Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • 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: 422
    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: 422
    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?
  • I never claimed that Toyota deceived me . In fact, it was Toyota Corporate and various Service Managers from around the state who were very helpful in proving that this truck had never had a frame inspection completed.
  • my buddy has an "02" and they replaced the frame. only on 2000 and earlier are they doing buy backs.
  • I returned the 02 Taco to the dealer and got a full refund. They placed it back on the lot with stickers reading "Low Mileage 4WD" and I do believe they sold it last week.

    I am now driving a very sweet silver/black 06 Taco 4WD v6 4.0 TRD package with only one owner. The dealer installed black/chrome MKW Offroad rims with Kenda tires and tinted the windows.

    The only down side is the truck has 122,000 miles but I was able to get a
    3 year/36,000 ACS insurance plan which covers nearly everything on the truck.

    So...I am happy now. This truck is a beast.
  • terceltomterceltom Allentown, PSPosts: 1,024
    That is correct !
  • Has anyone gotten a letter recently and if so what does your letter say about the program end date.
    I saw some people posting here that it was December 31st but the letter says in the body that it is extended to 15 years from the in service, so a 2000 Tacoma should be eligible until 2015?
  • 15 years from in service date...
  • my 01 tacoma failed the frame test a couple weeks ago (which i knew it would because of the holes in the frame) and they oredered me a new frame. dropped it off yesterday and they had my new frame on the lift with a ton of other parts sitting on the floor including leaf springs and front a arms. i cant believe how toyota is going above and beyond to fix this problem, i will buy toyota the rest of my life. they also gave me a 2012 camry as a free rental car. my question is... do you guys recommend anything i should get checked/replaced as the truck will be put back together?? thank you
  • I brought my 2002 taco for a MA inspection sticker and the mechanic told me to take it directly to a toyota dealer because the frame was by far the worst he has seen, rusted/rotted right through. The dealer checked with toyota and said the recall had expired Sept 31,2011. I had brought it in on Dec 9th, 2011. Toyota is refusing to do anything about it. I know I'm past the deadline, but the truck only has 105,000 miles and looks like it just came off the showroom floor-I cant believe knowing of this safety issue that they wont honor the recall.

    Any suggestions??
  • Sorry to hear about your truck and Toyota's refusal to do anything about it. My suggestion would be to call Toyota Corp HQ and discuss it with them. They may tell you something different what they told me but then at least you will be hearing it from HQ.

    On the more aggressive end of the spectrum...I was fully prepared to deal with a break mechanical breakdown should one occur right in the middle of the street in front of the dealership.

    Be creative. Make phone calls. Walk into offices. Ask tough questions. Do not take no for answer. Keep records of everyone you talk to, names, phone numbers, dates and times.

    Good luck. I really hope things work out for you and that nothing bad happens to you and your loved ones; that thought alone gave me the incentive to take a more aggressive approach in returning my truck.

    Keep me posted. Stay strong.
  • Wait a bought it on December the 9th of 2011 and it did not have a current inspection sticker on it. I was in the same situation.

    Take it back to the dealer and tell them you want your money back now.

    That truck is not safe. It should be in a junk yard or parted out. It is not safe to drive. If they did not clearly state in writing that the frame was broken then you have a case. Call an attorney. Call the state police and your state attorney general or the dept of motor vehicles.

    This truck should have never been sold.

    Stand up. Take action. I can give you some other advice if you can private message me.

    Keep posting.
  • I just had my 02 Tacoma inspected at the dealership today. They told me that I only had until the end of the month to have it inspected under the recall, and that I was "lucky". I was surprised to hear that the frame will need replaced, since they made it seem as if it would only need sprayed with an undercoating. They said they'll call me in January to set an appointment, where they'll need my truck for an entire week. I hope I get a nice rental.

    I was looking to upgrade to a newer (nicer) Tacoma when I arrived at the dealership earlier this week. If my Tacoma is considered "poor" condition, would this frame replacement effect my trade-in-value at all? It just seems like a lot of work to put a new frame under a rusted cab with rusted panels. Any thoughts?
  • No, I've owned it for 2 1/2 years, I was bringing it in for a yearly state inspection sticker on the 9th and thats when they told me it was rotted through. I have a lawyer writing a letter to HQ for me, I'll let you know how it turns out.

  • kidkelly-- What state are you in? I was told that my recall expired on sept 31, 2011 here in Massachusetts.

  • clovair -
    I'm in Ohio. I knew my deadline was coming up from reading the notice letters that Toyota sent me. I ignored them for about a year before finally making the trip the dealer. They reiterated that my deadline was Dec 31st.

