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Thread: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1999 White C5 Coupe View Post
    We talked about the issue you raised. My friend said the service department told him his truck was unsafe to drive and they would not let him take it (they were polite and helpful). He told them he wanted a bigger vehicle, not necessarily a pickup truck. The dealer said they would "try" to get him a bigger vehicle and call him. They have never called him. He said the fuel mileage is much higher with the Corolla than his truck, but he likes pickup trucks and didn't want a small car to drive. He felt as though he was "stuck" and if he insisted on taking his truck without repair, he would have a vehicle that was worth zero.
    Is your friend one of those (many) people who uses a pickup truck to go grocery shopping and commute to work or does he actually have a regular need for it?

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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Burns View Post
    Is your friend one of those (many) people who uses a pickup truck to go grocery shopping and commute to work or does he actually have a regular need for it?


    He uses the truck for a variety of reasons - towing a boat and trailer, commuting to and from work, daily driving and hauling items in the bed. Due to his size, he is not comfortable in a small, compact car.

    He lives in the United States and has the freedom to choose which vehicle he wants to drive (and pay for).

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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    I'm looking at these pictures and wondering why they are cutting these frames? I assume because it takes up less room? I have seen a frame change on a Dodge Dakota, you have to move everything over and if I remember correctly you also have to get a new serial number for the vehicle. This is an extremely time consuming process to do a frame change and I can see why, Toyota is giving you the option of a buyout.

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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1999 White C5 Coupe View Post
    We talked about the issue you raised. My friend said the service department told him his truck was unsafe to drive and they would not let him take it (they were polite and helpful). He told them he wanted a bigger vehicle, not necessarily a pickup truck. The dealer said they would "try" to get him a bigger vehicle and call him. They have never called him. He said the fuel mileage is much higher with the Corolla than his truck, but he likes pickup trucks and didn't want a small car to drive. He felt as though he was "stuck" and if he insisted on taking his truck without repair, he would have a vehicle that was worth zero.
    Yeah, right. If it was left up to the dealer to choose what to give him as a loaner, of course they're not going to give him anything other than their cheapest car with the lowest margin possible.

    He should contact Toyota America's customer service/customer relations department directly and demand that they get involved, making the dealer give him a new Taco to drive while his is being repaired.

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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by poncho1982 View Post
    Believe it or not, but, I have seen that kind of behavior from a dealership before. I worked there.

    the thinking is, the manufacturer wants to fix it, to keep the vehicle on the road to save face. The Dealer would have gladly sold him the truck, but to Toyota's corporate eyes, it's better to have the other vehicle seen out and driving around.

    Sadly, someone else will buy the new one.

    I once heard an eerily similar conversation between a Ford rep, and a Sales Manager. *cough cough* (concerning a certain Ford and a certain tire.....)

    Seems some customers were scared to drive them no matter WHAT tires they put on.
    I have heard U haul in canada will NOT rent a trailer if a certain ford is used to pull it!
    I was told by my friends Father a Chevy mechanic that the GMT 900 truck frames if bent in an accident have points on them to cut @ and order another section IE front horns/ suspension area leaving the rest of the frame intact

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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?
    GM Inside News

    In 2008, Toyota instituted a “consumer support program” to address frame rust on 1995-2000 Tacomas. The press release stresses that only a small number of the over 800,000 Tacomas were affected ; and that this program was neither a recall nor a special service program. They also, through a blog post, attempted to paint the issue lightly by saying that “rust… never sleeps” and that “rust is a fact of life.”

    To Toyota’s credit, they did extend the warranties on those vehicles to 15 years, and offered to repair or buy back the vehicles, no matter how many times removed it is from the original owner.

    Toyota was never forthright about the scope of the issue for the implicated model years. Further, despite claims of rust issues on later year Tacomas, has not officially recognized a problem.

    Frame rust has also been an issue with Tundras built earlier this decade. Toyota issued a quiet special service program to address those issues, too, on top of a recall.

