Toyota Tacoma Frame Recall
John Goreham's picture

Why Toyota Tacoma owners should not fear the frame recall

A Toyota Tacoma owner walks us through the experience and explains why he is still a loyal Toyota fan, and why his truck is now better than ever.
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My neighbor Pete has a 2007 Tacoma he has owned since new. Recently, he was alerted by mail that certain 2005 through 2008 Tacomas in his area (the Northeastern US) needed to be inspected for frame rust. This is not the typical rust that we all see when we look under our cars. Rather, the frames affected are defective and are in some cases rusting through and creating a dangerous situation. If the frames show signs of corrosion, but are still safe and solid, they are being treated with corrosion resistant compounds (CRCs) and returned to customers. Pete’s required a frame replacement. He walked me through the process and told me how he felt during and after the work. The story has a happy ending.

Wondering if the recalls have affected Tacoma’s resale value? Click here to find out.

Toyota Tacoma Frame Rust Recalls
Toyota has had more than one recall on Tacoma frames. In fact, Pete’s previous 2000 Tacoma was subject to a similar recall, but upon inspection was found to not require replacement. However, this time, his 2007 was inspected, and it was determined that indeed, he did need a frame replacement. Pete is very handy, and he knew this would be a serious bit of work. When he was told by the dealership it would take three to five weeks he was not surprised, but certainly not thrilled.

My pictures may not be art, but if you want to see a bonus gallery, click here!

Tacoma Frame Replacement – What’s Involved?
The work itself takes two mechanics two days to complete. However, once a defective frame is identified as needing replacement, it is then “quarantined” by the dealership. A frame is ordered and then the work commences. This is why it takes time. Owners are offered a $35 per day rental car. Pete’s local dealer set him up with a Ford Fiesta courtesy of Hertz. After a few days of driving the Fiesta, Pete couldn’t take it anymore and called the dealer. Pete did not mince words. He called that car a “piece of crap.” His service advisor told him Hertz would be happy to swap it. Indeed they did, and Pete then had a brand new Corolla for the remaining time his Tacoma was at the dealer. That car was fine, and he showed it off to me.
November 12th, 2016 UPDATE - Toyota has settled a class action suit related to this issue - Details here.

Toyota Does More Than Just Replace the Frame
The frame finally came in after about three weeks and Pete’s Tacoma was repaired. Repaired is really not the right word. Replacing a frame on a pickup means it has to come completely apart. Pete and I looked over the paperwork together (see the bonus photo gallery for a copy) that showed the parts list and much more than just the frame is replaced with new parts. The brake lines, exhaust connectors, rear leaf springs and many other parts were also replaced.

Conclusion
The refreshed Tacoma thrills Pete. He says his Toyota Tacoma “Handles like new. Check out our six-moth follow-up story here. The suspension is tight, perfectly aligned, and better than when it went in.“ No rattles, or other issues have cropped up. We looked under the truck together, and the frame is indeed new and it is obvious much more than just the frame was replaced. Other than the exhaust, it looks like a new truck.

Pete says he is not at all unhappy with the experience. In fact, with only 62,000 miles on this truck, Pete expects it might last another ten years. Every part replaced is guaranteed for a full year even though the truck itself is out of warranty.

Toyota has a very loyal truck following, and this defect is no joke, particularly since it has happened on two separate occasions. However, at least by this single account, Toyota’s handling of the situation is keeping customers happy and breathing new life into the trucks that are affected.

Related Stories About Toyota Tacoma
Toyota's secret plan for the Tacoma to match the new Chevy Colorado
Why a 2016 Tacoma Diesel makes more sense than a Tacoma Hybrid
2015 Tacoma TRD Pro Series offers affordable off-road excellence