    Does anyone know what the frame replacement includes? A buddy of mine told me today that he heard some new parts are included, specifically a new suspension.
  • My father, in WV near the OH border, has a 2001 Tacoma with a new frame that was installed earlier this year; he did not get a new suspension with the deal nor was he offered one.

    Toyota Corp told me the deadline was March of 2011 and yet I am reading on here it is December 31, 2011. Toyota sure is misleading.

    I returned a 2002 Tacoma that I bought in November; the mechanic who did the inspection found two soft spots on the frame and we were able to punch holes through it rather easily.

    I am now driving a 2006 Tacoma which a bigger truck and it looks a lot sweeter that the 02 that I owned for 36 hours.
  • oxi04oxi04 Posts: 10
    A few weeks ago I was looking at trading in my 04 Tacoma through a NH dealership. Salesman told me they couldn't seal a deal without taking my truck to their shop, putting it on a hoist and checking the frame because they had an issue with another NY Tacoma taken in on trade and the frame was toast. He also told me that the 01-04 Tacomas were being recalled in NH but not in NY because of some oddity in the NY laws. Anyway on 12/31/11 I got a letter from Toyota stating they were aware of some rust issues for vehs in areas with cold weather and lots of road salt use. The letter, a "Limited Service Campaign" states that I have until the end of 2012 to take my truck to a Toyota dealer to have it inspected. They will apply and anti corrosion treatment to the frame and warranty it for 15 yrs with unlimited milage. Or it the frame is perforated they may do a "Repurchase" deal where they offer you Kelly Blue book value(assumed excellent condition) plus 50% over the book value or give you the MSRP original selling price of the veh at the time it was offered new. Anyone else have an 04 outside of NYS that has been given this deal? How does it work? How bad does the frame have to be, I have a few small holes through the side of the right side rail near the rear tire. My truck only has 60K and it has been washed and waxed regularly although in the winter it may go a few months because of cold temps, no garage.
  • shams3shams3 Posts: 1
    i like the details about new pickups
  • I'm looking for help! I have a 2001 Tacoma and I just had a frame off and now I have problems with low idle and noise from my drive train (squeaks) when in gear. I have complained about this several times to the dealer and they say that there's nothing they can do for the low idle unless I pay for it and they also say that the noise is coming from inside the clutch housing. I called Toyota and they won't offer me a buy back.

    I was informed from Toyota that the only buy backs that they did for any Tacoma's 2001 and newer was done only because they didn't have the program running yet. So my question is ...has anyone received a Buy Back on a 2001 or newer in the last year? 2011???

    Toyota will be calling me back tomorrow.

  • eallmaneallman Posts: 16
    Sorry to hear about this issue. My suggestion would be to aggressively pursue the dealer who did your frame restoration or swap; if things were ok before the job then they should be ok afterwards.

    I sincerely hope this works out for you.

    Please post and update.
  • cassbcassb Posts: 8
    I just got back from the dealer and they said my '99 Tacoma has a perforated frame. He was all excited that they found a hole and said that everyone who has the problem and gets a check 'leaves with a smile on their face.' OK, but I really don't want to sell the truck since it's paid off and only has 72k miles on it, and I really really don't want another debt to pay off. I do need something to tow my camper though, and I don't know if the frame problem will affect its towing ability.

    I assume now that it has the hole that the truck has no resale value any more? Is that true? Has anyone just kept the truck anyway and had any problems? Shoot... I just don't need more debt right now... and I assume they're not just going to swap the '99 for a new truck. :-(
  • billdarchbilldarch Posts: 11
    edited February 2012
    Not sure how bad your frame is but my frame went from perfectly fine on first dealer inspection to very unsafe 3 years later-- once it starts-- forget about it... I had a base model 2000 reg cab tacoma with 125k or so and got $9200 for it-- I bought a 2005 tundra reg cab with 62k on it with the money (with $ left over)-- I would think you would be getting in the same ballpark or more depending on options-- and could easily find a suitable replacement and still have $ in your pocket after their offer...
  • Think it over 150% of KBB value. I received $16,200 for my 99. Your truck is dangerous, mine would not have lasted more than a few months before it broke in half. You will never receive that kind of money. Mine had 54k and not a scratch. I bought a new 4runner, and I love it. Don't forget your truck is 13 years old. I was devastated at first, but looking back it was a great deal and easy, about 3 weeks from drop off at dealer to check in hand. Good luck.
  • cassbcassb Posts: 8
    OK, thanks guys for the response. I just looked up the KBB value on my truck with the options it has and it comes out to 8,408 without the bed cap included. 1.5 times that is 12,612, so actually that's a really good deal. I didn't think about getting a used truck to replace it, but you're right. How do you like the 4Runner vs. the utility of the pickup? I use my bed all the time to take trash to the dump, haul deer when I'm hunting, throw camping stuff in when towing the camper, in fact I just brought home a exercise bike in it last night. So, can the 4Runner do all that? It would be cool to have the extra back seats, but I also don't want to give up the room in back to carry large things -- and of course need the towing ability as well.

