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2005-2011 Toyota Tacoma Leaf Spring Recall - Five Key Facts to Know

Here are the details of this important Toyota Tacoma and Pre-Runer recall still under way including when you can expect help.

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On September 29, 2014, Toyota filed a Defect Information Report with NHTSA regarding a safety recall of the 2005-2011 Toyota Pre-Runner and Tacoma compact pickups with defective leaf springs. This is a big recall, covering about 711,000 trucks. An initial letter was sent to owners informing them of the issue. Due to a lack of parts, the recall has dragged on now for 18 months. The good news is parts are becoming available, and most owners will soon have the opportunity to have their vehicle refitted with the new springs that are the fix. Owners should receive a second letter telling them to come in for repairs by mid-May 2016 at the latest.

Toyota Tacoma Leaf Spring Recall – What Is It
The rear suspension of the Pre-Runner and Tacoma use leaf springs constructed of either three or four leafs (flat metal bars made from spring steel). Due to a defect in manufacturing, a fracture of one or more springs could occur. If this happens, the broken leaf could move out of position and contact surrounding components, including the fuel tank. Sticking a leaf spring through your gas tank is always a bad thing and thus, the recall to replace the springs with ones that will not break.

Tacoma Leaf Spring Recall – What is the fix?
The fix is relatively straightforward. Toyota’s dealer technicians will inspect the rear suspension and surrounding components. Some trucks will "pass" and not need more work. Many will require a repair, and the technician will replace the leaf springs. Also, if the springs have broken and done damage to any surrounding components, those parts will also be replaced. As always, there will be no charge to owners. Note that some of these same trucks are covered by the frame rust issue. Please see more on that important Tacoma recall-related topic here. Some vehicles may be serviced by the dealer for that issue and receive new springs during that work order. Thus, if your truck has had its frame replaced you may be all set.

When will my dealer fix my truck!
Toyota has a roll-out underway. The entire Eastern U.S. is already covered, and parts are ready for customers there. The roll-out continues through mid-May, and the West Coast is going last. If you are in the West, call your dealer if you have received the first notice. They may be ready to schedule you now.

How do I know if my truck is covered?
Simply click this link and enter your VIN if you are not sure. Or just phone your local Toyota dealer service department with your VIN ready. They will tell you if your truck is included and when you can come in for repairs. Note that Toyota’s corporate HQ is authorizing a rental vehicle for owners if the work will require a wait. The repair normally takes about two hours, but the dealership may have a backlog to complete. Dealers will have details, but we can tell you that owners with broken leafs resulting in a dangerous situation can get a rental of up to two weeks if necessary.

I already paid to have my truck fixed, what now?
You kept that receipt, right? If so, contact Toyota. Mail a COPY of the receipt and a short letter explaining what as done and why to this address. In the letter call the issue “Recall E02.”
Toyota Motor Sales USA
Toyota Customer Experience WC10
19001 South Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90509

Toyota is reviewing customer letters on a case by case basis for reimbursement consideration. If you did not keep your receipt try calling the place that fixed your truck. Many can generate a copy of your receipt. Or consider using a cancelled check or credit card receipt.

Torque News would like to acknowledge the help of Geoffrey Beers and James Welch, who provided key facts in the creation of this story. Image taken courtesy of Pete Smith, the Tacoma owner in the frame recall story mentioned above.

Related Stories:
Why Toyota Tacoma owners should not fear the frame recall
Don't fear the Toyota Tacoma frame replacement – Six-month update

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Phyllis Cooper (not verified)    September 4, 2016 - 12:46AM

Hi, hello, I waited for several months before I went in to Grand Junction Toyota Dealership for a recall, because I knew everyone that got the recall would be flooding the dealership. So when I went in, the young man told me it would be 4 weeks & maybe only 3 weeks. I called after 4 weeks, and was told by a female service clerk that it was taking much longer because of the amount of people that needed the replacement. She acted like I was out of line by asking when the part would be in....hmmm? It has been much longer than I was told, hmmm?

Ray (not verified)    October 8, 2016 - 4:07PM

In reply to by Phyllis Cooper (not verified)

I bought my Tacoma in June 2016 and called my local Lakewood, CO dealership about two weeks after I bought it to schedule the recall work. Tthey said it would be about two to three months and asked if I wanted to put my name on the list. I was also skeptical about the whole thing and I called about a month later and they verified I was still on the list and said they would call when the parts came in. It did take awhile longer but they did call and it's getting the work done right now. The reason it has been taking so long is the production of the new parts. The parts have been on backorder. The manufacturing facilities haven't been able to keep up with the demand for parts. The bright side is that there are alot of American Jobs that are being supported by none other than Toyota. They have 5 vehicle manufacturing plants in the United States of America and all the parts are made in America. They probably really did expect it to only a few weeks and it has stretched out now for months. The person at the dealership service can only give us the info they are given. Stick with it, they'll get it done.

