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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • Toyota told us it would be valued at $500 for a trade in due to the rusted frame. Seriously?? Toyota ... '04 Tacoma wtih 147,000 miles with routine maintenance is now only worth $500?? Nice durability. Real reliable. Super impressive long lasting vehicle Toyota.
    Report after report documents that their "undercoating treatment" was completely ineffective ... these frames continued to rust out anyway. Yes, clearly we somehow missed the opportunity to have this ineffective undercoating applied in order to extend the warranty, but we strongly feel that the warranty should be extended to all trucks that Toyota has admitted (and won a lawsuit over) to having a faulty frame. Sooooo disappointed with Toyota now! Continuing to push for support, but Toyota telling us their "sorry, but nothing further can be done". Nothing else basic wear & tear for the age) is wrong with this truck but the rusted frame!! $500 ... my dad offered to pay me more for that just for the tires!
  • oxi04oxi04 Posts: 10
    bdvance1, I have an 04 Taco X-cab, 4wd, AT, AC. Black. 7400 orig miles, I am the orig owner. No accidents. Excellent conditon. Remote starter, 4 extra mounted snows. New Frame end of June, new exhaust w new converters, new gas tank shield, 2 new front splash shields, new rear shocks, Tow hitch. Runs great. make me and offer. As far as deadline for frame replacements it appears to vary based on what state you are in. I,m in NY and my letter(rec'd 12/2011) said I had until the end of 2012 to bring in for inspection and whatever treatment was deemed necessary. I'm looking at trading truck in but will entertain offers.
  • lick45lick45 Posts: 3
    last week found hole in frame on my 2002 Tacoma, contacted toyota and was told same think--no help! I filed a complaint with Pa. attorney general and BBB. no word.
    for all their supposed contact tries, it seems a lot of owners missed the deadline. I know I don't remember getting one.
    anyone in NY state want to buy a low mileage rust free ( body ,anyway) Tacoma?
  • That stinks! Ours is still sitting in the driveway... have sent certified letters several places as well, and just waiting to get a written reply from Toyota. One lady from customer care told me it doesn't matter if someone from New York buys it, they would just track the VIN # and it still wouldn't qualify, but I don't quite trust customer care on that one. The local Toyota dealership told me they could give us $500 trade-in, Junkmycar website quoted $2450 for them to come tow it away. Need to also get quotes from salvage yards ... but it still seems unbelieveable that a truck like this is only worth salvage now. If the undercoating spray program had been more effective, then I would accept that we missed the opportunity, but since it was clearly not effective, then we feel strongly that Toyota should extend all warrenties for the trucks they know they made faulty. Keep me posted on any luck you have!
  • lick45lick45 Posts: 3
    I have bought nothing but Toyos for the last 25 years and my wife and daughter both have RAVs, time to mend the error of my ways and buy American all the way around
  • I recently purchased a 2002 Tacoma from a Honda dealer in Columbus Ohio who showed me VIN Checks that showed no issues with the truck. Once purchased I found out none of the recalls had been performed and the only one that was still applicable was the ball joint recall. Upon calling Toyota I was told the deadline in Ohio passed in 2011. What a bunch of crap. I went with a Toyota due to their touted reliability, but should have known better with all the recalls going on now with most of their vehicles. I now have a great looking truck with a frame that is completely rusted and I fear to drive it. I cannot trade as I have a loan on it, and cannot afford another vehicle. Are there any resources for someone who may have missed the deadline or a class action to get behind? I know the truck is old, but have a firm believe that the frame should be the LAST thing on a vehicle to go.
  • We have years and years of vehicles from Toyota also. Supposedly the bad frame Toyota used was bought from a company in CA ... go figure. We're still waiting for a final letter from Toyota, after calling them umpteen times to try to fight this. Did go to a salvage yard yesterday just to see what our options might be from here ... they said they could offer $1200. This is so frustrating!! We need a reliable vehicle, which is why we bought Toyota in the first place, so it stinks to have to start researching other companies and think about taking out another loan. Again, we really feel strongly that Toyota should be extending the warrenties on all the trucks they know of that they put in a faulty frame, not just the ones that participating in their underspraying program, since that clearly didn't fix the problem in any way! '04 Toyota trucks should not be worthless with only 148,000 miles, and if they are, then Toyota's reputation should be down the drain.
  • An '02 Tacoma should not be considered old, or unreliable! We did just send certified letters to Toyota, BBB, NH Traffic & Safety, and one other place. I don't know of any class action, but we are trying to fight this (with no luck for the past 3 weeks). I'm sure more and more letters can't hurt. We certainly haven't gotten any impression from Toyota that they care about this issue at all ... not what we've come to expect from Toyota. :mad:
  • **Update** Ok, so the Toyota Rep. came to inspect the hole in my frame. Bad news - the hole did not qualify for frame replacement because it wasn't a "natural perforation". The frame was rusted and soft and by looking at the cross section of the hole (about the size of a quarter) it was CLEARLY rusted through enough that a light tap of a hammer broke through. I felt it should qualify but naturally Toyota disagreed.

