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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.

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


Ron (not verified)    September 25, 2014 - 10:40AM

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 ?


Mark (not verified)    September 30, 2014 - 2:58PM

In reply to by Ron (not verified)

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.

Byron B. (not verified)    February 25, 2017 - 2:42PM

In reply to by jeffhilbert (not verified)

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.

Joe White (not verified)    January 7, 2021 - 6:18PM

In reply to by jeffhilbert (not verified)

So I was informed about the recall . I have a 2002 tundra .. for the heck of it I called to ask about the recall . I was told I qualify for the recall . Shocked as I was I made the appt.. fast forward to present day the dealership calls me tell me they have my truck apart and need to pay 2400 before they put it back together.. has anyone else had this happen?

Jim (not verified)    January 10, 2017 - 7:03PM

In reply to by Mark (not verified)

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

John (not verified)    February 12, 2015 - 11:23AM

In reply to by Ron (not verified)

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.

NHSeacoast (not verified)    March 1, 2015 - 3:06PM

In reply to by John (not verified)

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.

Shawn (not verified)    February 15, 2016 - 8:39PM

In reply to by NHSeacoast (not verified)

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?

Joe (not verified)    February 17, 2016 - 8:41PM

In reply to by Shawn (not verified)

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.

Brian (not verified)    March 7, 2016 - 8:02PM

In reply to by kenneth cochran (not verified)

Got the word 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.

Phil Rizzo (not verified)    March 4, 2016 - 1:27PM

In reply to by Joe (not verified)

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.
Phil Rizzo

Gracie Gercone (not verified)    January 11, 2017 - 8:40PM

In reply to by Phil Rizzo (not verified)

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

Rob Miller (not verified)    January 26, 2017 - 9:41AM

In reply to by Gracie Gercone (not verified)

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!

Jim (not verified)    May 25, 2018 - 10:13PM

In reply to by Rob Miller (not verified)

I have a 2004 Tacoma and my dealer replaced the frame and many other parts. $13500. Cost me nothing. There was a recall on the 2004’s around 2008-09? They treated the frame with some rustproofing and guaranteed it for 15 years. I had that done and they kept their promise when the frame rott d out.

Byron B. (not verified)    February 25, 2017 - 2:49PM

In reply to by Joe (not verified)


Pete Z (not verified)    February 22, 2018 - 9:30AM

In reply to by NHSeacoast (not verified)

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.

anthony crowe (not verified)    January 24, 2020 - 11:34AM

In reply to by Pete Z (not verified)

I was told by a friend that toyota won't be replacing frames after August of 2020 don't know if that's true or not I thought it was a 12 year deal for replacing frames.

Tom Hunter (not verified)    January 1, 2021 - 2:55PM

In reply to by anthony crowe (not verified)

I have 09 DCSB TRD SPORT, I check frame once a year to knock off corrosion and reapply rust treatment, this year 12/07/2020 I actually knocked a hole through the frame at the transfer case crossmember, stopped working and took straight to Deluca Toyota where its currently waiting on a new frame, so yes they are still doing frame replacements, my recall paperwork states it expires something like 12 years from live date, for me, thats 6/2021.

Pete Z (not verified)    February 22, 2018 - 9:36AM

In reply to by NHSeacoast (not verified)

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.

Mike (not verified)    February 22, 2018 - 10:26AM

In reply to by Pete Z (not verified)

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.

Lusa (not verified)    October 15, 2020 - 10:56PM

In reply to by Mike (not verified)

Same here. They are saying j ran out of time and they will not fix the frame. I have a hole on a cross member. Loved Toyota to this point. Disgusted with the situation. When I bought it they used anti corrosion spray. Fat lot of good that did.

anthony crowe (not verified)    January 24, 2020 - 11:29AM

In reply to by Pete Z (not verified)

I was just told today that after August of 2020 frames will no longer be replaced I don't know if that's true or not but I own a 08 tacoma purchased in 2014 only 86000 miles just paid off the note It's in great condition except for the bad rust on the frame colonail Toyota's said it's fine but it's fine now how about 2 years from now, so if they are not going to replace the frame I guess have to by a new truck if that's the case I don't think I'll be buying another tacoma.

Kevin (not verified)    March 20, 2015 - 4:17PM

In reply to by Ron (not verified)

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!