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2002 Frame Replacement done experience

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by chris2002tacoma, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Jan 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM
    #1
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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    Ok, I had my 2002 Tacoma frame replaced last week and picked it up this morning. The work was done under the Toyota recall in Massachusetts. I will post the dealers name and full experience when the the remaining issues related to problems with the replacement are or are not resolved. I want to be fair to both the dealer and to Toyota and give them a day or so to resolve some issues with my Tacoma since replacing a frame is a major job, and there is sure to be issues related to such a big job.

    When I first was informed about the frame replacement I was very cautious and went to varies Toyota forums to learn about other consumers experience. Some were positive and some were negative. My concern was getting a big bill for "extras" which some consumers had a problem with, and my other concern was that if I didn't have the frame replaced then I had to worry about the frame breaking and causing harm in all sorts of possible ways. I brought the car to the dealer. This dealer is a first time for me. It is a new place,so I went to them , even though this dealer is farther away than other Toyota dealers to me.

    I was told by the service person (name withheld for now) that the frame failed and that it would be covered by Toyota, app $15,000.00 for Toyota to pay them. No buyback available since Toyota wants people to see their trucks on the road for years to come. That is understandable. I was also informed that the water pump had a leak(which I knew). I asked that no "extras" be charged to me, and that i would deal with the water pump leak myself.

    The dealer let me use a loner car while my frame was being replaced which was nice of them. I went to the dealer dropped off loaner and drove my truck. The first thing I noticed was the check engine light was on, which I understand happens allot after a frame replacement and will probably go away-no big deal. As I was driving out of the dealer parking lot, the truck was obviously having some serious front end problems. I drove a bit more and the truck was pulling big-time to the right, and when I turned left the truck would almost jump over to the left during the turn. Naturally I brought the truck right back. I was immediately told that the vehicle was not aligned (front end alignment) and that I would have to pay extra for that. That got me mad. The dealer is making allot of money on a big job like this.

    I went back to my truck and made a couple phone calls and went back in to get more information and something in writing about why exactly my Tacoma front end is way out of alignment. (When I say way out, imagine someone sitting in your passenger side and grabbing the steering wheel and turning it right while you are driving and then as you turn left the truck tire feeling like is jumps along.) The shop manager came out and talked to me about it, telling me that the problem is the front inner and outer tie rod ends. He told me that they tried everything to get them to adjust but they just would not turn, they used oil, heat, and strong wrenches and tried as hard as they could without actually breaking them. I'm worried that they may be compromised with all those hard attempts, maybe bent or something. The shop manager (name withheld) told me Toyota will only pay for x,y and z, and that customers can't expect Toyota to pay for every little thing the customer may want covered. I completely agree with the shop manager about that. I didn't expect them to fix my leaky water pump gasket for free( although a simple repair ) I didn't expect them to supply and replace my worn shocks for free, etc., but an issue with rusted beyond adjustable tie rods that cannot be adjusted at all to safely do a front end alignment should have been done as part of this replacement.

    The Shop manager did offer me a discount on the tie rod end job if Toyota does not authorize the repair under the replacement. I really do not have the extra money to do this and I do not feel I should have to pay for it. I was told the reason I could get a discount is because the dealership made allot of money on this job. It puzzles me that if they made allot of money on this job why they just didn't do the tie rods knowing very well how bad the vehicle was now out of alignment and unsafe. When I got on the highway that is when I realized that I won't be able to drive this until it is fixed. If I didn't have to get home for my kids I would have not driven it all the way home holding on to the steering wheel as hard as I could. Anyways the shop manager gave me the number to call Toyota USA and speak with them, which I did. Toyota USA seemed very receptive and will call me back on Thursday. As of right now I wish i did not go through with this replacement. My truck drove fine and I loved it (170,000 miles, but hey...it's a Toyota) and now I won't drive it until I am driving it back to be fixed right. I have to get a ride to work tonight and probably tomorrow night. I really hope Toyota steps up a takes care of this. I just want my truck to drive straight just like before. Hey, a little pull here, a little shake here, no big deal, but the extent of the alignment problem is the worse I have ever encountered and I suspect, although unintentional, that the mechanics may have caused damage to the rods while trying as hard as possible to get them to move. I will post all my experiences until this is resolved. I would like nothing more than to post a positive experience. I have never had any problem with this Tacoma and am hoping to put allot more miles on it. Any suggestions much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Jan 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM
    #2
    vantaco

    vantaco Well-Known Member

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    use paragraphs, that's terrible to try to read
     
  3. Jan 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM
    #3
    jester156

    jester156 Well-Known Member

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    no kidding,
    as tough as it was to read, I would not want to be going through it.

