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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My 2006 Tacoma is getting a new frame (approx. 54,000 miles). I asked the service manager what I should expect to pay or not pay when this is done. Other than unrelated issues that might come up, I won't be required to pay anything. They will replace the frame, brake lines, leaf springs, possibly the control arms and other misc. items. The service manager knows me and knows I'm anal about my truck so I don't really expect any surprise repairs. They were very upfront with me about how long it would take (about 3 months) to get all the parts. My rust isn't so bad that my truck had to be parked until repaired. They even took me in the back and showed me a Tundra that was getting a frame replaced. Who knows what will actually happen when the time comes, but I'm more at ease now. Any suggestions on what I should replace while my truck is torn apart?
Had my 05 Tacoma 4X4 at the dealership in Peoria, IL for other work last November (9 months ago). They said there was a recall for the frame, and they put me on a "waiting list" to get scheduled for the recall work. 9 months later, they took it today - gave me a Camry as a loaner - and after inspection notified me that it does indeed need a frame replacement. It has 100,600 miles on the odometer. Service advisor said they also found it needs new spark plugs (the dealership just replaced them 24,000 miles ago), a new cabin air filter (I just replaced it lmyself ess than 10,000 miles ago), and a new front drive boot. They said boot and axle could be replaced for just the cost of the parts when the frame comes in in about 3 - 4 months. I'm a little leery since they also wanted to do unrelated work that wasn't needed. So now, they want me to come take my truck back and give them the loaner until my frame arrives. I'll re-post when I learn more.
I have a 2004 Tacoma, I received the recall notice about the frame rusting and took the truck in, and they coated it. That was in 2010, it is now 2015, in 2014 I brought the truck in for the recall on the spare tire cable, they replaced that, I asked them to check the frame they said it is ok. I asked if they need to reapply the rustproofing and they said they did not get any instructions from Toyota to do that. The coating in and has been flaking off, it lasted a few years. Today I had an accident I rear ended a car and my front bumper really moved allot. I am waiting to get it into a shop and will have an independent mechanic inspect the frame. I am seeing a lot of rust on the frame it’s scaling, that likely affects the strength of the metal and since I only have four more year and Toyota has not requested another inspection of my frame, I feel it’s my responsibility to keep checking it. Has anyone had there frame treated and then asked to come back for an inspection? My truck only has 60k miles and I am on a slower progression I suspect. After today’s accident, it really made me think about my safety, that being rusting frames are weakening frames. I am fairly certain the mounting brackets on my bumper were rusted and gave way in the collision. My real concern is around stress point the leaf springs and engine mounts. I previously had a 1992 that had a frame rust out, it had a perforation at the engine cross support. It went from being worth about 3K in 2005 to worthless once I discovered it. If I find perforation after 2019 I once again lose all the value in the truck. It’s a shame the trucks are really great runners, but rusting frames are dangerous. I feel strongly that Toyota sprayed some frames to only slow the rusting and have no intention of following up, with that and that they are fully aware that the frames they sprayed will eventually rust threw, however likely after the extended warranty. I do live in the northeast and rust is a problem, however in these vehicles the frames are or have problems. I drive 4700 miles annually I work from home, I also keep it in a heated garage. I look at other vehicles of the same year and they do not have scaling on the frames, not like the Tacoma does.
I brought my 2006 Tacoma truck in for a recall on the frame. They gave me a midsize Chevy rental at no cost to me. I enjoyed the rental all summer, six months to be exact, racking up some miles and still haven't heard from the dealership. Finally, I decided it was time to get my truck fixed. They were shocked it took so long. I wasn't. In one day, my truck was dismantled and then they started with the charges. New springs, new shocks, rear drive shaft, U-bolt. I told I could not pay for that, just put the old ones on. The frame was in extremely bad condition, so that puts stress on all components attached to the frame. I will take it to my mechanic to see if they were able to put the old rusty springs and shocks back in place.