    Why is this a topic of discussion here? Well, while having my wife’s Chrysler product serviced at a joint Toyota/Chrysler service center, I observed something I have never seen at any dealership. While I was leaving, I rounded a corner in the parking lot and right there in plain view was a pile of frames. Rusted, cut up frames. I immediately recalled [heh] Toyota’s rusting frame issue and parked the car for a closer look. It was very possible that these were frames from non-Toyota products. However, when I approached I saw stickers on the frames that read “NUMMI.” Other frames had VINs written on them. Toyota VINs. So, I took a set of photos and then went on my way.

    If the problem was so minimal, why is it that—two and a half years after the announcement—there are so many frames/frame segments in just this one location? Is this replicated at other Toyota dealers? Perhaps most interesting, if one decodes the VIN in the last photograph, the frame is from a 2002 Tacoma—which, of course, is two years newer than the newest Tacomas Toyota admitted had a problem.

    Finally, I didn’t note the VINs on all of the frames, so it’s possible that other Toyota models, such as the Tundra, are represented in this pile. Some of the frames seemed larger than the others. I’ll leave that up to the Toyota-aware to determine.






    There's some mis-information here that I feel needs to be expanded upon. I hope this clears up any question marks and answers some questions

    When Toyota discovered the frame rot issues on 1995.5-2000 Tacomas, they initiated a buy back program for 1.5x the KBB value of an excellent Tacoma. Therefore, if you had a junker Tacoma that you owned for at least 6 months and Toyota found that your frame was peforated beyond repair, they will consider it in Excellent condition and give you quite a bit of money for it. $$$.

    On all of these Tacomas the corrosion warranty was retro-actively extended to 15 years past the vehicles' original in-service date, meaning that now some 1995s and 1996s are soon coming off the extended warranty. If a frame was not rotted and still solid, Toyota, free of charge, will apply a rust-proofing goopy material to the frame, and will continue to provide free frame inspections and re-applications of the corrosion agent until the extended warranty expires.

    Later on, it was discovered that 2001-2004 Tacomas also were having issues with frame rot. At first, a few 2001s were bought back just like the 1995-'00 models, but they later decided to do frame swaps for new ones since the frames for these later models were still in production. Toyota to me seemed forthright with this once they had ample information to proceed with the later build Tacomas. The '95-00 models had slightly different mounting points for various things, such as bumpers that got refreshed every few years and therefore could not have the option of frame replacement, which came at the disappointment to many, including yours truly (Toyota gave me $11,500 for my '98 Taco SR5 Xtra Cab 4WD with 162k, not too shabby), who were not adamant about giving up their trucks. The 1.5x KBB buyback expires December 31st of this year, if anybody was wondering.

    Just like with the '95-2000, if a later model Tacoma frame is found to be free of frame rot, the warranty is extended to 15 years past the in-service date and the rust proofing agent applied, all at no cost to the customer. Most of the experiences from owners who had their frames replaced were positive. There were a few problems at first with the PreRunner Double Cab frames having some defects in the casting, but I believe these have been sorted out and corrected.

    The frames pictured in the OP really do not look like frames that were discarded because of rust perforation. The fully-boxed ones are Tacoma frames, and the metal does not appear rotted from the photos provided. However, if these are indeed discarded frames because of the program, do note that the program is on-going still and will be in effect until the last 2004 Tacoma reaches 15 years of age, which is why you are seeing them 2 years after the program was announced as some will naturally take longer to develop an issue.

    I hope this clears everything up.

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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    I know a girl who had her 2009 tundra totaled because the frame was bent in an accident. You couldn't even tell it by looking but I guess anything more than 11/2" distortion on the frame will total the truck.

    This can't be good for insurance premiums and we already know the bed shakes like a vibrator on rough surfaces. I sure wouldn't want one in 10 years if it makes it that long.

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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by 377Z View Post
    Not everybody is rational. I drove the PI SS out of my '91 4 door 4X4 XLT 5 speed 'certain Ford', sold it with just under 155K. 70MPH+ expressway every day, towed with it, hauled with it, light off road, opposite lock slides every snowfall, everything, & I always felt safe & in control. Best vehicle I've ever owned.
    If you had seen some of the disasters I saw flatbedded into the dealership, you might have traded that Exploder in. Or at least slowed it down a bit!

