Toyota Frame Rust Recall Only A Partial Fix
UPDATE: As of May 2010, Toyota has extended the warranty on 2000-2003 Tundra frames. Please see Toyota Tundra Frame Replacement Program for more details.
Today, Toyota has recalled 110,000 1st generation Toyota Tundras due to frame rust concerns. Specifically, this recall requires dealers to inspect the rear cross member and rear brake line mounts on 2000-2003 Tundras for significant rust. If dealers find that the frame’s rear cross member or brake line mount has significant rust, the corroded parts will be replaced as soon as possible.
Toyota’s recall is great news for owners of 2000-2003 Tundras with frame rust, but it is only a half measure. Toyota will need to do more than replace one piece of the frame to completely satisfy 1st generation Tundra owners.
Toyota’s official announcement states that:
Certain 2000 through 2003 model year Tundra vehicles operated in cold climate areas with high road salt use, may exhibit excessive corrosion on the frame rear cross-member. In the worst case, the spare tire stowed under the truck bed may become separated from the rear cross-member. Spare tire separation will create a road hazard for following vehicles and increase the likelihood of a crash.
Eventually, excessive corrosion of the rear cross-member may also affect the functionality of the rear brake line at the proportioning valve. If this occurs, it can lead to the loss of the rear brake circuits which will increase vehicle stopping distances and the risk of a crash.
Toyota’s decision to recall these vehicles and replace rusting rear cross-members will likely satisfy NHTSA investigators. Unless NHTSA has uncovered other safety issues related to frame rust, this is likely the last time the federal government will be involved.
Unfortunately, this recall will not satisfy many owners of 1st generation Tundras with rusting frames. While it’s important to replace the rear cross member, many owners have related stories to us of Tundras that can not be aligned, broken suspension mounts, and a myriad of minor problems that are symptomatic of a rusted frame.
Stated simply, this is only the first step in taking care of this problem. Toyota still needs to recover the faith of their owners by either:
- Offering to replace ALL portions of the frame with significant rust.
- Offering to buy-back vehicles with significant frame rust.
As part of this recall, owners of 2000-2003 Tundras in the following states – CT, DE, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT, WI, and WV – are advised to remove their spare tires immediately until such time that their vehicle can be taken to the dealership for inspection.