Photo by John Goreham


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Comments

I dropped off my truck and they wanted me to sign something saying that it may cost me up to 2000 dollars to have the replacement done. I refused to sign it because they worded it with "required to put your truck back together". Are they all charging, or, is my local Toyota dealer finding inventive ways to make money ? Ron
My dealership just looked at my 05' Tacoma and said it would need a bunch of parts/ repairs to get it back together also. They said this would be an additional cost, and there could be more "once they had it apart". I'm calling the regional manager, I wasn't planning on putting any money into the truck, it runs great and I maintain it with a private mechanic. My feeling is this should be completely on Toyota if it is attached to or in any way associated with the frame of the vehicle. My truck has 162,000 miles, and I plan on driving it for as long as possible, depending on what happens.
Just informed my sons truck going be ready next week after sitting on the lot for 7 months they wanna charge him for new parts that were fine til the recall on frame
I own a 2007 Toyota Tacoma that started rusting 1 year after purchase. I contacted Toyota headquarters and they sent me a small piece of paper telling me a possible recall will be in the making and to leave the paper in the glove box of the truck. A few months after this experience the dash lit up telling me to get it to the dealership. They called me back after checking the truck and it would cost me $300.00 dollars to fix and it would come out of my pocket. I had to have a vehicle so I paid the monies and 3 months later they had a recall on this same part and told me to bring it in to the dealership to have it fixed or they would void my warranty. I did not get my monies back from the previous work that was identical as the recall. Boiling the water further in the hot pot is that we all who are experiencing this money taking company is band together and hire an attorney who is not afraid to push all these issues (especially rust) and make them take back these pieces of junk or fix (especially the rust) so we will be satisfied. Trust me I have spoken with hundreds of folk who are experiencing RUST,TRANSMISSION TRANSPLANTS, RUSTED CALLIPERS, BRAKE LINE BURSTING THROUGH DUE DO RUST....ETC..AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.
Mark, Read your 9/30/14 note. I'm in a pretty similar situation being told need frame replacement etc.( and have about 162000 miles). Curious how your situation unfolded. Ie. How much additional cost? Thank you Jim Frey
Ron , My dealer gave me a $ 3100.00 estimate for parts damaged during the frame replacement. Toyota has told me that the frame replacement is free however I'm liable for all damaged or broken parts that may occur during the replacement. I drove my 05 Tacoma out of the dealership and will handle the small rust hole in my frame with a frame shop . Apparently FREE REPLACEMENT isn't FREE at all - THIS IS THE LAST TOYOTA I EVER BUY. Good luck to you.
The frame on my 05 Tacoma was replaced in July of 2014. They said it was unsafe to drive and gave me a loaner while the parts came in. When all was said and done, over $8,000 worth of parts were replaced at no cost to me. They remove the bed and then detach the cab, engine and tranny from the frame and lift it all up. The engine or tranny never come out. One thing I took advantage of while it was all apart was to purchase a new suspension kit and have them install it to the new frame. This saved me money in the long run. So don't believe your dealer when they say there are out of pockets. If it has to be removed when the replace the frame and it brakes, they should replace it at no cost to you. If they tell you otherwise, write to Toyota and complain or find an honest dealer. I got new leaf springs, brake lines and many other parts for free. It's like a brad new truck now. I used Hurlbert Toyota in Epping NH.
I'm glad you had such a good result. Bayside Toyota and Toyota ( case manager ) both told me I was responsible for any breakage and that's why I'm waiting for a weld shop.
Hi I'm having issues as well. How long after you wrote a letter was action taken? I dropped my truck off for the frame recall & when I picked it up it was not drive able, they are telling me it need upwards of 3k worth of work. Was the service department rude to you at all?
The service department was rude to me. Basically called me a liar, over my steering column. I was upset, called Toyota corporate, told the dealer I call corporate, thinking it would help, all they did was hang up on me. My truck was in perfect running condition when I dropped it off, I came to the conclusion it will never be the same. Tires squeal when I make a turn even at the slowest speeds, every once and a while I hear a thunk. They really should be put in jail. I'm hoping somebody opens up some kind of a class action law suit. I have everything video taped. They ruined my truck, my perfectly running truck is now ruined, and I'm totally powerless.
Joe could you get back to me ASAP. My truck is going in this week for the frame replacement an i'd like to know where you had yours done at. Thank you.... Ken
Got the word today...my 05 Taco needs a new frame. Dealer paid for a new Ram rental until a Taco is available. Said 3-4 months??? This my 2nd time...had a 98 Tacoma with same deal except frame snapped. They gave me $12k so i was pleased. My 05 has 216k and i was hoping they would make a similar deal...1.5 kbb excellent value. They are not doing that this round.
Joe, I have reached out to you multiple times, regarding your situation (with no return calls). It is only fair to tell the full story, that the dealership replaced all your parts at $0.00 cost to you. You can contact me regarding any concerns. Sincerely, Phil Rizzo (570)-449-5827
Taking my truck ,2004 Tacoma, in for frame replacement, Q: what should I expect? So far I haven't talked to Toyota about any x tea cost, will there be any at all? Thanks Gracie
