There’s a settlement on the horizon for owners of Toyota trucks with rusted out frames that are so holey they make the Pope blush.
The settlement includes the 2005-2012 Tacoma, 2007-2008 Tundra, and 2005-2008 Sequoia in the United States and its territories.
For thousands of owners, the news comes just in the nick of time. Many of these trucks are one stiff breeze away from turning into a pile of corroded dust.
A Corrosion Problem
Toyota truck owners have been complaining that their frames are susceptible to unusual levels of rust.
The theory is the trucks were never properly treated with anti-corrosion chemicals at the factory, leaving their frames exposed to the dangers of road salt and spray, even early in the vehicle’s life.
“The frame is severely rusted at all joints. Since the truck is garaged 95% of the time, always clean (even engine compartment), and only has 12,000 total miles on this 2006 vehicle, it is extremely illogical. The warranty covers only “perforated” rust. It is not perforated but will be that way in a year or so.” – 2006 Tacoma owner in Virginia
The problem is especially true of trucks in the so-called “salt belt states.
“Sad to say I paid over $75,000 for this and now I’m scared to drive it. I used to take this vehicle on long drives with my family. Now in the back of my head I’m thinking what if I drive it and the chassis just breaks off?” – 2008 Sequoia owner in New York
Toyota Agrees to Massive Settlement
A lawsuit was eventually filed against Toyota making a few key points:
- Frame rust, unlike most body panel rust, poses a real threat to the structural integrity of the truck.
- Owners were tired of being told they simply “didn’t wash the truck enough” when in reality it appears the trucks were never properly treated in the first place.
- A previous recall of 690,000 Tacoma trucks for rust and corrosion showed Toyota was aware of the problem.
By November 2016, a massive $3.4 billion settlement was agreed on.
The settlement includes the cost of inspections ($60 per vehicle), the application of corrosion-resistant compounds (N/A), and in some cases a complete frame replacement ($15,000 per vehicle).
To get a new frame, dealers will use a “rust perforation standard” – any frame where rust has perforated 10mm or more will be swapped out.
The lawsuit is scheduled for a fairness hearing in April 2017.
Actions You Can Take
This step is crucial, don't just complain on forums! The sites below will actively manage your complaints and turn them into useful statistics. Both CarComplaints.com and the CAS will report dangerous trends to the authorities and are often called upon by law firms for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough.
Step 1: File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com
CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases. Add a Complaint
Step 2: Notify the Center for Auto Safety
The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits. Notify the CAS
Step 3: Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues. Report to NHTSA