Toyota Settles Pickup Frame Rust Lawsuit for $3.4 Billion


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Toyota has settled a class-action suit brought by owners of pickup trucks and SUVs whose frames could rust through. Covering about 1.5 million vehicles and costing Toyota up to $3.4 billion, the out-of-court settlement resolves an issue that's been going on since 2000.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), the settlement includes model-year 2005-10 Tacoma mid-size pickup trucks, model-year 2007-08 Tundra full-size pickups and 2005-08 Sequoia SUVs (which used a modified Tundra frame) that allegedly received inadequate rust protection that could lead to serious frame damage from corrosive road salt and other snow-melting solutions.

Toyota has admitted no liability or wrongdoing. Under terms of the settlement, according to Automotive News, Toyota will inspect qualifying vehicles to determine if the frames need to be replaced. Toyota's total payout is based on a potential frame replacement cost of $15,000 per vehicle and inspections that cost $60 per vehicle; attorneys' fees and other costs are part of the $3.4 billion total.

"We want our customers to have a great ownership experience, so we are pleased to resolve this litigation in a way that benefits them and demonstrates that we stand behind the quality and reliability of our vehicles," Toyota said in a statement.

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I would never buy one of these appliances in the first place.

Yikes, no toyota for me, ever. Sorry Toyota. I'd buy a Honda Ridgeline.

can't wait for the GM lawsuit for frame rust, once all that wax wears off the frame and it rusts to pieces.

can't wait for the GM lawsuit for frame rust, once all that wax wears off the frame and it rusts to pieces.

Posted by: jack | Nov 15, 2016 12:38:08 PM

It is coming. GM already knows it is an issue. They have released a repair procedure but will only cover it under 3/36. It affects 1500s, Suburbans and vans. It will be quite expensive when they get hit with it.

Toyota Quality is not great anymore, they are the GM of Japan.


Are you referring to the Chevy 2500HD Frame Crack and Rust Issue?

Or is this something else?

My 99 Taco had this... the frame completely rotted out in 2011. It had 135K on it and I had taken very good care of the truck. I called my favorite uncle who is GM at a GMC dealer and asked him about it... He told me I was screwed. I took it to the Toy store and upon inspection they gave me a rental car and told me an offer to buy my truck would be along in a week or 2. about 10 days later I got a phone call offering 150% of KBB Value of the truck in Excellent condition. I got a $12,500 check for a truck I paid 19,500 for 11 years prior and had put 115K on. I wasn't happy about losing a paid for 4x4 truck but I was far from screwed. I called my uncle and let him know and was thankful i had gone with toy. My brother in law has a 2005 taco. It had 250K and frame rusted out last year. They replaced the entire frame and brake lines for free and offered that anything else he wanted replaced would only be a fee for parts.

While i really wish toy had built my truck right in the first place they did everything they could to make it right so at the worst its a wash.

Thanks toy.

This is old news & falls right into Toy maker's rust reputation; dad's Toy maker '71 FJ & a '72 Stout truck had reliable engines but the body just rusted away like there was no tomorrow.

Almost 40 yrs later, all my buddies with the last 2 generations of HILUX's suffer the same issue. And now Toy trucks supposedly built in the good 'ol USA also suffer the same issue...not knocking Toy makers but one needs to wonder...why?!

Meanwhile, Ford '17 Super duties continue to rake in more prizes;

These are the frames Dana built for Toyota. Dana went out of business right around 2010 give or take. Weird that the toyota frames after that time frame are not having rust issues.

My 2002 Tundra was part of the rust recall and inspection. Toyota gave me a new Prius to drive while they pulled the box off my pickup and inspected the frame. Mine was fine, so they blasted the crud off of it and applied a new and more chemically powerful rustproofing. Cost to me was zero. I've never heard of another company doing anything similar.

And here in Minnesota, the badge that rots in the shortest amount of time is Chrysler/Fiat. I could walk through the employee parking lot right now and come back with ten photos of recent model RAMs with serious rust. But because it's the doors, the hoods, the rocker panels, the fender wells -- too bad, so sad. It might still be safe to drive, but the resale is zero.

Cool Story Clint.

oxi - - -

There was a time in the early 1990's when most vehicles rusted out easily in northern States (where I live too)*. After that, increasingly manufacturers switched to high-nickel steels, following the innovation by Dodge Ram in 1994. But not all did until the middle of the 2000's.

So, there were only two good choices for caring for vehicles in salt-intensive states:

1) (Lazy Method - mine): Leave them OUTSIDE, do not attempt to wash them, and keep them cold until Spring. DO not Ever put your pickup in a nice, comfy heated garage!

2) (Right Method): Put vehicles in a VERY heated garage with floor drains, and wash the living hell out of it twice weekly, followed by a forced, blown, hot-air drying inside all niches and crannies, doors and wheel wells, engine bay, undercarriage including springs and suspension, etc.

So, I can only conclude that your 2010 Tacoma already has rust-resistant steels, AND/OR that you have use one of he two methods above. (^_^).

* In Rochester, NY (which owned its own salt mines!), the average time for rust-through of new vehicles was 18 months in the early 1980's!


Honda Ridgeline Bed:
All articles tought how wide and how acoustic it is, but it is only 4’11.5”_long when tailgate closed. And height is lacking too. Why don't we focus on getting the front end to be shorter in trucks instead of the beds. I read another article on Ridgeline yesterday and they only eluded to the fact that hey the bed is the widest and most acoustic, but wasn't the longest. How about the fact that IT IS THE SHORTEST!. I measured it. I understand marketing: emphasize your strengths. I applaud Honda for entering again with a more real truck this time, but my goodness you think they could of at least added 1/2 a foot to the bed.

