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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • Interesting..I might do that; "I've had it for 7 years, kept it in a garage every winter". I'll have to look into whether I need to disclose that in MA.

    I actually just got it back today. I was told up to 2 weeks, but it only took one. I was told when I dropped it off that I might want to replace the front struts and rear shocks, but it didn't need it.

    So far so good, the suspension feels like new. I've only driven it 2 miles so far.
  • mcalauttmcalautt Posts: 67
    I dont see how you would have to disclose it.
    its would be no diff then getting a motor replaced under warranty.

    no one would ever know a frame was replaced simply by driving the truck unless
    it was not done properly.

    you wont get an answer from any dealer or rep as to who has experience because until now no one would.. its unheard of to do this type of job in the auto market.
  • I have 289,000 miles on my 1995 TOYOTA TACOMA TRUCK! I just had my frame checked last week. The dealer said my frame was in great condition! I live in Wisconsin. This truck has been in alot of salt! Im one of the lucky ones. This truck has been the best vehicle Iv ever owned! I and my sons have owned it since new! Im very happy about how TOYOTA took care of this problem! The company I feel is a CLASS ACT! GM, FORD, CHRYSLER should learn from their mistakes!

  • I'm not sure how you can be happy about how toyota took care of this problem; you didn't have a problem.

    My 2002 Tacoma had 130k miles on it and the frame was a mess. They replaced the frame, but left a lot of parts on the vehicle that are completely caked in rust. Everything on the vehicle will corrode much more quickly due to the frame issue.

    I've had it back for 2 weeks. I have a squeeking noise every time the road is a little uneven coming from the front end, sounds like an old box spring. I am going to take it to an independent mechanic first. It may sound unreasonable but I don't trust the delearship.

    highmiler289, I paid an extra $5-6k for I truck I expected would end like yours. If I bought a GM I would have paid less and expected what has happened.

    This is all about liability, not customer satisfaction. Think about what would happen if someone died after their fram snapped in half at 60+mph.
  • mcalauttmcalautt Posts: 67

    thats what I have been saying all along.

    the prob actually started in 95 according to toyota so highmiler289, your truck may have had a frame prior to the actual problem..

    toyota did not handle it well and it is completely a liability issue they are trying to cover and pawning it off to look as if they did it out of concern.
  • kps2kps2 Posts: 2
    I have my truck in throught the Wellesely MA Toyota dealership for the frame restoration. I just got a call with recommendations to replace the parking brake cable, control arms, and leaf springs. I haven't dealt with anyone but the dealership and didn't realize how big this was until I just got the call and then went on to google. Do any of you know who/where I call to figure out the disconnect between what you say the frame kit come with vs. what they now want to charge me for?
  • You should call the corporate toyota office. I don't have the number off the top of my head, but it's on their web site. After they set you up with a case #, you will eventually talk to a guy named Kevin.

    The leaf springs should be included, they were for me.
  • I had an 01 Tacoma Extended cab and had the frame replaced. My kit INCLUDED the parking brake cables, brake lines, control arms and new leaf springs. Sounds like the Wellesely MA Toyota Dealership is trying to make a little extra money off you. The leaf springs are attatched to the new frame. I would ask them to see the new frame, I bet they are already on it.
  • pokienozepokienoze Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 extended cab. The dealership replaced the frame in March. I was in Iraq when it was done and came home in April. Was anxious to try out my truck. It seemed to run fine and rode like before, however, my battery light stays on and so does the check engine light. Had a new alternator put in and the light still stays on. Truck continues to run fine. Any ideas as to why the light would stay on?
  • I have a 2001 Tacoma in mint condition that just failed an inspection due to rust near the rear spring shackle on the passenger's side. The Toyota dealer offered to replace the frame at a cost of 14,000 to Toyota corporate. I refused and Toyota also refused to buy back my vehicle. I am a loyal Toyota customer, but only if I am treated with the same respect and fairness as other customers who had their vehicle purchased back at 1.5 x suggested retail. I want to remain a loyal customer, we will see if it is a two way street.