  • just an FYI- its KBB EXCELLENT CONDITION, RETAIL PRICE times 1.5....not trade in- not private party--
  • cassbcassb Posts: 8
    Yes, the $8,408 I mentioned is "Trade-in" value. The "Private Party" value is $10,183. So 1.5 times the trade-in value is a better deal than trying to sell it privately.
  • billdarchbilldarch Posts: 11
    edited February 2012
    my point is-- on my truck there were 3 tiers on KBB
    trade in: excellent: 3538
    private party: excellent: 4898
    suggested retail: excellent: 6248

    toyota used the 6248 number times 150% to get the amount they paid me--
    I thought they would use the private party or trade in...

    so its possible in your case - your truck is "worth" much more than what you have calculated..or maybe they just screwed up on mine--

    i dont even see the suggested retail on the website anymore-- im using the kbb iphone app to get my numbers...but when i pull up a 99 tacoma and add various options to get trade in close to your 8408-- (and private party close to your number) the resulting RETAIL EXCELLENT is $11753-- use THAT number times 1.5 = $17629.. thats how much they will give you if they use the same formula they used for mine-- (by the way you must have a loaded xcab ltd to get to those numbers for a '99)
  • oxi04oxi04 Posts: 10
    cassb, I received a letter from Toyota on my 04 Tacoma and I,m in northern NY. The basically stated they would apply treatment to the frame if it wasn't to bad and warranty it for 15 yrs or if the frame was perforated they would do the buyback deal. Either original MSRP or 150% of KBB, either way its way more than you could ever sell your vehicle for. I also noticed on Ebay Motors yesterday an 04 Tacoma for sale at an East Greeenbush Ny dealer that came from Ma and the frame had been replaced by Toyota. The letter I got didn't mention that option for me in NY. Toyota also replace the leaf springs, control arms, e-brake cables and brake lines. Pictures were impressive, you should check it out. It was and 04 Extended cab w AT,AC, SR-5 pkg, 4 Cyl, Black with an impecable body on it, no rust at all, 125 K miles, only asking about $12500. Might be a good replacement for your 99. Esp if you get the buyback deal.
  • I am finally in the market for a tacoma to replace my 1990 4runner. After reading these posts I'm not sure I want to. Im in Albuquerque NM and have these questions....what years of tacomas are effected with the frame/rust problem? Is it limited to the east cost tacomas? I mean I've been looking high and low for a 2002 TRD with a manual transmission and the ones I've found are still expensive, which is understandable. I just want my moneys all of you do.....any tips on how to know if the frame has been replaced or is bad? I would really appreciate any advice.
  • cassbcassb Posts: 8
    Wow, seriously Bill? Hmm... that puts a new spin on it. I got the 8408 number with a 99 Tacoma SR5 Xtra cab, V6, A/C, 4wd, manual trans, power steering, manual windows and doorlocks. They just told me at the dealer that they use the "excellent" value with 0 mileage.

    I would really be surprised if they offered the "retail" value x1.5 rather than the dealer trade-in. But we'll see -- they said Toyota would call me in 2 weeks with the value and see if I want to go through with the trade. It's a no-brainer to take it I guess, because it won't pass NY state inspection with the hole in the frame, so the resale value is essentially 0 now.

    Back to my original question ... what would be a good replacement for a pickup truck besides another pickup truck? It would certainly be nice to get better mileage and a little more comfort but still be able to use the vehicle to tow and haul things.

  • billdarchbilldarch Posts: 11
    edited February 2012
    I have read hundreds of posts on this and have never heard of setting the mileage to zero... Everything Ive read is based on entering your actual mileage but setting the condition to excellent...but now knowing what youve got and entering the actual mileage based on the formula they used on mine im seeing $9293 excellent retail = roughly 14k... still pretty good for an old truck... Either way- zero mileage or RETAIL-- theres not a huge difference in the final payout...Hope you get what you want...
Sign In or Register to comment.