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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • Well I've been watching this post for a couple of weeks now and can finally chime in. took my '01 to the dealership today and like I thought it failed the frame inspection. Big hole on the inside of the passenger side frame by the rear leaf hanger. Not real happy with toyota right now but the dealership has been pretty good so far. The hooked me up with a free loaner (new Dakota quad cab 4x4) and said they would start the paperwork. They told me I would be up for a frame replacement. I said no, I want the buyback. Talked to the Toyota rep and he gave me a new case number, different than my reference number, and said a case manager would call me within 24 hours to let me know my options. So should find out tomorrow whats going on. Hopefully they'll buy it back and I can get that Nissan I've wanted. When I hear anything new I'll be sure to update everyone.
  • reuserreuser Posts: 8
    I went through the Toyota thing last summer. If you haven't found it, go to AUTOSAFETY.ORG, the Center for Auto Safety in D.C. where they are collecting names for a potential class action suit. I'll join any suit that happens. I talked to the Director last summer and he was very aware of this issue. One of the problems is that because Toy is not calling this a recall (rather a buy-back) they pretend that they didn't know about this problem during all of these years when many of us were buying used vehicles. Don't know about the 2001 models on -- whether Toyota is finally owning up to the dangerous nature of the problem.

    The AG idea is a good one too -- whatever works! Good luck. Now I have a Ranger I hate, but I'm so sick of Toyota that I doubt I'll ever buy one of their trucks again.
  • Also dealing with Corporate and Ms. Bishop.

    She has refused to provide me in writing with a warranty, a replacement part list, and an ETA.

    I have also left calls with the NHTSA, State AG, and the FTC (fed)(877-382-4357)

    Anybody know the contact info for the Boston Area Regional Manager for Toyota?

  • I want to AUTOSAFETY.ORG but I cant find a section where they are taking names..
    do you know the specific link ?
  • Hi

    I also got a second case number and have been told not only will Toy Corp not provide me in writing with what is being replaced, but they will not provide me in writing the warranty going forward. I asked for it via email, fax, or ups. I have also been told there will be NO buy backs going fwd. I have been dealing with this with Toyota since 12/28. The dealer is being ok (sometimes good/sometimes bad) but Corp is being just as is described in all the other recent posts. Not helpful, secretive, and not returning phone calls when they say they will, etc.
  • reuserreuser Posts: 8
    Hi folks. Here's how to get on the Center for Auto Safety's list of people interested in a class action suit. THERE ARE ONLY 47 SO FAR, SO I URGE ALL OF YOU WHO ARE PISSED OFF TO GET ON THE LIST SO THAT WE BECOME A FORCE.

    There is indeed a broken link on the website, so I figured out the apparent only way to get to the place to file a complaint and get on a list. On the homepage click on "file a complaint". File your complaint and you'll see that the last question is "are you interested in a class action suit?" Say "yes". You can then go and view all other complaints if you wish.

    Last summer when I was going through this the only way I learned about the Center for Auto Safety's involvement was through a newspaper article -- they don't seem to come up on Google. So I'm not surprised that more people haven't found them, but it is critical. They can be very instrumental in pushing action on things.

    I'd love to hear that everyone has suddently filed a complaint on the Center's site!
  • awesome.. thats what I did..
  • I just filed my complaint there and the number still says that only 47 people have filed a similar complaint. Come on people!
  • Talked to Toyota today. Got my new case manager, Kevin. He would not really tell me anything except there is NO BUYBACK. I can either take the new frame or do nothing. Not very happy with my options but what can I do. Don't want/need another truck payment. Guess I should've bought an older piece of crap Tacoma instead of spending $20,000 on my '01 back then.
  • I got a kevin as a case manager as well.
    he is not too helpful.. just tells you your screwed in 6 different ways..
    I bet its the same guy.
    I called and said, "why should I miss out on toyota new purchase deals because I am waiting for an offer on my buyback? shouldnt these incentives be extended to people involved in the tacoma problem?"
    he said, "the buyback program has nothing to do with any deals going on new toyotas' so you would just need to wait for your offer and then look for new deals that come in."
    He ( and other people I spoke with at toyota) also act like they have no affiliation with ISG which is very annoying and insulting, I mean, toyota hired ISG to handle the buybacks but when you ask questions about ISG they have no answers.
  • Sounds like his M.O. Couldn't answer any questions except to tell me frame swap or nothing. Said my dealer would be able to answer specifics but they know nothing right now. I really love my truck and I guess I'm gonna keep it so Kevin told me if I had anything I wanted done to my truck the dealership should be able to help me out while the trucks apart. I'm about due for a clutch, timing belt, and new suspension. He told me new leafs may be included. I would usually do this all myself but hey if the've got the motor and tranny out might as well let them do it. I know they won't let me come in and do it. Wouldn't that be nice.
  • ya they should actually not charge you any labor on that..
    just parts..
    the suspension would have to come out anyway and the motor and trans will come out and be separated so you should tell them u need it done and your only paying for the parts.
    id go to the dealer and have the parts department give you part numbers and price and dont tell them your truck is there. that way you get a price from them and then you can compare to make sure they dont try to mark them up to pay for some labor.
  • Does anyone know for sure if the frames are coming bare or are there new suspension components on them as well? I've heard both, but no definitive answer as of yet.

