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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • tcincytcincy Posts: 28

    My dealer told me either one of these 2 circumstances qualify:

    1. A single hole - anywhere, of rust perferation completely thorugh the frame,
    2. Rust on the outside of the frame - in an amount more than Toyota deems acceptable - percentage unknown.

    But either case is considered grounds for the buyback.
  • are they going to start buyin the 2002 back like they did the others
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Unlikely while replacement frames are still in production by the supplier (Dana).

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • have a 1995 Toyota Tacoma p/u brought it in a week ago for the recall and was told by the service dept that it was unsafe to drive, thay put a salvage not for sale sticker on it & said it was rusted through gave me a loner & said a middle co would be in touch to buy it back. I received a call today from the service mgr stating a second person an FTS came out & said its not rust through give it back. The dealership & corporate will not give me a letter stating that it is safe to drive they said bring it in every six months & we will check it?? I really dont want to drive it now or let my son drive it, no one will give me a letter? Any input? thanks, karen
  • We recently found out our 2001 Xtra Cab Tacoma has a whole in the frame. From what we have heard the primary problem area is on the driver's side, just across from the gas tank....which is where the problem is with our truck. We contacted Toyota and they offered to replace the frame. Keep in mind, the local dealership has never replaced a frame and don't even know WHEN they would be able to get one in stock. In the meantime they have offered a rental vehicle. We heat with wood, use the truck to haul wood, REFUSE to drive it now for fear the frame will fail completely. We are not interested in a frame replacement because the truck will never be the same and Toyota is not willing to put anything in writing stating that there will be no further problems. We have contacted the National Highway Safety Board and the Attorney General to lodge a complaint. We feel this is negligent on Toyota's part because they knew the frames were the same as the '95-'00 models. We are considering legal action...has anyone else had any luck with repurchase on the newer models or can someone steer us in the right direction.
  • tcincytcincy Posts: 28
    If it were me I would complain long and loud to Toyota USA about this.
    A dealer stated it was unsafe to drive - said it was rusted through - put a salvage not for sale sticker on it - then gave you a loaner to boot. Do you have any documents from that visit? Make copies and send copies to Toyota.

    I would request a service history copy of that visit if you don't have one, any sticker they put on it, any paperwork from the loaner - anything that backs up what happened when you went to have it inspected.

    Toyota extended warranty for 15 years for ALL Tacomas so yours is covered until 2010. Every six months sounds like it is close by their estimation to needing replacement. In the meantime, you might have it inspected by an independent garage to feel safe about driving it
  • Hi there I own a 2001 toyota Tacoma that I bought back in 03. My truck only had 27,000 miles on it when I bought it and now it only has 74,000 on it!! I have recently had some frame noise coming from the drivers side right beside the gas tank. It was bracket connecting the bed to the frame and it looks like a pile of rusted dust and the bracket is only about a 1/16th of an inch thick anymore. The frame looks terrible!! I took it to toyota and I have an appointment set up for the 20th of october. I would like to know if you find anything out about your toyota and I will let you know the same with mine, maybe we can get this nonsense to stop. Thanks!
  • In April 09, I received a letter informing me of the so called "Customer Satisfaction Program" relating to frame rust issues in 2001-04 Tacoma's. I scheduled an appointment and could not get an appointment for assessment until Janruary 2010 (imagine that!!). Anyway, last week, Oct. 15, I noticed a hole in my frame while repairing an exhaust leak. I reported the problem to my local dealer. They said bring it in immediately, which I did. Upon inspection they told me the truck was "unsafe for the road" and that they would forward pictures and a report to Toyota Canada. I immediately spoke to the Service Manager and asked about the process. I also posed questions regarding the "frame replacement" vs "buy-back", warranty of repalcement work and if there waas a written guarantee, loss of resale, etc. He could not answer my questions however, did suggest that the frame would most likely be replaced instead of me being offer a buyback, like the 95-2000 owners. The truck was taken off the road and I was given a rental.

    I expressed my concerns to both the Service Manager and Toyota Canada only to get a run around. A couple of days later (according to Toyota Canada) apparently Toyota Japan made the decision to "replace the frame" on my truck with out consulting me what so ever nor could I get a copy of the criteria they used to make the decision. I was told yesterday that my frame would be replaced and that the parts were ordered. I am not interested in the replacement option however, they are telling me I have no choice. Have it replaced or not. What an awkward position to be in. In my opinion, they are forcing my hand. They have deemed it "unsafe" and have taken it off the road and placed me in a rental. Yet, tell me I have no choice but to accept the frame replacement without any written agreement what so ever. It appears I am accepting the risk for Toyota's poor quality control. I am risking a lower resale value after paying a premium. No guarantees accompany the replacement other than the extension of the corrision warranty to 15 years on the frame. What happens if there is an issue with the workmanship? What recoarse do I have?

