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Toyota Tacoma 2004 and Earlier Frame Problem



  • I think all frames are suspect. However my father has an 02 with 170,000 miles, frame is still good. I also have friends with 03's and 04's with various amounts of miles. Also good frames. My 01 is bad, 180,000. I even tried to keep my truck clean underneath. We all live in Mass.

    I love my truck, and even with all this pain and suffering, wouldn't buy anything else. I
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 823
    My 95 is under the extended warranty, I got the notice in the mail. I haven't formally had my truck inspected by the dealer, I have a friend that works for Toyota, he informally verified it's good. I figure I'll bring it in just before the extended warranty runs out.

    I purchased the truck new, and did have it undercoated. Although it may have helped with the outside of the frame from rusting, I don't think they did any spraying on the inside of the "box" of the frame, and other posts stated the rust is bad on the inside and outside the frame. I poked around myself in just about every hole I could reach into and did not find any scale. There must be some truth in the statement from Toyota that not all frames are prone to the problem.

    Kind of ironic for me, I wouldn't mind replacing my truck, but would rather get the 1.5x the KBB value for a rusted frame.

    BTW, mine is a 4x2, I wonder if the frame is different on a 4x4? The posts usually don't state if there truck is a 4x2 or 4x4.

  • mags6mags6 Posts: 13
    Hello. Has everyone who has had the frame swap satisfied with the results? Was there any misc. damage done during this process like dings and dents or scratches? I read somewhere they can do this in has little as 12 hours-wow. Please, some more remarks on the finished project would be appreciated. Thanks again.
  • linni57linni57 Posts: 4
    My daughter just had her 95 tacoma bought back. On her first free inspection, her vehicle passed. Approximately 8 months later she had a cab mount go. The people who originally inspected it, told her she could weld a new cab mount to the frame and were kind enough to price a cab mount for her. That would have voided her recall, as welding would have weakened the frame. She had gone in to get another inspection done before doing any work to it, which they refused to do. I had her call the dealer where I bought my 04 for Toyota's headquarters tel. #., and we also made an appt. for this dealer to reinspect the frame. They were willing to do it on a Saturday so she would not loose another day of work. Headquarters did contact the 1st dealer about this and they did call back offering to look at her vehicle. But having already made the appt. at the second dealer, we went there.
    It was about a 3 hour drive from where we lived, but the 1st dealers reputation is not very good and we did not want to deal with them at that point. Her second inspection showed a hole in the frame, and both of her cab mounts were gone.
    She also lost her brakes on the way over. When the rep. who met her asked, he could not believe they jepordized her life that way. All I can say is know your dealer
    & check out their reputation before going to see them.
  • linni57linni57 Posts: 4
    I own a 2004 Tacoma and have not been notified by Toyota about this. I am having some work done today and asked my mechanic while he was underneath it to look it over for me. My mechanic is the one who told us about it when we stopped in to make an appt. to have some work done.
  • linni57linni57 Posts: 4
    From the time my daughter turned in her '95 tacoma, to when she recieved her check was about 4 weeks. Toyota extended her rental until she was able to find another vehicle she could afford after paying off her '95 toyota, which was just a couple of weeks ago. They are still dealing with older models too.
  • linni57linni57 Posts: 4
    I live in Vermont which is a high salt area. I own an '04 Tacoma which I purchased new. Right now I am having some maintenance work done to it and asked my mechanic to check the frame out for me. He Informed me of the recall. I have not recieved anything from Toyota on this. I will let you know how I make out.
  • mcalauttmcalautt Posts: 67
    thats because somehow toyota avoided having this classified as a recall.
    no idea how that is possible since recalls are due to safety concerns.
    maybe because the frame problem was never reported as an event that cause anyone harm and or death.
  • rodnhrodnh Posts: 10

    I had the frame replaced on my '02 Tacoma last month. I am very pleased with the result. No problems at all. Here is a list of the parts that were covered under the extended warranty:


    I had a hole in the top of my muffler and I had the dealer replace that at the same time. My only cost for that was the material cost. I am told that this muffler is warranted for as long as I own the vehicle - free replacement by Toyota if I ever needed to.

