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My 01 Tacoma Failed Inspection

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Old 02-20-2009, 08:49 PM   #1
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My 01 Tacoma Failed Inspection

My 01 Tacoma has a rotted frame. It failed the "hammer test." If you don't know what that is, when the hammer hits the frame and it goes through, the frame fails. Not a spot of rust anywhere else on the truck. It sounds like they are going to be offering Frame Replacement? Has anyone else with 01-04 Tacomas with bad frames been given any other options? I don't expect 150% buyback like some of the lucky 95-00 owners did, but I don't want a truck taken apart and put back together. I can only image the problems that could create. Is Toyota offering any other options for 01-04 Tacoma owners with bad frames?
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to TW. Sorry to hear about your Tacoma. To the best of my knowledge, frame replacement is the only option for 01 and up models.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:21 AM   #3
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There's little official info so far on the 2001 - 2004 program. What little info is out there indicates frame replacement is the only option as the program gets underway.

It is clear (as of this time) that Toyota is not planning to offer a buyback option like they did with the 1995.5 - 2000 campaign that started in March 2008.

Some 2001 - 2004 customers *did* get offered buybacks last year. However, these were 'special cases' where Toyota attempted to accommodate post-2000 owners during the 1995.5 - 2000 campaign. The 2001 - 2004 campaign was first announced in December 2008, and reports indicate it's still ramping up ...
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:21 PM   #4
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Welcome to TW! My 01 failed the frame test on December 19th. My service manager called me up last night to make sure that I have not sold my truck since we have last talked.
He was placing the order fore my frame & he expects it to arrive in two weeks. He said that Toyota ships the replacement kit in two sections. The first section is you leaf springs, parking brake cable control arms. To be honest I forgot what else he mention because I was kinda shocked that this was actually happening.
I would have preferred to been in the buy back program, but I'm grateful that Toyota is giving me a new frame. I just hope my Tacoma continues to be a problem free truck.
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:31 AM   #5
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I have an '01, should I go get mine checked? Did Toyota contact you to get it looked at or is this only applicable in certain regions of the country where they use salt on the roads? I'm in Kansas. I've crawled around under my truck a few times and have never seen anything that looks bad.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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I crawled around under mine & noticed my frame had rust damage on the left side.
I contacted the Toyota dealer nearest me (7 miles) & the service advisor said Toyota must contact the owner first before you are permitted to have your truck inspected . I then contacted my Toyota dealer that I purchased my truck from (32 miles away) & they said that they were now inspecting 01-04 Tacoma's for frame damage. After they failed my truck, the service adviser then asked for my official Toyota paperwork & then had a tizzy when I told him that I never had any. After waiting for two weeks with no updates , I started dealing directing with the Service Manager about getting my truck fixed.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:38 AM   #7
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There is a sticky on this with more information than you could ever want.

Yes, everyone w/ a 1995 - 2004 should get their truck checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnolaGaia View Post
There's little official info so far on the 2001 - 2004 program. What little info is out there indicates frame replacement is the only option as the program gets underway.

It is clear (as of this time) that Toyota is not planning to offer a buyback option like they did with the 1995.5 - 2000 campaign that started in March 2008.

Some 2001 - 2004 customers *did* get offered buybacks last year. However, these were 'special cases' where Toyota attempted to accommodate post-2000 owners during the 1995.5 - 2000 campaign. The 2001 - 2004 campaign was first announced in December 2008, and reports indicate it's still ramping up ...
This is not what I was told. They looked at my truck several times before deciding to replace the frame. They were considering buying it back at 150% depending on how much they estimated the replacement work to cost.
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:21 PM   #8
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All 01-04 Tacoma's Should Be Inspected

Yes, if you have an 01-04 I would suggest you get it inspected. I noticed how bad it was getting so I just called the dealership, made an appointment.

I had to INSIST that I bring it in and that it needs inspected.

You may not find the rust unless you crawl underneath the truck. The worst of my frame rot is in the inside, so its hidden well. I didn't realize it was so bad. I have a 6 inch long rust hole. Had I known it last year, I would have taken it in with the rest of the 95-00 and maybe I would have been one of the lucky 01 owners getting 150%

Also it went fast. Two years ago there wasn't a spot of rust anywhere. Last spring I took a scraper and the outside of the frame just pealed off. I powerwashed it good during a warm up a few weeks ago, and I had to sweep up the rust that fell off the frame. That's when I got underneath the truck and made the appointment.

