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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • cassbcassb Posts: 8
    Well that was fast. I got a call from Toyota, and they sent a PDF offer letter. All I have to say is "wow."

    "This letter confirms that Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc (“Toyota”), has offered to repurchase your Tacoma for $15,177.00, subject to confirmation that your 1999 Tacoma complies with all of the conditions of the warranty extension."

    I'd be crazy not to take it. So I guess I'm looking for another Toyota vehicle for around $13k-14k. What would be a good utility vehicle - the 4Runner? Is that one based on the Tacoma chassis? I see also the Highlander, RAV4, Sequoia and Land Cruiser could do what I need done. But is the 4Runner the closest SUV comparison with the Tacoma?

  • Congrats-- that's a solid offer!-- speaking only for myself bc I already have 2 other vehicles I wouldn't be caught without a truck-- I burn wood for heat, am a homeowner so I need the bed-- I've got a murano also and there just so much you can do with an suv vs a truck-- I got the tundra with an 8 foot bed and a 6 banger with 245 Hp and am quite content....
  • Hi, I am looking to buy a Tacoma and am wondering if I could still get it replaced even though I purchased the vehicle from someone else? If anyone knows I'd appreciate it.
  • cassbcassb Posts: 8
    As far as I know, whoever owns the title of the truck gets the offer (if the truck qualifies and then fails inspection).
  • sweetd8943sweetd8943 Posts: 7
    edited February 2012
    Just wanted to add my $0.02 here as previous information from others has helped me deal with this issue.

    I just took my 2000 Tacoma SR5 4x4 in this week for the frame inspection after I noticed really bad perforation on the frame (it looked fine less than a month ago).

    Toyota really has stepped up. They failed 4he truck within 30 minutes of me dropping it off for the inspection. I have a 30 day loaner for free (brand new Siena van) and I just got the offer: $13,774. I paid $10,200 for the truck four years ago. Great experience for me overall.
  • I am amazed at just how different your experience with Toyota was with mine. I bought truck back 02 Tacoma back in November, I took it in for a WV DMV Inspection Sticker the next day and a private mechanic found two soft spots on the frame; he was able to punch holes through it with is fingers. I called Toyota Corp Headquarters and spoke to them about the issue. Toyota HQ told me my truck was not warranted and that they would not offer a replacement or a buy-back.

    Luckily, i was able to take the truck back to the dealer and get a full refund.
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    That's really weird; your the only one I know that had any problems with Toyota replacing the frame, buying it back if it was a 99 or before or rust proofing it if it only had surface rust on their Tacomas.
  • It's possible that at the time of your experience the replacement program may have ended, however I received a letter yesterday from Toyota stating that the program is now effective until march 31 2012. In September 2011, I got $16,200 for my 99 Tacoma. I have been telling every Tacoma driver I see to check it out, most people had no idea of the problem. Good luck to all.
  • It's possible that your truck was not one of the VIN#s that Toyota has warrantied, although I would think they would be willing to take a look at any Tacoma that falls into the timeframe (1995-2004).

    When I first called the dealership to inquire about it, they also told me that "the program had ended", but when I called Toyota Corporate, different story.

    Good that you got your money back, still a crappy situation though. Good luck finding something else.
  • cassbcassb Posts: 8
    Yes, Dennis, I got the same letter... March 31, 2012. That's why I brought it in last week... otherwise I would not have. I really like the truck and don't want to give it up, but I cannot refuse $15k for an essentially worthless vehicle. I am going to test drive a RAV4 and Highlander today... wish me luck! It's going to be hard to find one of those newer than 2006 for under 15k.
  • oxi04oxi04 Posts: 10
    I have an 04 Tacoma, go the letter 12/31/11, says I have until the end of 2012 to bring it to a Toyota dealer for inspection. Can anyone tell me how badly perforated the frame needs to be to get the buyback deal? I definitely have some holes on the inside of the passengers side frame rail immediately in front of the attachment point of the leaf spring and based on my hammer test there are definitely some thin spots along both frame rails. I've spoken to my mechanic and he looked at it quickly and told me it technically shouldn't pass the NYS inspection which is due at the end of April. Next question, can someone who has gone through the buyback process tell me how long it takes once Toyota determines the frame is gone and you are eligible for the buyback? Thanks for any info anyone can give me on this.
  • To the best of my knowledge, any perforation is reason for replacement, however buy back vs frame replacement or repair vs. buy back is Toyotas call, my 99 was bought back because frames are no longer available. It's very likely that a 2004 will be repaired. Good luck
  • Tacomas from 2001 to 2004 have been falling under a different program whereby Toyota is inspecting the frame, and then either replacing the frame itself if it's deemed as a fail, or spraying some rust-proofing stuff on it if it passes inspection.