I own a 2006 Tacoma that is going to have the frame replaced. I was told it would be "descaled" then tested for holes. They didn't bother to scale it, they just found a small hole and that was enough. From what I have been reading online Toyota doesn't "Pay" for the replacement, the dealer is paid, 40 book hours to do the job. It used to be 60. Of course they can do it in under 12 hours with two people so there is profit to be made here. If they were to undercoat it there would be less profit margin. Dana, the frame manufacturer, has paid Toyota millions and if the dealer wants a piece of the pie they must prove your frame is perforated. a ten mil hole or more. In the beginning the frame undercoating and the replacements were rough and may not have gone well. Now there are employee's who do nothing but replacement and undercoating so I would have to guess they are getting better at it. It all seems to depend on your individual dealer if they expect you to pay anything or nothing at all. I can only hope that I have as good an experience as other people on this forum.
Great insight. This situation has become a sort of cottage industry. Please let us know how it goes and best of luck.
Great insight. This situation has become a sort of cottage industry. Please let us know how it goes and best of luck.
Got my truck back a week ago. Dropped it off on a Monday and got the call late Friday night. Toyota paid for a rental for the week. The first thing I checked out was the A/C... N/G so I am bringing it back on Saturday for a recharge. I did notice small things like the shift boot was not snapped in place, the grommet for the main wire coming out of the floor was not in place, as well as the two grommets for the emergency brake cables. Everything else seems OK so I guess I should count my blessings. no rattles or bumps, steering is strait. The lower control arms, rear leafs and spare tire holder were all changed. So Far so good......
Update. Update: One year and eight months later truck is doing well. I was just underneath my truck changing fluids and noticed a nut holding my leaf springs was missing. Heard a noise, thought it was a rusted/broken rod supporting my bed wall. I know this can happen to any vehicle, seen it before. just a good idea to monitor these things after a frame change. Have to say this experience went well for me. besides multiple trips to the dealer to get this done. (18 miles away).
What are the loaner options during the frame repair? We use our truck for a business and our luck they will loan us a we as owners even have an option? what if we rent a vehicle, will Toyota reimburse? thanks all.....
You have a $35.00 a day allowance for rental. It's not like you can use it for business though. You have to pay for any extra coverage you want on it for scratches & stuff. It was like $22. a day- ridiculous.
I got the recall notice on the frame and back springs at least a year and a half ago. the dealer has told me that they are still waiting for the frame to come in. I own a 2006 Tacoma that I bought new.
I also have a 06 need a frame swap.The dealership will not put my running boards back on, since the bolts are in the frame & rusted too much, my battery has died, for sitting for 5 months,they cant bleed the brakes, so I need to buy new calipers. They are telling me I need to pay over $500. to correct this stuff. How can a recall that is something they have done wrong, cost me money. This is not fair. Then the guy says we could have traded it in. We were only told we had to do a frame swap no other options were given to us...
To say the least, I have given up on Tacomas. My 1987 (not called Tacoma then) had a very rusty body, and was retired in 2001. Not bad. I then bought a used 1999 and Toyota paid me a more than fair amount when they called it off the road in 2008. Frame was rusted through in spots, as was rear differential housing. With the buyback, I got a great deal on a 2008, or so I thought. But I was told in May this year (2015) that the frame needs replacement, due to serious corrosion again. My truck sat all summer awaiting a frame which apparently had not yet been manufactured. I finally got my truck back in late October. On my first drive at highway speeds,the drive shaft loosened and the middle section came off the frame, hanging like a "V" rather than being secured and horizontal. Someone (yes a Toyota mechanic) did not tighten the bolts, and a corroded clamp for drive shaft was reattached yet again. No, I no longer feel comfortable with the company, and certainly not with the "certified" mechanics! The corporation should have done a buy back instead of paying for an estimated $10,000 repair.No buy back, and I won't BE BACK!
Got mine back after 8 months, short drive returned it, brakes on the floor to come to a stop, steering wheel shimming during braking, rear feels tight...all they say is we will check it out....I asked the service manger didn't they test drive it, he goes, they should have...