Like you might hear, it rots from the inside. Something else you can do is find one of the factory holes in the frame, reach in there with your finger or screwdriver and you can feel how rotted the frames are.

As I said earlier, there isn't a spot of rust on my Tacoma except for the frame.
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:38 PM   #10
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A friend of mine with an 01 Access Cab and rotted frame did get the 150% buyback late last year, and just got contacted by Toyota on a 'follow up' issue, and Toyota ended up giving him more cash as part of the final settlement....this is after the initial settlement, and his purchase of a 2009 Tacoma last November....

I would say that each case is being treated differently, and i can attest to the fact that my local Toyota dealer has several 'satellite' lots that are filled with nothing but Tacoma's with rusted frames...

I had a 97 previously, had 100k on it with no frame issues after 7 years of Northeast winters, and i just traded in a 2004 with 65k on it, but i have to admit, a small part of my justification for trading in the 2004 was to get away from any possible frame problems in the future....

Who knows, maybe my 2009 will have frame problems 7 years from now!

Good luck with your situation, i hope you get satisfaction....
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:34 PM   #11
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Hey, I have a 2003 2WD 2.4l Reg Cab with 105500 Mi.
Just got back from the local Dealer. I went in for an oil change.
I was told, not asked, that they were going to do the frame inspection.
I asked a few details, mostly asking what he does and whether the hammer does any damage to good frames, and what happens if I fail. He said not to worry.
Then he told me that they had 3 guys trained and dedicated to the frame replacement.

The other questions I asked was whether the inspection was a 1 time thing and if I passed, what would happen 2 years from now if the frame started rotting. I got some interesting answers.

It is a one time inspection, It is now done and documented, and I passed.
There will not be a subsequent inspection done as far as he knew, ever.

Apparently, Toyota is working out details on calling in Taco Owners which passed the frame inspection, for undercoating. The writer was not sure of details, but he said that was the current plan and may change as it is finalized.

The dealer billed Toyota for approx. $53 for doing the inspection for my truck.
Now I am glad that I used a coupon for the Oil Change, they did OK.

I am not suprised, and I am glad my frame is OK. With all of the things I have attached, modded and whatnot, I have too many things to worry about if they were going to remove the main structure from under my truck. Too many wires run along the frame rail, trailer power, rear camera etc.
At 30k or so a year, who knows how long I will keep this thing, but its paid for and I kind of like it at the moment.

We will see what happens next.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:06 PM   #12
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Call From Toyota Corp - Kevin

My service rep contacted me today about the Frame Replacement. I asked him if there were any other options... give me a KBB for trade in and I am willing to purchase a new Toyota. He told me that Toyota Corp was separate from the dealership and they wouldn't be able to work out any deals. Any options like that would involve a re-purchase and that wasn't an option.

He said there were no other options. His name was Kevin and he seemed very firm that there weren't any options other than the frame re-build.

He also told me that the frames come in kits which contain all the parts needed to change out the frame. When I asked him which parts would be replaced he said the dealership would be able to tell me.

He told me that I would get a loaner to drive while the Truck was being rebuilt.

I asked him if items such as the muffler would be included. I have a Tacoma with 130k and the orginal muffler. I can't image taking off the muffler and being able to put it back on... He said to speak with the dealership.

It seemed funny, he was first saying that it was coming from Toyota Corp and next minute saying its the dealership.

I did find it interesting that he said Toyota was spending over 5 figures ($10,000) on each frame rebuild. He also said the reason they are doing the frame rebuilds on the 01-04's is that they still make that frame. The 95-00 frames are no longer in production.

Kevin also said they have had many re-builds already done. I would like to know if any Tacoma owners out there already went through the frame re-build? How did it go? What should I expect?
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:38 AM   #13
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I had my 2000 Tacoma frame inspected last fall. The dealership said it was one of the best they had ever seen. Not suprising, even though I'm in Iowa where a lot of salt is used, the truck is garaged most of the winter. Dealership said I could have the frame inspected once a year. I bought a new 08 Tacoma from another dealer, he said bring in the 2000 - maybe we'll fid something the other guy missed.

