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.

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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John I am in same sotiation with same year truck. How did you make out? They just told me today.
I am the 2nd owner of a 2002 Taco (I bought in 2005) which I just found out has frame rust/rot. I can pass several fingers through several holes in the frame. My otherwise perfectly functional truck was just reduced to scrap/parts value. I called Toyota corporate and I was informed there was a "program" (not a recall) to compensate for these vehicles, but that program expired a couple years ago, and Toyota will take no further action. I received no notices of this "program". Please share similar experiences here.
I am not going to pay for any parts that might be damaged during the installation of a new frame for my 05 Tacoma because I think Toyota should pay ALL costs associated with the frame replacement - has anyone had any success getting Toyota to agree to cover all the costs ?
Bought an 02 Tacoma in 2010, if your very queit you can hear it rust!! What a fricken joke, called Toyota, they said they sent out s notice, never received anything!went to the previous owner, is it me, or should a recall on something like a frame that endangers public safety go out CERTIFIED MAIL!!! So every owner is accounted for! If Toyota has nothing signed by me I still qualify for whatever the adjustment maybe! Called my local dealer I still am eligible for a spare tire carrier repair! Only can't put a tire on because the frame can't hold the weight!! If I want the frame fixed on my 02 Tacoma it's only going to cost me $18,000! Sweet! What a deal where do I sign! There as well rehearsed as Toyota! I just wish I had gotten kissed first before I got ------!thanx Toyota for my POS!! This is the biggest paperweight I've ever owned! Can't even use it for a planter because it wont hold water!! Another satisfied customer!!
My 2003 tacoma has rust on the frame. I bought the vehicle used in 2011 it's been a great 4 years however I called toyota to ask about the recall and they said yours does have a recall on it but it had to be inspected before 2011 and yours hasn't so we will not cover it. I wasn't surprised. Just another loophole so they don't have to pay out money. And honestly they don't care much about there customers safety. I will drive this truck to the ground then buy a Chevy. I don't want to sound negative I'm actually a really positive person I'm just really disappointed in toyota. I put a lot of money into this truck for upgrades and here it may not even be safe to drive.
My 2007 tacoma pre-runner, was included in the leafspring recall. Two days after the recall was on the news. I noticed my leafsprings on the rear drivers side sticking out. I took the truck straight to the dealer. I was given a rental at no cost, my truck was undrivable. Three days later I picked it up. It still drove loose. The next day it started clicking when I put it in reverse. I had just replaced my drive. Shaft. So I knew the sound. I took it back to the drive shaft specialist the dealership recommended. After inspection he told me the damage was caused when the leaf spring broke. He told me take it back to the dealership. The u joints are all snapped from the angle of the driveline when the spring snapped. Toyota took four days to decide not to pay for my damages, because I had too many miles on my truck and it wasn't included. I was told the spring was so bad it was shoved up into my frame. The bearing was snapped and my transfer case cracked. The vibrations ruined my tranny. That's not all. I'm on my way to pick it up somehow. Because it's again undrivable. And the dealership calls telling me the bank took my truck... this was Nov 21st. I payed my payment on Nov 8th. I called the bank She tells me how sorry she is. and it's a mistake. It's been over month. No one returns my calls and I can't get any copies of repossession paperwork. Or anything else. Can't find a attorney that handles this kind of thing. I emailed toyota they told me to get a attorney pretty much. So I guess this is called brushing my truck under the rug?
I have a 2003 Tacoma that I purchased in 2008. In either 2009 or 2010, I received a notice that there were problems with the rustproofing so I took it into the dealer and had it sprayed. Back in September, my mechanic noticed that the rear wheel well was rusted through. I took it to the dealer. They immediately put me in a rental car and told me would be 6 to 8 weeks for the replacement of the frame. Now, almost 13 weeks later, I am still waiting for the frame to be done. I am told that some of the parts are in, but other parts are on order due to a shortage of "raw materials". They couldn't give me any idea when the parts might be ready. To say I'm frustrated is an understatement. They aren't charging me for the frame replacement, but I was also told that they may find "other things" once they get the truck apart. There were no problems when I brought it in, so I certainly don't plan to have anything fixed at the dealer's prices. This is the second time this is happened to me with a Tacoma. My 1996 Tacoma was "condemned" in 2008 due to a rusted frame. I love this truck but I doubt I would buy another one if they can't figure out how to properly rustproof a vehicle. Good luck to everybody out there with a rusted Tacoma!