    I had a rental car for the entire week. It takes all of one week. Mine went in on Monday morning and I picked it back up late that Friday. Toyota indicates that the job involves 60 manhours of labor. I was able to visit the work effort every day and be shown the progress as everything came apart and went back together. The dealer tells me that these frame replacements costs Toyota about $13K each, all told. I believe it.
  • mags6mags6 Posts: 13
    Hello, very nice to see you are happy with the job done. Thanks again for your time.
  • Thanks for this info.

    I've been in the market for a (new-to-me) used truck, and DO NOT LIKE the looks of others in this class (Frontier, Durango, etc). Keep getting drawn back to the idea of a Tacoma. Among other things, for the size, it seems the Taco gets the best gas mileage. I've see plenty advertised, and wonder how many have had their frames replaced...NONE OF THE ADS I SEE neither mention the possibility of frame problems, nor state that the frame's been already replaced. You would think that the supply of available trucks would, at this point, include a certain quantity that have had the frame replaced already. Kinda wonder about the new frame's corrosion treatment too, and issues CAUSED by de-constructing / re-constructing a truck.

    I would think that an '01-'04 truck with a new frame COULD BE a decent driver, OR could have lots of issues. I also would like to hear from others who've been DOWN THAT ROAD (pun intended!) :) .
  • mcalauttmcalautt Posts: 67
    exactly what you said..
    "'01-'04 truck with a new frame COULD BE a decent driver, OR could have lots of issues."

    there is no way of knowing until you own it and drove it for a little while.
    its hit or miss and I dont think its worth the chance, however,
    tacoma's are the best truck aside from the frame problem.
    also, toyota is now claiming 01 to 04 but prior to that magically it only involved 95 to 00. so I would not be surpised if it extends to 06 later down the road.
    Only reason they have not mentioned that is because I think they are still to new to see a problem yet.
  • grammydgrammyd Posts: 6
    I had my 2001 Tacoma inspected today(canada). Technician said the frame was clean, "no holes yet" he said. They did not charge me for the inspection.

  • We got a letter from Toyota saying that we needed to have a dealer inspect the frame of our vehicle for rust. We did and were told that the frame had soft spots and that it would go (fall apart??) within a year. The dealer said that Toyota would replace the frame.

    We were shocked. The frame is the single largest and most important structural part of the truck. The entire vehicle has to be disassambled and reassembled. Quite frankly, the truck will never be the same. There is a serious safety issue if we don't get the new frame and potential serious safety issues if they get it wrong.

    We have spoken directly with Toyota only to be fed the "party line."
    We want Toyota to buy back the truck just as they did for thousands of 1995 - 2000 owners this past year. This is the same vehicle and there is no way we owners of 2001 -2005 Tacomas should be treated as second-class citizens.

    What can we do to push Toyota to buy ours (and others). Anyone with ideas please let us know.

    A friend went by a local dealer in Litchfield, CT the other day and say a tractor trailer load of frames being unloaded. I can't believe Tacoma owners are buying off on this.


  • mcalauttmcalautt Posts: 67
    I don’t think owners are necessarily buying off on the frame replacement.
    it’s more like Toyota is not giving you a choice.
    Look at my previous posts and you will see I agree 100%.
    replacing the frame is not the answer but apparently Toyota seems to think it’s cheaper for them.
    When you call corp you do in fact get a cute pre-recorded message about how they care about their customers involved in the frame problem.
    At the same time they also act as if they are hero;s for acknowledging the problem and providing a solution as if they didnt have to but are because they care.

    I had a 2001 and managed to get in on the buyback before the frame replacment
    "program" was initiated.
    the only option I think you have is to get it replaced and then get rid of it.
    however that is not fair because you wont get as much on a trade or private sale as the people got back from the buy back program.

    I still dont understand how toyota got away with this not being a recall.
  • i have a 96 tacoma when havin it inspected if fail. few days later i got a call tellin me how they buy them back at 150% book sound good huh, then the guy goes on to tell me that becuz my 28 years old son who live in my house sold his 2000 model tacoma back, that they can only give myself 2900 which is around 1/3 of that it should be for my. becuz both are from the same household. have contacted toyota and still waitin on answers, have anyone beside me ran into this deal, and does toyota only sell 1 auto to a house hold
  • When I first found out that Toyota wanted to replace my frame I was upset. I fought Toyota. I called them multiple times, my service reps name was Kevin, and as I have seen on some of your posts, you think as much as him as I did.

