Frame Rust problems of the 2003 Toyota Tacoma - part 1

40 problems related to frame rust have been reported for the 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The most recently reported issues are listed below. Please also check out the statistics and reliability analysis of the 2003 Toyota Tacoma based on all problems reported for the 2003 Tacoma.

car   Frame Rust problem 1
Failure Date: 02/12/2018

The frame is totally rusted out, and the vehicle is unsafe to drive. I knew it had some rust issues before I purchased the truck, but I contacted Toyota corporate to see if this VIN was part of the recall in which Toyota replaces the frame or buys back the truck. The rep I spoke to said that it was indeed in the recall and that, after I purchase I should take to local Toyota dealership and if the frame has perforation then they would replace the frame. So in good faith I flew to NJ, bought the truck, which only had 60k miles on it at the time, and drove it back to nc and immediately took to our local Toyota dealership. They said the frame indeed had perforation and was eligible for frame replacement. I left the truck there, but they called me the next day and said they were sorry but upon further investigation, they had discovered that the 2003 Tacoma was a "northern truck" and had not been properly "undercoated" and was therefore exempt from the recall that would fix the frame. I called Toyota corporate and upon further checking, they said that if the 2003 Tacoma had been undercoated by the original owner (at no cost to owner--a service Toyota provided for free once they discovered that they had used bad steel for the frames of these trucks) then it would be covered in recall. I explained that I would not have bought the truck is their rep hadn't told me that the frame would replaced. They said the rep had not looked far enough into the matter and had told me wrong and that I was basically stuck with a truck I could not drive. I paid $6500 for this truck and I cannot put $12,000 into it to fix the frame. And I should not have to! Toyota needs to be held responsible for using bad steel for these trucks. So do I keep driving it until the frame breaks and injures my, my family, or other drivers? then I will sue Toyota! please help me get this resolved!.

car   Frame Rust problem 2
Failure Date: 09/27/2017

I called the Toyota customer experience hotline to inquire if my truck qualified for a frame rust protection coating or replacement under their 15 year extended warranty that was offered for 2001-2004 Tacomas. I was told that my truck was "potentially eligible for frame repair" valid under the warranty until the end of 2017 and a case was opened. I was told I needed to take the truck into an authorized dealership for a frame inspection, and then regional office would make the decision to cover it. I was also informed of a recall on the spare tire carrier that was prone to rust and potential failure. I brought my truck in to the Toyota of portland to replace the spare tire carrier and inspect the frame. When I picked up my truck they said it failed the frame inspection due to excessive corrosion and that they never replaced the spare tire carrier because they were worried once they removed the spare tire carrier to replace it would further compromise the integrity of the surrounding area of the rusted frame. Finally the dealership told me that the regional office denied my frame replacement based on the photos they received. Supposedly the regional office said that the rust is only bad on the cross section and that is a removable section of the frame that can be replaced so the frame itself is not did not fail. My complaint is that I have authorized Toyota service center paperwork saying my vehicle failed the frame inspection, and based solely on photos, and with one month left of my warranty, the regional office decided to override the diagnosis and denied my warranty claim. The recalled spare tire carrier has still not been replaced, and im worried that once it is it will uncover more corrosion, but by that time my warranty for frame replacement will have expired. I want Toyota to honor my warranty and replace the frame on my truck like they are obligated to do.

car   Frame Rust problem 3
Failure Date: 09/01/2017

Driving truck, only 86617 miles, heard drive train noise, pulled over, noticed frame rust through and truck bending down in middle beside the gas tank. Felt unsafe to drive, had vehicle towed to Toyota dealership. Arapahoe Toyota.

car   Frame Rust problem 4
Failure Date: 08/24/2017

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that the frame was rusted on the driver side. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The local dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer was notified of the issue, but did not assist. The failure mileage was 108,094.

car   Frame Rust problem 5
Failure Date: 04/02/2017

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while working underneath the vehicle, the contact noticed that the frame was rusted. The vehicle was not taken to a dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 180,000.

car   Frame Rust problem 6
Failure Date: 02/12/2017

Extensive frame rust and rot has rendered the vehicle unsafe to operate. Vehicle has only 90k miles on it.

car   Frame Rust problem 7
Failure Date: 06/01/2016

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that the frame prematurely rusted with extensive corrosion to the point that the spare tire carrier fractured. The dealer was notified of the failure. It was diagnosed that the entire frame of the vehicle needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and provided no solution. The VIN and failure mileage were not available.

car   Frame Rust problem 8
Failure Date: 05/17/2016

Went to have my truck inspected and was told the frame has rust pretty much along the whole drivers side and it can't be inspected.

car   Frame Rust problem 9
Failure Date: 04/14/2016

This morning I took my low mileage (58,926) 2003 Toyota Tacoma to my mechanic for a couple of simple repairs. When road testing, he discovered extensive rust on the drivers side frame. During the spare tire carrier recall two years ago the Toyota dealer slapped undercoating on it and said nothing. This dangerously extensive frame rust seems to be a widespread problem. Why hasn't there been a recall? what does it take?.

