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Toyota Sequoia Maintenance and Repair



  • Just filed a complaint with the NHTSA and with Toyota. I also followed up with a call to the local Toyota dealer. Already getting the run around. Being told that there is no formal policy on the repair of rust on the Sequioa. I own a 2001 Sequoia here in Massachusetts. I have always taken great care of the truck...NOw it cannot be driven because of excessive frame rot.
  • Complaint filed with NHTSA.
  • Since you are in Mass. maybe you want to try calling WCVB Channel 5, they seem to have an interest in our cause. I would call them myself but I am in New York. Please keep us posted.
  • I have a 2001 Sequoia with exact issues of crazy VSC activation with hard shuddering from front left wheel, two broken rear latches (second one was warranty coverage), cd 6 changer that does not work, two front blown speakers from normal use. No frame rust though as I am in NC. I plan to do redphaedrus's plan of action in terms of checking for metal shavings to address the VSC issue.

    Redphaedrus? can you review how to identify sensors again. I saw earlier posts. Do all 4 wheels have sensors? and what color are the wires for the sensors?
    Thanks in advance.
  • I have replaced rear latch twice. first time was about 1.5 hours, second time was about 30 minutes. Sad plastic shame. If anybody needs tips on how to change then let me know. I think there are enough posts already though. Here to help anyways:)
  • jbopsjbops Posts: 1
    Our 2011 Sequoia started acting up recently as the weather started getting colder (October 2011). When starting the vehicle up the display remains dark. About 15 to 20 minutes later the display will magically turn on, and from that point will operate normally. We've noticed that the delay duration seems to be getting longer. I've taken the vehicle to Toyota and showed the admissions person the problem, only to have Toyota come back and say they didn't find a problem; no loose wires, no issues with operation. Subsequent searches on the Internet found someone in 2008 with the same problem, but appeared not to get any help. At this point I believe Toyota knows there's a problem, but is ignoring it because the vehicle is still under warranty. Any suggestions?
  • I work at a dealership and we have replaced a few Sequoia frames so far. Another new Sequoia frame just came in the other day. They are only covering the frame, no additional parts. From what Ive heard is they were doing it case by case. We had a used one that I think they denied.
  • Rivierra Rob,
    What is the status on your Sequoia Frame Rot problem?
    Any updates would be appreciated.
    Thank you.
  • You might look for mouse damaged wiring in the engine bay - seriously. My Seq has been outside a bit and I have since noticed a mouse nest inside and chewed wires near black fuse block - in just a week, as weather got colder! So have taken to putting TomCat blocks of mouse poison inside the engine bay - I tape the green 2" x1" poision blocks on each side struts with strips of duct tape. Seems to be working. good luck.
  • Toyotatech1 - can you share what the criteria is that Toyota is using to determine what Seq's are candidates for the replacement? Age? Miles? Corp. tell me it was "likely road salt here in new England, and No Complaints to Date" (out and out lie) then i heard some replacements were done here, some with legal pressure, maybe not all. tks
  • Sadly, the total number of complains on the NHTSA complain file I just pulled shows only 40 Frame Rot complaints. By year, 2001 had most (21), 1 for 02, 9 for 03, 1 for 05 and 06, 3ea for 07 and 08 - none for 09 and 10. The site to see this is: (did not research Tundra but suspect more there).
    Takes just 10 min, suggest all Seq forum visitors with frame rot fill out a complaint. Chose BODY from the complaint drop down menu - there is NO selection for Frame, but the 40 items in the INCIDENTS selection you can search on are categorized under "Structure: Frame and Members". Bbe sure to put that in your complaint clearly.
  • 2003 toyota sequoia same problem. I call them get the run around. went in to the dealer they could not put my truck on the lift they say my frame is not good it cannot take the weight and told me it is not safe to drive. :mad: :confuse: :surprise: we need to get law and the tv in this matter keep us up to date thank you
  • Besides filing formal complaints with Toyota and the NHTSA, also file a Consumer Complaint with your state's Office of the Attorney General. One very unhappy Sequoia owner suggested that we picket Toyota dealerships. Right now during Toyota's Year-End Toyotathon, would be a great time to picket.
