Toyota To Recall 110,000 2000-03 Tundras for Frame Corrosion

Toyota To Recall 2000-03 Tundras for Frame Corrosion Problem

Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced that Toyota will recall approximately 110,000 Tundra pickup trucks from the 2000 to 2003 model years in 20 cold-weather states and the District of Columbia to fix a frame rust and corrosion problem that could cause the spare tire to fall away from the truck.

Originally, NHTSA's investigation covered only 2000-01 Tundras but during Toyota's investigation of the problem, the number of trucks discovered with the problem grew to include 2002 and 2003 models.

"Through our investigation, we found there was a small quantity of 2002 and 2003 trucks with the issue," Brian Lyons, Toyota's Safety and Quality Communications Manager, told this afternoon. "That's why this recall has expanded to include those additional trucks in the 20 cold-weather states."

Toyota has just announced the recall, but NHTSA recommends that owners remove the spare tires before taking the trucks to the dealers to be remedied.

In addition, the corrosion may also cause damage to the rear brake lines and lead to brake system failures.

The states in the recall include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. These states typically use chemical de-icers, such as road salts, to treat roadways in winter weather.

According to Toyota's press release, the company will do the following for Tundra owners subject to the recall:

Beginning in Dec. 2009 through early 2010, owners of the involved vehicles will receive a Safety Recall notification via first class mail asking them to take their vehicles to a Toyota dealer for an initial inspection of the rear cross member. During this inspection, the rear cross-member including the surrounding components such as the brake line at the proportioning valve (which is mounted on the cross-member assembly) will also be inspected. Based upon the inspection, Toyota will do one of the following at no charge:

If there is no significant corrosion of the rear cross-member assembly or the rear brake line at the proportioning valve, owners will be notified of that fact and requested to subsequently bring their vehicle back to the dealership so that a corrosion-resistant compound can be applied to the rear cross-member. Toyota will notify the owner when the corrosion-resistant compound is available.


If significant corrosion is detected such that the rear cross-member can no longer safely support the spare tire and replacement components are available, the cross- member assembly will be replaced. In the event replacement components are not available, a temporary solution, such as the removal of the spare tire and securing it to the truck bed, will be performed until parts are available.

In those relatively rare cases where the rear cross-member is significantly corroded and can no longer safely support the spare tire, but the rear cross-member cannot be replaced due to excessive frame corrosion at the mounting location (e.g., if the side rails are too damaged), Toyota will develop an appropriate remedy for those vehicles on a case-by-case basis.

This inspection will take approximately 20 minutes, depending on dealer scheduling.

Until your vehicle is inspected, you may minimize the risk of the spare tire separating from the rear cross-member by removing it. If you choose to do so, please be sure not to be under the rear cross-member or spare tire carrier during the lowering process. In addition, if placing the spare tire in the truck bed or other area of the vehicle, it should be secured when driving.

Customers with questions are asked to call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1 (800) 331-4331.


It's good to see that Toyota is going to fix the problem.
Has Toyota released a reason as to why this happened with the Tundra pickups? and why it happened to the Tacoma trucks as well?
Has Toyota stated how they plan on preventing this problem from ever occuring again?

this is Toyota always somebody fault,in Canada we have ice and snow for 3 to 4 month this is meen we need to put the spare tire in the garage for winter..

I see Toyota is weazeling out of replacing entire frames.I knew they couldnt afford to replace 110,000 frames.

Paul - I hate to say it, but I think I agree with you. Toyota's slow response on this issue indicates they're just not going to take responsibility. Tundra owners would be wise to keep the pressure on Toyota until they do the right thing and either warranty the entire frame or start buying back trucks.

I totally agree with Paul.

That $3 they saved per vehicle for Rustoleum is going to cost them a ton of money.


I do not see a recall involving Tacoma's...

They a recall of Tacomas a well (I think it was years 95-01 or so). Both trucks had their frames built by the same company that did not properly coat them (an American company mind you) and hence the latest recall. Toyota bought back many of the Tacomas at a higher than blue book value. They seem to be doing less so for the Tundra but they are doing at least something.


Dana Corp built the frames. This recall is for the spare tire cross member only, not the entire frame. This initial scoping of the issue is suspect as there is empirical evidence by many owners, fore and aft on the frame, that there's much more to the entire issue than simply a single cross member.