    Incidently, those rollovers, never stayed on the lot more than a couple hours before the reps had them hauled away. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.
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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinnacle View Post
    I'm looking at these pictures and wondering why they are cutting these frames? I assume because it takes up less room? I have seen a frame change on a Dodge Dakota, you have to move everything over and if I remember correctly you also have to get a new serial number for the vehicle. This is an extremely time consuming process to do a frame change and I can see why, Toyota is giving you the option of a buyout.
    they cut them up, so the scrappers that take them, can't sell a complete, albeit rusty, frame to some fly by night body shop somewhere.
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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by poncho1982 View Post
    If you had seen some of the disasters I saw flatbedded into the dealership, you might have traded that Exploder in. Or at least slowed it down a bit!

    Incidently, those rollovers, never stayed on the lot more than a couple hours before the reps had them hauled away. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

    Not likely. I had four f-bodies, and I have seen far more disasters with these cars than any other. F-bodies have some of the highest accident rates. I've seen plenty of wrecked ones, never once considered trading. Unsafe car or unsafe drivers? Same thing.

    There is no defect of design in the gen I or II Explorers, & they are perfectly safe at 70MPH+. Not the vehicles fault if the driver doesn't comprehend the difference between a truck based SUV and a sports car, or the fact that slamming on the brakes & cutting the wheel at highway speeds after a blowout is a bad idea in ANY vehicle. In many occurances, there wasn't even a blowout, just tread seperation, with the carcass of the tire remaining inflated. One of the mags (Car & Driver IIRC) had a feature where they took a gen I & induced a blowout at speeds up to 70MPH & stopped the car with zero drama by just getting off the gas & steering smoothly--i.e. doing what you are supposed to after a blowout. Just like all the SUA stuff (Audi or Toyota), 'exploding' gas tanks on the '87-earlier GM trucks, Suzuki Samuri 'deathtraps,' it makes for sensational news stories & is also easy for folks to pile on the smear campaign versus think critically, should the story be about a non-preferred brand. For all the ones that rolled, there were far more that didn't, but those don't seem make the news.
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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by 377Z View Post
    Not likely. I had four f-bodies, and I have seen far more disasters with these cars than any other. F-bodies have some of the highest accident rates. I've seen plenty of wrecked ones, never once considered trading. Unsafe car or unsafe drivers? Same thing.

    There is no defect of design in the gen I or II Explorers, & they are perfectly safe at 70MPH+. Not the vehicles fault if the driver doesn't comprehend the difference between a truck based SUV and a sports car, or the fact that slamming on the brakes & cutting the wheel at highway speeds after a blowout is a bad idea in ANY vehicle. In many occurances, there wasn't even a blowout, just tread seperation, with the carcass of the tire remaining inflated. One of the mags (Car & Driver IIRC) had a feature where they took a gen I & induced a blowout at speeds up to 70MPH & stopped the car with zero drama by just getting off the gas & steering smoothly--i.e. doing what you are supposed to after a blowout. Just like all the SUA stuff (Audi or Toyota), 'exploding' gas tanks on the '87-earlier GM trucks, Suzuki Samuri 'deathtraps,' it makes for sensational news stories & is also easy for folks to pile on the smear campaign versus think critically, should the story be about a non-preferred brand. For all the ones that rolled, there were far more that didn't, but those don't seem make the news.
    Ah, but there is where you are wrong, my friend. Do some research. The defect is in the design of the engine bay. The engine is sitting too high in the bay, creating a center of gravity that is too high for the vehicle. Add to the equation, the twin I-beam front suspension that is a known tire chewer. therefore, when the vehicle is directed to do a high speed avoidance manuever, the weight of the engine over the tire that is taking the brunt of the turn. causing it to seperate from the rim. Rim then digs into the pavenment and the vehicle then goes rolling end over end down the road.

    the problem was/is not with blowouts. unless you count the tire being seperated from the rim during a high speed unavoidable turn, a blowout.