    I've been dealing with Toyota for the past 4 months about the RUST HOLES in my 2002 Sequoia, with a lot of run around and no resolution. I am absolutely discussed with Toyota, but will not stop the fight, until Toyota does the right thing. Please email me at [email protected] to discuss our strategy. I look forward to hearing from Sequoia owners. Thank You.
  • My husband called the local dealer in Rhode Island and they were no help. He called Corporate too. He was very nice and rational (not threatening) and explained that we are a "Toyota family" having owned 2 Celicas, a 4-Runner in the past and now have a Sequoia and a Prius. He explained how our neighbor has a 2001 Tacoma that was recalled with the same problem as ours. The person he spoke to at Customer Service on that Saturday was NOT helpful (they did offer $1000 towards a new Toyota), but they called back later that day while we were out car shopping and told us that they would do something more for us. On Monday the local dealer called us and said that Corp decided to replace the rusty frame for us at no charge.
  • :( :confuse: :sick: :surprise: :mad: IS toyota selling lemons now they need to start standing up for there mistake with these frames
  • I own a 2002 Sequoia. I bought it new from Walser Toyota in Bloomington, MN. It has 216,000 miles and still feels new. I live in Minneapolis. This week I came across this forum and subsequently the forum at discussing the Tundra recall for frame rust. I read with concern the testimony from Sequoia owners who have had their vehicles condemned by state inspectors due to frame rust. My understanding since buying is that Sequoia was built with same frames on same assembly line as Tundra in Indiana. I don't, though, know this to be a fact. I crawled under my vehicle a couple days ago and saw that the rust on my frame looked like that in the photos posted in the forums. I filed a complaint with NHTSA and called Toyota to start a formal case. I contacted Walser Toyota and spoke with the Service Manager. He stated he had not heard of this issue affecting Sequoias. He made arrangement for me to have the vehicle inspected today. I don't believe they performed the same inspection as would be performed on a Tundra but they are well aware of the Tundra issue and what it looks like. I also stopped at my mechanic this morning before Walser and had him put it on the hoist and inspect the frame. My mechanic told me that the rust is surface rust. He looked, poked and prodded and found no signs of weakness. I have read what is said about the rust coming from inside out so I kept my appointment with Walser Toyota. At Walser they put it on the hoist and inspected. They brought me under the car and described for me what it looks like when they look at a Tundra with the frame rust problem. My Sequoia has the surface rust but it does not have the appearance that the rusted recalled Tundras have. There are no holes in the frame and when I knock with a tool on the frame at the rusty areas it seems solid to my feel. The Service Manager also indicated that the Sequoia frames were not necessarily built on same line as Tundra and that the Tundras subject to the rust problem were specifically identified and recalled. I expected them to say that. They declared my vehicle to not have the problem and to be safe. I have driven this Sequoia for nine years in Minnesota winter so it seems that if it has an abnormal rust situation that it would be manifesting by now. I am not making any claims about Sequoias in general in regard to frame rust. But, my vehicle, while having quite a bit of surface rust, does not appear to have an integrity problem. Walser Toyota treated me well, with respect and not dismissively. They took my safety concern seriously and had my vehicle on their hoist within 24 hours. They told me I was the first Sequoia owner to contact them with this question concerning a Sequoia.

    I initially was on-line looking at Sequoia stuff because my headlight lenses are extremely blurry to the point where they are very dim. I have to double check that my lights are on. I was looking for new ones. Has anyone else had the lense of their headlight turn ridiculously blurry? I've owned other cars for many years and never noticed such a degredation of a headlight lense.
  • Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.
    I've had the opportunity in the past 3 months to observe numerious 2001/02 Sequoias. All of these Sequoias have been driven in the Northeast for the past 10 or so years. And from my observation, it appears that these Sequoia frames are in one of two conditions. One being frames are still mostly black with the protective coating and only some rust. And then there are those that are covered with rust and some you can peel off the rust like an onion. As we beleive not all Sequoias have this serious "Frame Rot" problem, but the ones that do need to be addressed and corrected by Toyota. If your independent mechanic, who sees a lot of undercarriages, beleives your Sequoia frame appears to have more rust than other makes of trucks of similar age, then I would say your Sequoia falls into the "frame rot" category. Therefore, you need to keep after Toyota to address your premature frame rust/rot problem.