While I'm happy I will be getting a new frame for my tacoma, I am not happy with Toyota due to the handling of this issue. I have received a corolla as a rental car which doesn't meet my needs day to day or safety wise. To start I live on a large hill with only steep inclines that led to my house. This becomes a big proble when it snow because most roads leading to my are emergency snow routes which require snow chains or tires by law to drive on the roads. This is the main reason I bought a 4x4. The roads that aren't snow routes are still impossible to drive up with a front wheel drive car again the reason that my truck was 4x4 and my last car was an awd Subaru. This wouldn't be a major issue except that the dealership has made it clear that I won't have my truck back until after the winter is over (3+ months from the point of impound) I have called Toyota several times to try and negotiate a solution to this issue and have been informed by the distric manager for Toyota that there is nothing they can do to fix my safety concerns because they will only pay $35 a day for a rental car. I am highly disappointed with toyota's stance on this matter. I am currently paying $400 a month for a truck that they have impounded due to safety issues cause by their poor manufactung quality and they don't even have the decency to provide me with a vehicle that will will allow me to go about my day to day functioning safely. im not asking for them to provide me with a rental that exceeds my current vehicle. I am only requesting a rental vehicle that provides me with the same function and safety features as my truck that they impounded.
I too have a Tacoma held hostage for the frame recall. I brought my 2006 Tacoma in for the frame recall on Nov 4th. I was told it would take 2-3 months. I went in last week to check on my truck and was told that the frame ordered back in November has not been received and the wiring harness needed for the job is back-ordered. They have absolutely no idea when the parts would be received and there are 2 trucks ahead of me. I have received a beautiful Camry to use in the meantime....but it is not a truck. I bought a truck because I need a truck. The camry will not haul my horse around and will not get me through 5 inches of snow on back roads. I want my truck back..but n the meantime, I want a truck to use until they can return my truck.I am supposed to be getting a call from Toyota about the situation this week but reading the previous threads...I feel like I will just be told a load of garbage. This is totally unacceptable. Has anyone investigated a lawsuit?
Good luck with your call to Toyota I talked with everyone up to the regional manager. They all said the same thing Toyota won't do anything other than give me a corolla. I've thought about a lawsuit but as soon as you take legal action against them they don't have to do the recal on your vehicle or give you a rental car. I will be going back to the dealership this week to get my truck that won't pass state inspection back. I figure having a truck that will get me home safe is better that than a car with a valid inspection sticker.
I too have a Tacoma held hostage for the frame recall. I brought my 2006 Tacoma in for the frame recall on Nov 4th. I was told it would take 2-3 months. I went in last week to check on my truck and was told that the frame ordered back in November has not been received and the wiring harness needed for the job is back-ordered. They have absolutely no idea when the parts would be received and there are 2 trucks ahead of me. I have received a beautiful Camry to use in the meantime....but it is not a truck. I bought a truck because I need a truck. The camry will not haul my horse around and will not get me through 5 inches of snow on back roads. I want my truck back..but n the meantime, I want a truck to use until they can return my truck.I am supposed to be getting a call from Toyota about the situation this week but reading the previous threads...I feel like I will just be told a load of garbage. This is totally unacceptable. Has anyone investigated a lawsuit?
My husband and I are in the same boat. The frame is rusted on our 2003 Tacoma and we were not contacted by Toyota about any recall. Sadly, all phones calls and emails to Toyota come back the same...Toyota is not willing to stand behind their mistake, which is putting bad frames on these trucks. I am in agreement with Carolyn, there should be a huge lawsuit. Funny part about all of this is that Toyota sued the company that made these frames and won. Now they will not help the people who have trucks with these frames. We are going to have to get rid of our truck because of the safety issues. The truck looks practically new, but the frame is horrible. I don't know why Toyota is being so stubborn about this, but I hope this comes back to bite them...and hard.
For me it's official... I have to now get rid of my Tacoma. I brought it in for a frame replacement, and have taken it back 3 times for issues. When they pull your car apart, they will put it back together, but, anything that happens after that is your problem. For me they caused havok when reconnecting my manifold, and a few other things. Now my once peppy little truck is driving like an 15 year old car with 500 thousand miles on it. I told them not to bother with all the repairs they wanted to do, I was just going to trade it in.... This is what the frame recall has done for me. I still think this is a scam to get people to spend service dollars, or get them to trade in their old car...
The dealer gave an estimated repair bill for $ 3100.00 for damage caused while installing a new frame -WHAT A JOKE - I said no way and refused the new frame. Since there's a small rust hole in the frame I can't sell or trade in without taking a big loss. Toyota will not buy back or offer a trade in value so I'll keep my 2005 Tacoma with 236 k miles and buy ANYTHING BUT A TOYOTA. I've written the National Transportation Dept and hope they will pursue a fair and equitable solution for everyone involved. Toyota has not solved the rust problem for over a decade although they are well aware of it - great customer service right ?? GOODBYE TOYOTA !!!!! I;m contacting my lawyer to see if there's a legal remedy.
My dealer took my 2007 Tacoma in for the frame recall. I was told it would be 5 MONTHS! As a loaner, I was given a Toyota Corolla 2014. I live in the Northeast, it's winter, I gave them a 4WD truck and they give me a 2WD cracker box. So, I'm grateful I have a loaner, BUT why did Pete's Frame only take 3-5 weeks but mine is going to take 5 MONTHS!