  • mcalauttmcalautt Posts: 67
    well they are not offering to buy back any trucks 2001 or newer and I agree that is wrong.
    I lucked out, I had a 2001 and got in the buyback just before they started the frame replacement..
    what I dont understand is, why wouldnt they offer you the 14G then ?
    unless you wanted more but I gave mine up in december 08 and got 16300.00 for it.
    mine was in mint condition and was a loaded SR5.

    did they offer you the 14G? i mean thats thickheaded to not offer a buyback if its going to cost 14G to replace the frame. If you can get 14 from them I would take it if I were you.. thats a far better deal than taking a 9 year old truck with a frame swap.
  • I've learned alot about this entire process as I went through the same thing you are going through.

    I tried every way in the world for them to buy back my truck. I even just wanted them to buy my truck back for the cost of the rebuild and they still refused. But after some investigation it really isn't costing Toyota that much money. The same frames are still being produced by Dana Corp ie Dana rear ends, transmitiions. Dana was the company that made the bad frames so Dana is footing the bill for the new frame and as I understand it may be paying for 1/2 the cost of labor. Toyota is really only footing the bill for 1/2 the total cost. That's why unless your truck has been so totally beat up and is only worth $5 or $6k Toyota isn't going to buy back your truck.

    The reason they purchased the 95-00 is because those frames are no longer in production. They don't have the parts, plus the value of those Tacomas are much lower than the 01 - 05.

    I am one of the happy owners of a Tacoma with a rebuilt frame. I had mine done at Cain Toyota in Canton Ohio. The service managers is top notch. I went in several times throughout the week to see the trucks progress. I haven't had any problems with mine and I've had it back now for 21/2 months now.

    Good luck, I hope you find away to get Toyota to buy back your truck. I know I wasn't able to convince them.
  • No, they did not offer to buy mine back for 14K. And your right, if it costs them 14K to rebuild, why wouldn't they keep a satisfied customer for the same money and less headache. I am not through yet.

  • Hi Tom,

    Just wondering what happened with you? I have a 2001 Toy Tac with 64k. I brought it the a MA Toy Dealer and said my only option is to replace the frame and they wont buy it back. I refused there service and call the Toy Customer Care # and they have assinged me a case manager but I have yet to received a call? Any tips as to what I can do or say? I dont feel comfortable with the frame being replaced, who knows what else can go wrong. I'm a single mother and I dont want to put my kids in the truck... Dont know what to do....
  • doubleusndoubleusn Posts: 20

    FWIW: I went thru this nightmare last Dec, before there were even any letters sent out. I had a loaner for ~3 weeks (Tundra DCab) while I looked into my options, as I also wanted the 1.5KBB option.

    No dice. I spent a ton of time on the phone with Toy Corp, AG's office, etc. Nobody wanted to budge or get involved.

    I did have a good relationship with the truck sales manager (this was Taco #2) and I pitched a fair KBB trade in # (like the truck's frame was not part of the equation), and also an aggressive # on a new truck that the KBB Trade # would be applied to.

    They called me back the next day and went for it. In the long run for what the new one cost in this market + plus dealer incentives, and the KBB Trade # being applied to it, it wasn't the worst situation in the world.

    It wasn't the 1.5KBB retail, but time is also money and I didn't have the time to wait this one out and again this is before they even had letters out. I was the first frame my dealership did under this campaign. (They didn't even have frames, was gonna be 6 weeks to even get one)

    Short version = Maybe a possible outcome for you, if it works for you, and from all my dealings this is really a Toy Corp thing and the dealers are caught in the middle somewhat. Again, if it will work for you (new ride with trade #) maybe throw it at the wall to see if it sticks. I also went this route as while I I wish everybody the best, IMHO a frame replacement will render the truck 'never the same again'.