    I appreciate that you like them, and I am glad you ended your run with one safely. But me, I've seen the results of those things failing in a big way, and no one in my family will ever drive one as long as I am breathing. As a matter of fact, if there were only Explorers left to drive, I'd walk with a big smile on my face. Out of the way of the Explorers of course!

    Again, I'm not arguing the fact that YOUR Explorer was a good car. Just that it had a very serious design flaw that could kill under the right circustances. And Ford covered it up, and blamed it on Firestone. (when the truth is, it happened on Continental tires more often)

    This is not from me sitting at home, reading the internet and comming to a conclusion. I lived it, for 8 years at the dealership. I saw A LOT of rolled explorers, and curiously, not too many other models.

    Oh, and F-bodies probably have high accident rates for other reasons....
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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by poncho1982 View Post
    Ah, but there is where you are wrong, my friend. Do some research. The defect is in the design of the engine bay. The engine is sitting too high in the bay, creating a center of gravity that is too high for the vehicle. Add to the equation, the twin I-beam front suspension that is a known tire chewer. therefore, when the vehicle is directed to do a high speed avoidance manuever, the weight of the engine over the tire that is taking the brunt of the turn. causing it to seperate from the rim. Rim then digs into the pavenment and the vehicle then goes rolling end over end down the road.

    the problem was/is not with blowouts. unless you count the tire being seperated from the rim during a high speed unavoidable turn, a blowout.

    I appreciate that you like them, and I am glad you ended your run with one safely. But me, I've seen the results of those things failing in a big way, and no one in my family will ever drive one as long as I am breathing. As a matter of fact, if there were only Explorers left to drive, I'd walk with a big smile on my face. Out of the way of the Explorers of course!

    Again, I'm not arguing the fact that YOUR Explorer was a good car. Just that it had a very serious design flaw that could kill under the right circustances. And Ford covered it up, and blamed it on Firestone. (when the truth is, it happened on Continental tires more often)

    This is not from me sitting at home, reading the internet and comming to a conclusion. I lived it, for 8 years at the dealership. I saw A LOT of rolled explorers, and curiously, not too many other models.

    Oh, and F-bodies probably have high accident rates for other reasons....
    Thats a pretty abstract way to define the word 'defect.' I'm not arguing the fact that the higher the center of gravity the more prone a vehicle is to roll over, thats just basic physics. IIRC Federal data showed the rollover rates for Explorers were typical for SUV's, thus Explorers were no more or less defective than their peers. The problem was Explorers were the most popular SUV & the higher center of gravity was not respected by the typical user--folks who likely never drove a truck before & expected carlike handling/capabilities.

    Personally, I wish I could buy a new gen I (or two). I'm far more annoyed that I no longer have mine because since it returned to ore, but for some reason (similar to the rollover issue) one make is getting all the rust attention (only this time its Toyota).
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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by richmond2000 View Post
    I have heard U haul in canada will NOT rent a trailer if a certain ford is used to pull it!
    I was told by my friends Father a Chevy mechanic that the GMT 900 truck frames if bent in an accident have points on them to cut @ and order another section IE front horns/ suspension area leaving the rest of the frame intact
    That is true for the US too. The Explorer forum guys put duct tape over their emblems and say they have a Mountaineer or Navajo...no problems


    Quote Originally Posted by 377Z View Post
    Not everybody is rational. I drove the PI SS out of my '91 4 door 4X4 XLT 5 speed 'certain Ford', sold it with just under 155K. 70MPH+ expressway every day, towed with it, hauled with it, light off road, opposite lock slides every snowfall, everything, & I always felt safe & in control. Best vehicle I've ever owned.
    oh yea I loved my '92 4 door 4x2 XL. If anyone was going to roll over an Explorer, I would have. I cornered that thing hard. They handle pretty well. The made for the Autobahn-Cologne V6 is made for high rpm, long distance operation...I once drove from Lansing to Grand Rapids (70 miles or so) at WOT, and back (sadly it wasn't thaaaat fast)
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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by 377Z View Post
    Thats a pretty abstract way to define the word 'defect.' I'm not arguing the fact that the higher the center of gravity the more prone a vehicle is to roll over, thats just basic physics. IIRC Federal data showed the rollover rates for Explorers were typical for SUV's, thus Explorers were no more or less defective than their peers. The problem was Explorers were the most popular SUV & the higher center of gravity was not respected by the typical user--folks who likely never drove a truck before & expected carlike handling/capabilities.