car   Frame Rust problem 10
Failure Date: 03/31/2016

I'm trying to sell my Tacoma. The frame is rusted. I took it to a Toyota dealer when the frame recall was sent to me. They sprayed the frame with a corrosion resistant treatment. Obviously, this hasn't solved the problem and I want a new frame. I have 134,000 miles on this truck. It's in great shape except for the frame. My mechanic said it's a safety factor because the spare tire brace is rusted; there are holes in the frame now. According to a letter from Toyota USA president, they are allowing replacement frames up to 15 years.

car   Frame Rust problem 11
Failure Date: 03/21/2016

Extensive frame rust through.

car   Frame Rust problem 12
Failure Date: 01/20/2016

Frame rust. I was just informed that my 2003 Tacoma has a serious frame rust problem and is now unsafe to drive. I contacted a Toyota dealership and they stated that this case was closed and there was nothing they could do to help. My biggest concern was I had this same truck in the same dealership for a recall on the spare tire holder (rust problem) and they did not mention or check the frame to see if it was safe. My son was in a small front end collision and the entire frame bent and buckled. How could this vehcile be allowed on the roads.

car   Frame Rust problem 13
Failure Date: 01/08/2016

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. When the vehicle was taken for routine maintenance, the technician informed the contact that the frame of the vehicle was rusted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the frame was rusted and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 131,000.

car   Frame Rust problem 14
Failure Date: 12/15/2015

Frame has rusted thru by the leaf spring and other places. Toyota has a recall/campaing that covers the frame thru 2018. But they will not replaced frame because they said it was not undercoated during a specific time. . . . They want $10,000 for new frame. . This is a known problem that should be fully recall.

car   Frame Rust problem 15
Failure Date: 11/17/2015

Tl-the contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that when the vehicle was taken to be serviced under NHTSA campaign number:12v542000 (tires), the technician informed the contact that the frame was rusted and the recall repair was unable to be performed. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 204,000. Ss.

car   Frame Rust problem 16
Failure Date: 10/09/2015

Both sides of my frame are rusted in front of the rear wheels . The left side has a large rusted crack where the leaf springs connect to the frame. The right side has a roasted whole large enough that I can put my hand inside. I contacted Toyota corporate and they told me they were very sorry but all their campaigns were expired and they had to tell thousands of other people the same thing. Vehicle is unsafe to drive and could cause me or someone else harm at any time. If Toyota has talked to thousands of other people about the same problem, it seems to me they should be responsible for their faulty equipment .

car   Frame Rust problem 17
Failure Date: 10/08/2015

Tl-the contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while the vehicle was being serviced by an independent mechanic, he observed that the frame was rusted. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the frame needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was unknown. Sh.

car   Frame Rust problem 18
Failure Date: 09/14/2015

Tl-the contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while trying to rotate the tires, noticed that the frame was severely rusted in the rear of the both sides of the vehicle. The rust was so severe that it had holes in both rear sides. The vehicle was driven to the dealer and the diagnosis was the frame needed replacement. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 220,000. Bp.

car   Frame Rust problem 19
Failure Date: 04/01/2015

Tl- the contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while having routine diagnostics ran on the vehicle it was brought to the attention of the contact that the vehicles frame was rusted and the diagnostics could not be ran. The vehicle taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the frame of the vehicle was rusted and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000. The VIN was not available. Wh.

car   Frame Rust problem 20
Failure Date: 07/14/2014

This truck is only 11 years old and the frame is rusted out. There is a hole about 12 inches long in the frame rail, on the right side, which caused my shock mount to break in the rear of the truck. I called Toyota and they won't do anything about it. I told them I would never buy another Toyota. This frame should last longer than 11 years.

car   Frame Rust problem 21
Failure Date: 06/11/2014

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that upon inspection, it was discovered that the frame was rusted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who confirmed that the frame had rusted. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage and the current mileage was 40,000.

car   Frame Rust problem 22
Failure Date: 05/10/2014

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign id number: 05v225000 (suspension) and stated that an independent mechanic before the notification of the recall sprayed the undercarriage. The dealer informed the contact that the recall repair would not be honored due to the coating of the undercarriage. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the entire frame was rusted and corroded and may fracture. A lift plate inspection was performed and it was diagnosed that the frame was covered with undercoating and the lift plate was unable to be repaired due to the rust. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 75,880.

car   Frame Rust problem 23
Failure Date: 04/25/2014

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that upon inspection, it was found that the frame was rusted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the failure was confirmed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 94,650. The VIN was not available.

car   Frame Rust problem 24
Failure Date: 04/14/2014

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while the vehicle was being inspected by a private mechanic, it was found that the frame was rusted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who confirmed the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 180,000.

car   Frame Rust problem 25
Failure Date: 03/31/2014

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while the vehicle was being taken to a dealer for an oil change, the mechanic noticed that there was a rust hole that had rusted through the frame near the right rear passenger's side. The diagnosis was that the frame needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 118,500. The VIN was unavailable.


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