    I posted on Edmunds, Tacoma World and several other sights expressing my opinions that I wasn't happy, I was worried about the major repairs and problems down the road.

    In the process I also learned why Toyota was replacing frames and not buying them back for those who don't know the story. Dana Corporation was the company that actually made the defective frames. They didn't use the right mixture in the steel thus they rot, not rust, in the salt belt. Toyota isn't footing all the bill for these re-builds. Dana is making the frames for Toyota, so don't think it's Toyota that is picking up the entire price for the rebuild. Its more 50/50.

    Since I live in NE Ohio, my Tacoma has had 8 years of healthy salt which led to a 6 inch hole in the side of the frame. I was mad, I was upset that Toyota was ignoring all of us that were complaining, but I don't have the time or the energy to keep fighting, so I gave in.

    To make it worse, my Tacoma was the first to go under the knife at my dealership. As poorly as Kevin and Headquarters treated you when you spoke to them, I found just the opposite from the dealership. The Service Manager was really great, nice, knowledgable and walked me through the process.

    The day I took my truck in, they had already had the frame all assembled and fully ready to start the process. During the week they had the truck I had new shocks, tailpipe and two sensors changed out. Most of us bought a Tacoma because they are great looking trucks and we all expect them to last even with a little abuse. I have 134k miles on the truck and really expect it to last me (and my kids who will be driving in 3 years) 8+ more years.

    The truck rides like new, seems to sit alittle higher with the new shocks and springs. I am even considering a new paint job to touch up some of the chips and scrapes it's picked up over the years. There wasn't any rust on the truck except for the frame. When they took the truck apart, it was suprisingly clean under the bed and body. I haven't had any squeeks, electrical problems or anything else I can speak to. Its been good for me.

    For those that are fighting, good luck. I hope you can get the 150%, I know I wasn't able to convince Toyota to give it to me. If you like your truck but are concerned, don't trade it in, get the frame re-build done. I hope you have as good as experience as I had.

    I've had it back now 2 weeks. I have to admit that I am glad I had it done. The truck runs as well as it did when I bought it. As upset as I was at Toyota Headquarters you really have to ask yourself... really would any other car maker do this? Though its Dana footing the bill, I have a new 8 year old truck.
  • mags6mags6 Posts: 13
    Can someone give some insight on the fuel economy of a 2001 Tacoma DblCab with a 3.4 automatic. Are they gas guzzlers?? I feel 15 mpg city and 18 hwy are "> not great mileage figures. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.
  • have any 1 household have over 1 tacoma bought back at 150% of kbb my son 2000 was bought back, i have a 96 was inspected and fail due rust n rot on frame then i got a call tellin me they pay 150% bkk . then they go on to inform me that becuz they bought my son,s 2000 tacoma that i could only get 2900 . 1/3 of kbb anyone having luck beside me
  • phil77phil77 Posts: 1
    I am in the market for a 2000-2008 Tacoma. What year was the frame problem corrected at the factory? Is the dealer frame replacement for these model years still available at no cost, or are there other solutions available?
  • My 2005 Tacoma double-cab is covered in rust. It looks like the rust problem is NOT limited to older models. Is this a widespread problem?
  • vtjlgvtjlg Posts: 2
    I just got the call that my truck is finished. I will pick it up with its new frame tomorrow. I live in Vermont and my 2001 has seen every winter since it left the lot. I had a 1996 previously and loved it so much I bought this one. This truck has nickel/dimed me to death. I have done thousands of dollars in repairs over the last few years.
    If I were in the market for another truck, Toyota would no longer be a slam-dunk. I would certainly consider another Tacoma but I'd shop around. I had a Mazda with 200,000 miles before my 1996 Tacoma. My first pickup was a Datsun (nissan) the original little truck and I put 160,000 miles on that. All I'm saying is, the rock-solid reputation has taken a beating with this truck, even ignoring the frame problem.
    I think the buy-back is less profitable for Toyota because the customer can take their money anywhere they want and they don't all buy another Toyota.
    This repair thing does a couple of things including, keeping the Toyota factories running, keeping dealerships strong and keeping Toyota lots full of cars. Drive by most car dealerships and their inventory is shrinking, but the Toyota lots are full. Their dealers can keep their good mechanics busy rather than lay them off and when/if the recession turns around Toyota delerships will be strong and ready to sell cars.
    As for the frame replacement complaints, I can only ask what level of support you whiners think you would be getting from any other car company. If there were a formal recall, you would be getting exactly this, a frame replacement, or maybe a welded patch.
    As for the note that having cab mounts replaced would void the frame warranty, not so. I did my cab mounts about a year ago, at a cost of about $500.
    I have replaced many leaf springs as well. The dealership I took my truck to was very supportive. They did recommend an additional; $4950 worth of work that I "should do" while they were in there. (I did abot $390 worth).
    The Service Manager told me that Toyota owes him $13,000 for the work on my truck and the rental car. Instead of giving that money to me and hoping I'd reinvest in another Toyota, they are keeping all of that money in the Toyota family.
  • Hello
    New to this forum. Just bought a 2002 tacoma excab. Saw this discussion and called dealer to see if mine needed to be inspected? Was told that inspection did not apply to my model year. Does anyone have any info or web sites that would have any "official" info?