Jack (not verified)    September 26, 2016 - 2:54AM

2 years ago I went in with a broken leaf, they told me to wait as they were anticipating a recall. Told me I would be fine to drive the truck safely and they put 3 zip ties to keep the leafs from rubbing and or cutting into my brake wires or my fuel tank. I kept an eye on it as I thought it wasn't a legitimate fix. A month later my ABS light turned on and sure enough the cables got cut by the leaf. took my truck in and they told me I should have gotten it fixed the month earlier and made me pay for the total sum of damages and new leafs. Very unimpressed with Toyota.

Somebody (not verified)    March 7, 2017 - 3:13PM

There is a bit of incorrect information in this "article". The fact is, the "updated" springs are **NOT LESS PRONE TO BREAKING**.

The difference is this; the newer springs have more clips to keep the leaves aligned WHEN the leaves break.

The new springs have either 4 retention clips (2+1 leaves), or 6 clips (3+1 leaves). The clips are riveted onto the ends of the 2nd, 3rd, and overload leaves. The ones on the 2nd and third leaves WRAP AROUND the main leaf, the ones on the overload leaf present vertical posts along side the rest of the leaves.

Patrick (not verified)    March 30, 2017 - 3:27PM

I have a 2007 Tacoma PreRunner TRD Sport 2WD with a factory installed tow package. I received the recall notice and had the work done-leaf springs replaced. A few weeks later I hooked up my ultra light (<2600lb) camper. The truck sagged low, swayed more and handling was less than optimal. I've towed this camper for nearly two years with this same vehicle and never had these problems. I suspect they replaced the leaf springs with either standard (meaning for a vehicle without a factory tow package) or a substandard after market replacement spring set. Its been a hassle to get someone from Toyota to investigate. Any advice on here from someone with s similar situation?

eric johnson (not verified)    June 19, 2017 - 7:36PM

In reply to by Patrick (not verified)

Toyota dealership where I live, about an hour north of Fresno CA, states the same spring set replaces all models. Mine is a TRD sport package, not a base 2011 Tacoma. Indeed the replacement is as you describe, wishy-washy, sagging much quicker under load, will not handle the same weight as before + the dealership is not honest about it and Toyota states they encourage but do not enforce the dealership to be honest. Side winds and freeway drain lines make this truck very unstable with the new springs. Additionally when coming or at a full stop, the truck bumps as if the spring shackle loads up then releases at stop. It is not a stiff ungreased driveline spline issue for it happened right after the springs were replaced. I do not know if the mechanic damaged some part in the driveline or if it is due to these replacement leaf springs.

Toyota dealership states the frame is damage, not so it checked within one dime's thickness rail to rail, no defect now or thousands of miles in the past four years. I found replacement OEM listed springs are rated 300 lbs more for the sport package so I wonder how the dealership states/ installed a standard set on my vehicle and considers this, after three attempts at re-aligning the vehicle correct. From before and after driving experience with and without load these replacement springs do not have the same quality the original had, these are considerably less safe in driving experience. Toyota Torrance CA merely listed the issues/ concerns but similarly will not pay for another dealership to verify the issue. It is a safety hazard big time with unexpected side winds, I logged the complaint to our highway transportation safety people, no return on my complaint from them either. I suspect both the dealership and Toyota motors will wait till further suits and lives lost before they are forced to address the situation. I am about to try Heliwig, a firm who has been in business a decent amount of time to try to correct the situation. There has been absolutely no response from Toyota about the matter. I have tried two full sets of brand new Michelins about $200 ea via COSTCO, the second set higher speed rated so a bit stiffer sidewall, a bit higher quality, no difference in the spooky sudden drift under crosswinds and very little change in the grooving of the road/ parallel linear ruts response.

I have concluded that the dealership took a short-cut in installing the springs and may have damaged something in the driveline and/or the replacement springs they installed are underrated plus they did not have satisfactory alignment procedures/ calibrated equipment, the latter verified by another firm.

jack s (not verified)    April 25, 2017 - 10:26PM

Just got my 2011 Tacoma 2 whl dr PreRunner ( bought it new ) back from the Toyota dealer for the recall work.......... they replaced both my leaf springs completely and also my catalytic converter ..............I picked it up after hours and did not talk to anyone............... when I got home I looked underneath and the new springs didn't seem as heavy-duty as the originals ..................?................I will have to investigate this further ................

Richard Lundin (not verified)    August 2, 2017 - 10:36AM

In reply to by jack s (not verified)

I bought my truck with 22k miles on it and added an over load spring to each side to take care of the usual toyota sag. that solution has been working for 100K miles. Now they replaced the rear springs and it has a noticeable sag. The drivers side springs look like a re-curve bow. I am taking it back in next week. Very dissatisfied.

ierry jarrett (not verified)    June 18, 2017 - 12:47PM

I carried my 2007 tacoma in to River side Toyota in Rome ga.on 6/17/17 they replaced rear leaf springs. Now the front end is out of line they say it's not their fault. Truck has always driven fine until spring replacement.

Roger Martinez (not verified)    May 30, 2019 - 10:05AM

I have a 2007 tacoma x runner 4x4 in i want to know if im cover by this recall since my truck is out united state mi tacoma is en Nicaragua please let me know if i can go to any toyota dealer here I n nicaragua ???!