    I have proposed they buyback my truck and have the amount applied to a new Tacoma as a trade. That way the my truck is off the road, I remain a Toyota customer and the dealership gets a sale. This could be a "win - win" for all involved. But, Toyota Canada would not consider it despite them saying in the letter that I recieved that it was an option, albeit Toyota's option. Is anyone out there experincing the same problem and have you had any success in recieving a buyback? Any info would be greatly appreciated...
  • Good for you,dub,"ask me about my truck"- lmao- you're giving some good advice in my book, no matter what kind of sunshine a dealer blows up the customers pantsleg, buy-back is gonna be a and in dealing with corp. the customer had just as well forget civility, your safety has been compromised, go in all guns blazing. I don't have time or inclination to read the many posts on this thread, I joined today after hearing about the frame problem on the news, and that as a tie-in to the floor-mat dealio. I saw this first page here, that's enough for me. I don't own a Toyota. Just joined to say this.
    I feel, and fear, for you all. It's this simple- thru-perf or not, whatever the degree of scaling on the frame of your vehicle, the stiffness of the frame that your life (and maybe your kids ?) depends on in a collision has now become a big fat question mark. That frame is your first line of defense, and if it caves in like a cheap pup tent, you have to fall back on the passenger safety systems. (airbags,belts, and the accompanying control systems) And if the manufacturer in question is so proud of the passenger restraint systems they're installing, why don't they go ahead and give the public access to Event Data Recorder information via the Bosch Crash Data Retrieval System NOW instead of waiting until 2013 ? With such incidental items as frames and floor-mats poised to send you to your maker, wouldn't you buyers like to know a publicly available database of the performance of the safety systems is being developed ? So you might throw that out to corp. while you're negotiating this frame thing.
    My p/u of choice ? Ford. And reason # 1 ? The frame. The newest vehicle I've owned I just bought last January, a '97 F-150 4WD. It had 275k mi. at the time, it's sweeet, sound as a stone, and as I drive down the road with my kids, I don't have to ask myself if I've compromised my own or my kids safety by being trendy or saving a few bucks at purchase. How 'bout you guys ? Doesn't anybody remember when Toyota p/u's all looked like rusted out Tonkas ? Actually, my Tonkas held up better (wasn't shopping for chick magnets at the time)
    BTW, I'm not employed by Ford and never have been.
    Ya can't help but wonder how their submarine force lasted as long as it did....
    Best of luck to you all...c ya
  • found hole rusted in my frame 12' behind sterring arm wonder if toyota will do anything about this problem
  • I am having a lot of problems with Toyota Corp. My 1991 tacoma was taken back by the dealership after they inspected it and it failed the frame rust test. the dealership has been good so far they gave me a loaner and said a middle company would be in touch to buy the vehicle back. Toyota corp called 2 weeks later & said the truck is fine come take it back ?? I had it towed to a local well known body shop & they advised me that it was unsafe to drive due to the frame rust. I have been speaking to toyota corp getting no where they will not give me a letter stating the vehicle is safe to drive, I even suggested that the monies i receive for the vehicle would be put toward another toyota, they said we dont do that. I am at a loss. I dont want to drive the vehicle or let my son drive it what should i do sell it to someone else knowing this information, can't do that.
  • I am having a lot of problems with Toyota Corp. My 1991 tacoma was taken back by the dealership after they inspected it and it failed the frame rust test. the dealership has been good so far they gave me a loaner and said a middle company would be in touch to buy the vehicle back. Toyota corp called 2 weeks later & said the truck is fine come take it back ?? I had it towed to a local well known body shop & they advised me that it was unsafe to drive due to the frame rust. I have been speaking to toyota corp getting no where they will not give me a letter stating the vehicle is safe to drive, I even suggested that the monies i receive for the vehicle would be put toward another toyota, they said we dont do that. I am at a loss. I dont want to drive the vehicle or let my son drive it what should i do sell it to someone else knowing this information, can't do that. :confuse:
  • Take the truck to your dealer and have it inspected, they are not offering repurchase program, they will replace the frame...which means your truck will NEVER be the same!
  • need to call the Toyota customer service program at 800-331-4331 and let them know this information. The case managers are willing to work with you. The program they are offering now is....if they feel the frame passes inspection, they will spray the frame....if the frame fails inspection they will replace it. Let your case worker know it failed, then they changed their minds, and that an independent mechanic states it is unsafe to drive....does Toyota want to accept this responsibility? Also, file a complaint with the National Highway Safety and Transportation Board and your state's Attorney General. Goodluck....I will never buy another Toyota!
  • I thought that the truck buyback for rusted frames was for the 1995-2000 and that 2001-2004 was a frame replacement? If Karen's truck is a 1991 i don't think it qualifies. The trucks frame is going on 19 years old,how long do you think any vehicle manufacturer should be responsible for a rust issue? After a certain period people need to take some responsibility for the upkeep of there vehicle. I have a 2001 Tacoma that had the frame replaced about 2 months ago and so far i haven't had a single issue. The truck rides as good as when i bought it new. Sure i would have prefered that they buy it back at 1.5 KBB, but also glad they didn't say to bad sucker and do nothing at all about the rusted frames.
  • Karen,