    And regarding your headlight lense problem, I've owned cars with this blurry/degredation issue, but my 02 Sequoia lenses, are okay.
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks again.
  • Cabin04, thank you for your reply. I will continue to monitor my frame. At this point I don't believe there is a strong enough case with my vehicle to continue to strong-arm Toyota.
    I installed my $23 headlights last night (Halogen bulb included). After the usual learning curve and a relatively small amount of cussing I got them in cleanly. I was joyous when I finally figured out how to adjust the vertical (There is a tunnel that leads down to the white "Fly-wheel" thing located on the back of the case. Insert the right size phillips head and turn.) They work great. Here's hoping that continues.
    Other issues I've had with Sequoia include replacing the radio antenna twice, replacing the rear latch/handle assembly twice, and the air conditioning system disintegrated at 37,000 miles. The compressor blew and corrupted the entire system. The air conditioner needed complete replacement and I was out of warranty. Price quote was something around $2,500 to fix at Walser Toyota. Walser Toyota said they'd buy the parts. That didn't seem good enough so I said, Hey, if I lived in Florida this would have almost certainly burst before warranty and this simply isn't right. Considering that, along with the Tech Bulletin issued on Sequoia AC, they repaired it for $500. When i went to pay the guy running the register thought it was being done free. I told him we had agreed on $500. So I have always wondered if I'd kept pressing they'd have done the repair free.
  • Cabin, can I ask? In what job or function do you see the numerous frames? Like I said, I don't believe I have a case now but I want to stay on top of it. My mechanic says that the amount of rust I have is commensurate with nine year old vehicles.
  • jtbass, thank you for your reply. I also had to replace my AC compressor just out of warranty, but Toyota provided zero assistance. I've also had to replace my rear gate latch twice due to rust and rot, because of Toytota's poor design for the back gate. My rear gate window has also been non-operational for years because the window rails have rotted and would cost over $600 to replace. Therefore, my greyhounds no longer can enjoy hanging their heads out the back window. I've also had major VSC problems and most recently my Sequoia thinks it's in skid everytime I go around a curve. All at once the skid light comes on, the skid control audio beeps, and the engine / transmission bucks like a bronco!! My mechanic tells me that this is a major expenditure, not a simple sensor. In my past 40 years of driving, I've never owned a vehicle with so many major and expensive problems.
    To answer jtbass' question about what function I perform where I can physically see, view, and gather a great deal of information about Toyota Sequoia's, and 90% of the time speak directly with the owner: I'm a part-time "Event Parking Attendent", I'm the attendent that makes sure you are as close to the other vehicle as possible, and greets you as you get out of your car.
    I welcome other Toyota Sequoia Owner stories, and look forward to hearing from you.
    Thank You and have a Great Hoilday!!
  • I own a 2002 Sequoia. I haven't been able to operate my rear gate window for a couple years due to the window rails rotting out, similar to the rear gate handle and latch problems that others have experienced. This window rail and handle/latch rot problem is a Toyota design problem.
    I've read that it is fairly easy to replace the handle and latch, but has anyone had any hands-on experience of replacing the rear gate window rails?
    I look forward to hearing from others. Thank you.
  • Could anything else happen with my '02 Sequoia. Two days in a row this weekend, while going down clear and dry roads(NO snow, rain, or ice) our Sequoia for the first time just started bucking like a bronco, skid control beeping, and the skid indicator light flashing. Needed to stop, turn off, and restart the vehicle. Continued to do this several times until we limped home. It's in the shop today. Is this a major or minor problem?
    I look forward to hearing from others.
  • First I want to apologize to all the members for the multiple posting I did regarding My 2002, 66,400 miles Toyota Sequoia rusted frame. Being new in this site I did not realized that the post would group together in one posting. After seeing them I also thought it was repetitive and annoying. Sorry for that. I received an email from Steve notifying me of this and other site rule violations I committed like asking you for case numbers and to contact me directly so we could create a united front to fight this together.
    That being said, I don't know how to proceed from here. I pleaded with Toyota Corp to assist me in fixing the rusted frame. They asked me to take the vehicle to a Toyota dealership for a frame inspection which resulted in a report where indeed the frame is coming apart and I had already lost some components aside from having the transmission, the differential and the spare tire at risk of falling off the car. The report cost me $51.50 which I gladly paid. Toyota sent me a letter with a declined message. I filed a complaint with NHTSA and I called them to make sure it was filed under the correct issue. They said that all the complaints are read by the engineers and they are file accordingly.