    Apparently I was the first truck they had seen with rust/perforation AFTER the undercoating had been applied. I had a good amount of surface rust prior to the coating (coating applied August 2010), and now everywhere that the paint covered the rust, paint was peeling and the frame continued to rust. I'm sorry but you can't paint over a problem and pretend it isnt there. I feel the coating was nothing more than a feel good stall technique to get people to forget about the rust until hopefully the warranty expires. Outta sight=Outta mind.

    Good News - they disqualified the current hole, but the rest of the frame was still under warranty if any new holes would surface.

    Just my luck a few weeks later the proportioning valve broke, and in the course of replacing that several other rusted parts associated with it broke. Between the frame issues and overall rust under the truck I decided to get rid of it before any more headaches came up. Luckily I was able to get a more than fair price on a trade in and have moved on to a new vehicle.

    My advice to anyone out there is DO NOT attempt to break/tap/manipulate any suspected weak spots or holes on your frame. If you can't push your finger through it with little force, it won't qualify. I feel Toyota has spent so much money and time with this issue that they are really clamping down and are FAR less cooperative and willing to make things right. Best of luck to all of you, you will need it!
  • Hi, i'm new to this. I did the frame recall inspection 2 years ago in Illinois. they said the frame was fine and put on the coating. two months ago a mechanic put his finger through a spot in the frame. two dealers said it is not a problem. Who is the best to contact to get some resolution ? Fyarosh
  • by having your frame coated Toyota extended your waranty, you need to get in writing from the 2 dealers that the frame rust thru is not a problem(it is), call Toyota customer service and get a case number(phone number is in your manual), file an online complaint with your states attorney general---good luck, dealers and Toyota are bleeding red ink so they will do anything to tap dance you aroung till they have no responsability, take it back for regular inspections and keep records, stay on top of this or you will have an unsafe and worthless truck
  • shauna2ushauna2u Posts: 1
    edited March 2013
    I purchased the best truck I could ever wish for, 2001 Toyota Tacoma; it’s an xtra cab with TRD with the SR5. Today at 113500 miles it still looks and runs showroom new. But it has the rust on the frame and bad too. Toyota refuses to help in any way. In 2012 the frame was perfect, now it is almost eaten through. I love this truck but it is unsafe to drive and I am very displeased with how they are handling the situation. I opt to go with Toyota compared to Chevrolet because Toyota had a wonderful reputation on reliable vehicles and I was sold on that. When the recall was sent out, I was living in Virginia and battling cancer so I missed the recall. I believe Toyota should warrant their product or close down their plants if they won’t honor the issues at hand. I want a new frame or at least another truck with my engine and transmission, my baby is gorgeous. I am now on a fixed income with blood clots in my lungs due to the cancer, I need my truck.