I had the same problems with my 2005 Tacoma after the frame replacement. The brakes went to the floor and the steering shaft was loose. Definite safety issues that they obviously didn't catch with a test drive! 5-months later noticed the 4WD didn't work. They found a damaged connector that "had nothing to do with the frame replacement", but they fixed it for me. The day I picked-up the truck I heard a gurgling noise coming from the cooling system. I know they had to drain the cooling system and figured that the air was totally removed from the system and that it would eventually stop. That did not happen and my check engine light began to intermittently light. Found out it was a misfire on the cylinder #4, a P304 error code. Replaced the plugs, a coil, and tried swapping the coil around but the problem stayed with the cyl. #4. Had diagnostics done at a Lexus dealership yesterday and found out the head gasket is leaking antifreeze into the cylinder. This was most likely caused by an air pocket in that area of the cylinder head that caused it to overheat there. The system was not properly burped along with all the other issues I had when I picked it up. Now I have to fight with Carlson Toyota of Minnesota again to pay for the costly, $3,000, repair caused by their lack of a proper test drive and diagnostics.This will probably be my first & last Toyota product that I buy.
Well, after 8 months with the truck in quarantine at the dealer 3/27/15 I got the call on Thursday the truck was finally repaired with a new frame... so, today 11/7/15 I dropped off the loaner and out I go with my 2006 Tacoma, right off the bat the steering while is shimming once I apply brakes, then during that the brakes are on the floor in order to bring it to a stop.... the rear feels tight like its not moving freely... took it right back, you think they would test drive after this replacement and since its been standing for 8 months rust may be a problem... service manager was like well it should have been road tested, we'll check it out next week... here's the loaner again.... terrible service....
just got a call that my tacoma will get it's new frame in early December. Took a little over 6 months to get the frame and misc. parts. The service manager told me they have 40 frames out back and the hold now is the other parts. A question for everyone.....since my truck will be taken apart, are there parts I should think about replacing. My truck is a 2006 and has about 54,000 miles on it. I'll respond back once the work is done.
I had my '05 inspected in May 2015. The dealer flagged the frame for replacement and said they would call me when the parts arrived. Five months later I get the call, drop off the truck, and drive away in a loaner Corolla. They offered to call me if they discovered any unrelated components needing replacement, e.g. shocks. The idea being I would save on labor since it was already dismantled. After seven working days the truck was ready, including new leaf springs and stabilizer bar. Everything was fine except the brakes were very way out of adjustment. I had to pump them to stop. That evening I adjusted them and all was well - until I got cut off on the interstate and tried a panic stop. Suddenly I was aimed at the jersey barriers because the left front wheel locked up while the other 3 just rolled. Scared the hell out of me. Long story short, the ABS sensors were plugged into the wrong controller ports. Now all is back to normal and it runs fine.
A couple of years ago I bought a used 2004 4x4 Tacoma short bed . It only had 89,000 miles on it It had been coated underneath and the top was perfect. A few years later the frame has all but rusted off. I call Toyota about the recall and they say I should have done something before 2011. I never knew and I never never recieved any recall notices . Toyota won't do anything and these trucks are unsafe.
Anyone who has an 06 or newer Tacoma that has had the frame replaced - can you share a follow up after the replacement? Short version of my story, lost my 2000 to the recall, but Toyota paid the 150% so fine. Loved that truck, tried an S10 & Silverado, back to wanting Tacoma. Purchased an '03 after being lied to about the frame condition. Mechanic showed me he could basically push the frame in by hand. Returned that and decided to only look at '06 and newer - didn't realize there had been yet another recall on frame (though I was concerned about the recalls for the leaf springs?). Now the '06 I was looking at I'm being told the frame was replaced. At this point I don't know if I believe that's a good thing. May be time to forego the dream of owning a Tacoma since it now seems to just be a nightmare.
Just got mine back after 8 months sitting at the dealers. 2006 and from what I can tell a lot of rust has hit brackets. Doesn't feel the same. In my view I most likely will trade it in down the road. Brakes had rust the dealer replace the front at no charge but I see issues in years to come.