    Also, does anyone have any idea what the truck might be worth after the frame swap? I know it all depends on the truck itself, but has anyone heard of trucks that have had the frame replaced and what value they had compared to similar Tacoma's without frame issues?

    I mean, I wonder if advertising the truck as having a brand new frame with a 15 year warranty might appeal to a prospective buyer. I am assuming this 15 year warranty would aplly for the life of the vehicle and not just me, the owner.
  • theiglutheiglu Posts: 10
    Just added mine.
  • I was told that what came on the frame depended on your VIN #. Basically they don't really know either, and that's from Kevin @ Toyota. He did say nuts and bolts and the "usual" stuff that breaks with a project like this. I'm hoping that means brake/fuel lines and hopefully rear leafs. They did tell me that my body lift will be reinstalled and I will get the truck back the way it sits now. So I hope this new frame works out.
  • Just got his reply from my State A.G.'s office ...

    "Your e-mail was forwarded to me. I have heard of the volunteer buyback plan from Toyota. I do understand your vehicle is not covered under this plan. Because this is a volunteer program that Toyota is doing and not required we cannot mediate your complaint. I would encourage you to keep the line of communication open with Toyota’s customer service. It is your only course for addressing this issue. It the volunteer changes and you are then covered we could then try to mediate the situation. But as it stands now, we cannot do anything."
  • Yeah, I signed up for that too. Toyota was very smart how they went about all this. They're very adamant about not calling this a recall. That basically keeps us from being able to do anything about it. This is pretty much a "goodwill" effort on Toyota's part.
  • Someone on here earlier suggested going to the local news. I think I'm gonna give this a try because how many people are out there in these unsafe trucks? I still wouldn't know about my truck if I hadn't been underneath working on my rear diff. People need to know about this and there's only a few threads beside this one that have any info on this problem.
  • I too have filed under the, as well as the attorney general, and better business bureau. Has anbody retained a lawyer yet on the safety concerns with the 2001 -2004? If so, I am interested to hear from you. A frame replacement is unacceptable. The truck will never be right again. In my local small town, there is only one other tacoma, a 2001, so far that they will be doing a frame swap on. My truck is a 2002, which I was told on November 11, 2008, that I was to be included in the BB. I have real safety concerns with this frame swap, again, like I said earlier, I am not sure the mechanics are not qualified to do this correctly. I had the oppurtunity to see a boneyard of the toyota's they had collected, most of them were almost split in half, the cab just seperated, in a V shape, scary, huh? God forbid I am in a wreck, I wonder what impact this would have? These trucks are not safe to be on the road. Has anbody contacted their insurance company? I wonder what they would say about this issue, would they want to cover an unsafe rusted frame? Anybody know about the value of these trucks after frame replacement? Has anbody got a frame replacement yet? My dealership told me that they were not in yet.
  • tcincytcincy Posts: 28
    if the State AG will not take it as a "voluntary program" then how about just plain old "Consumer Complaint" or "Lemon Law" complaint?

    "It is your only course for addressing this issue"????

    I'd be p****d.
  • I asked her to clarify, and she said that our Tacomas did not qualify under the "Lemon Law" as they were more than three years old.
    I'm still a little fuzzy on the details, but because there is no OFFICIAL recall underway, I guess they can't mediate? I don't get it. I was doing my civil duty to inform the state that there are countless Tacoma owners driving around in potential killing machines oblivious to their dangerous predicament, and with assurances from Toyota that their trucks are fine. Has anyone received a letter or notification from Toyota that their 01-04 Tacomas might be in trouble and to have them checked out?
    This is scary.
  • Up until a month ago I was probably one of the most active people on this list. I recently bought a house, so I had to shift my time from advocating on this issue to navigating mortages, realtors, insurance, inspections, and negotations. It's a good thing Toyota doesn't make houses, many of us would be homeless. Anyway.... Here's the message I keep touting...

    Take the time and write the appropriate agencies about this issue.

    Southland California Better Business Bureau
    Your state attorney general's office
    Your state consumer protection board
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    Your state and federal assemblyman and congressman
    Local news (tv and newspaper)
    60 minutes and Dateline
    Various internet complaint centers like the

    I have form letters, adresses, advice for documentaion, and I'm more than happy to help you. I had a 2001 Tacoma and was RIPPED off by Toyota. I'll do everything in my power to make sure that
    1. Dangerous trucks are taken off the road.
    2. Toyota pays a fair market value for those trucks
    3. All customers affected get the same treatment. Currently, 2001 and newer truck owners are completely hung out to dry. No loaner, no full value, no dealership asistance.

    I know a few people are talking about class action stuff, but that won't happen until an attorney feels the pressure is on enough to take this case head one. Toyota is a multi-billion dollar corporation, and without strength in numbers, I doubt much will happen. Keep making calls, kee writing letters, and keep the pressure on.