You state that Dana is at fault. Where has factual evidence been made public that indicates Toyota's frame and metallurgic specification to Dana would have prevented this issue? Where is the evidence that clears Toyota of any wrong doing? Where is the evidence that declares fault with Dana Corp? Toyota is the king of public relations and media management, doing everything in its power to understate any issues publicly. Toyota had this practice for years and continues to do so today. Some Americans are starting to clue into this fact. This could become very viral for Toyota if all the pieces are put together, so to speak, pun intended.

Ric17 - It doesn't matter who made the frame. The frames were manufactured to Toyota's specs and ACCEPTED as production parts by Toyota.

Blaming the supplier is a cop-out. Toyota needs to take full responsibility for this.

Toyota is turning into GM - blaming everyone else for their own problems.

Industry pundits have compared Toyota to GM. They've even stated that Toyota is making all the same mistakes GM made. As far as Toyota trying to cover things up, all the automotive companies have done this at one time or another. It has backfired on them virtually everytime as well. Corporations and governments should fire all their lawyers and spin doctors. What ever happened to open and honest communications. Toyota NEEDS TO COME CLEAN by saying," we f--ked up and we are going to make things right". It is a sign if the times - nobody wants to accept personal responsibility for their mistakes! It's always someone elses fault!
The most bothersome part of all this is that Toyota had the same problem occur almost 10 yrs. ago with the Tacoma. You'd think they would of learned their lesson.
Toyota should open their books to an impartial third party to investigate this problem. Was it poor engineering specifications in relation to metalurgy or rust inhibiting compounds? Was Dana corp. doing what they were contracted to do? Was it poor quality control on Toyota's part? Why did they make the same mistake twice?
Heads need to roll... and not some poor corporate stiff "taking it for the team".

just think about all the older toyota pickups that the beds rusted off of them and they never did anything to fix the problem,we bought a 1988 4x4 toyota pickup and in 3 years of use the bed was rusting thru above the back tires and we took care of the truck kept it waxed and very clean

@yfzracer - I've lost count of the number of rusty vehicles I've seen in my life, and this covers every brand out there. Have you heard of the term Caveat Emptor. Perhaps you should of crawled under the thing and had a look before buying.
On a seperate note - what's a yfzracer or do you mean yzf racer?

Toyota not looking so shiny now:

Toyota needs to stop their downward spiral while the Detroit auto industry is still in turmoil. If Toyota keeps this up they will be in deep trouble, especcially if GM and Dodge get their corporate acts together.

Some of you have no idea how a supplier manufacturer relationship works do you? Especially when a universally established QA system exists between them.

1) No supplier is going to blindly make a product for someone with no inkling of the application or knowing it will fail. They would be eternally linked to that failure and it would be gross negligence. Toyota and Dana knew these trucks were going to see salt and corrosive environments in the North American market.

2) Not every part is inspected upon arrival. There is in most cases a sample size used depending on size of the shipment if that is a requirement. Most companies wiave that inspection if suppliers are backed by an international QA system like ISO or supply SPC data as the parts are manufactured.

3) Toyota is not supplying the supplier with the material for the frames.

FWIW it was reported for the Tacoma frames (similiar MY's IIRC) that the rust issues were related to insuffiecient rust prevention being applied by the same supplier.

Dana has had plenty of QC issues in the not too distant past. Most recently with the spider gears in the Nissan Titan rear axles.

yfzracer - FYI you do realize that those 88 time framed trucks had welds where you are discribing you had issues? Those did indeed use recycled steel and had poor rust resistance and galvanization.

@keith - thanks for the information. That makes sense.
Do you think that Dana Corp. may be found culpable of poor manufacturing processes and have to foot the bill for the frame rust fiasco?

My 2001 Tundra with 85,000 miles has significant rust on the frame and the bed is rusted through in several spots. This is with light commuting and personal use. I live in Indiana and take good care of the truck. Disappointing.

yep i know all about the welds and rust protection on the 1988 models,it sucked and toyota did nothing about it and toyota knew all about where they where getting all there metal from they selected a cheap way out and still charged everyone a high price for there products,the only good thing now is there paying for a recall now its gonna cost them some money,i guess what im saying is that im a very happy ford customer now i learnt my lesson

Frame rust and corrosion problem.....

It good to know NHTSA is doing their job. I guess it’s a recall if the spare tire can fall away but not a recall if the engine can fall away like in the Pacifica sub frame rot issue. Or is it Toyota can afford the recall and Chrysler can’t. Where was NHTSA when my Mazda 84 B2000 truck frame rotted in ten years….Should bought a Toyota.

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