toyota dicieve you?
  • I never claimed that Toyota deceived me . In fact, it was Toyota Corporate and various Service Managers from around the state who were very helpful in proving that this truck had never had a frame inspection completed.
  • my buddy has an "02" and they replaced the frame. only on 2000 and earlier are they doing buy backs.
  • I returned the 02 Taco to the dealer and got a full refund. They placed it back on the lot with stickers reading "Low Mileage 4WD" and I do believe they sold it last week.

    I am now driving a very sweet silver/black 06 Taco 4WD v6 4.0 TRD package with only one owner. The dealer installed black/chrome MKW Offroad rims with Kenda tires and tinted the windows.

    The only down side is the truck has 122,000 miles but I was able to get a
    3 year/36,000 ACS insurance plan which covers nearly everything on the truck.

    So...I am happy now. This truck is a beast.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,017
    That is correct !
  • Has anyone gotten a letter recently and if so what does your letter say about the program end date.
    I saw some people posting here that it was December 31st but the letter says in the body that it is extended to 15 years from the in service, so a 2000 Tacoma should be eligible until 2015?
  • 15 years from in service date...
  • my 01 tacoma failed the frame test a couple weeks ago (which i knew it would because of the holes in the frame) and they oredered me a new frame. dropped it off yesterday and they had my new frame on the lift with a ton of other parts sitting on the floor including leaf springs and front a arms. i cant believe how toyota is going above and beyond to fix this problem, i will buy toyota the rest of my life. they also gave me a 2012 camry as a free rental car. my question is... do you guys recommend anything i should get checked/replaced as the truck will be put back together?? thank you
  • I brought my 2002 taco for a MA inspection sticker and the mechanic told me to take it directly to a toyota dealer because the frame was by far the worst he has seen, rusted/rotted right through. The dealer checked with toyota and said the recall had expired Sept 31,2011. I had brought it in on Dec 9th, 2011. Toyota is refusing to do anything about it. I know I'm past the deadline, but the truck only has 105,000 miles and looks like it just came off the showroom floor-I cant believe knowing of this safety issue that they wont honor the recall.

    Any suggestions??
  • Sorry to hear about your truck and Toyota's refusal to do anything about it. My suggestion would be to call Toyota Corp HQ and discuss it with them. They may tell you something different what they told me but then at least you will be hearing it from HQ.

    On the more aggressive end of the spectrum...I was fully prepared to deal with a break mechanical breakdown should one occur right in the middle of the street in front of the dealership.

    Be creative. Make phone calls. Walk into offices. Ask tough questions. Do not take no for answer. Keep records of everyone you talk to, names, phone numbers, dates and times.

    Good luck. I really hope things work out for you and that nothing bad happens to you and your loved ones; that thought alone gave me the incentive to take a more aggressive approach in returning my truck.

    Keep me posted. Stay strong.
  • Wait a bought it on December the 9th of 2011 and it did not have a current inspection sticker on it. I was in the same situation.

    Take it back to the dealer and tell them you want your money back now.

    That truck is not safe. It should be in a junk yard or parted out. It is not safe to drive. If they did not clearly state in writing that the frame was broken then you have a case. Call an attorney. Call the state police and your state attorney general or the dept of motor vehicles.

    This truck should have never been sold.

    Stand up. Take action. I can give you some other advice if you can private message me.

    Keep posting.
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