Was going this weekend to purchase a 2007 Tacoma with 52000 miles from a private owner(original). He h ad the frame inspection and dealer said no worries and they undercoated it. I don't trust the Dealers after reading this stuff. Undercoating can hide alot. Went threw rust isues with my 2003 Silverado and wile the frame is solid, its rusty as hell with the factory coating comming off it just like discribed in articles in this forum. Wonder if same company makes both frames for the Silverado and Tundra. I will not be buying this Toyota this weekend, don't need another beautiful looking rust bucket! Thanks
I bought a 1998 Toyota Tacoma a couple months ago not knowing about the frame recall, my mechanic told me I had a huge hole in my frame on the right side by the rear leaf spring. Took my truck to the dealership to see if I could get a frame replacement and they said I’m out of luck by two years.. I guess saving all of my money throughout high school to buy a reliable truck didn’t work out.. Spent 9k on a beautiful truck that’s now worth nothing..
That's terrible. If there is any lesson here it is don't buy an 18-year old used vehicle without having a mechanic go over it closely first. Here in Mass. that vehicle should have failed its annual state inspection, hopefully preventing a sale like that from catching a buyer unaware.
The rear of my Toyota Tacoma 1998 56,600 miles truck dropped a few inches. An inspection found the right side of the frame had corroded completely through and was resting on the axle. There was no frame on the right side! In my words Toyota responded "We take great pride in providing a quality and safe vehicle. However, please go pound sand to resolve". Toyota is not to mentioned in my presence!
i have 2006 Tacoma with 235000 miles just brought it in for frame inspection on dec 14 2015 was told it failed,,they did not take my truck.after reading some of these post about people having to pay very skeptical about this now.feel we as owners should not have to pay anything for this replacement anything not usable or that breaks should be on Toyota.going to be asking a lot more question to my dealer.
My '06 Tacoma has a frame that's so rusted that the dealer here in Loveland, Colorado, told me it's unsafe to drive. They gave me a rental pickup which is nice, but they said I wouldn't get my Tacoma back for a bout 5 months! That's how long it takes to get the new frame and replace it. So my truck is sitting in the dealer's lot all winter. They also said that while they'll pay for the frame, I have to pay for any of the parts attached to the frame that they break because they're rusted on, and I should expect to pay $2000-$3000 for this! What a rip off! My truck frame is rusted because Toyota did a defective job of corrosion protection, which they won't admit to, and I have to pay a couple thousand dollars for parts they break! I will try to fight this and I have filed a complaint with the NHTSA, but when my truck is finished I'll have no choice but to pay the extortion money so I can get my truck back. I would like to join the class action lawsuit. I will not buy Toyota again. Thank you.
Let me start by saying if "0" stars were an option for rating this dealer, that still would not be low enough compared to the level of "professional service" I received. took my 2005 Tacoma in for a full frame (recall) replacement in august of 2015. A PERFECTLY GOOD RUNNING VEHICLE. sat impounded at their service lot for over 120 days before I received a call in December that it was ready to be picked up... the following day? was informed that a driveshaft U-joint needed replacing and other misc. small parts. agreed to repair them and pay for parts only. ($300 odd) Since I was informed less than 24hrs before I was due to pick up the vehicle I scrambled to negotiate a day to come handle the pick up. was told that coverage of the rental stopped "the day we finished" (mind you this was December 23rd! two day before Christmas as I had planned on taking a Christmas vacation and traveling to see family) leaving me absolutely NO TIME to get off work to return my rental I was issued for compensation. once I rushed from work to return the rental and go to the dealership I was told it was "ready to ride" What a load of crap. was then told then that 3 of my 4 wheel bearings were and I quote "completely destroyed" how does that happen I ask? well their response "probably rusted out while in the parking lot" That DOES NOT HAPPEN IN 120+ days. here's the kicker. I WAS NOT informed before hand. I was told this as my rental truck was pulling off the lot back to enterprise. leaving me trapped at the