Chuck Williams (not verified)    September 1, 2019 - 7:01PM

I have a 1999 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 that has the same problem as the year models described here. I get the dreadful thump on stopping and starting and fear that my rear suspension will ultimately fail! This defect of putting weak springs on the Tacoma 4x4 trucks didn't just start with the 2016 year models. A manufacturing defect is a manufacturing defect, regardless of the year model of the vehicle. Failure of the rear suspension could be catastrophic, and deadly, if the vehicle happens to be traveling at a high rate of speed on the interstate, and suddenly fails from a bump in the road! Doesn't Toyota have any responsibility for the safety of the owners of these "defective" older year model trucks? A safety issue seems to be applicable to any defective vehicles, regardless of year of manufacture. I live in Tennessee and would like to know whom I should contact about getting some relief from this potentially unsafe and outright dangerous problem with my 1999 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 truck? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Frank Schiavo (not verified)    January 28, 2020 - 4:59PM

My 2011 tacoma first the clutch and I changed it myself and then the radio and I changed that now the rear springs and I was told mine is not covered The clutch was a defective pressure plate and they would not cover it This is my 4th and last toyota .

Duane Perry (not verified)    August 30, 2020 - 1:31PM

We have a 2005 Toyota Tacoma. We purchased the truck from a relative in 2017 who lives in Illinois. My wife and daughter flew there and drove the truck back to Montana. In 2015 the truck had the frame replaced and a bunch of other things with it. In 2018 we received a recall notice from Toyota that there was another recall but this time it was for rusted leaf springs that had a potential to corrode and crack from the rust. We took the truck in to the local Toyota dealer and according to the report #1 There was a suspension concern because of rust-inspect for rust. No perforation found on frame, surface or other components. #2 Perform complimentary multipoint inspection.
So from 2017 to August of 2020 my daughter has driven her truck to school, to work, and pulled a 2 horse horse trailer with only one horse. We looked up the information on the truck and with a v6 engine and factory tow package the max tow weight was 6500 lbs, which we were well under.
We purchased a new horse trailer for our daughter and she drove by herself about 200 miles to pickup the trailer. She began using the trailer to transport a single horse locally. My daughter had enrolled in College and was preparing to move and wanted to go to one more horse show in a town about 113 miles away. So my daughter and wife loaded up the horse in the new trailer and headed for the show. Ten minutes after they left I received a call from my daughter stating that the trailer had fallen off the trailer hitch. My first thought was it was a coupling issue and drove there right away because they were impeding traffic. When I arrived I saw the tow hitch had completely fallen off the frame. Upon inspection I could see it had totally rusted off. They were about three miles from a 55 mph zone. I rescued the trailer and hooked it up to my truck, my daughter had already removed the horse.
They cancelled the show and decided to stay home. My daughter posted a picture of the incident on her Facebook page because she knows people who have horses also. One of the comments she received was, "Thats what you get for trying to pull a horse trailer by the bumper of a little truck".
As this event began to hit home we remembered that just three days prior to the rusted tow package falling off, my daughter had driven 180 to rescue a horse with the same truck and trailer. I pulled the most recent inspection from the local Toyota dealer and went to their business. I asked them about the inspection and showed them a picture of the rusted out tow frame. They just looked at me as if I was stupid. I asked about the inspection they had performed and they said, " We only inspect the part in question and the customer would have to pay for anything that was not part of the frame". When I said the rear leaf spring hanger was just inches from the rusted tow frame, I was told that was not part of the inspection. When I told her It appears the factory tow package was reinstalled when the rusted out frame was replaced they said they only replace the frame and any additional parts that needed replaced would be at the owners expense. I said the tow package metal and the frame metal were made from the same inferior steel and bolted to the same truck. They said it didn't matter. I told them I was going to consult an attorney and they said go ahead.
We walked out in silence. This happened three weeks ago.
I removed the bumper and tow package and took some pictures. I'm in the process of taking legal action. I've seen better frames in junk yards that were 50 years old. Isn't it strange that they did a complimentary multipoint inspection, of what I don't know, but when it came to inspecting the rear leaf springs it seems the complimentary part stoped just six inches from the rusted out out tow frame. Ether they didn't do the inspection or they're just flat out lying.
The really sad part is I've never seen such blatant disregard for human life.
I wonder what a daughter and wife are worth theses days? The price of a bumper?

Matthew McDurfee (not verified)    April 1, 2023 - 1:56PM

I own a 2007 Tacoma, during the recall I contacted Desert Toyota of Tucson at least 6 times, with them stating your service rep will contact you back. Not one single time has this happened with zero returned calls. Finally I threatened them with going to court. I had a rep e-mail me back. After 3 emails, I went into my dealership. They told me to leave my info and I will be contacted back for a time to bring my Tacoma in. This never happened and to todays date they have yet to fix the leaf spring issue. Although Toyota is my favorite brand, I will never buy a new one again from a dealership.