    I urge any Sequoia owner to do the same. On my part I am trying to bring awareness in my community about this issue. I have printed flyers and I am looking at other ways to advance our cause. If anyone have suggestions on how to achieve this please post.
    I hope this posting is not violating any rules.
    Thank you
    Worcester, MA
  • I have a 2011 Sequoia. After only about 3,000 miles it developed a squeak that appears whenever I drive on a bad road, sometimes now on paved roads when I hit a particular kind of bump. A mechanic at the Toyota dealer heard it but could not say what was causing it – something underneath in back, he thought. Has anyone else had a similar problem, and if so, were you able to locate and eliminate it? Thanks.
  • I have the same issue with my 2003. What should I be doing to bring awareness to Toyota?
  • cabin04cabin04 Posts: 31
    Hi James,
    You should contact your local Toyota dealership and have them conduct an undercarriage inspection. At the same time file a formal online consumer case with the NHTSA, so that your case is added to the national database.
    If Toyota rejects you case, file an online formal complaint with your state Attorney General's Office and they will send a letter to Toyota Motor Sales USA in California and follow-up.
    Please notify me if you have any questions and/or require further detail.
  • Hi James. Sorry you are having the same problem. First I contacted TOYOTA MOTOR SALES USA customer relations department to find out what I could do. They asked me to have a frame inspection by a Toyota dealership. It cost me $51.50 and they gave me a report of the inspection. After contacting Toyota Corp. again, they told me that my vehicle was out of warranty and they declined my claim by letter . They did assigned a case number for future reference.
    Next I file a complaint with the NHTSA. They said they will file the complaint in their archives for future used if they have enough complaints to warrant and investigation. I also filed a complaint with my estate Attorney General.
    They did forward the complaint to a local consumer agency that works with them in trying to mediate my complaint with Toyota. The agency call me back and asked a few questions. I faxed them the Inspection report, the declined letter and a estimate I got from the dealership to replace the frame. The said they will send a letter to TMSUSA for a response. TMSUSA have 10 days to respond. If they don't, the agency will contact them by phone. That's where I am at right now. After that I my next step is to contact my lawyer and file a lawsuit against TMSUSA and have them defend their denial in a court of law. It may cost me some money but is will be an investment, sometimes you win sometimes you lose. The key is to spread the word to other Sequoia owners that may have the same problem. Some already know their frames are failing but there are thousands and thousands that may be at risk or already have their frames rusted through and don't know.
    I have joined a couple of forums to see if this problem is widespread and it seems to be. Some forums are sponsored by Toyota and their administrators will shut you down for bringing the issue up. Beware!

    Wishing you good luck, let me know how it go for you.
  • Hi Gil. I'll love to put myself behind the wheel of another Sequoia. Great vehicle. Mine developed a severe rusted frame at 66,400m but aside from that I couldn't ask for better ride. I don't know what could cause your noise, since it is a new vehicle I doubt it has do to with any rust. Keep an ear on the noise to see if you can identify the situation (maneuver) you are doing when the noise is heard. Keep the dealership receipt safe, maybe in the future you find out what it is and you'll have a record that you encountered the problem early under warranty.

    Good luck!
  • cabin04cabin04 Posts: 31
    Hi drifter1999, Thank you for sharing this important information. It sounds like you and I are at the same stage in addressing this serious "frame rot" issue. My NH Attorney Generals Office has turned my consumer complaint over to a "Consumer Proctection Agency". If this doesn't work, I've already provided my lawyer with all the info and he is ready to pull the trigger when I give him the word. I hope it doesn't come to this.
    Yes, we need to continue to spread the word about this serious "Frame Rot" problem to those Sequoia owners who are not even aware they have a problem.
    Keep the communications flowing.
    Thanks again.
  • Go to for the part. Part is offered in plastic or steel.
    1aauto also has a video on how to replace the rear latch.
    The liftgate trim can be removed from inside. Start removing the trim from the top then right side then left side. You can then remove the main liftgate trim which will expose the panels you need to remove to open the liftgate and then change the latch. Latch is about $50.
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