     
  4. Jan 19, 2011 at 10:29 AM
    #4
    TACOMA TRD

    TACOMA TRD Well-Known Member

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    Shocks and Tie Rods are a regular maint item. Just replace them at the discounted price it will be like having a new truck when completed. When was the last time you replaced the tie rods? They should align it for free, I agree. But if your parts are worn? how can they align.
     
  5. Jan 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM
    #5
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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    Thanks for your sympathy.
     
  6. Jan 19, 2011 at 11:13 AM
    #6
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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    Thanks.
     
  7. Jan 19, 2011 at 11:26 AM
    #7
    bivey

    bivey Well-Known Member

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  8. Jan 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM
    #8
    twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    Is there a long story short version?
     
  9. Jan 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM
    #9
    bishtacova

    bishtacova Don't buy a Ford

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    I would contact a local media outlet or attorney. One call from a JD may solve things. Do you have a local media consumer advocate?

    In reality, i would've taken the cash and run, something's gonna go wrong with something like this. And if they didn't spot it before the frame replacement they should have told you. And not QCing the job seems to be typical of a lot of shops nowadays.
     
  10. Jan 19, 2011 at 1:18 PM
    #10
    SlimDigg

    SlimDigg Resident MMA Fanatic

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  11. Jan 19, 2011 at 7:41 PM
    #11
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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  12. Jan 19, 2011 at 7:49 PM
    #12
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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    Thanks.
     
  13. Jan 20, 2011 at 6:08 AM
    #13
    snoope

    snoope Well-Known Member

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    WOW,

    A couple of quick questions..

    1) where was your service writer on calling you about needed parts ,things do wear out..???

    2) Engine light on, normal...BS....???

    3)DO NOT GET THE PRESS involved yet, This service deparment dropped the ball BADLY or there was bad communcation between shop and the customer....with either case ,a mediator from the dealership should be found....if you can not get answers from the service manager ....climb the "ladder"....this works better than shoving a "mike" or "pen" in their face ( you will get MORE than a FIGHT)..

    My experience with this;

    My '02 was re-framed 6/09....I needed to purchase front struts and rear shocks( they matched my outside vendor price) and they were installed no charge to me.....My e-brake cams were "Sticking" and after talking ($$) to the tech, cleaned,re-lubed and set...
    My truck was also aligned by them at NO CHARGE to me BUT my front end was not in need of MORE parts....

    The difference in our stories and outcome; my service writer kept me updated at MY insistence ( I had an '02 with 43000 miles getting a NEW FRAME...dam straight I was IN on the whole process )...yours dropped the "Ball", now it is time for them to "CORRECT" the wrongs....

    That being said,hopefully you understand ;NEW parts are yours $$$ BUT all labor ,including alignment is theirs>>>

    Good luck and a level head will get you results to last a lifetime; b*(&^in will get you a "Splash" but nothing more....

    keep us updated please...
     
  14. Jan 20, 2011 at 5:34 PM
    #14
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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    Thanks Snoope. When I brought the truck in I was aware that the water pump gasket was lightly leaking and that I would deal with that on my own after the replacement frame. I asked the service writer not to do any additional work since I did not have any money to pay for repairs outside the recall. He obviously didn't think a safety issue was worth calling me or my wife about. When he did call to tell us the Tacoma would be ready on certain day at 2pm, and that someone would call to confirm, he told us again that the water pump leak will not be fixed because I said not to do so. He never said anything about the alignment not done due to the tie rods. The mechanic shop manager was shocked that our service handler didn't mention this at any point during the process. The service handler was out the day I picked up the truck. I didn't even want to have this done, but was afraid the frame may snap, and the service handler told me that the recall replacement expired Dec 31, 2010 and that if I waited any longer I would be out of recall warranty. 2 or 3 days after I dropped it off I get a letter from Toyota saying the deadline has been extending to Sept 2011! I'll keep you posted. Thanks.

    Oh, forgot the engine light. It says po300, I used a scanner to read that code. I figured those things come on/off now and then. Could that be from the replacement. I just want the truck to drive safe and straight as it did before.