How did you get Toyota to agree to replacing a frame on a 2004 Tacoma? The local dealers and Toyota's website indicate only 2005 through 2008 are covered. Thank You!
I live in gatlinburg tn. 865-313 -0000
Sir my truck is rusted and the motor support is about to rust in to. My transmission had to be replaced due to rust. WHY THE HE'' DO WE KEEP ALLOWING THIS COMPANY TAKE OUR MONIES WHEN WE NEED TO RUN THEM BACK TO JAPAN. THIS IS AWFUL TO HEAR SOOOOOO! MANY FOLK HAVING TO TAKE MONIES FROM THEIR TABLE; CLOTHING; AND HOUSE PAYMENTS AND GIVE IT ALL TO THIS COMPANY. CHECK ALL STATES IN THE UNITED STATES AND YOU CAN HEAR SO MANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT RUST AND MONIES PAYING FOR LIES.
My 2009 Tacoma just had a frame replacement at Portsmouth Toyota in Portsmouth, NH and they replaced a full page of parts at no cost. Truck is like brand new. I am very pleased with the process (only 2 days) and the results. Negative reviews on this recall seem to be related to shady dealerships.
My 2009 Tacoma just had a frame replacement at Portsmouth Toyota in Portsmouth, NH and they replaced a full page of parts at no cost. Truck is like brand new. I am very pleased with the process (only 2 days) and the results. Negative reviews on this recall seem to be related to shady dealerships.
Great Pete. Most of us have not been so lucky. I received no notice of recall for my 2000 years back. When I found out they were totally unhelpful and I was out 1400 dollars to fix it on my own. With all the recalls since, Toyota has not improved quality of their frames. They just blow each owner off one by one. Would not buy another until they improve quality and customer relations.
I have an 05 that is on deck for a frame replacement. It is the TRD Sport 4 door. So, now reading these posts, the dealer does not take the truck and give it back at no charge? I understand on older trucks things may not be perfect but now as the owner I am responsible for them breaking everything to get to their error, the bad frame? Please enlighten me. I don't want to get taken for a ride! Thanks!
My Tacoma frame was replaced at NO COST just last week
I don't believe you. I think you are a dealer plant. If it is true, what was replace, the full frame ? some details might lend credence to your claim.
I had my 07 frame replaced. Absolute nightmare. Alignment was bad, plastics were not put on correctly. Radiator was not put on properly. I had no problem with the steering column when i dropped it off, when I got it back it was shot. They said thats how it was when i dropped it off!! absolute lie by the dealer. A month after i had it front left bearing took a dump. I had to pay for that. Front plastic bumper was not put on properly. I took pictures and video of everything. I really could not believe the terrible job the dealer did. Of course they tried to sell me a new one with a trade in. They pretty much called me a liar with the steering column. My front tires are shot from the bad alignment. Cables under truck were not fastened. Fog light was broke, front wheel well was not fastened. Not to mention some kind of oil leak. they did fix that though. But it did leak all over my new drive way. The interior plastics were done terrible. I ended up taking it to a local mechanic to fix alignment, and bearing. They were also amazed at Aubrey Alexander. I contacted Toyota corporate, which seemed to piss off the dealer. I still can't believe the absolute bad job they did.
I was wondering what the issue is with the steering? I have issues with my 05 tacoma when I don't drive it for more than 2 weeks.
the steering knuckle is rusted. should replace it.
What town do.you live in that would do that?
Thanks for your comment Mark. I have an update for my truck.... A few days after taking it in, they called me with a laundry list of things that "need" to get fixed. Some of the things didn't sound right, like a leaky water pump (287 dollars)... so I argued that it wasn't leaking when I brought the truck in.... I checked my levels all the time, and never left spots (my GF just had her driveway done, etc) I stopped the guy right there, and proceeded to tell them that I decline any "repairs" because my vehicle had been inspected a month prior... and they didn't find anything. I have that "got me over the barrel" feeling because they have my vehicle in pieces and they used repair categories like "immediately needs to get done", "should get done".... etc. But I told them many times, "what I left you with was a excellent running vehicle, with no issues, and that's what I expect back". This to me is starting to feel like a scam. I also documented a couple things, like some video of me driving the truck on my way to drop it off... smartphones are great for things like this... We'll see what happens when I get it back... Ron
My 03 tacoma has very bad frame rot, took it in for spare tire bracket recall they could not work on it at the dealership. was told to wait for recall coming. I waited 4 months called the dealership and asked about if my truck had fell into the recall, it did not. Now i have a beautiful body, 110,000mi on the engine and will not pass inspection this month. I will never give toyota business again!
We also have an 03 Tacoma that we brought in 2 times to check to see if we "qualified" for the recall. Both times the dealership said "not quite". On the 3rd time we brought the truck in the dealership said the frame was definitely declining in condition but not quite there for a full replacement. Their solution was to take it in for an undercoating. The procedure they told us would occur was that they would scrape off any rust on the frame and spray an undercoating on the frame to help prevent any further rusting from occurring. Not even two years later the truck is un-drivable and Toyota has washed their hands of it as the recall is not over. Now we too have a perfectly good running truck that is unusable! Toyota has LOST a family of previously loyal customers. We are in upstate New York.

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