    Good luck

    PS: My dealer has my old truck on their used lot now, I wonder if they have to disclose the situation to a prospective buyer?
  • tmiller159tmiller159 Posts: 25
    I had my 98 inspected and it failed. The frame rotted through and broke on the way to the dealer!! Good thing it was at night with no traffic! I drove 40mph the rest of the way. Long story short, they bought it back for $13,800. 4x4 SR5 with 140K miles. Body was great. Ran great, needed nothing. I was trying to find a frame to swap into my truck but they were all gone, for good reason I guess. I ended up with a new 2008 4x4 SR5 V6 TRD for a $12K loan! Not bad for a new truck with a $29K sticker!
    I would let them replace the frame. They are good people and want to make it right. 2001-on Tacoma's do not fall under the buy back program. Get it done and quit fighting city hall. It will work and if you find anything wrong afterwards, have them make it right. Let me know how it works out.
    Tom Miller
  • believebelieve Posts: 74
    Hi everyone,
    I have a 2000 Tacoma with 215000 miles.......I have yet to check the frame for rust since I just got it from my son.
    my question is long do i have to file a complaint?......I mean, if I have it for another year or so and decide it's time to file a claim and see what I can get towards a new taco..........will i be able to do it then? this warranty for the rest of the owners use of vehicle?......thanks in advance!
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 823
    The extended warranty is for 15 years, so basically you have till 2015. The buyback is based off of 1.5 x KBB value in excellent condition but adding or deducting based on mileage.

  • jchumsaejchumsae Posts: 1
    I don't know if anyone can answer this question but I figure it wouldn't hurt to ask. I just recently purchased a 2000 Tacoma sr5 trd. I ended up going to buy a few parts the truck needed and was informed about the frame recall. I was told a few different things on the recall like I would have had to have owned the truck for at least 6 months before being eligible is this truck and someone said they weren't paying 150% it was100% if anyone knows if this had changed let me know please.
  • theweasethewease Posts: 9

    Guess What? I have a 99 Tacoma...just took it in today to Toyota - they said my frame is shot! They said i can drive it, but to expect a letter from teh dealership in a bout 2 weeks. Mine is the V6, 4x4, xtra cab, SR5 with 165,000. I am very interested in how you received $13, seems to me that your KBB x 1.5 would have put you around $10,000. Any reason why? Given how they priced yours, my hope is they offer me between $14K-15K.

    Chris Rauber
  • tmiller159tmiller159 Posts: 25

    Keep in mind they do take into account the mileage. Mine was 140,000. I also had a lot of extras on the truck like tow hitch, fender flares, good tires, 10 disk CD changer with AM FM stereo w/CD player in dash, rhino bed liner, bug deflector, and tuxedo cover. Everything worked.
    I am surprised they let you drive it. Mine broke on the way to the dealer to drop it off for the inspection!! Good thing it was late at night and no traffic! I miss that truck even today. With the new one, I worry about chipping the paint taking it into the woods!
  • dlemiredlemire Posts: 1
    Hey All,

    New to this forum and finding some great info here just by reading. Thanks!

    I own a sweet '04 Tacoma in Watertown MA, so after 5 full winters my frame is making a ton of noise. Rust is clearly visible on most of the frame, especially around any/all joints.

    I've had issues with my local dealership in doing work on this truck in the past (had a cat converter stolen that needed to be replaced and got jerked around by them and the insurance company) and frankly don't trust 'em.

    With that in mind, what is the best way for me to initiate the process to figure out if Toyota will cover a frame replace/buy-back? Should I start with Toyota Corp. or am I pidgeon-holed into having to call the dealership?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.


  • darcsounddarcsound Posts: 2
    Similar situation to post above from Mass, I'm here in Maine...just bought a used '03 4x4 Xcab 4cyl auto SR5 with only 18k on it, from VT, after selling my '93 Toyota which had the cancer starting on body... I knew about the 95-00 recall but had NO IDEA that 01-04's were next with problems. Guess I fell for the 18k on engine, Toyota reputation, and otherwise mint appearance of this truck. Wish I had read this thread before, my bad...

