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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • Toyota informed me I dont qualify any longer. The 95 tacoma is past the 15 years and they are strict on that dead line. It was worth a try I guess.
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    Sorry you missed out, apparently Toyota is now enforcing a deadline for claims that I didn't know about.
  • I just bought my neighbor's 02 Taco. He was the original owner and kept it garaged when not on the road. It's in really good condition considering it has 163,000 miles on it. But I discovered an unusual amount of rust on the aft frame while I was installing trailer lights. My local dealer says the 2002 is not within the frame campaign. He said I could bring it in to be inspected (and I would be charged for the inspection). But there is not much they can do to address the rust since (according to him) the campaign only applies to 95-2000 trucks.

    Can someone refer me to some documentation that shows the 02 is included in the campaign? I note that there are many people on this forum with 01s,02s,03s that got their trucks covered under this campaign. How did you make that happen?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    The 1995-2000 Tacomas were covered by a campaign that offered buyback if the frame met specified rust conditions. The 2001-2004 Tacomas were covered under a separate campaign that offered frame replacement (since they were still available from the supplier for those years) , although that was reportedly limited to certain states.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host
  • Check this website rame-recall-for-rust.html Also register on this website as the new owner and call Toyota yourself @1-800-331-4331 That's what I did when I purchased my 03 Tacoma from an out of state private owner on September 10,2011 and by the end of September the vehicle was under coated. I did hear that some states have deadlines if you don't have the bad winters like here in Pa. The other day I was told someone took a 1999 in and Toyota bought it back. I would keep up on this until you get results. Good Luck
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    He is SSSSOOOO wrong, or lying! Just had my 2004 Taco frame replaced this past summer. Great job, wonderful experiemce with my Toyota dealer, like a new truck. This is a 11,000.00 job at no cost to me and I was the third owner of the truck.
  • Well, Im in Alaska so you could say our winters are worse. But I'll take an AK winter over a PA any time. Interestingly, people assume that snowy states use salt on the roads. But I dont think they use it up here. Sand and gravel work much better when the climate gets cold and stays cold.

    I registered as the new owner on the site you sent. And read the other info in the link. However, it only gives info showing the 95-00 applicability. I am looking specifically for some document from Toyota that acknowledges the issue for later model trucks (2002 in my case).

    I spent the evening tinkering on the truck and took a look at the frame. The heaviest rust is on the aft half. I dont see any perforations and my son was asleep in the house so I spared him the "hammer test" noise. I also found no massive chunks flaking off, just little crumbs. I also noted quite a bit of rust on the springs, spare wheel, etc. And a nut or bold head for the trailer hitch is rusted beyond recognition. To sum up, what I am seeing is an unusual amount of surface rust for a vehicle of its age.

    At this point, (assuming I got my dealer to take it on) they would probably just undercoat and kick it out the door. My concern is that; the rust will continue at an accelerated rate, even under the fresh coating. I see the undercoating fix as bandaid on an infected stab wound.

    I bought the truck specifically to do a lot of towing and hauling. Was planning to invest in airbag spring helpers. Now Im concerned that the corrosion will eventually make it unsafe to tow my 3000 lb camper or haul my ATV. In other words, I will be asking 100% from this truck and I need it structurally and mechanically at 100%.
  • I have a 2001 Pre-Runner that had the frame replaced a year ago due to severe rust and it worked out great. Now however I have another rust related issue.

    My windshield was cracked and I had it replaced. While it was out the tech pointed out a lot of rust on the pillars under where the windshield sits. He said that likely caused the crack in the windshield. This is something you would not notice until the windshiled was out.

    Anyone else have this issue? Is this normal with an 11 year old (I got it in december of 2000)

  • Reading the 2nd Blog of the - 77;topicseen website, it states that the the 2001-2004 will have until October 2010 to have the warranty valid. I'm currently looking into purchasing a 2002 Taco which hasn't had the frame repaired/replaced/recoated, it does have some rust and the Dealer claims to have the paper work for the warranty to turn over to the new owner.
    So - basically - will Toyota take care of me too??? And fix my slightly rusted frame? Is under coating recommended??? :confuse:
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    Toyota is not adhering to that 2010 deadline. Just had a new $11,000.00 frame put on my 2004 Tacoma at no charge to me. I know others are still getting them too "no questions asked" if you have the slightest bit of "rust through".
  • krad1krad1 Posts: 2
    edited November 2011


    150,000 MILE




    Detail : Recently, it had been making a whirling / buzz sound that has been varying . I had a mechanic open it up and the filter was plugged with metal dust. The pan was some what muddy.