    Personally, I wish I could buy a new gen I (or two). I'm far more annoyed that I no longer have mine because since it returned to ore, but for some reason (similar to the rollover issue) one make is getting all the rust attention (only this time its Toyota).
    Dig a little deeper, and don't trust the Feds word on anything. They had just as much interest in hiding the truth. After all, they didn't find the design flaw either, until it was too late.

    Ask yourself this...why oh why did Ford "upgrade" the Explorer to a double wishbone front suspension in 1995? Becaused the "Twin Traction Beam" they were using, was horrible, and ate tires. ask anybody who worked as a tech at a Ford dealer in the 90's just how many low mileage tires they had to replace. But when they upgraded, it raised the center of gravity even more! But the tire chewing stopped.

    I don't intend to change your opinion, my experience says thats next to impossible. But its just to enlighten you with some real life experience, working with 1000's of Explorers versus the 1 or 2 you owned.

    And, anyway, thanks to Cash for Clunkers, there are FAR less of them on the road now.
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    Re: Toyota's frame rusting problem more widespread than admitted?

    Quote Originally Posted by poncho1982 View Post
    Dig a little deeper, and don't trust the Feds word on anything. They had just as much interest in hiding the truth. After all, they didn't find the design flaw either, until it was too late.

    Ask yourself this...why oh why did Ford "upgrade" the Explorer to a double wishbone front suspension in 1995? Becaused the "Twin Traction Beam" they were using, was horrible, and ate tires. ask anybody who worked as a tech at a Ford dealer in the 90's just how many low mileage tires they had to replace. But when they upgraded, it raised the center of gravity even more! But the tire chewing stopped.

    I don't intend to change your opinion, my experience says thats next to impossible. But its just to enlighten you with some real life experience, working with 1000's of Explorers versus the 1 or 2 you owned.

    And, anyway, thanks to Cash for Clunkers, there are FAR less of them on the road now.
    Opinions can be changed, its those pesky facts that are hard to alter. Anecdotes from one dealership are not an effective contradiction of federal data, no matter how condecendingly they are stated, and I don't need to ask a tech anything about it because I know the facts. Improperly aligned suspensions eat tires regardless of design. Proper alignment of a TIB/TTB involved specific camber bushings; if the camber was out a bushing would actually have to be replaced to correct it, meaning the servicer had to stock an array of parts. If your dealer saw excessive tire chewing, perhaps whoever was aligning Explorers in your area was a bit lax with this, but thousands of others were capable. Mine did excessively chew the front tires once--right after I R&R'ed the ball joints/tie rods & didn't get it aligned right away. After getting it aligned & rotating the tires, voila, the wear went away.

    TTB, and its 2WD cousin TIB, have underpinned millions of Ford trucks since the designs' debut the mid sixties. MILLIONS, over the span of DECADES, with nary a peep about 'defects' or chewing tires until the design found its way under a vehicle driven by a new demographic, a demographic which had the same 'safety issues' with all other SUVs. TIB/TTB made it under the gen I because using the proven Ranger/BII underpinnings was an economical way to bring the first Ex to market. By the time the gen II was on the drawing board it was clear that the Explorer nameplate was a huge hit and could justify major updates to refine the vehicle to better suit the buyers. Changes from genI => genII like TIB/TTB to SLA, recirculating ball to rack and pinion, OHV to SOHC, 4 speed autos to 5 speed, etc. were to meet the needs of a market that increasingly demanded refinement/features, and still does to this day which is the primary driver to the design changes in every refresh up to and including the Ex's switch to a transverse powertrained unibody design.
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