    Toyota gave me $3,000 less than what I paid for my truck when I bought it last year. I recently heard toyota has formalized the 2001+ buyback program. If this is so - what are people getting? Rental? 150%? I got niether and I'm considering going for the rest in small claims court but not without vlaidation that Toyota has stepped up to the plate for some folks but not others.
  • I read some where through these threads about someone contacting bostonchannel5, so I did last night, they replied back this morning asking me where I live and if I was willing to do an interview with them. So, maybe this is another route for people to start complaning to them as well...I understand they did an investigation on the earlier models, I will let you know further about this. The only problem I have is that I am located in Maryland, possibly they would consider an interview over the phone, come on folks!!!!!! Let's explore every option we have. considereing there are not too many left.
  • find out what they want to do for the interview..
    is this regarding an 01 - 04 truck ?
    toyota will not buy back trucks if they are 2001-2004 they are only going to replace the frame..

    I just got my offer and it was lower than what I think was fair..
    I argued with Keven ( toyota case manager) and he did not care about any point I made and said "toyota is not in the business of buying back trucks" and my buyback was a "Good will" buyback.

    the long and short of it is,
    toyota doesnt care about how this affects their customers, they are only concerned with how much this will cost them.
  • rachelfrachelf Posts: 12
    OK, so I've got an 02 with the disease.....did the yada yada w/ Kevin, and my service mgr. called to inform me of the frame replacement (bummer) I was ready to upgrade to the 4 door Taco- my inspection expires end of Jan. they told me to turn the truck in and I will get a loaner.....they dont have the parts, and dont know when they will......
    Mr. Service Mgr. metioned that during the "repair" it might be a good time to replace/fix parts that are easily accessible such as fuel/brake lines........ I want to know if any of you know what exactly is included in the frame repair.....a mechanic pal said that Toyota should be responsible for the lines, because they are gonna mess them up during surgery......See where I'm going w/ this ?
    What are the parts that are included with the frame ( I'm a mechanical dummy). I want to go in there knowing exactly whats what.......I am hiring an honest mechanic to put the truck up on a lift and show me the whole deal. I dont want to pay for parts that Toyota is responsible for. Anybody got some info on this?
    Also I'm scared, 'cause I'm one of the first frame jobs for this dealership- being the test monkey doesnt make me feel the love..........
  • Hi

    I ended up working something out with the dealer. They gave me a fair trade in value for the truck. A number that reflects market value of what it would be worth if it did not have a hole in the rusty frame. They then let me use that trade value towards a heavily discounted 09 Tacoma. I wanted 1.5 KBB but Toyota Corp (vs dealer) are being unreasonable about this. I don't have the 3+ months I was quoted for a frame replacement and I don't trust it will be done right, we are talking major surgery. I took the trade deal. The problem goes away, I have a new 09 that was 'heavily' discounted on $$$, and the many months of waiting and Toyota Corp BS is no longer my problem. Also FWIW they did give me a rental for no cost for the 3/4 weeks that it took to work this all out. In the end 99% of this is Toyota Corp, and not the dealer (or mine anyhow) I had already bought 2 there, and the General Sales Manger made it happen. Very nice lady.

    Glad it's all over, I will not miss dealing with Ms. Bishop from the Corp office in CA.

    Good luck to everybody...

  • Hi

    Before I worked out a deal with my dealer, Toyota Corp (Ms. Bishop) REFUSED to provide me with the list of parts in writing/email/fax.


    Toyota's Legal Dept Address is:

    Toyota Motor Sales USA
    National Customer Relations
    19001 Southwestern Ave.
    Dept HQ11 Torrance, CA 90509
    Attention: 2001-2004 Customer Support Program (Tacoma)

    Good luck folks...

  • I agree with rachelf, this frame replacement open heart surgery is going to eventually cause palpitations to our wallets. Toyota will find a way to tack on extra charges for stuff that breaks in the course of the frame replacement. If the frame is rusted, that other stuff is rusted. I expect to have to replace tie rods, exhaust system, etc, as thrashing on that rusted stuff is going to cause failure. I'd just as soon not be responsible for $600-$700 in additional costs arising from this frame replacement. I'm even going to have to replace my oil pan when the engine is out of the truck. I bet I'm personally looking at $1000 out of pocket expenses at frame replacement time. That's why in this economy, a buyback is the best solution for us owners.
  • I had my 97 Taco inspected yesterday. I have owned it since 2002 and have almost 200,000 miles on it. The inspection showed no rust corrosion on the frame. However, I purchased and drove it in Southern California where the climate is mild.

    I now live in New England and the dealer told me to bring it back in one year for another inspection.

    I plan to get the frame undercoated as soon as I can afford it. I would rather drive my Taco until it falls apart than part with it.
  • Undercoating only does so much. It tends to trap whatever is already on the frame beneath the undercoat and just speed up the rusting process. This is particularly true with road salt. Welcome to New England!
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