    Thanks in advance
  • mags6mags6 Posts: 13
    Hi, if you go to message #736 it will give some helpful info. Toyota trucks from 2001 to 2004 are covered in this ("recall"??) customer support program.
    This particular posting refers to Canadian Toyota owners but the program started in the US. I am positive your 2002 will be included. You will have to have it inspected by a particular date. On this message I believe it is before October, 2010. PS. don't give in and don't take NO for an answer. Good Luck.
  • lcccljlccclj Posts: 2
    I have been reading the post or atleast as much as I can and I was wondering if anybody knew for sure are they buying back still or are they doing frame replace now only. Took my daughters 96 toyota in for inspection on mon. and the dealer told me they don't replace frames anymore, was told toyota will contact in 2-3 days but haven't heard from them yet.
  • mcalauttmcalautt Posts: 67
    no your truck is definitely involved..
    make them inspect it or even better,
    try to return it if you can.
  • lcccljlccclj Posts: 2
    Thanks the truck failed inspection while underneath checking it out I noticed it is going to be quite a job to replace the frame because of everything that is rusted, 224,000 miles on the truck, It will be cheaper for them to buy me out.
  • Just had my 2002 diagnosed with frame rot. It is definitely covered.
  • It looks like there isn't an option but to except the replacement. I would like to really fight this.

    Toyota and "Kevin" refuse to acknowledge the loss in resale value with the replacement. Their position is that the vehicle is worth more with the replacement than without the frame rot issue, because the older vehicle will now have a new frame. Would anyone buy, regardless of the total miles on the vehicle, a used vehicle with a frame replacement?

    Shouldn't we have a right to know how much experience any specific dealership has replacing these frames? Kevin couldn't give me that information. Of course, he must know or have access to that information if he is in "direct contact" with the service manager.

    I paid a premium for a vehicle from a manufacturer with reputation for building high quality, durable vehicles with a higher than average resale value. I have just had that premium stolen, I have lost that resale value. Maybe we can all be apart of a settlement someday.

    It's really to bad, they built up such a great reputation. I have seen this in other industries. They begin to rely on the reputation and forget what it took to earn that reputation. I don't want to buy a vehicle from a company that will stand by their warranty and repair, I want to buy a vehicle from a company that doesn't need the warranty. That is what I thought I paid for.

    If you have had the frame replacement done, how did the replacement go? Are you satisfied with the work? What would you do differently or ask if you had to do it again?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 823
    Would anyone buy, regardless of the total miles on the vehicle, a used vehicle with a frame replacement?

    Since the vehicle wasn't in an accident, Carfax won't show anything about the frame being replaced. After a month or so of driving, I doubt anyone would be able to tell the truck has a new frame or not. Other then the frame looking in good condition, once it gets a little dirty, it won't look any different then other truck frames.

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