    link title
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    Won't they even cut you a break if you pay for the reframe on your own? I had my 2004 Tacoma reframed and paid for entirely by Toyota back in 2011 and it was like a totally new truck afterward. A reframe usually cost around 8K to 10K but you think they would at least cut you a big break, like 50%.
  • bsims13bsims13 Posts: 2
    While I have had ZERO luck dealing with Toyota, I have decided to take matters into my own hands. My frame coating has completely disentegrated and the frame started to rust. Upon looking into the matter, I have decided to spend a couple hundred bucks on frame inhibitive paint, and have even found a spray can product with a hose intended for the internal box frame. Eastwood internal frame coating or something similar is the product, and I figure 3-4 cans should do the inside while i spray the outside with another product through my spray gun. Its a shot right? Hopefully will extend the life of the frame until I pay it off!
  • ldent1ldent1 Posts: 5
    I have a 1997 and it had a 15 year warranty with recall. Your truck is not 15 years old.
  • jmc101jmc101 Posts: 1
    You all need to go to another stealership. My local checks the frame every time I have gone in for service. They told me that Toyota has been giving some big payouts if they think there is an issue. In the neighborhood on $20k for my 2004 double cab. The sales guy is also looking at this as a good opportunity to take that money and put it right back into another truck!
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    What your sales guy is telling you is outdated information but was true a couple of years ago. I'm almost certain all buyback and frame replacement settlements have since expired with Toyota.
  • dyankedyanke Posts: 9
    The info is wrong. They never offered a buyback for post 2001 Tacomas, although I do believe there were some early 2001s that were included.
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  • kayaker300kayaker300 Posts: 1
    edited July 2013
    The recall extends the frame warranty for 15 years from date of purchase for the vehicles involved. I believe for 2001-2004 they are replacing frames and not offering money or high trade in values as with earlier vehicles. I have a 2001 Tacoma and was told today after showing them a rusted hole in the frame that they will replace the frame at no cost. Was told it would take 7-10 days. I live in central PA. Since my dealer did the recall undercoating...I have a record of what was done. As stated by others, continue to talk to Toyota reps or even go to another dealer for assistance. Maybe the undercoating is part of the 15 year extended warranty...that may be the fine print. I did get a recall notice about the rust from my I assume others did too. I found a printout on another site of the cost involved in replacing the frame....$6200 part and $3000 labor for a total of $9200. Seems cheaper to buy the truck back to me. In the replacement of the frame...they also replace Brake lines, emergency brake cable, fluids, lower suspension arms, rear leaf springs as well as all the bolts and nuts and washers. My truck is 12 years old before it rusted thru. How many other automakers would offer to repair for free if you followed the recall guidelines. If you have not had your truck undercoated during the to trade it in soon before it rusts through for those years affected by the recall. I am very happy with my experience with my local dealer and I prefer the style of my generation of tacoma's so now I get to enjoy if hopefully for many more years. Good luck to you folks that have not had such a good experience with your rusted frames.
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    Had my 2004 reframed about two years ago. It was like getting a whole new truck. It drove so well and as straight as an arrow. You'll love it, good luck.
  • Hi shauna, It appears that the replacement is 15 years from DATE of Purchase. I assisted my niece, age 17 in purchasing her first vehicle. The seller, had taken off the plates, and it was probably not insured. They would not allow us to drive it to a mechanic to put on a lift and have it checked. After short test drives on the gravel road, and doing what we could to check, she purchased the truck. When we got back to VT, it went in for its' Vermont State inspection, and failed. Yup, spots in the frame on both sides that they said had to be fixed. First Toyota dealer, that we gave the VIN # to, said no way. She called another. Today she heard back that this 2004 Toyota Tacoma, Ext Cab, 4X4, will be fitted FREE with a replacement frame, the rough estimate from that dealer was a value of $12K, for the work they will take care of. He said he was sorry he could not get authorization for a rental, while the truck is being fixed. I hope if you have an advocate you will not give up, if there is any chance that you are eligible for some help too.
  • Thanks good to hear that, actualy this little truck is already, wonderful, drives very well, this extra help, will make the purchase a good deal better than we could have ever hoped for.......there will be plenty of expense without the cost of a bad frame being born by this young needs tires, and the e brake cable must work for inspection,and all stick! Wishing we would hear back from the original poster with some sort of good news......Just sayin'
  • framerot2framerot2 Posts: 1
    edited August 2013
    The exact same thing happened to me just yesterday. I have a 2004 Tacoma. The body itself is beautiful...not a speck of rust. It runs well, and until yesterday, I thought that it was the best truck I had ever owned. I went to my mechanic for an inspection, and he said it wouldn't pass because holes were everywhere along the frame. I took it to Toyota. They took pictures and documented the fact that my car was unsafe to drive. They said it wasn't their problem, and that I had been given four years to fix it. When I looked up my VIN number online, it mentioned only the recall for the spare tire (which I had already taken off three years ago). I called Toyota Central, and they said it wasn't their problem. Apparently, I had received a first class letter between November of 2010 and December of 2011 which stated that I needed to have my frame sprayed. They said that the cutoff for this "remedy" was December, 2012. When I asked if, had I had the frame sprayed six months ago, would this rot have miraculously not appeared, they said they didn't know. They apologized for the fact that it was not their problem, and that was that.