I also heard GM has the same issue and lawsuit already under way, man Gm and Toyota have no place in the North

@ Angelo; I am certain Honda's engineers had already tested longer beds after considering all factors combined (frame strength etc etc); 4' 11" is probably the max they can go.

In other words, let's call it for what it is; the Ridgeline is a Pilot SUV with a bed.

This article & comments above from real experiences prove trucks of RAM, TOY, CHEBY/GMC suffer rust dearly in these "salty states".

But so far, no one has commented how Ford's recent aluminum trucks are holding up...I guess we'll need to wait a couple more years.

Too bad GM and RAM can put a bed on their trucks that won't rust through in five years. Lol both the 98 gmc and 08 ram I have/had at about 5-7 years the bed starts rusting on the drivers side over the wheel. Rest of the trucks are fine it's just the bed that rusts out. Surely in this day and age they can find a solution. Maybe they should fix the old technology before moving on to self driving cars or auto braking. Lol

lol that long bed Tundra looks hideous. Looks like a giant sperm cell with long tail.

These are the frames Dana built for Toyota. Dana went out of business right around 2010 give or take. Weird that the toyota frames after that time frame are not having rust issues.
Posted by: uh huh | Nov 15, 2016 1:38:02 PM

How does a supplier for such a big and important part of a truck not once get cited by Toyota for making a part incorrectly/not to spec. Surely a company like Toyota would have representatives/auditors that come to the Dana frame plant to make sure the part is made to the agreed to specifications. And after the frames left the Dana plant and arrived at the Tacoma plant in Mexico, surely there would be quality control employees that inspect the parts to make sure they meet Toyota's standards.

I don't buy it. I think that Toyota threw Dana under the bus.

After all, Toyotas have always been famous for this kind of severe corrosion. I've had family members that wanted to buy 80's era Toyota pickups when they were all the rage (including a feature at the end of Back to the Future). They changed their mind after the truck beds started rusting at the bed bolts and the frames started shedding rust particles like dandruff. One of them went with a Nissan "hardbody" pickup which was just as reliable and didn't rust nearly as fast or severely.

I also heard GM has the same issue and lawsuit already under way, man Gm and Toyota have no place in the North
Posted by: Nitro | Nov 15, 2016 2:52:27 PM

Yeah the wax coating is junk. It's a shame because they're good reliable trucks. I know a few guys that scraped the wax off and re-coated the frame with POR 15 or chassis saver.

I'd coat the frame on any truck I buy these days. Ram's frame rust, Ford's e-coated frames rust, I'm willing to bet the Nissan's frame rusts. With the newer calcium chloride and magnesium chloride de-icers being spread on the road, you're asking for trouble if you don't do something to protect the frame.

But so far, no one has commented how Ford's recent aluminum trucks are holding up...I guess we'll need to wait a couple more years.
Posted by: Lionel | Nov 15, 2016 3:33:28 PM

The paint hasn't flaked off the aluminum yet but the steel frames are rusting like normal. The E-coating doesn't do much better than GM's cheap wax.

2015 F-150:

It cost 1.2 billion dollars to construct the San Antonio plant.

Even if only 1/4 of the vehicles that qualify for this settlement are repaired, the profit (avg $5K) from the unrepaired qualifying vehicles becomes a wash, i.e. breakeven.

I can't imagine this sits well with Toyota Japan...

Hopefully some big changes happen at ToyMoCo. It's interesting how the Tacoma and Tundra have had such serious rusting issues, yet you never see FJ Cruisers or Land Cruisers with this kind of corrosion.

@Lionel, Frank. Ridgeline really a Pilot with a bed. Yah it was such a disappointment to see how short the bed was. Maybe a third gen will be longer bed (option), but the speed these Japanese manufacturers move with new innovations, it won't happen for 10 years. Even the Colorado says 6'2" bed, but when measured is only 6'0" when tailgate closed. And of course full sizes are just whales with engine bays way too long. So I just wait for when real changes come to the length of truck engine bays. Ram is perfect at 6'4", but it has the large full size front end engine bay to accommodate the sizeable V8 buyer market.

@ Angelo; I guess you can't have everything but I must say with the two truck's I own (longest bed is 5.5'), I never had a problem fitting or carrying whatever was needed.

Never-the-less, today is one of the most interesting times to own a truck...I mean the number of choices out these is incredible....for e.g;

Mercedes just announced their X-truck version & I know a few people in my neighborhood who will buy one in a wimp just for the brand image & not on performance/real world working needs.

The basic working truck of the past is over; unless you are an old dude (like papa jim) who still prefers his AM radio & hand cranked windows; I would rather (& enjoying!) all the extra goodies/comfort todays trucks hey, it's a choice!

I bought a 2001 Taco and with in 4 years the frame was rusted almost in two, right if front of the cab. It took me years fighting Toyota to get it replaced, Finally the government got involved and I then had the frame replaced and sold it to some dumb guy right after...

When is Toyota going to take care of my 2000, tundra are nothing but a bucket of rusty bolts and nuts.

Gotta live it when Toyota lovers try to deflect and write "I heard GM has rust issues with the truck bed" and then never provide any proof. Show us the large data set of GM trucks surveyed and the percentage experiencing rust problems. Until then it's just all conjecture.

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