Good Luck...On November 4th they told me 2-3 months...Next week will be 4 months and the frame ordered in November has not been received...and they have no idea when it WILL be received...Love my truck, but never buying another Toyota after this....
Been waiting 7 months to have the frame replaced...still waiting...
The dealer only had my vehicle for a couple weeks... I decided to contact Toyota corporate, and I'm currently putting together some documentation regarding my vehicle frame replacement. In July I had a multi-point inspection where everything was listed as excellent, and in Oct when the truck went in for the frame, they wanted to perform 4000 dollars worth of changes. I declined these changes and the truck I got back is now having several issues, the dealership says the issues are because I declined the changes. IMO dealerships are using the frame replacement to perpetuate a scam. My truck only has 145000 miles on it.
I purchased my 2001 used exactly one week ago...from an independent lot. Took it to my mechanic for an alignment and have found that the frame has been welded under the right rear shackle and there are holes on the inside of the frame members. I called Toyota and spoke with a rep who told me they'd extend the warranty for me. I've got a case number and am waiting for a call from a case manager. Fingers crossed. I have to say though, that I don't want to put any more money into this thing...heck I still have to pay for it! Jeesh!
hey interested to see if you ever heard back and what they did for your 2001 tacoma. I have a 2002 in immaculate condition....except the frame. Please get back to me when you get a chance. Thanks
These comments have me concerned. Brought my 2005 Tacoma in today for recall inspecton. I'm told I have a corrosion hole in the frame and it needs to be replaced at no charge. They're ordering the frame, will take 2-3 months to arrive! Will take 4 days to replace the frame. They better not ask me for $3-4000!! Class Action Lawsuit Anyone?
The class action law suit is already in motion...Google Arkansas Toyota Frame Recall. The date I saw on the article was Oct 2014 timeframe...My guess is the lawsuit kicked Toyota in the ass to do something about these Frame issues. So a recall on the Frame is probably the pacifier before the Feds got involved...
I think I read that Toyota won that case...really sad.
What a nightmare. I was just about to pull the trigger on a 2001 Tacoma and after doing some research and re-inspected the vehicle...and noticing rust on the frame, cross-member. I just didn't have a " gut" feeling about the deal. Cost me my deposit. But, Lesson learned. Sorry for all your troubles. Toyota has a big problem and a bigger PR problem.
I took my Toyota in September 2014 for the frame recall. I was told that my frame had several holes from rust and a frame would be ordered. The frame was ordered and I was told I would hear from them in about 6 weeks. In Noverber my husband went to Toyota to check on the frame and was told that they had to order parts and the parts were not in. In December my husband went back to the dealership again to check on the frame and again was told the parts had not came in. I called Toyota the end of December to see if they had any idea when the parts would be in. The person I spoke told was unpleasant and told me to call back in January. At the end of January I called again to check on my frame and was told the parts have not arrived. I contacted Toyota headquarters the end of January and they assigned me a case number. On FEBUARY sixth I received a call from my caseworker and he assured me he would take care the problem. Well, today is March 3rd and I have not heard from Toyota or my caseworker since FEBUARY 6th. I have been a loyal Toyota customer for years. My husband and his family has been for two generations. We will NEVER buy another Toyota product.
I own a 2006 Tacoma live in Massachusetts I just had my frame replaced at sullivan brothers toyota in kingston ma Let me tell you how happy I am, New frame, leaf springs, transmission mount, brake lines, The service department aand techs that are involved with the frame recall are the best. My tacoma has 190k on it and its my baby. This truck looks brand new and thanks to the guys that worked on it rides awesome. They even gave me a brand new corolla to drive why the truck was getting repaired, I was nervous at first and even though about welding the hole myself. I am glad I took it in.
I also have a 2006 Tacoma. I was just informed that my frame needs to be replaced too. While they were looking it over, I was also given a new Corolla to drive. The frame I'm told needs to be ordered and will take 60-90 days, but it is ok to drive. I was assured that there will be no out of pocket for me. I hope this is true! My truck has 68K miles on it.
Does anyone know if there is a recall on a frame for a 2000 TUNDRA ? or did I miss it. I bought the truck used. My 1st Toyota truck. I was so proud. Then I took it in for a oil change. Surprise. Still looks like new on the out side, but soon to fall apart. If I get hit from the rear God help me.
Dropped off my 2005 Tacoma yesterday; it would not pass state inspection. Received a RAV4 as my rental, was told that Toyota will be suing frame manufacturer for part of the expense for this program
I have a 2006 Tacoma Sport with 105,000 miles, I was told that the frame is rusted and needs to be replaced. Toyota told me that they will only supply the frame and some bolts and I am responsible for any damage caused by taking the truck apart and put back together. I contacted Toyota and asked why they are not doing a buy back like the last time. The case manager said the problem is from outside conditions, when I pointed out that all manufacturers has the same outside conditions, she did not have an answer except that she lives in California and they do not have that problem, well good for you! I have contacted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and waiting for a response. What happened to Toyota Quality? Seems to be a joke