    I'm posting todays' update in a moment. Thanks again.
     
  15. Jan 20, 2011 at 5:36 PM
    #15
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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    A Toyota rep did call me today (Thursday 1/20/2011) and she was polite and discussed the issues my Tacoma. I was told again that tie rods are not covered under the frame replacement, which I already knew from the dealership. I explained that I was not expecting free stuff like I pointed out in my post at the top of this thread, but that I felt that this is more of a safety issue and should have just been done and covered in future frame replacements nationwide. Brake lines and e-brake cable are included in the replacement due to a safety concern and I feel when factory tie rods rust so bad that they cannot be budged under extreme heat, oil, and strong wrenches in a shop, should also fall within "lets' include it for safety sake" especially when it prevents the mechanic from being able to do an alignment.
    The Toyota rep is going to contact the dealer and here what they have to say, and then contact me back, hopefully either the dealer or Toyota will cover this. My truck drove nice and straight when I left it with them, now I will only drive it when I drop it off at somewhere to be fixed.
    I will update the status on the forum in the next couple days.
     
  16. Jan 20, 2011 at 9:28 PM
    #16
    thebluehoof

    thebluehoof Member

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    and the service handler told me that the recall replacement expired Dec 31, 2010 and that if I waited any longer I would be out of recall warranty. 2 or 3 days after I dropped it off I get a letter from Toyota saying the deadline has been extending to Sept 2011!

    Wait a sec, I thought the frame replacement was extended for 15 years beyond the in-service date. You said this is a 2002 so why does the replacement offer expire in Sept. 2011? Am I missing something? From what I am reading you should be able to have the 2002 frame replaced up to 2017. Is this not the case?
     
  17. Jan 22, 2011 at 10:22 AM
    #17
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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    From what I understand is that if you don't address the problem, ie inspection, before Sept 2011, then you would run out of recall chance. This guy told us by the end of December 31, 2010, but I got a letter saying Toyota is extending that now to Sept 2011.

    As of now, nobody has called us back in regards to this truck that won't drive straight at all. I have not driven it other than to get it home, as the mileage will confirm.
     
  18. Jan 22, 2011 at 10:37 AM
    #18
    Metallikatz3

    Metallikatz3 Well-Known Member

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    The way I see it.. your truck drove well when you brought it in, they replaced the frame and now it doesn't drive well. It should be in the same operating condition as when they first touched it
     
  19. Jan 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM
    #19
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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    That is exactly how I feel, it drove straight before, now it is not driveable. If it was a tiny pull here or there, that would hae been no problem with me at all. But, because the Service Handler did not even bother to tell us about not able to align ( very danerous ), even with considering I did tell him no extras' (come on, we are talkiing safety here), and when when I picked it up nobody even verbally told me until I came right back after a 2 minute drive. Now, I do appreciate the shop manager giving me the number to Toyata USA, and I hope they call me back by Monday by noon. If I had money to fix it I just may, but things are really tight right now, and I truly feel this just should have been done. I would be on here praising them with great comments about this experience, rather than worrying if they will do the right thing so I can drive my truck. The only miles that I have put on this are exactly the distance from dealership to my house. The dealership registered 1.9 miles, so clearly they were well aware of just how bad this truck was pulling and out of alignment. The shop manager even told me that the mechanic told him this was way out, but the handler insisted I did not want to pay for any extras, which was true, but this is like putting broken brke lines back in(which is covered)
    Thanks for all the replies.
    I'll keep us updated.
     
  20. Jan 22, 2011 at 5:25 PM
    #20
    chris2002tacoma

    chris2002tacoma [OP] Member

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    UPDATE 1/22/2011 8:15 pm Eastern time.

    I placed a call into the shop manager at the dealership and he told me that the Toyota rep and he had a conversation regarding my situation. As I understand it, the shop manager is going to do both inner and outer tie rods and whatever is involved in doing the alignment, and the discounted price he initially offered me is going to passed on to Toyota Corp, which is what Toyota Corp requested of the shop manager. The parts are on the way and if all goes well, the job should be done sometime next week. If all goes as explained to me then that will be great. Unfortunately, all the loaner vehicles are out on the road, but the shop manager is going to try to track one down for Monday, which is when he asked me to call him in the morning to check on a loaner.

    It sounds like everything might just work out. Updates will come as the situation continues to progress.
     
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