dealer. asked for a quote on the work. ($800 + labor and other misc. parts for a grand total of $1,170 for wheel bearing replacement???) I had previously replaced all 4 bearings @ 120,000 miles. my truck reads currently 136,450. there is NO WAY THEY COULD RUST OUT sitting in a parking lot. they were still NEW! I asked if we could test drive they said we don't do that here. You mean to tell me that a truck that was completely taken apart and put back together within 72 hrs. was not test driven for rubbing, vibrations, other issues??? was told that I had received a 1 yr. warranty on any parts or issued directly related to the recall repairs, I could schedule a service date and bring it back? will NOT BE GOING TO THIS DEALER FOR THOSE REPAIRS. I couldn't even test drive it at speed to verify if their were other issues because of the wheel bearings. Toyota has totally screwed my truck over. had to limp it home to avoid the ungodly $1,170 quote on wheel bearing replacements. I turned over a perfectly operating vehicle I knew was solid (minus the factory defected Mexico frame) and was returned a vehicle that was "ready to ride" that I could not exceed 15 MPH in. this is their stamp of approval of a job complete? family mechanic proved that they had been tampered with. will be putting the truck up for sale tomorrow. will never give Toyota anymore of my business or frustrations. I went with a dependable brand truck because I knew it would last. wouldn't have imagined that a dealership service department would try to sabotage my vehicle and take advantage of a situation that was apparently "my problem" almost forced me to do the ridiculous repair with the stealership. My words of advice. DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING TO THIS DEALER. Service manager was very impolite and was handled like total junk. again, AT ALL COSTS DO NOT take a vehicle to CHEROKEE COUNTY TOYOTA in Canon, GA for any service. Toyota certified maintenance technicians who shrug their shoulders knowing good and well that this was an "inside job" SCAM for more money was all this attempt was. will update with any other info. AGAIN. DO NOT USE THIS DEALER OR SERVICE DEPARTMENT. Waste of time, energy and overall loss of faith and confidence in Toyota or their so called Repairs. Save your money and vehicle and GO ELSEWHERE. This is what I get for working my tail off to afford a nice truck to last me a long time because of its long lasting "quality" loved the truck but this service pushed me over the line. Thanks for such a professional and timely job. oh, I cant get to work in the morning to make money to repair my half done truck. THANKS FOR ALL YOUVE DONE TO SQUEEZE MY MONEY OUT OF ME. I cant believe that this company has gotten away with this SCAM and not done a buy back. almost all these people that have spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on these vehicle outta be compensated for the lack of care, lack of respect, and lack of QUALITY of the individual dealerships, and the company as a whole. way to SCREW the consumer. thanks for nothing. Jake. 2005 Toyota Tacoma. Sitting in the driveway awaiting repairs and currently FOR SALE
I took my 2005 Tacoma to a local dealer on November 11, 2015 for a handful of recalls. I live in Ohio, which is one of the regions covered in the frame corrosion campaign. The minor recalls wefe successfully addressed and the dealer told me that the frame needed to be replaced, but it would be seven to twelve months wait for parts. The dealer said it was safe to drive while waiting on parts. Really? It seems odd the frame is bad enough to replace, but still good enough for normal road service. I was doing brake maintenance myself about a week before the dealer did the frame examination, and I noticed a crack starting in the frame just fore of where the tee in the rear wheel service brake hydraulic line is mounted to the frame. That is pretty scary looking! I asked to serivce check-in person to ask the mechanic to check the afea where I found the crack. After reading this blog, it gives me a lot of aprehension about the upcoming frame replacement. I am considering taking the truck to a certified mechanic a few days before the frame repair and getting complete assessment of tne condition of eveything. There shouldn't be any reason to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to pay for stuff the dealer breaks while doing the repair. If they have use 100 cans of PB Blaster to get the rusted parts lose, so be it. If I have a mechanic's report, that should give some amunition to use in arguing when/if the dealer claims some previously OK stuff needs replacing.