Recalls and TSBs

Another Toyota Truck Rust Recall, This Time For Tacoma

In what is an increasingly depressing – and predictable – turn of events, Toyota is recalling 150k 2001-2004 Tacoma in the so-called “rust belt” over concerns that the spare tire carrier underneath the bed may rust to the point of failure.

2005 Toyota Tacoma with Extensive Frame Rust

2005 Toyota Tacoma with Extensive Frame Rust

Says Toyota:

During manufacture, the spare tire carrier lift plate may not have been sufficiently coated with phosphate.  The lack of phosphate coating combined with prolonged exposure to high road salt use and other environmental factors may contribute to the development of more than normal corrosion of the lift plate on some vehicles.  Over time and in limited cases, corrosion of the lift plate could cause it to break and result in detachment of the spare tire from the vehicle.

This is a carbon copy of the problem that plagued 2000-2003 Toyota Tundras, which were also recalled because the portion of the frame that held the spare tire could rust away.

What’s more, the recall of 2000-2003 Tundras ultimately led to a larger and much more expensive special Tundra frame replacement program that has the automaker cost millions and left many 1st generation Tundra owners less than satisfied with both their trucks and their local Toyota dealer.

Why Can’t Toyota Build A Truck Without a Rust Issue?

Since the Tacoma and Tundra were launched, they have been plagued with high-profile rust issues. While Toyota has generally taken care of their owners (their buy-back program for 1st-generation Tacoma owners was popular with consumers), they’ve also demonstrated a profound lack of understanding about seriousness of these issues.

Trucks that can literally rust away aren’t the image of durability, and these rust problems serve to undermine Toyota’s reputation for quality while simultaneously arming Toyota truck critics with evidence of the automaker’s inability to build a “real” truck.

Let’s consider the list of Toyota truck rust problems of the last decade or so:

All told, that’s eight documented rust issues on Toyota trucks, including two recalls and one massively expensive frame replacement program.

Toyota – WTF is going on?

  • Mike T

    Because of possible corrosion development on its certain part, Toyota decided to recall its 2001-2004 models of Tacoma. Meanwhile, stating that rust cars are susceptible to rusting, Hub on Wheels advised all car owners to prepare a Rusterizer for a prompt, safe and effective rust treatment.

  • will

    The Tacomas affected by the recall carry their spare tires underneath the cargo bed and, where they are suspended on a metal part called a lift plate. The plate may not have been properly coated with phosphate during manufacture, which means they could be more susceptible to rust after years of exposure to road salt and other elements.

  • Somebody

    How to protect your frame from ever rusting:

    Step 1: rubberized asphalt undercoating. Yes, some of you will talk about it becoming dry and trapping moisture, and hiding the problem rather than protecting it. That’s what the rest of the steps address. Let the stuff dry for a few months, like from spring to fall. This is best done when the frame is still new. Make sure you get right up into boxed sections of the frame.

    Step 2: BRAND NEW (not used) cheap 10w30, mixed 50/50 with CRC 5-56.

    Step 3: Grocery store type hand pump sprayer, or something nicer if you want to spend more money. Take the goop you mixed in step 2, and coat everything except your exhaust pipe with it. Like step 1, make sure that you get right up into boxed sections of the frame with it.

    Repeat step 3 every fall before salt season. Repeat step 1 if the asphalt coat gets worn off.

    The 10w30/5-56 goop is oil, obviously, and it works with the asphalt to keep everything fluid, flexible, and oil coated. The stuff has no problem staying good for at least a year.

    • Tim Esterdahl

      Wow, you seem to have some experience with this issue. Thanks for the good ideas!


  • Gilles

    hi everyone , im mad as hell! , im the owner of a 2008 fj cruiser and had it oiled last years, acces my Facebook page to see the rust damage that is Under the truck, lodge a complaint with Toyota Canada and with the dealership , nothing doing, they aint moving a finger to solve this problem, im desperate and refuse to drive this car due the severe rust on steering system and brake line’s, thank you for your time