    It was the 1995-2000 Tacoma models that were simply being bought back, without the option to replace the frame.

    So Toyota may offer to replace your frame. It could be that they are now offering a buyback on the 2001-2004 models...I'm not sure.

    As far as how badly perforated the frame needs to be to fail...from everything I have read and heard, it doesn't take much. If the frame has any perforation whatsoever, I believe it will fail the test.

    As far as timeframe, I think 30 days is pretty typical.

    Good luck and please post back with your results!
  • kzimmy13kzimmy13 Posts: 2
    edited February 2012
    I just had my 04 Taco done two weeks ago. They do not do the buy back as the frames are available. If you have holes they will replace the frame. Included with the frame replacement was new leaf springs and brake lines. They will also give you a loaner car at no charge. I had a Tundra with all of the bells and wistles. They completed mine in two days. Didn't cost me a dime.
  • Wow...Toyota Corporate HQ told me that my 02 Taco was not covered under their inspection and that I missed the deadline; that being March 2011. I bought the truck and one day later took it to get a WV inspection where the mechanic was able to punch holes through the frame.

    Toyota sure is misleading about their warranty. Luckily I was able to return the truck.

    Other posters have talked of having a truck failed within thirty minutes of inspection. You can find the actual guidelines for the Frame Inspection on the Internet. I have them saved to my computer but can not upload to this site. You can find a lot of information just by using google. Other posters talk of a 3 week loaner vehicle and the 150% KBB buy-back. Good luck.
  • I own a 01 Tacoma that's been well cared for, and received that letter issued at the beginning of 2012 which was a subject of inspection and applying a corrosive resistant application. Last week I went to a dealer to get my frame checked, and it was failed. I was quite surprised. The next steps they took was to mention their suggested recommendations for parts to be replaced out of MY pocket because they would be replacing my frame, leaf springs, break lines, emergency break cables. They were suggesting I replace shocks, and calipers and such, which I don't need to replace at this time, and are not an issue to pass NYS inspection. I was assured Toyota would do their best to cover parts needed to replace deemed necessary that were associated with the frame replacement, but no guarentee was given that when they were done, I wouldn't occur some cost. I was furious because it is Toyota that is opening up the can of worms on a truck 11 years old that may or may not come apart . I stated my truck is sound, and meets all safety standards of NYS, and they can go ahead and replace the frame, but if you break something in the process, you fix it. Toyota has the new frames for the 01-04, and are opting to replace frames in lue of any buy back. So, if your frame is weakened at all, your not going to get offered a buy out. My truck goes in tomorrow, and they're giving me a rental at their cost. I refuse to be responsible for any cost of Toyota's weak and uncoated frames. They want to tie up three bays in a dealership to tear my 11 year old truck completely apart and put it back together. I even asked for them to allow me to speak to any of the previous truck owners who went through the frame replacement so I wouldn't worry about how Toyota treated them. Their answer was NO. Don't look for a buy out folks. I'll let you know if they try to charge me anything when it's done.
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    OMG, you should be so glad they are replacing your frame instead of you complaining about it. Are you aware that your truck will be like having a practically new truck after they're done? This is a $11,000.00 job Toyota is doing for you on their dime. I had my 2004 Tacoma with 160,000 miles on it reframed at no cost to me and it was like I said, "a new truck". Just say no to any items they want to replace that you think aren't necessary. If they break anything during the reframing they will replace that item at their cost also. Enjoy and be glad it wasn't a Ford, Chevy or Chrysler as you'd be up s*its creek if it was.
  • kzimmy13kzimmy13 Posts: 2
    edited February 2012
    I wouldn't say it was like having a practically new truck after they're done. Along with the Frame they also replace the leaf springs and brake lines. Most of us get rid of our vehicles becouse knobs fall off, rusty bumpers, nasty interior, etc.
  • It is not like having a new truck. My father has an 01 Taco with a new frame. It is still pretty much the same truck.

    I bought an 04 Taco and just 24 hours later found 2 soft spots on the frame which I was able to punch holes through with my finger. Sure, I should have done a more thorough inspection on the truck but that is not my point.

    My point is, I was told directly by a Service Rep at the Toyota Headquarter in CA that my truck was not under warranty and that they would do nothing to help me. I returned the truck to the dealer. Two months have passed and now the dealer has new frame on that truck and it is back on the lot for sale.

