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Bought '04 Tacoma in Michigan -- too late for frame rust repair?

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Old 04-06-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
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Bought '04 Tacoma in Michigan -- too late for frame rust repair?

Hey guys, new member here.

I am a car enthusiast and remember back in '08 when the rust repairs were announced by Toyota. Fast forward 4 years and I just bought an 2004 SR5 4x2 Tacoma extended cab with the 2.4 liter and the 5 speed transmission. 62k miles and I got it for $5k out the door of the non-Toyota dealership here in Michigan (it has been a Michigan truck it's entire life). I figured I got a good deal. Prior to purchase I saw the frame has lots of surface rust -- like the entire frame is covered in surface rust and/or rust scaling. I googled the rust repair and saw that there was a deadline of 12/31/2012 to have the rust inspected. I also poked around the frame with my hands and didn't feel any soft spots. I still don't.

I thought I was good to go, bought the truck, and then called Toyota to see if it could be inspected. I think I spoke to a female representative whose name I have seen mentioned on this site. She was less than friendly and told me that since it was past 03/31/2011 they would not inspect the vehicle or perform any repairs. I asked about the 12/31/2012 date and she said that was only for New York state.

The truck is in great mechanical condition and drives very well and I realize the decision to buy the truck is on me without doing more thorough research on the VIN, state I live in, and if the rust repair would be covered. That being said, do you think Toyota would make an exception? My next steps were to call my 2 local dealers to see if they could at least apply the rust inhibiting compound. What would you do?

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Old 04-06-2012, 07:45 AM   #2
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Take it to the dealership, see what they have to say!
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #3
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WTF why would you buy this with out determining if the frame was covered under warranty.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Thanks JDaniel. I will contact them next week.

twfsa -- because I thought it went until 12/31/2012, I thought it was a great deal (and since/if the frame isn't shot it still is), and because the 4x4 truck I traded in blew up it's front differential in the parking lot of the dealer (1.5 hours away) as I was trading it in.

Yeah, hindsight is 20/20.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
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Pretty sure you're out of luck. Inspections had to be completed already, except for NY. So a search for more info, but I've read extensively on this issue and have yet to see an exception made. The rust inhibitor might help a little, but the issue is rust coming from the inside out. The outside rust is the lesser important issue. Call the Toyota service line to make sure though.
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Old 04-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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Thanks for the direction, guys. I will contact the dealerships today.

mclovin -- thanks for the link. Good info.
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:23 PM   #9
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Good news. Spoke to one of the 2 local Toyota dealers. He said they are still doing frame replacements and to just schedule an appointment to get it looked at. He also said that it takes about 2 to 3 weeks to get frames and 1 week to do the job. I am going to try and get down there this week. Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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Let us know how this works out for you.

My understanding is that they are still doing frame replacements on 2001-2004 model year Tacomas IF the truck had been inspected and the frame coated (spray on coating) before the drop dead date. You are outside that date and if the frame was not undercoated then Toyota would not do anything.

However, I could be wrong and am curious to see how they handle your case because you are a great example of the problem people will encounter who buy a truck from someone who did not have the truck inspected or undercoated.

In my case, my 2004 Tacoma was undercoated and is now under warranty on the frame until 2019. If it fails before then, Toyota will either replace the frame (what they are doing now) or buy it back at their discretion (Toyota has not done this for the 2001-2004 models at this time).
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:08 PM   #11
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Well, contacted the 2nd dealership and they won't inspect or do the frame replacement. Interesting. I think I will try to hit up the 1st dealership as soon as I can so I can see where this leads.

pt law -- I agree that this is an interesting test case. I will keep you all posted.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:13 PM   #12
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I thought you also had to have owned the vehicle for some period of time. Don't quote me!
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:14 PM   #13
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That kind of rust on a 7 year old vehicle is friggen insane. And setting everybody's deadline to the same date makes no sense. Toyota should set the deadline at 10 years from date of vehicle manufacture at a minimum. They got a huge settlement with Dana. They owe their customers better than this. Glad to hear the local dealer is willing to step up, OP.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:19 PM   #14
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TacoDaTugBoat -- I received the title 3 days after I bought the truck. Couldn't believe it when I saw it.

MountainEarth -- I agree, although up here everything rusts. The springs on my 2007 minivan look almost as bad. Not the frame, mind you, but some of the cheaper steel.

If I do get the frame replaced I would be interested to see what they can keep from the under the car. Everything is crusty and I wouldn't be surprised if they broke a lot of pieces and bolts trying to get it all disassembled.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:41 PM   #15
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:43 PM   #16
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That's about how bad mine was...maybe a little worse. I spent days and days with a needle scaler and grinding wheel getting the metal somewhat clean, hitting it with POR15 and bedliner spray over that. Haven't had any rust peek through since...and its been about 11 months.

Its my beater truck, so didn't care when I bought it. For a daily driver, I would have been more conscious of rust...though I wouldn't be spending $4k on a daily driver.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoDaTugBoat View Post
I thought you also had to have owned the vehicle for some period of time. Don't quote me!
Something makes me think that too. And it was to avoid people going around buying trucks with bad frames and getting good money for them.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:40 AM   #18
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Good luck! Interested to see how this turns out!
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:42 AM   #19
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Thanks wesrunner. Appointment is scheduled for tomorrow night. I will let you all know what they find.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:01 AM   #20
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I just purchased an 2006 TRD from the Keys, FL and it got some surface rust on the frame. Is this uner warranty? Is there anything I can do now?
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