    I can see rust in lots of places, can flake and peel off in lots of areas, gas tank, hangars, brake drums, lots of blotchy patches, other misc bolts, etc... can't find a hole and doubt there is one, but haven't checked out every inch. It just looks / feels rusty, I mean almost as rusty as the underside of my 93! which had OK frame but coated with surface rust. OK, not that bad, but . So, a couple questions, appreciate thoughts from anyone who has gone futher down the road I'm about to travel...

    1. Dealer #1 said it passed. Can I go to another dealer now and ask for more vigorous inspection? Is there limit to how many dealers / # of inspections in given time period?

    2. What are pros / cons to having frame replaced? Is truck like new or are there potential issues to worry about down the line - like the rusty brake parts, gas tank, etc?

    3. Maine dealer #1 said I'd be on list to spray the frame. Anyone have this done yet? do they scrape all rust off first, including inside frame?

    Thanks for any thoughts. Trying to decide whether to commit to Toyota and accessorize (Fisher plow, cap, bedliner, etc...) or punt on this 2003, and wonder what other owners are feeling. Or fearing...

  • oho71oho71 Posts: 2
    I've got a 99 Tacoma that is beginning to show more rust on the frame. Brought it in yesterday to pinpoint an oil pan leak and had them check the frame again (was checked last year and passed). Before I spend $600 on a new oil pan: I am told this is just surface rust and that the frame is fine. There is quite a bit of loose rust--the large pastry flakes people are mentioning-- inside the frame which I can pull out. I do not want to start dumping money into a truck that isn't going to last. Here are two photos of my frame:

    Is this completely different from the holes in the frame? Think it will last a few more years? The local dealership was not handing out advice this week.
  • rcoolercoole Posts: 10
    My 2000 Tacoma failed last July. Yours looks alot like mine did. Mine passed inspection in May of 08 but during an oil change in July 08 at another dealership they discovered a hole in front of the left rear leaf spring hanger (about an inch from the front of the hanger). It was about the diameter of a pencil eraser. It would have been very easy to overlook. I thought it was a weep hole for water, but there was a weep hole close to it and they were different. My truck had 39,000 miles on it. Just look closely for any diameter hole. Good luck!
  • tcincytcincy Posts: 28
    I had a 1999 Tacoma which "failed" the rust test in August, 2008, (even though very little rust was obvious), so I was able to sell it back at a great price.
    My brother has a 1998 Tacoma. After my buyback, he had his inspected in
    in October, 2008. The dealer told him it did not qualify, but since Toyota is extending the frame warranty to 15 years, he can bring it back, once a year, until 2013, and get it inspected, and further rust may qualify for buyback.
    If Toyota is extending all frame rust warranties to 15 years, it seems they should buy it back anytime during the 15 years. i would pin them down on the frame rust warranty, how long it is good for on any given model year, and what the options will be.
  • theweasethewease Posts: 9

    Who told you the 01-04s are now of concern? Thisis the first i have heard of this. This forum has been dealing with '95-00 years...

  • tmiller159tmiller159 Posts: 25
    The tell tale sign is when you get holes completely through the frame right behind the sway bar mounts, and on the frame around the forward leaf spring mounts. When those develop, the frame is near collapse (cracking) at the arches over the rear axle. Mine broke there on the way to the dealer for inspection on the driver's side. Your pictures do not look too bad but the rust is well on it's way. Probably develop holes in a year or two if you drive in areas where road salt is used in winter.
  • darcsounddarcsound Posts: 2
    Chris - Bangor Maine dealership told me, all I knew about was 95-00 as well. There are other messages in this thread referring to 01-04's, that's what led me to post. Also thread going at forums, in fact just saw reply to my same post there from '03 owner who just got his frame replaced.

  • theweasethewease Posts: 9
    Any official issuance by Toyota?

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