    I'm sorry, it did not register that your truck was a 1991....there are no options for this age of a truck, terribly sorry. I misread your post.
  • My Mistake, type o, my truck is a 1995 toyata tacoma, karen :blush:
  • Toyota dealership & Toyota Corp. will not give me a letter or documents stating that the truck is safe. Waiting for corp. to call me back I have thier loner & told them I will not return it until this is resolved, corp. is being very difficult, said they would charge me rental & storage! after my truck was taken back by their dealership & deemed unsafe,corp stepped in and said its fine, I had it towed to a body shop they tested it and gave me a letter telling me also that it was not safe. 3 opinions 2 said it failed. Don't feel safe letting my son who is out in pa in college drive it, cant sell it, if someone was to get hurt I would feel terrible, :confused:
  • I have been dealing with customer relations they are the ones who told me to take the vehicle back or I will be charged for the loner & storage for my 1995 tacoma pu that they deemed unsafe. I already turned in the plates and removed from insurance policy :mad:
  • I had my frame replaced and got the truck 2 days ago. DCH Wappingers Toyota (Dutchess County NY) has IMO really good techs. The truck rides like the bran new F150 loaner they paid for. It's all around alot stiffer and responsive. I do have a check engine light for a loose fuel system electrical connection and a leaky gas tank now. The dealership will not accept liability, or will Toyota (for the gas leak). I offered to show them receipts from the past year for fuel fill ups as I always fill it up and check mileage, reset the trip, etc. They said because it was on E when I brought it in, that there's no proof it didnt leak before. They did offer to investigate the check engine light and remove my fuel tank while I watched and further assess the situation. I replied that I didn't have time and knew the end result would be a pissin' contest with 3 people instead of one.. The fuel leak is from a break in the weld where the vent line goes into the tank. I feel that it should be Toyota's responsibility, not the dealership or the tech.
    I explained it to Toyota and the service manager like this: the process is like taking the filling out of a cake without messing up some of the icing, it's just not gonna happen perfect every time. My tank leaks because Toyota bought outsourced frames from Dana, I shouldn't be responsible.
    I'm waiting for a call from my case manager at Toyota for the final word. I'm prepared to fix it on my own. FYI- The bill to Toyota was around $11,600. (I had to sign it, but didn't get a copy) I asked Toyota before I brought my truck in if these things are covered, and they basically said "NO". The dealer said "We try to do the right thing as best we can if something happens" Only 2 techs per dealer I believe, are doing the frame swaps. The one I talked to said they are getting goods results. I did notice that only 1 of the 3 bolts that hold the front of the tank are in place. It may be because my tank skid plate (shroud?) was rusted through and not put back on the truck??? One of the 2 empty holes didn't line up with the frame hole though, so who knows? I got alot of work done for free, including, 4 wheel alingment, gear lube(which ones idk?), lower control arms, brake fluid, rear brake lines, lower ball joints (I think), PS fluid, A/C refrigerant, leaf springs, Frame (duh), alot of new bolts including where my exhaust was leaking, rear e-brake cable(s)...
    The TECH did offer to replace my tank, but I had to buy one for $600???i called the parts counter and they told me it was $468 or $498??? Maybe the tech assumed I needed some extra parts for the tank replacement, maybe not, you decide????Feel free to email me at I will be glad to call you.
    PS I took the truck in back in Feb of '09 and it passed a frame inspection. 8 months later was a totally different story, so keep an eye on those frames. I had a non existant cab mount on the driver side, a 2 inch section missing under the driver side bed mount, and a nother section in the back missing. The techs put a few more holes in the passenger side rails during the failed inspection, they didn't even have to look at the driver side to fail it. Good luck to all.
  • So what you are telling me is that I can take my 1985 Toyota Truck with a rusty frame and Toyota will buy it back from me?
  • No, the repurchase program is only applicable for '95-'00 trucks...sorry :)
  • You seem to know what is going on here bought 1998 taco sr5 4x4 lifted 6" from my SSG(Army) last year and noticed that the frame is rusty chips of the frame just crumble off in certain areas. would love a new frame in love with the truck would they fix this issue if I am the 2ed owner and with a 6" pro comp lift on it Thank you for your time :D
  • Actually, your truck falls within the repurchase years '95-'00. If you would rather have a new frame, Toyota will not reapply an after-market lift kit. The problematic area is on the driver's side just across from the gas tank. Take your truck to have it inspected at a local dealer, it makes no difference that you are the 2nd owner. They reapplied our lift kit because they failed to notify us BEFORE the frame was completely done that they wouldn't do it...after much heated discussion and a call to our case worker, they reapplied the springs :) Good luck to you!
  • Hi,