    The mechanic said I need to ? repair the transmission or get a new one. :confuse:
  • You can get a rebuilt tranny for under $2000. Question becomes, what replacement can you buy for your vehicle "as is" and $2000. Answer is probably a vehicle that needs some repairs about like the one you have.

    A lot of folks decide it is time to upgrade to a newer vehicle about this time, and just take their lumps on the trade in.
  • OK...check this out. I just bought my 02 Tacoma TRD on Monday 11/21 and I am super excited. My father has a 2001 and our trucks look nearly identical. My father had his frame replaced earlier this year. I was told by the dealer that my 02 Taco was inspected and passed. The frame was rust-coated along with all other exposed parts. So, I drove the truck off the lot with a big smile on my face.

    Tuesday 11/22. I took my Taco down the street to the neighborhood mechanic for a WV State Inspection; the guy used to be kinda laxed on his inspections but now he goes all out and check over everything. He put the truck up on the lift and we both looked it over. He found two worn out spots on the passenger side and was able to break thru them both with his finger. I have two holes about the size of a nickel each.

    I went to my local Toyota dealer and the Service Manager will be talking to the Regional Rep on Wed. I called back and invited myself to that meeting so that I can speak directly to the Regional Rep.

    I registered with Toyota Owners and found my service report. Here's the odd part.

    I called Buchannon WV dealership an they have no record of my truck being inspected or coated. The National Records for Toyota as well as my online owners records show the following words for the past 5 maintainence reports "OPCODE NOT ON REPORT"

    Buckhannon dealership told me they could not do replacements on Tacos so it was "likely" done by Dana Cava in Fairmont, wV. I called Cava and spoke to a very friendly and extremely helpful Service MGR who said his shop did not do the frame inspection or the coating.
    This guy gave me a bunch of questions to ask the Regional Rep and asked me to call him back after I found out what was going on with my Taco.

    So, I called the National HQ for Toyota and spoke to 2 different people. The second guy was really helpful and he assigned me a Case Number and they are doing an investigation on my truck and I should be contacted withing the next 24 hours.

    There is a lot of really great information on the NET about Tacos and the frame issue, replacements, warranties, letters to owners, notices published by Toyota.

    I do not have an answer right now concerning my Taco but I feel confident that this issue is going to be resolved and I will either 1) get a brand new frame or 2) Toyota will by back my Taco at 150% of Kelly Blue Book which I actually prefer. The frame has already been inspected and coated and now it is rusting out again.

    I would very much like to talk directly to the First and Second Owners of this truck and wonder if it is possible to track them down. Can I call Ohio Dept of Motor Vehicles and get a name and do the same in West Virginia?

    I don't care to take it back to the Dealership right now as I would rather see what Toyota is going to do. I feel pretty confident at the moment. I am prepared. I have done lots of research and will not accept no as an answer.

    The frame will be replaced or Toyota will buy back the truck.

    I will not accept anything less.

    Thanks to everyone out there who replies and has posted information on their Taco frames.">
  • krad1krad1 Posts: 2
    :sick: :lemon:
  • I purchased my taco in Sept. 2011 and I registered as the new owner on the Toyota website. Then with some research and word of mouth I heard about all the rust problems that other owners are having. So I called Toyota and they told me to go to a dealer and have the Free rust check done. With in 2-3 weeks after the check, the dealer rust proofed the truck. So as you can see there was no deadline in this case. If you have or have not purchased the truck call Toyota either way and have them check the Vin#. That's what I did. Good Luck
  • greg128greg128 Posts: 418
    edited November 2011
    While Toyota has been very good at satisfying owners of their rusting trucks up to now, sooner or later the economics of their frame replacement program will result in a less willingness to address these problems.

    With a cost to Toyota of over $10,000 times hundreds of thousands of trucks involved, the combination of a bad economy, rising Yen, The Japanese Tsunami, lower stock price and lower profit margins will eventually result in affected owners having to jump over increasingly higher hurdles to get their vehicles fixed.

    I was always amazed at how well these trucks kept their value, but I would cerntainly not buy one approaching anywhere near 10 years old.
  • greg128greg128 Posts: 418
    edited November 2011
    if anyone thinks this problem is only limited to pre-2004 Tacomas
    go to this edmunds forum:
  • exatxerexatxer Posts: 2
    edited November 2011
    I recieved a letter stating that I had until 12/31/11 to bring my 1996 tacoma in for the frame recall. Now I find out that the warranty expired in august 2011 because that is when the vehicle went into service. Anyone have this issue and has anyone had any luck with having toyota still honor the Frame rust recall?
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    Wow, I thought the "buy back" for the 1999 and earlier Tacomas expired long ago.
  • 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 Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    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 Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    How exactly did Toyota dicieve you?
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