I think you can have multiple frame inspections. I think the frame warrenty extends to 15 years from manufacture, so it makes sense that the frame could be inspected multiple times. Maybe different though for 2001+.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:00 AM   #14
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I have an 03..this is the first I have heard about frame issues...should i contact Toyota?
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:05 AM   #15
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i did a frame inspection my self
hitting the frame with a hammer every 5-6 inches and stuck my finger in all the factory holes and felt no rust ( ti was as smooth as a babys butt other than the mud in there)
should i still get toyota to check it out tho??

and by thime i finished i broke the hammer so yea i was hitting kinda hard but not enough to leave an imprint
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:02 PM   #16
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Toyota will contact all 01-04 owners

I don't think you will have to take it in if the frame looks fine if until you get the official letter from Toyota. My frame has a 6-7 inch long hole in the side of the frame. It was apparent mine had the problem. I took it in without the letter.

I spoke to Toyota again today and they said over the next several months they will be sending letters to all 01-04 owners telling them about the frame problems. It sounds like its only in the states that use salt on the roads that the trucks are going bad.

As I understand it the letter will tell everyone to make an appointment with your dealer and they will inspect it. If it the frame is good it's my undertanding that the dealership will apply some kind of rust proofing to the frame and extend the rust warrenty on the frame for 15 years of orginal purchase date.

If your truck fails they will do the frame replacement. If you get the frame replaced like I will in the near future, they extend the same 15 year warrenty from the orginal purchase date.

According the the Service Manager at the Dealership Dana Corp made the orginal frames that are rotting with salt. He told me that Dana Corp is making the new frames for free for Toyota, so it might actually be costing Toyota Corp anything to re-make the frames. That way they are not going to be buying back the 01 - 04 Tacomas.

Toyota Corp also told me that once you recieve your letter you will have a certain amount of time to get the frames inspected. Something like through end of 2010 maybe. If you don't get it inspected by that time and have the rust proofing done, the 15 year warrenty won't apply to your truck.

So far the dealership has ordered the "small parts" and once they come in they order the frame. I understand I will get the new frame but also include new springs, break lines, emergency break cables to name a few. It won't include exhaust or shocks. (Almost everything on my Tacoma is Original Equipment after 130k miles.)

The Service Manager told me that once he gets the truck apart he will have a list of recommendations for me that I might want to replace. It sounds like I would only have to pay for the parts.

Does anyone have any recommendations for me on what I should look at replacing/upgrading? I have the 3.4 but its all orginal. Would anyone have suggestions on increasing the performance?
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:59 PM   #17
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how does toyota know i have a 03 tacoma if i bought it used?
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:05 PM   #18
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Its fine if you werent the orginal owner

It doesn't matter that you weren't the orginal owner. They look at the date it was purchased new. They track that through the vin number.

They also asked for a copy of the title and registration. I can only guess but I'm willing to bet they wouldn't do it for a salvage title or something like that.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:19 PM   #19
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I have replaced 7 frames in my day on these trucks..
it is pretty easy and almost any monkey can do it....
The good monkeys have a plan and it done in 1 day...
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:36 PM   #20
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My DoubleTaco failed the frame test. The dealer said they would order the frame immediately but would have to keep my truck until the frame came in for "safety reasons, since it's now deemed unsafe."
It took two and a half weeks to get the frame and another week and a half to do the work!
The nice thing about it is it included new leaf springs. The only parts I had to pay for was shocks but the installation labor was free.
I never got a notice from Toyota about the frame recall. Never had to bring in any kind of official recall paperwork. I found out from one of the service cashiers who looked over her shoulder then whispered to me that the frame recall was extended up to 04's but that I had to make an personal request for an inspection. She said it like she was worried she would be in trouble if anyone heard her telling me??
My truck had 154,000 miles on it at the time so I was surprised I still qualified.
The only complaint I have is the bit about the dealer having to keep the truck until the frame came in. The time doing the frame swap was a bit long but I'm sure there was plenty of rusted bolts and stuff.
UberMX5, getting it all done in one day seems hard to believe. Don't you half to pull the entire body, motor, drive train, brake lines, axles, exhaust.... then put it all back on... In one day?
Plan or not that's a lot of stuff and a lot is going to be rusted in place. David
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