    I may have received a letter...I am not sure, and cannot honestly claim I didn't receive it. What I do know that I do, though, is regularly check on line for recalls so that I can make sure that I am not missing anything. The dealer told me that this particular recall was voluntary, and therefore it wouldn't have been posted in normal channels.

    To make matters worse, the dealer specifically said that someone had come in the previous week with the same issue and it was "too bad". He also said that Toyota would probably be doing something about this because so many people were having such major safety issues. He said that if I wanted to hold on to the truck...maybe something would happen in a year. What am I going to do with a truck I can't drive because it won't pass inspection and has been deemed unsafe?

    I will be filing a complaint with the National Highway Association as well.
  • Keep pressing them. They have admitted there is a problem. They have "remedied" many many other trucks. Since you have a 2004, you are well within the ten year time-frame from date of original sale of the truck. You may consider legal representation, which stinks, but could be worth it. Good luck and let us know how it works out.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Keep in mind, this is not a recall. It's a self-administered "Customer Satisfaction" program and they can set the rules any way they want. A recall does not and can not expire.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host
  • I have a 2004 Tundra that I have maintained. I only have 75200 miles on it and have the same problem. It has been a great truck runs and rides like it did when I drove it off the lot. There never was a recall on this truck but the frame rusted to the point that the stabilizer bar attachment point has broken free. I took it to the dealer and they told me it was not part of the recall but it is unsafe to drive. Sorry. So much for the apology that the CEO of Toyota gave to congress concerning the recall problems with the frames. Other 2004 Tundras were recalled why was this one left out? I am a disabled Vet with multiple health issues plus I was directly effected by Hurricane Irene and the recession. This was all I needed to make my disaster trifecta complete. All I can do is contact anybody I can think of in state and federal government and hound Toyota at every opportunity. For what it is worth you can ask the dealer to have a Toyota Company Service Representative come to the dealership and look at your vehicle. I am also going to do my best to generate as much negative publicity for Toyota as I can. My son,his wife, my wife and two brothers in law all own Toyotas, this does sour us towards this brand of car.
  • Shauna, I recommend that you don't stop with one dealer. I recommend you attempt to resolve this with another dealer. If that is unsuccessful, don't give up there, ask for the dealer to arrange for you to meet with the rep who visits periodically. Call our dealer in Rutland, Vermont, give him you vin #, and situation. My niece as a second owner, just purchased a Toy, with 200k 2004, it was rotted, when she took it in for a Vermont inspection. She made two calls on dealers (she is 17) before they said, if she was owner #1, or #2, they could get her a complete frame replacement, valued at 12K. They said, had they put the paperwork in right, she could have had a free rental provided as well....The parts will take 4 - 6 weeks. and good luck, I would love to hear how this works out for you....don't give up, without further demands...good luck, Anne
  • there is hope and don't give up, until the last man falls, I recommend that you don't stop with one dealer. I recommend you attempt to resolve this with another dealer. If that is unsuccessful, don't give up there, ask for the dealer to arrange for you to meet with the rep who visits periodically. Call our dealer in Rutland, Vermont, give him you vin #, and situation. My niece as a second owner, just purchased a Toy, with 200k 2004, it was rotted, when she took it in for a Vermont inspection. She made two calls on dealers (she is 17) before they said, if she was owner #1, or #2, they could get her a complete frame replacement, valued at 12K. They said, had they put the paperwork in right, she could have had a free rental provided as well....The parts will take 4 - 6 weeks. and good luck, I would love to hear how this works out for you....don't give up, without further demands...good luck, Anne
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    You say other 2004 Tundras were fixed or made whole, did you ask why yours was not?
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