    Toyota is very misleading about their recall program.
  • I was going to replace the brakes on my 99 tacoma today and noticed that my frame is rusted through(about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide)on the boxed part beside of the gas tank.Does this qualify for a buy back or replacement of my frame.
  • Talk directly to your local Toyota Service Dept. You can find the actual chart used by Toyota Techs online. Just do some research and you will find lots of information. Good luck.
  • Also,Is there any requirement as to how long you have to own it.I am supposed to be contacted in the morning about having my truck looked at but was just wondering.I bought the truck a couple months ago.
  • cassbcassb Posts: 8
    "I was going to replace the brakes on my 99 tacoma today and noticed that my frame is rusted through(about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide)on the boxed part beside of the gas tank.Does this qualify for a buy back or replacement of my frame. "

    Yes, that was the same place my own truck was rusted through. They should buy it back from you.
  • You should be good with the '99 Tacoma being bought back. They are supposedly honoring the warranty extension on trucks that fall under 15 years from their original sale date, so 2012-1999 = 13 years. Toyota also told me that as long as the truck is currently registered and you have the title in your name, there is no problem with how long (or how short) you have owned the truck for.

    The number to call is 800-331-4331. Get them to open a case for you. Have your VIN# handy. They should ask you where you want to take the truck for the inspection, and the rest should be smooth. I had a totally smooth transaction just last month on my 2000 Tacoma. They gave me a loaner for almost 30 days. As soon as you turn the title over to them, they will want the loaner back.

    Don't take no for an answer. It's worth pursuing for sure. A 1999 Tacoma will be a buy-back, not a frame replacement. Good luck and let us know how you do. Dave
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    They wouldn't replace the frame, there are no frames available for the 1999 and before Tacomas. They only replace the 2000 to 2004 Tacoma frames as these frames are still being made.
  • drinkthisdrinkthis Posts: 3
    edited March 2012
    1995-1999 are buybacks.
    Details of my story: Went to dealer for oil change of 97 Taco reg cab manual 4x4 in Aug 2011. They inspected frame and were able to perforate with a hammer and punch while on a lift (note: i had been to same dealer in 09 and it passed then). They said it rusts from inside of frame due to poor inner coating and weak spot isn't detected until it pushes through. I was told it's unsafe to drive but they let me drive it home anyway after signing off on the dealer inspection. They said i could keep it until exactly 15 years after the first in service date which in my case would be July 14, 2012. I turned it in last month and the dealership provided a free loaner (my insurance) until I received a check. When i turned in the vehicle i was called within a week by an IBG rep (buyback contractor) who had me email or fax a copy of title, lien release if any. After the title was found to be clean and not salvaged (a disqualifier for the program) they offered $8700 (= 1.5x blubook for excellent condition, but happens to be exactly what i paid 12 years ago!) and gave three days to sign the acceptance form provided. Then a field agent called within a week to schedule the sign off etc. The agent said that Toyota has become picky lately and wants all original equipment to be present, for example, they let me take my brand new tires off and put on junk tires but the alloy rims had to stay. Also, any damage is ok as long as the car is drivable and whole and the title is clean. If any original equipment is missing even a CD player they will discount the offer and delay the process unless it's reported up front. Once everything is in order, the field agents are given about a week or so to close the deal or they have to send the paperwork and check back to HQ and you have to start the process over again.
    I just collected my check.
  • I have a 02 Tacoma. I really love my truck, and up till a couple of days ago I loved Toyota in general. I noticed that my frame has developed a rust hole the size of a golf ball on the pass side above the rear spring hanger. I have had many friends who have had their entire frame replaced due to this, but when I called my local Toyota dealer they told me that the deadline was in December. They also said that since I did not have the frame sprayed with some kind of special coating that I was just [non-permissible content removed] out of luck, but if I would have had this done prior to the rust they would have replaced the frame. The problem is that I have only owned this Tacoma for about 6 months and I never received any kind of notice or anything telling me about this. I have contacted Toyota support and they told me the same thing, too bad. Everyone I have talked to has said that their issue was resolved. I plan to keep calling Toyota and voicing my opinion that this is raw deal. I have alwaysed bragged on Toyota in the past but never again. Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions or comments please let me know. Thanks in advance.
  • oxi04oxi04 Posts: 10
    I own an 04 Taco, bought new in Sept 04. I just received a letter on 12/31/12 and it said they were just sending letters on 01-04 Tacos( in NY state). Have a friend who also bought an 04 new and he got a letter in Mid January. don't know what state you are in but my letter said if I had sold the veh I could contact Toyota and they would update their records and try to find the new owner, or something like that. Stick with it, keep calling Toyota until you get someone who actually knows the whole story.
  • wg8170wg8170 Posts: 1
    Is there any way you could provide me a copy of of that letter? I really need to get my frame inspected, but I have heard the deadline was Dec. 31, 2011. I would love to have something from Toyota in hand when I talk to the dealership.
  • eallmaneallman Posts: 16
    I do not see a way to post or attach documents, nor a way to private message you. I found the following documents online:

    Frame Warranty Policy
    Letter to Owners
    Frame Recall Notice to Dealers
    Frame Inspection Chart

    I found all of this on the Internet. Just be specific with your search engine.

    Good luck.
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