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.