    I just found out yesterday that my 2001 tacoma had the "rust problem". They condemned the truck and pretty much told me that they would be getting back to me shortly with a repurchase price. That was yesterday. Today they called back and told me that they were going to replace my frame. It sounds like I am the first victim to have this operation in my town. A little scary. I was looking at new tacoma's yesterday and today! I too don't know whether I am going to have a choice in the matter! A much cheaper option that buying a new vehicle. However, I was prepared to buy a new tacoma and put the repurchase price against the new one.

    One frustration I have at the moment is that the loaner car that they are offering me (through a rental agency) covers the cost of the car but not the insurance. I must go through my insurance company for that or pay 20 bucks a day to not have it on my insurance. Regardless, if I have an at fault accident it will go against my insurance anyways so why bother! I guess the problem that I have is that I own a 4x4 truck and will now be driving a little front wheel drive car for a month. Not the best option for Northern Ontario. Nor driving to Southern Ontario for Xmas!
  • They had our truck about 3 weeks and, as of yet, we have had no problems with the new frame. I wish you luck and suggest you acquire a case manager through the customer support program....that supplies a liason between you and the dealership, which aren't always the most cooperative.
  • Well yesterday my 99 loaded TAC with 49000 was just impounded by the dealer. They wouldn't let me drive it way. The stabilizer bar was rusted off and the frame was truly Swiss cheese. Guy in sales computed my payoff at 1.5 KBB retail excellent around $15,300.00 . Believe me, I was salivating. (If "retail excellent" is not accurate I would like to hear your experiences-thanks).
    I was feeling so good I almost signed off on a 2010 similar TAC which I drove around the parking lot. Glad I didn't. Go to "Toyota Tacoma Transmission Problems" forum here on Edmunds. The automatics appeared to be downshifting from 2nd to 1st which would slow you in the middle of an intersection as you take a left leaving you wide open for a T-bone collision. A software patch appears to have helped the 2009 owners after months of complaining, however no help for 2010 models. The radios don't seem to work either. Even after the patch, one 2009 owner said he was going to trade for a Nissan as soon as Nissan re-stocks. What are you buying out there? Love to know.
  • The whole situation bothered me enough that I went in to the manager and asked them whether they would consider buying my truck from me BEFORE they did the "frame job". They were quite interested. In reading other entries into this forum regarding fuel tank leaks, break line leaks etc, I asked the dealer whether they would cover any damage to existing parts that may be caused by tearing the truck appart. They basically said that that would be my responsibility as they cannot predict what kind of rust issues are there prior to the disassembly. Too many variables for me. Also, given the fact that my truck is 8 years old I started to think about how many years i would have before normal wear and tear replacement would kick in. Bottom line after discussions with many mechanically inclined friends was to DUMP IT!!!!!

    I ended up selling my truck for 10,500 on the basis that I would buy a new 2010 Tacoma. This is a good deal for me and for them. I they the dealer gets around 10,000 to fix the problem. If think they do it for less they keep the rest (that is their profit margin). They agreed after a bit of wheeling and dealing. I was able to reduce the MSRSP from 34.5 to 33. I also got a leather Toyota Jacket and a ball cap (so what eh!)!

    I am happy with my decision! I have a 13 year old who could be driving in 3 years. The new vehicle makes me feel more comfortable in considering to let my son drive it. There are lots of new and better safety features on the new Tacoma.

    Tacomajim for the second time around.
  • I had a 97 Taco which Toyota bought back. The whole experience went pretty well. I now drive a 2008 Taco and I love it. The big question is, who makes the frames on the new Toyotas? Is it still Dana? Did they learn their lesson? Will some of us be using a hammer on our frames in a few years?
  • I did the same thing and have a 2008 I also enjoy. I am not liking the rust forming on the frame during last winter! It is unacceptable to make a frame that rots out before the exhaust system that is 1/3rd the thickness of the frame and exposed to very high exhaust temperatures which accelerates corrosion! That happened on my old truck, and it appears to be happening to this new one. If so, it will be my last Toyota.
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