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Frame Rot Buyback - Will Toyota Reimburse If You Had to Dump Your Unsafe Truck in 07?

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Old 05-17-2008, 04:22 AM   #1
adkins_t [OP] adkins_t is offline
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Frame Rot Buyback - Will Toyota Reimburse If You Had to Dump Your Unsafe Truck in 07?

I had to trade-in my 98 Tacoma in 3/07 as the frame rot was so bad it was unsafe to drive. I called Toyota at the time and they said it was not a known or typical problem. They said I didn't wash the truck enough in the winter (I live in NE Ohio where we get much snow and much salt on the roads - I was always very careful about getting undercarriage washes frequently).

The dealer knocked down my trade-in somewhat (about $5000 for 123k miles and a truck that was i excellent condition except the frame) but Toyota gave me $500 loyalty cash. The dealer said they would not resell the truck but would have to send it to auction (for parts I presume).

Anyone in the same boat as me? Do you think Toyota will reimburse us now in any way? Has anyone tried?

I feel very cheated!
Had I kept that truck another year I'd be many thousands of dollar ahead now that they are admitting the problem and taking ownership!
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:09 AM   #3
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You should talk to a lawyer to see if you have any legal standing. There might even be a suit in process that you can become part of. Hopefully you have documentation to back up your claims or you're out of any luck.

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Originally Posted by adkins_t View Post
I had to trade-in my 98 Tacoma in 3/07 as the frame rot was so bad it was unsafe to drive. I called Toyota at the time and they said it was not a known or typical problem. They said I didn't wash the truck enough in the winter (I live in NE Ohio where we get much snow and much salt on the roads - I was always very careful about getting undercarriage washes frequently).

The dealer knocked down my trade-in somewhat (about $5000 for 123k miles and a truck that was i excellent condition except the frame) but Toyota gave me $500 loyalty cash. The dealer said they would not resell the truck but would have to send it to auction (for parts I presume).

Anyone in the same boat as me? Do you think Toyota will reimburse us now in any way? Has anyone tried?

I feel very cheated!
Had I kept that truck another year I'd be many thousands of dollar ahead now that they are admitting the problem and taking ownership!
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:53 AM   #4
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Don't know if this helps but I have a coworker with a 98 Taco (at least he used to have a 98) with 137k miles. He received a letter to bring his truck in for the frame rust issue. He said they put it up on the lift and started pounding on the frame with a hammer putting holes through it. They then would not let him have the truck back unless he signed a waiver. Otherwise, they were going to "confiscate" the truck and mail him a check for (he said) 1.5 times the trade-in value and let him leave with a loaner. He also said that they were going to give him $2000 on top of the 1.5 x trade in value if he wanted to buy another Toyota. He didn't receive the check yet but I'm curious to see what they give him.

Another coworker has a 99 and received his letter from Toyota and is going to take his truck in soon.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurphMan View Post
You should talk to a lawyer to see if you have any legal standing. There might even be a suit in process that you can become part of. Hopefully you have documentation to back up your claims or you're out of any luck.
Not to argue againest you ...but how can someone who no longer owns a truck gain re-imbursement for it?
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:15 AM   #6
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They cant . Even if he would have sold his truck out right to a individual and lost money on the deal ,the person that bought the truck would be the one gaining from the buy back programme . Its one of those ,you gotta be at the right place at the right time deals.
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:35 PM   #7
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The warranty is for the vehicle, not for the owner.... but i do think that is f****ed up man, sorry...
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Old 05-22-2008, 05:49 PM   #8
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Janster - I guess my "logic" is:

a) I brought this issue to Toyota's attention over a year ago and they (both the dealer and central customer service) did not indicate that it a manufacturing issue - in fact, both acted like they never heard of premature frame rust;
b) They now admit it is a problem and are offering current owners a very attractive solution;
c) I have documented evidence that my truck was unsafe to drive because of the frame;
d) I'm out quite a bit of money for being proactive. I didn't try to screw a private buyer who might not be smart enough to look for the issue. I also disclosed the problem to the dealer upfront so they wouldn't screw anyone either. The last thing I wanted was some one to get hurt with that truck.

Toyota knows I can't get hurt/killed and have a lawsuit by me driving that truck now that it's off the road. They also sold me a new truck last year so they don't see a sale in the immediate future. However, do they care enough about customer satisfaction to make owners whole who were affected before they implemented the buyback? Call me a pessimist, but I'm doubtful as they probably figure the damage I can do by word of mouth and disclosure in this kind of forum is pretty limited...

If anyone had a similar frame problem, please email me. I'll post once I've had some feedback from Toyota. Maybe they'll surprise me...
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:38 PM   #9
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If someone can sue and win for spilling hot coffee in their lap then this guy might have a chance based on Toyota having knowledge of this problem yet not taking responsibility. When it comes to lawyers - anything is possible. Never hurts to ask.

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Not to argue againest you ...but how can someone who no longer owns a truck gain re-imbursement for it?
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:14 PM   #10
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I spoke to my case manager today. A summary:

1) They recognize that I contacted them in 3/07 about my frame rust and the safety of the truck.
2) They are handling these cases on a case by case basis. For my case, they decided the amount the dealer gave me for the trade last year was good enough ($2000 less than blue book trade-in due to the frame).

Bottom line - they don't really care about customer loyalty or satisfaction if your truck is already off the road (you can't sue them when the frame breaks in half going 60 mph down the highway...). If they did care, they'd at least agree to warrantly the frame on my 2007 Tacoma (which has much rust for 1 winter!). Just that gesture would put me at ease with the situation.

I think I can say that I'll never buy another Toyota again. Too many other good makers out there (Subaru and Honda especially). I was thinking about a Prius this year - it'll be a Civic now. Also, I envision buying at least 3 more trucks in my lifetime. I'll go domestic next time.

In case anyone from Toyota reads these posts... I hope you understand the power of word of mouth. I work with many contractors. Outside of work, I know many people with trucks (especially for pulling horse trailers and boats). When the subject comes up, I'll be sure to share my experience with them. One last ironic thing... at lunch today a stranger stopped my in the parking lot asking about the Tacoma as he really was thinking about looking at them. After I explained how my last one's frame rusted to nothing in 8+ years, and after I told him about the quality problems I've had with the 07 (2 repairs - springs and driveshaft - in the first year), he said Toyota was off his list.

I know there are many loyal Tacoma owners out there. Sorry to be negative but I really want people to know my experience. I've owned 2 trucks and 4 cars - the 98 Tacoma had the worst reliability and longevity of any!!
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:11 PM   #11
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Bummer that it had to come to this. I kind of knew they'd write you off but was hoping I'd be wrong. Trust me, domestics aren't any better for loyalty - been there done that with chevy and will never go back.

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I know there are many loyal Tacoma owners out there. Sorry to be negative but I really want people to know my experience. I've owned 2 trucks and 4 cars - the 98 Tacoma had the worst reliability and longevity of any!!
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